LG to develop 500MW solar module plant in Alabama
The South Korean technology firm, LG Electronics, has confirmed its plans to develop a 500MW capacity solar module manufacturing site in Alabama.
The $28mn facility, which will be located in Huntsville, will be built on 48 acres of land of the company’s campus.
LG has been present in the city for four decades. With the additional 160 jobs created through the factory, the firm will be responsible for hiring 400 employees in Huntsville.
The site is anticipated to produce 500MW of solar modules per annum, with plans to initially assemble its NeON 2 series 60-cell modules.
The module series can allegedly create 17% more power than the average 60-cell panels.
“This demonstrates our commitment to being a long-term leader in the U.S. solar industry,” commented Soon Kwon, Global President of B2B at LG.
“LG's investment in U.S. manufacturing is consistent with the administration's goal of creating U.S. jobs.”
The company is one of many that have announced plans to invest in their US manufacturing operations following the news of the Trump administration’s tariff on imported solar cells.
“U.S. manufacturing makes a lot of sense for LG after the imposition of Section 201 tariffs,” remarked Jade Jones, Senior Solar analyst at GTM Research, Greentech Media reported.
“The company focuses on higher-efficiency modules, exclusively focused on n-type monocrystalline modules.”
“As such, LG's modules demand a higher premium than the standard multi or p-type monocrystalline PERC (passivated emitter and rear cell) modules being shipped to the U.S., so the 201 tariff would impact LG pricing more.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.