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Feb 19, 2024
Feb 19, 2024

news & press releases

Illuminate USA Begins Commercial Operation

New 1.1 million-square foot, 1,000-employee facility will be one of America’s largest advanced solar panel manufacturers
PATASKALA, OHIO - February 19, 2024 - Illuminate USA, a leading US solar panel manufacturer, announced the official start of commercial operations at what will soon be one of the nation’s largest advanced solar panel manufacturing facilities.
“We are proud to see American-made solar panels roll off the line at Illuminate USA and I applaud the entire team on this significant milestone for advanced manufacturing in the United States,” said Jim Murphy, President and Corporate Business Leader at Invenergy and Chairman of Board of Directors at Illuminate USA. “As demand for solar energy continues to rise in America, Illuminate’s Ohio workforce is strengthening our domestic supply chain through the production of high-efficiency US-made panels for projects across the country. Invenergy continues to lead the industry and Illuminate USA is the latest example of our team’s premier capabilities and the bold vision necessary to advance our nation’s clean energy transition.”
Illuminate USA is based in Pataskala, Ohio in a 1.1 million-square foot facility that will employ 1,000 workers on eight production lines. The facility will produce more than 9.2 million advanced solar panels annually at full capacity by the end of 2024, equaling 5 gigawatts of electricity production, enough to power 1 million American homes.
“Today is the beginning of a new era of Ohio advanced manufacturing in what is one of the world’s most in-demand sectors—renewable energy,” said Illuminate USA CEO Frank Zhu. “The high-quality US solar panels rolling off our production lines in Pataskala are a testament to our talented team and their commitment to meet the growing demand for clean energy in America.”
Illuminate USA is fully staffed for initial production and has, to date, hired more than 475 employees in Central Ohio, together with the partnership of many local workforce organizations including Ohio Means Jobs and IMPACT Community Action, and the support of JobsOhio, GROW Licking County, and the Columbus Partnership.
“We are focused on hiring and training highly motivated associates with a passion for innovation right here in Ohio,” said Illuminate USA Chief Human Resources and People Officer Brittany Rogers. “The strong response from highly qualified candidates has been inspiring and we have quickly built a top-notch diverse workforce in just a few short months. It is exciting to see our first class of ‘Illuminators’ successfully produce a state-of-the-art, American-made product.”
The economic impact of the facility is already being felt in the region, from the Ohio-made air compressors powering the production lines, to high turnout at community hiring events.
From the Community:
  • “Ohio’s reputation as an advanced manufacturing powerhouse is further reinforced by the fact Illuminate USA quickly identified, hired and trained the hundreds of skilled workers who are now on the job in Pataskala,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “With product now rolling off the line at this new, cutting-edge facility, Ohio is leading the way to boost domestic solar production.”
  • “The manufacturing workforce of Licking County and the Columbus Region are extraordinary,” said Kenny McDonald, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership. “These are quality jobs that are helping to strengthen both our economy and our communities.”
  • “A number of our residents now have good paying jobs in an exciting new industry thanks to Illuminate USA’s investments,” said Mike Compton, Mayor of Pataskala. “We’ve had a strong, positive response to Illuminate from our local workforce and we are excited that the City of Pataskala will soon be known as a hub for solar manufacturing in America.”
About Illuminate USA
lluminate USA is an American leader in advanced solar panel manufacturing based in Pataskala, Ohio. Illuminate USA’s majority owner and anchor customer is Invenergy, an American-led privately held developer, owner, and operator of sustainable energy solutions. Illuminate USA’s manufacturing technology partner is industry leader LONGi, the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer. For more information about Illuminate USA, visit www.illuminateusa.com.
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