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JinkoSolar Plans US HQ In Jacksonville; Council To Vote On Incentives

Jax Daily Record
The proposal calls for a $50 million plant at the Cecil Commerce Center.

JinkoSolar Inc., suspected since January to be planning a Jacksonville manufacturing plant, is proposing a $50.5 million solar-panel assembly and distribution operation at Cecil Commerce Center, according to City Council legislation posted Thursday.

Although not in the legislation, JinkoSolar also intends to establish its U.S. headquarters in Jacksonville, said council Vice President Aaron Bowman, senior vice president of business development for JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development division of JAX Chamber.

“Jinko has told us that yes, this will be their U.S. headquarters,” he said. Jinko has a sales office in San Francisco.

Bowman said the company wanted to establish its footprint in Jacksonville.

“Jinko is probably if not No. 1, one of the top solar panel manufacturers in the world, and to have them choose Jacksonville is really going to put us on the map,” Bowman said Thursday.

“A lot of people will ask ‘Why did they pick Jacksonville and why shouldn’t we be there?’” he said.

JinkoSolar is part of Shanghai, China-based JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd. It proposes to hire up to 200 employees for the project by year-end 2019 and pay an average wage of $45,562. 

JinkoSolar executed a lease for developer Hillwood’s new 407,353-square-foot building at 4660 New World Ave. in the Cecil center. That’s where it will assemble and distribute the panels.

Resolution 2018-149, to provide incentives to JinkoSolar, is on a fast track for two Council meetings. It will be introduced March 13 and could be approved March 27.

The city proposes tax incentives of $3.4 million, comprising 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. Other state incentives were not specified in the city fact sheet.

Bowman said the state is completing its incentives, which will include training assistance. The legislative fact sheet says JinkoSolar stated that state and city incentives are a material factor in its decision to locate its new operation in Jacksonville rather than another site.

Read the rest of this story at the Jax Daily Record site.