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JinkoSolar Holds Opening Ceremony For Factory On Jacksonville's Westside

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., which began manufacturing solar panels at its West Jacksonville factory in November, held its opening ceremony Tuesday.

“JinkoSolar continues to gain market share in many regions across the globe, including the U.S., and this factory will be key to solidifying that strong market position,” JinkoSolar CEO Kangping Chen said in a news release. “We are fortunate to call Jacksonville home with its excellent business environment and hospitable community, features which enabled us to find a talented workforce, complete the facility, and quickly begin producing world-class PV modules.”

The company leases 285,652 square feet at 4660 POW-MIA Memorial Parkway at AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce, according to our Jacksonville Daily Record news partner.

Related: Florida Sees Robust Solar Job Growth As Industry Slightly Dims Nationwide

The company said pilot production began in November 2018 and has been ramping up. Once fully operational, the $50.5 million facility will employ 200 workers. The factory will have the capacity to build 400 megawatts of solar modules annually, which would be more than 1 million solar panels a year.

“Advanced manufacturing is critical to the continued growth of our local economy, and we thank JinkoSolar for choosing to invest in Jacksonville,” said Aundra Wallace, president of JAXUSA Partnership, in the release. “We look forward to working with JinkoSolar to make sure they have the highly-skilled workforce they need to succeed and thrive here.”

JinkoSolar is receiving city tax incentives of $3.4 million, consisting of a $3.2 million Recapture Enhanced Value grant to be paid over 10 years and a $200,000 Qualified Target Industry tax refund for JinkoSolar to be repaid over five years. The state will pay the remaining $800,000 of the total $1 million QTI refund.

“When JinkoSolar began exploring options for its first U.S. manufacturing operation, they could have chosen any location throughout the country,” Mayor Lenny Curry said in the release. “I am incredibly delighted that JinkoSolar chose the city of Jacksonville as its U.S. headquarters.”

JinkoSolar’s first major customer was announced in March.

Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy said in a news release that it is the counterparty to a supply agreement that was announced by JinkoSolar in January. Florida Power & Light Co. is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy.

Under the agreement, JinkoSolar will supply NextEra Energy with up to 2,750 megawatts of high-efficiency solar modules – roughly 7 million – over about four years.

JinkoSolar says it has has more than 12,000 employees across six production facilities globally.