Navitas USA to be first U.S.-based Black-owned solar panel manufacturer

navitas solar

Navitas Solar, an India-based solar panel manufacturer, announced its expansion into the United States via a strategic collaboration with Sustainable Equity, Colby Solar, Pruitt & Associates, and Energized Ventures.

This partnership will distribute Navitas Solar modules in North America through a new entity, Geosol Global Distribution, followed by the manufacturing U.S.-made modules in the American Midwest.

The new entity “Navitas USA by Colby” will also be the first Black-owned solar panel manufacturer in the country. The initial U.S. buildout is for a 1.2 GW operation with plans to grow to 10 GW within a few years. More details on this new alliance will be available at RE+ in Las Vegas.

In addition to the incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that make deals like this more feasible, Lloyd Wynn of Colby Solar points to the State of Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) legislation as another transformative step for equitable workforce development.

“The CEJA legislation, with its comprehensive approach to advancing clean energy, renewable resources, and environmental equity and inclusion, aligns with our core values and commitment to promoting clean energy and innovative solutions,” Wynn said.

“These favorable conditions create the perfect breeding ground for new business alliances, such as our new strategic partnership with Navitas Solar,” said Byron DeLear, Chief Executive Officer and Head of Impact and Sustainability for Sustainable Equity. “We are very proud to introduce ‘Navitas USA by Colby,’ the first majority Black-owned solar manufacturing facility in the United States, “

Navitas Solar started in February 2013, founded by Vineet Mittal, Sunay Shah, Ankit Singhania, Aditya Singhania, and Saurabh Aggarwal.

“In 2014, we embarked on that path by acquiring land and building our dedicated module manufacturing unit,” Mittal says. “By 2015, we were producing with an initial capacity of 75 MW per year, and we also established our EPC office in Pune, India.”

Currently producing at 500 MW p.a., Navitas Solar aims to expand to 3 GW next year, providing mono and polycrystalline PV modules ranging from 500 to 600 Watts per panel. A notable feature of Navitas Solar is its backward and forward integration.

“In 2019, we formed a strategic partnership with Alpha Plastomers producing Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sheets, a key component needed for solar module manufacturing,” explained Mittal. “The subsidiary, Navitas Alpha Renewables Pvt. Ltd. (NARPL), achieved an 800 MW annual production capacity in 2021 and has increased to an impressive 1.5 GW per year by 2023, and this showcases our ongoing dedication and progress toward further vertical integration.”

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