June 28, 2024

NorSun Announces $620M 5GW Solar Plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma

NorSun plans to invest US$620 million in a new manufacturing plant in Tulsa, with construction beginning in late 2024 and production starting in 2026. The selected site is about 60 acres and is ready for development.

Norsun Expands Production to Oklahoma

Norsun was founded in Norway in 2007. It specializes in producing monocrystalline ingots and wafers for ultra-high efficiency solar cells. The company's expansion was supported by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust.

"I'm proud to welcome Norsun to Oklahoma and excited that Oklahomans will gain hundreds of new jobs in the Tulsa area and benefit from a $620 million capital investment. Our pro-growth policies, workforce development initiatives, and comprehensive energy strategy make Oklahoma an outstanding state for investment. I'm delighted that NorSun is joining us." said Governor Kevin Stitt.

IRA Boosts U.S. Solar Module Manufacturing

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has encouraged solar module manufacturers to establish production facilities in the U.S. However, there are very few planned factories for producing ingots, wafers, and cells. This shortage forces U.S. solar module manufacturers to rely primarily on imports, especially from China.

Production at the new Norsun plant is anticipated to start in 2026, providing the supply chain with essential U.S.-manufactured silicon ingots and wafers, and creating 320 jobs in the Tulsa area. Norsun also states that production capacity can be increased up to 10 GW.

"Our business plan has an ambitious timeline, so we needed a partner who could work quickly and efficiently to meet the urgent demand for American-made energy. Oklahoma impressed us from the start with its strong clean energy and manufacturing ecosystem, as well as its workforce development programs. The state's competitive business offerings and site acceleration options solidified our decision," said NorSun CEO Erik Løkke-Øwre.

Oklahoma Facility to Lead U.S. in Silicon Ingot and Wafer Production

Production is expected to begin in 2026, positioning the Oklahoma facility as one of the first in the U.S. to produce high-performance silicon ingots and wafers, addressing the primary bottleneck in achieving a fully domestic solar supply chain. The Tulsa site also provides the potential to expand production up to 10 GW as the U.S. continues to emphasize domestic energy manufacturing.

"Year after year, Oklahoma makes significant progress in the clean energy sector, attracting consistent investment from leading companies that are reshaping the industry. This success is a testament to our pro-business policies, strong workforce, site readiness, and access to major markets. We are excited to welcome NorSun as we work to expand U.S. solar manufacturing capacity." said Interim Director of Business Development for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Tina Lindsay.

In 2023, there were 88 announcements for Commerce-assisted new and expanding companies across the state, with a potential investment totaling $3.6 billion. Notable companies include Pratt & Whitney, American Airlines, Enel, Windshape, and Blue Whale Materials. These projects are expected to create at least 7,000 new jobs.

"I am delighted to welcome a new company that will bring high-quality, well-paying jobs to our community. Tulsa is a hub where innovation and excellence flourish, and NorSun will thrive here. I extend my thanks to Governor Stitt for his efforts in making Oklahoma the premier destination for business!" said U.S. Congressman Kevin Hern.

"I express gratitude to NorSun for their substantial investment and commitment to increasing jobs in Tulsa, while also creating opportunities that meet global industry demands. This project reflects the efforts of many, and we look forward to the beneficial impact and progress this new development will bring to Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma. " said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.

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