Project Would Create 8,000 Jobs, Give Manitoba Major Export Advantage over International Competitors: Wharton
To power the growth of Manitoba’s low-carbon economy and set a strategic course toward domestic renewable energy manufacturing, the Manitoba government has signed a memorandum of understanding with German solar technology provider and manufacturer RCT Solutions to explore the construction of a state-of-the-art production facility within the province, Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister Jeff Wharton announced today.
“This plant would be the first of its kind in the world with a fully integrated manufacturing process when it is completed,” said Wharton. “Our government has worked tirelessly to create a business environment in which a global company like RCT Solutions can thrive and grow, and we’re pleased to begin the process of welcoming them to our province.”
RCT Solutions is planning to develop the cleanest advanced manufacturing hub in the world in Manitoba, the minister said, adding that RCT and its partners are exploring options to invest $3 billion into the new facility, with the potential to create 8,000 permanent, full-time jobs for Manitobans.
The project is expected to be an innovative and fully integrated solar panel manufacturing plant to service the North American market and create a major export advantage for Manitoba, the minister added. Market demand for solar panels in the United States is forecast to reach 45 gigawatts of annual sales by 2027. The RCT Solutions manufacturing plant will be the largest and first of its kind, with a total annual production capacity of 10 gigawatts, or 10,000 megawatts, of solar panel power when fully operational.
“Supplying a significant portion of North America with solar panels is an incredible opportunity for Manitoba,” said Wharton. “This new plant will have one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world, and the solar panels manufactured and exported will significantly increase Manitoba’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the province’s bottom line.”
Under the memorandum of understanding, RCT Solutions will undertake to complete a project design, undergo a site selection process, and present a development plan for the facility to the Manitoba government. Manitoba will assist RCT by supporting applications under various federal and provincial economic stimulus programs for research and development, training incentives, manufacturing and green energy equipment investments, and construction costs.
“Today marks a transformative milestone as we embark on a journey to revolutionize the solar energy landscape,’’ said Peter Fath, founder and CEO, RCT Solutions. ‘’With our cutting-edge solar panel manufacturing facility, we are poised to produce a staggering two million solar panels annually, right here on domestic soil. This is not just about numbers; it is about powering a brighter, greener future for our planet right here in North America. By harnessing the potential of clean energy, we are proud to announce that our factory will single-handedly reduce carbon emissions by a remarkable 14 million tons every year. It is a testament to our unwavering dedication to combat climate change and leaving a positive legacy for generations to come.”
Currently, global solar panel manufacturing is dominated by Chinese manufacturers, with world market share in critical component manufacturing ranging from 78 to 97 per cent, the minister noted. The Manitoba facility would significantly reduce North American dependence on imported product.
Manitoba has a number of economic advantages for attracting major businesses like RCT Solutions to the province, said Wharton, including an abundance of high-quality critical minerals such as copper, cadmium, and quartz needed for the worldwide solar industry. Manitoba’s reliable and renewable hydroelectricity, highly-specialized workforce, and geographic location at the centre of North America all make the province well-positioned for exciting new manufacturing opportunities, particularly in the critical minerals sector, Wharton added.
The RCT Solutions manufacturing project aligns with the Opportunities for Economic Growth Action Plan and the Manitoba Critical Minerals Strategy, comprehensive sets of tangible, focused and strategic actions that the Manitoba government is advancing in partnership with stakeholders and the private sector to create a stronger economic future for Manitobans, Wharton said.
In 2021, the advanced manufacturing sector contributed $6.2 billion to the province’s total GDP and employed over 35,000 Manitobans.
To view the Opportunities for Economic Growth Action Plan, visit Manitoba.ca/economicgrowth.
To view the Manitoba Critical Minerals Strategy, visit www.gov.mb.ca/iem/explore/files/criticalmineralsstrategy.pdf.
For more information on Manitoba’s competitive business advantages, visit Manitoba.ca/InvestMB.
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