Singapore-based solar module manufacturer Bila Solar is planning to spend $35m on a plant in Indianapolis, Indiana, with the capability to produce 1GW of glassless, frameless solar modules.

Bila Solar plans to overhaul an existing 150,000ft² facility at White River Parkway East Drive, Indianapolis.

Expected to be fully operational in summer 2024, the facility will create 240 jobs, revitalising urban manufacturing. It will have an output of 5,000 modules per day and will also act as the company’s US headquarters.

The facility’s debut offering will be a lightweight solar module that integrates crystalline silicon solar cells with aerospace composites.

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The product’s weight is 30% that of regular glass panels and it is 95% thinner.

The solar modules are best suited for challenging applications such as low load-bearing commercial and industrial roofs and waterproof membrane roofs. They can even be installed on curved surfaces.

They can also be integrated into vehicles and provide off-grid utilisation and access to solar power at previously out-of-reach locations.

Bila Solar vice-president and US general manager Mick McDaniel stated: “We are bringing to the US market ultralight modules that go where traditional solar panels can’t go. In Indianapolis, we found a central urban location, a diverse workforce and an entrepreneurial spirit – ideal for our out-of-the-box approach to making clean energy attainable for all.”

Indiana Governor Eric J Holcomb stated: “Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is strong, and we are excited to welcome Bila Solar to our growing network of innovators advancing products that power the world.

“With Bila’s new Indianapolis manufacturing operation, Indiana’s skilled workforce will be making solar energy more accessible and powering our growing clean energy sector to new heights.”

Bila Solar was supported by CBRE, which enabled the real estate transaction. Site Selection Group helped the company in procuring state and local incentives for the project.