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LG to build $28 million solar panel assembly plant in Huntsville

LG Electronics plans to build a $28 million solar module assembly plant in Huntsville.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced the plans on Wednesday. LG, a leading provider of residential solar panels, will add on to their existing footprint in Alabama, creating an additional 160 jobs, Ivey’s office said.

The new factory will have two production lines inside an existing building on the company’s 48-acre campus. The company has been operating there for four decades, but the new jobs will increase LG’s employment by 60 percent to more than 400 workers.

Governor Kay Ivey announced on Wednesday that LG Electronics, a leading provider of residential solar panels in the United States, plans to invest $28 million to open a world-class solar module assembly plant in Huntsville, creating 160 jobs.

“LG has a long history as a leading corporate citizen in Alabama. Now, LG is launching our state’s first solar manufacturing plant, which represents a major milestone both for Alabama and for the company,” Ivey said. “We look forward to seeing where this great partnership takes us in the future.”

Starting in early 2019, LG’s new Alabama factory is expected to produce 500 megawatts of the company’s high-performance N-type solar panels annually.

The new factory will assemble LG’s “Neon 2” series 60-cell modules. They are high-performance solar panels, generating over 17 percent more power than most conventional panels.

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“That’s over a million solar panels a year,” said Soon Kwon, the global president of LG B2B, or Business-to-Business. He said the new assembly plant underscores the company’s commitment to investing in green energy and environmental sustainability.

The company selected Alabama after conducting a competitive, multistate search, Kwon said, and he state that the facility would serve customers in the United States.

“We’re thrilled that LG selected Huntsville for its new solar panel assembly plant because the company considered many other locations for this project,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “LG is a world-class company, and its decision represents a powerful endorsement of Alabama’s advantages and its workforce.”

 The Huntsville facility started as the company’s first U.S. manufacturing subsidiary in 1981, and Huntsville became the hub of LG’s service division in 1987. It expanded over the years to support LG’s growing presence in the United States.

Today, LG’s Huntsville facility is the headquarters for their North American service operations. The facility in Huntsville includes a technical call center, service training center, field service operations and parts warehouse.

“LG has long called Huntsville home, and the solar panel assembly factory will add a significant new dimension to our Alabama campus,” Kwon said. “Huntsville’s high-quality workforce and LG’s established presence in the Rocket City point to a bright future for LG in Alabama.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said LG has been a strong community partner in Huntsville for many decades, and the relationship has deepened through visits to the company’s headquarters in Korea and successful advancements in technological innovation.

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“LG chose Huntsville as the place to do business in the U.S. more than 30 years ago, and they’ve chosen Huntsville again as a place to prosper with the new solar module plant,” Battle said.

Dale Strong, chairman of the Madison County Commission, said the diversity and worldwide recognition of the Madison County economy demonstrate the area will continue to thrive into the future.

“With the expansion of LG in the Huntsville-Madison County, Alabama region, LG will utilize the latest technology in a high-growth market to produce these solar panels,” Strong said.


Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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