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Italy's Enel to build solar PV cell & panel factory in U.S

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Italian multinational energy company Enel is seen in Milan

MILAN (Reuters) -Italian utility Enel said on Thursday it would build a solar photovoltaic (PV) cell and panel manufacturing facility in the United States in an effort to support the creation of a North-American supply chain.

The factory is expected to initially produce at least 3 gigawatt (GW) and scale up to 6 GW of high-performance bifacial PV modules and cells annually, the group said in a statement.

The group said the facility is expected to be among the first to produce solar cells in the United States, where a ban on imports of some Chinese solar materials is creating issues for energy developers.

To support the development of renewable energy, the U.S. administration has passed legislation offering incentives to producers of a wide range of energy materials including solar panels.

"Recent policy tailwinds from the Inflation Reduction Act have served as a catalyst for our solar manufacturing ambitions in the U.S., ushering in a new era of made-in-America energy," the head of Enel North America Enrico Viale said in a statement.

The new factory will create 1,500 jobs by 2025.

The construction of the factory is expected to begin in the first half of 2023 and the first panel will be available to the market by the end of 2024.

The U.S. project follows a similar initiative Enel is developing in southern Italy, where it is scaling up an existing solar PV panel plant to become a gigafactory producing up to 3 GW.

"Enel intends to replicate the gigafactory factory in the U.S. to produce bifacial heterojunction PV cells that capture more sunlight," the group said.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Elaine Hardcastle)