Enel is building a billion-dollar solar panel plant in the port of Tulsa, in Enola

OKLAHOMA CITY — An international green energy company will build a solar panel manufacturing facility in the port of Tulsa, Enola in what is being called the largest economic development project in the state’s history.

Enel North America has chosen Oklahoma to be home to one of the largest solar cell and panel plants in the country, the company and its affiliates, 3Sun USA LLC, announced in a press release Monday.

The Italian company expects to invest more than $1 billion in the new plant and create 1,000 new and permanent jobs by 2025. Enel says it could create another 900 jobs in a second phase of development.

In a statement, Giovanni Bertolino, President of 3Sun USA, said the company is proud to partner with a country that is already a leader in the energy industry.

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“Our selection of Oklahoma is a testament to the strength of the Port of Tulsa’s location in Enola, the state’s commitment to workforce development and an attractive investment climate,” he said. “With this announcement, we are taking a huge step forward in developing a state-of-the-art (solar cell) plant, providing hundreds of jobs and millions in long-term tax revenue, while moving Oklahoma to the forefront of manufacturing renewables.”

The construction of the plant, which covers an area of ​​more than 2 million square feet, will begin in the fall. The company expects to start manufacturing solar panels by the end of 2024. The building project is expected to create more than 1,800 construction jobs.

Enell’s announcement comes just days after Governor Kevin State signed a $218.6 million stimulus package to seal the deal. State and Oklahoma Department of Commerce officials said the Enel plant would be the largest economic development project in the state.

“Enel’s expansion is a huge win for Oklahoma, and I am very pleased with their record investment in our state’s economy and workforce, which will have a lasting legacy and continue to impact Oklahomaans for generations,” State said in a statement.

May 19, 2023 Video. The new manufacturing plant is expected to create at least 1,500 new jobs.

Under the newly created Performance Act, Enel will be eligible to recover up to 10% of its capital expenditures and/or payroll costs with a required minimum investment of $1 billion. To qualify for the full $180 million in state incentives, Enel would have to invest $1.8 billion in Oklahoma over 10 years.

Lawmakers also appropriated $38.6 million for water and sanitation improvements at the Port of Tulsa in Enola as part of the deal.

Noting that Commerce Department officials are still barred from discussing some details of the deal because they are bound by non-disclosure agreements, State spokeswoman Kate Vesper declined to say whether Ennell will receive incentives from the governor’s fast-track fund.

President Joe Biden said his administration’s clean, business-friendly energy policies helped pave the way for Enel’s expansion into the United States

The Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which includes billions of dollars in subsidies to increase green energy development and encourage companies to build solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicle batteries in the United States, prompted Enel officials to scour sites for a new plant, accordingly. To the company’s press release.

“Today’s announcement from Enel is the latest evidence of the success of my agenda in investing in America, and the resurgence of American manufacturing,” Biden said in a statement. “The well-paying jobs where Americans can raise a family are being created in cities and communities in every corner of the country.”

Enl already has a presence in Oklahoma. The company has a regional office in Oklahoma City and operates 13 wind farms across the state.

Discussions about the new plant have been under way since last May when Tulsa Regional Chamber and Department of Commerce officials met with Enel executives during the PGA Championship in Tulsa, said Arthur Jackson, senior vice president with the chamber.

“Enel North America has a global reputation for forging new paths with clean energy, and this long-term commitment to Oklahoma as a solar panel supplier will highlight the Port of Inola and its ability to accommodate large-scale development,” Jackson said.

Italy-based textile manufacturer Sovidel has named the port of Tulsa in Enola since 2020. The 2,500-acre industrial park is located about 20 miles east of Tulsa.

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