NorSun plans $620 million US wafer fab in Oklahoma

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Norwegian solar company NorSun is investing $620 million in its first US-based factory in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The initial investment will see construction of a 5 GW silicon ingot and solar wafer manufacturing facility.

Planned NorSun Project in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Violet PR/NorSun

The project, which was facilitated by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust, will create 320 new direct jobs and provide critically needed domestic production of ingot and wafer capacity to meet the increasing demand from US solar cell and panel manufacturers, supporting the growth of domestic PV sector.

“Our business plan has an ambitious timeline, so we knew we needed a partner who can work fast and efficiently to meet the critical need for American-made energy,” said NorSun CEO Erik Løkke-Øwre. “Oklahoma impressed us even before our selection journey – its robust clean energy, manufacturing ecosystem and workforce development programs were already on our radar, and its competitive business offerings and site acceleration options solidified our decision.”

NorSun has identified a greenfield shovel-ready site of approximately 60 acres. Construction is expected to begin in late 2024, subject to approvals, necessary permits and final incentive agreements.

“I’m proud to welcome NorSun to Oklahoma, and I’m thrilled that Oklahomans will benefit from hundreds of new jobs in the Tulsa area and a $620 million capital investment,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “Our pro-growth policies, workforce development efforts, and ‘more of everything’ energy approach make us an incredible state to invest in, and I’m glad NorSun can be a part of it.”

Production is expected to come online in 2026, making the Oklahoma facility among the first in the US to produce high-performing silicon ingots and wafers, currently the biggest bottleneck in achieving a fully domestic solar supply chain, NorSun stated. The Tulsa site offers an opportunity to further expand production up to 10 GW as the US continues to prioritize domestic energy manufacturing, the company added.

“Year after year, Oklahoma makes massive strides in the clean energy space, with consistent investment from notable companies that are transforming the sector,” said Tina Lindsay, interim director of business development for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “It’s a testament to our pro-business policies, robust workforce, site readiness, as well as our access to major markets. We’re thrilled to bring NorSun on board as we aim to scale US solar manufacturing capacity.”

NorSun last year received a $60 million grant from the European Union Innovation Fund in addition to raising $8.5 million from equity investors.

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