ATLANTA – A U.S. solar cell manufacturer that went bankrupt six years ago amid competition from a glut of cheap Asian solar panels announced Wednesday it is restarting its manufacturing plant in Norcross.

Suniva, which began as a Georgia Tech spinoff, secured a $110 million commitment earlier this year from Orion Infrastructure Capital (OIC) to finance the upgrading, expansion, and restarting of the Gwinnett County plant. The first phase of the expansion will create up to 240 jobs and increase the plant’s manufacturing capacity to 1 gigawatt, enough to power 750,000 homes.

Production is expected to begin by next spring, to be followed by a second phase of expansion that will further increase capacity to 2.5 gigawatts.

“The solar cell is the essential component in solar energy generation,” Matt Card, Suniva’s president and chief operating officer, said Wednesday. “Today’s announcement is the first step in rebuilding solar cell manufacturing in the United States, which will bolster our country’s energy independence and security.”

Besides the financial boost from OIC, Suniva executives cited new federal tax credits provided through the Inflation Reduction Act Congress passed last year for allowing the company to restart cell manufacturing operations.

“This announcement shows the Inflation Reduction Act’s power in writing a new chapter for the American solar industry,” said John Podesta, senior advisor to the president for clean energy innovation and implementation. 

“After closing during the last administration, Bidenomics is bringing this plant back to life. It’s part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to renew manufacturing, create good-paying jobs, and ensure America wins our competition with countries like China.”