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NorSun inks Oklahoma facility

Norwegian solar energy company, NorSun, has selected Tulsa, Oklahoma for its first U.S.-based factory, an initial planned investment of $620 million in a new 5 GW silicon ingot and solar wafer manufacturing facility.

The expansion, 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 U.S. solar cell and panel manufacturers, supporting the growth of the renewable energy 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 thrilled to welcome a new company bringing high-quality, high-paying jobs to our community. Innovation and excellence thrive in Tulsa, and so will NorSun. Thank you to Governor Stitt for working to make Oklahoma the best place to do business!” – U.S. Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01)

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

“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 makes us an incredible state to invest in, and I’m glad NorSun can be a part of it.”

In 2023, there were a total of 88 announcements for Commerce-assisted new and expanding companies statewide with a potential investment of $3.6 billion, including Pratt & Whitney, American Airlines, Enel, Windshape and Blue Whale Materials. These projects are expected to create at least 7,000 new jobs.

“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 U.S. solar manufacturing capacity.”

“I want to thank NorSun for their significant investment and support to add jobs in Tulsa and create further opportunity for industry needs across the globe,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “This project represents the work of so many and we are excited about the positive impact and direction this new development will have in Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma.”

“We are thrilled to see continued foreign direct investment on a portion of our 1,200+ acres of available development land,” said Daniel Regan, Director of Real Estate & Development for Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust. “We look forward to working with the NorSun team and assisting in their expedited delivery of this world-class manufacturing plant on our shovel-ready site.” 

“Tulsa continues to catch the attention of not only US companies but also companies on a global scale,” said Mike Neal, President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. “Word is spreading – our skilled workforce and excellent business climate puts us front and center on the international stage. We are excited to welcome NorSun to the region as it connects an important link for the solar industry supply chain.”

“JLL’s David Ross, Meredith O’Connor and Amy Craig led the national site selection process and economic incentive advisory for NorSun. Oklahoma, the City of Tulsa, and Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust were aggressive in their pursuit of this exciting project and put forth an attractive economic package, development-ready site, and workforce partners which compelled NorSun to choose Tulsa, Oklahoma,” said Meredith O’Connor, International Director at JLL.

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