Solar tech company based in Vietnam plans Greenville, NC, plant – Carolina Public Press

4 minutes, 10 seconds Read

A Vietnam-based solar technology company has chosen Greenville, in Pitt County, as the site of its first manufacturing facility in the United States and its second globally, in part because of the area’s strong infrastructure.

Boviet Solar Technology, whose plans were announced by the governor’s office April 26, specializes in manufacturing PV modules, or solar panels, and solar cells, which are used to manufacture the panels. 

The project will address the company’s need to expand its U.S. manufacturing capacity and distribution footprint, according to the N.C. Commerce Department.

The new facility’s main customers will be residential, commercial, industrial and utility-scale U.S. clients such as installers and contractors, Songül Atacan, director of global marketing, told Carolina Public Press in an email.

The first phase of the company’s project in Greenville will renovate an existing building to make solar panels, according to the company. Phase two will involve constructing a 500,000- to 600,000-square-foot factory on 34 acres to manufacture PV cells, Atacan said.

The company will use the former DENSO building in the Greenville industrial district in Indigreen Corporate Park, according to Kelly Andrews, Pitt County director of economic development. DENSO vacated the building in 2023 to consolidate to its Statesville facility, which dislocated 475 employees, Andrews said. 

The Greenville ENC Alliance, a public-private economic development organization, sold the land to Boviet Solar for its new facility, Andrews said.

Other manufacturers within the park and district include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Avient and Catalent, Andrews wrote in an email.

Boviet Solar expects to create 908 jobs and invest more than $294 million in the project, according to the governor’s office press release.

The company expects to hire nearly all of its new employees within Pitt County, Atacan said. Most of the positions will be in manufacturing and some in administrative work, she said.

The minimum average wage for the positions will be $52,879, according to the N.C. Commerce Department, exceeding the Pitt County average salary of $50,937.

The Commerce Department listed available power, available real estate and prospective real estate costs, labor costs, supply chain factors and various incentives to offset upfront costs as factors in the company’s decision.

Boviet Solar also considered Phoenix and Atlanta as other potential sites, according to the Commerce Department.

The skilled workforce, affordable communities and quality of life available made Greenville a good choice, Atacan said. 

The building and site can serve the company’s utility and infrastructure needs, Andrews said in an email, as well as being “a reasonable distance” to the Port of Wilmington and having access to highway infrastructure for transportation and logistics support.

East Carolina University and Pitt Community College also offer the potential for labor. The two colleges “are ready and able to develop their workforce, from production workers to engineers,” Andrews wrote.

The company will receive fee and upfront cost waivers from Greenville Utilities, the utility provider for electric, water, wastewater and natural gas, based on the magnitude of the project and anticipated future revenues, Andrews said. 

Pitt County also offered Boviet Solar an economic development grant based on projected tax revenue over seven years that could total $8 million, according to Andrews. That’s dependent on the company paying their taxes, showing a net increase in property taxes to the county each year and demonstrating job growth and salaries in compliance with their agreement to the county, she wrote.

The City of Greenville also offered a performance-based job creation grant that provides $1,000 for each new job created for the next five years, up to $500,000, Andrews said.

The state approved a Job Development Investment Grant that would use new tax revenue to potentially reimburse the company up to $8.2 million over 12 years. That’s contingent on the company meeting incremental job creation and investment targets.

The company was also offered incentives of community college training and Division of Workforce Solutions training valued at $1.8 million each, according to the commerce department.

In response to whether the company has any concerns about or plans to address potential environmental impacts from production, Atacan said the PV modules are made from environmentally friendly components and the company will look into environmental, social and governance factors in the coming months. 

Boviet Solar Technology underwent a “rigorous” federal vetting process from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., Andrews said. The company has been transparent and asked to work with regulatory agencies, she said. 
Andrews also pointed to a Boviet Solar sustainability report released in August.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may republish our stories for free, online or in print. Simply copy and paste the article contents from the box below. Note, some images and interactive features may not be included here.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts