By Jerry Underwood
Made in Alabama
Gov. Kay Ivey announced that LG Electronics, a leading provider of residential solar panels in the United States, plans to invest $28 million to open an advanced solar module assembly plant in Huntsville, creating 160 jobs.
LG will establish the new factory with two production lines at an existing building on the company’s 48-acre campus in Huntsville, where the company has had operations for four decades. The new jobs will increase LG’s employment by 60 percent, to more than 400 workers.
“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.”
Soon Kwon, global president of the LG B2B (Business-to-Business) Company, said the new solar panel assembly plant in Huntsville underscores the company’s commitment to investing in the U.S. and to driving environmental sustainability.
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.
“That’s over a million solar panels a year,” Kwon said.
The new solar plant will help LG better serve its U.S. customers, Kwon said. The company selected Alabama after conducting a competitive, multi-state search, he added.
“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 company’s new solar module plant builds on LG’s legacy of leadership in Huntsville. After starting as the company’s first U.S. manufacturing subsidiary in 1981, Huntsville became the home of LG’s service division in 1987, which expanded over the years to support LG’s growing presence in the United States.
Today, as the headquarters location for North American service operations, LG Huntsville includes the 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.”
The new factory will assemble LG’s “Neon 2” series 60-cell modules, which are high-performance solar panels, generating more than 17 percent more power than most conventional panels.
“LG has been a strong community partner in Huntsville for many decades — a relationship that has deepened through visits to the company’s headquarters in Korea and successful advancements in technological innovation,” Mayor Tommy Battle said.
“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.”
“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,” said Dale Strong, chairman of the Madison County Commission. “The diversity and worldwide recognition of the Madison County economy demonstrates we continue to thrive with our finest hours still ahead.”
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.