North Carolina: Welcoming The World

The Tar Heel State continues to attract and retain clean energy firms and others, from the U.S. and abroad.

By Anne Cosgrove
From the May / June 2024 Issue

 

The Tar Heel State continues to attract and retain clean energy firms and others, from the U.S. and abroad. This past April, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 31 grant requests to local governments totaling $10.9 million, as announced by Governor Roy Cooper. The requests include commitments to create a total of 565 jobs, 135 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $211 million in public and private investment.

“The state’s Rural Infrastructure Authority sees North Carolina through a lens of opportunity,” Gov. Cooper said. “All of our great state deserves the opportunity to thrive. These grants offer rural areas the resources and support they need to capitalize on their full potential.”

North Carolina Business
Charlotte, NC will be the home of a new Siemens Energy transformer production facility, a step toward supporting the clean energy transition. (Credit: Adobe Stock / mandritoiu)

 

The RIA is supported by the rural economic development team at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The grants support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.

“These grants are vital to the overall prosperity of North Carolina and its people,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “We are particularly excited to recognize the first recipients of our new Rural Downtown Economic Development Grant program, which serves as yet another tool to support businesses and build stronger communities.”

Among the 31 recipients is City of Rocky Mount in Nash County: A $450,000 grant will support the reuse of a 653,400-square-foot building in Rocky Mount. Goshen House & Trading, LLC, a processor and distributor of frozen, dairy, and dry African, Caribbean, and Latino foods, will establish a new facility at this location. The project is expected to create 45 jobs, with an accompanying private investment of $4,340,166.

Clean Energy Investments

In the eastern part of the state, Boviet Solar Technology Co. Ltd. announced it has chosen Greenville in Pitt County as the location of its first North American production facility. The Vietnam-based solar energy technology company specializes in manufacturing monocrystalline PV cells, Gamma Series™ Monofacial, and Vega Series™ Bifacial PV Modules.

North Carolina Business, FDI
(Credit: Business Facilities; Source: EDPNC 2023 Annual Report)

The company’s manufacturing facility will be built in two phases and represents a total investment of $294 million. It’s expected to create approximately 900 jobs. It will be Boviet Solar’s first U.S. manufacturing facility and the second globally, following its successful track record of PV cell and module production in Vietnam.

“We are thrilled to embark on this new chapter in our journey as our establishment into North Carolina marks a pivotal moment in our mission to foster stronger connections with our clients while driving innovation and excellence in everything we do,” added Sienna Cen, President of Boviet Solar USA.

Phase one of the project will utilize the existing building to manufacture solar modules. Phase two will include constructing a state-of-the-art 500,000 to 600,000-square-foot factory on 34 acres to manufacture PV cells. Official opening and mass production of the factory is scheduled for early 2025.

In February, Siemens Energy announced it will add to existing operations in Charlotte, NC by building the first Siemens Energy Transformer production facility in the U.S., delivering infrastructure to enable the country’s energy transition. Siemens Energy’s investment will address challenges and increase domestic U.S. transformer production.

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In addition to company investment, the project will also be supported by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) from the state of North Carolina. Gov. Cooper announced the grant following its approval by the state’s Economic Investment Committee.

In April, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited the state to announce $18.3 million in funding to support Siemens Energy in Charlotte. The funding is available through new tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act that focus on clean energy projects.

“Through the historic Advanced Energy Project Credit, we are leveraging the infrastructure, expertise, and grit of America’s energy communities— where the workers that powered our energy past, will power our energy future,” said Granholm in a statement.

Check out all the latest news related to North Carolina economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.

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