A China-based solar cell and module manufacturer is locating its first U.S. manufacturing plant in the Phoenix metro at a newly built industrial facility.
JA Solar, which has corporate offices across the globe, signed a lease in December for a 763,410-square-foot building at the GO|99 South project located at the southeast corner of 99th Avenue and Buckeye Road in west Phoenix. The project will represent a $60 million investment.
JA Solar will manufacture photovoltaic products at the facility including high-efficiency solar panels, also known as photovoltaic modules, for commercial and residential rooftops and for utility-scale solar power plant deployment with annual production capacity of two gigawatts.
The plant will use automated assembly lines and is expected to be operational by Q4 of 2023. JA Solar is also bringing more than 600 new jobs to the Phoenix plant, which the Arizona Commerce Authority said will be the largest manufacturing site of solar and photovoltaic products in Arizona with a capacity of two gigawatts.
“We are very excited to be able to set up the first U.S. solar module manufacturing facility in Arizona to provide our customers in the U.S. the flexibility and ease of access to JA Solar’s high-performance PV products,” said Aiqing Yang, president of JA Solar, in a statement. “Solar is a critical part of renewable energy and we are thrilled to be a part of the effort to meet the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 in the U.S.”
First big lease signed for GO Industrial facility
The building taken by JA Solar is one of three that was developed by Phoenix-based GO Industrial and is the first lease secured for the new industrial project, which also has 246,997-square-foot and 272,456-square-foot buildings.
Mike Haenel, Andy Markham and Phil Haenel of Cushman & Wakefield represent the landlord, GO Industrial, in the lease, which was one of the largest signed in 2022.
“We are excited to make this deal,” Mike Haenel said in a statement. “GO|99 South is one of Phoenix’s best new locations for industrial users. The Phoenix metro market remains a top location choice for industrial occupiers due to population growth, affordability and geographic accessibility.”
The GO|99 building is located close to Tolleson south of Interstate 10 in a large industrial area with other industrial employers such as Kroger and Safeway. This year, GO Industrial acquired another 70 acres adjacent to the park for an expansion with an additional 1.1 million-square-foot building called GO|99 North.
The ACA, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and city of Phoenix also assisted JA Solar in locating at the new facility, which the ACA said is eligible for $8.8 million in state incentives, which are performance based.
“Innovations in clean technology allow greater Phoenix to produce the power requisite for promoting job growth throughout the region,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Gov. Katie Hobbs also gave their support to the facility and said the state is “proud to welcome” JA Solar.
The new facility is one of the latest energy-related projects announced or planned for the Phoenix metro. Last year, Switzerland-based Meyer Burger Technology AG signed a five-year lease for a new solar module manufacturing plant in Goodyear due to the state’s solar research capabilities, lack of natural disasters and available workforce, among other reasons.
Last year, Tempe-based First Solar Inc. also announced plans to invest in $1.1 billion to bring a photovoltaic solar module manufacturing plant to north Alabama in part thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 that was passed last year. The new set of laws includes $369 billion for climate and energy provisions and incentives for companies to build in the U.S.
Arizona is projected to receive $11 billion for clean energy investments through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.