Better Know a Manufacturer: North American Solar Manufacturers That are Shaping the Industry

Welcome to Better Know a Manufacturer, a piece where we take a closer look at the manufacturers that have had the greatest impact on the North American solar market over the last 20+ years. 

Each manufacturer featured here has headquarters, factories, and wide distribution in either or both of the U.S. and Canada. We will focus on what makes these companies stand out, from unique names to distinct manufacturing processes and the products that set them apart from the competition. We’ll also discuss some of the plans that these manufacturers have coming up, including mergers, new product lines, and new factory builds. 

Let’s check out the manufacturers creating jobs, sourcing materials, and making solar the fastest growing renewable energy source in North America. 

  1. Solar 4 America
  2. Mission Solar
  3. Solaria
  4. Heliene
  5. First Solar
  6. Auxin Solar
  7. Silfab Solar

1. Solar 4 America

Solar 4 America

Solar 4 America is a Sacramento, CA-based premium solar panel manufacturer. In 2023, they nearly doubled their manufacturing capacity from 700MW to 1.3 GW by upgrading their 140,000 sq/ft solar module manufacturing facility. The new state-of-the-art facility uses the latest M10/182mm cell technologies to manufacture MONO Perc and TOPCon solar modules. 

They make their home in the largest residential solar market in the U.S., so expanding their presence within the state makes plenty of strategic sense. 

S4A Chairman Denton Peng says of their recent expansion, “This is the very first domestic M10 production line in the U.S. equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies. The new line will add an additional 550MW of solar module manufacturing capacity to our existing production volume. We will be delivering 410W American-made modules for the residential market and 550W all black, American-made modules for commercial and industrial markets.”

They offer factory tours to anyone who wants an up close and personal look at how they make their MONO Perc and TOPCon modules. 

Website: Solar4America

H.Q.: Sacramento, California – USA

Year Founded: 2015 (now under the SPI umbrella) 

Projects: Residential, Commercial, Utility, Government

Faciality: Monocrystalline, Bifacial

Solar Panel Powerclass Range: 100W-550W

Solar 4 America Main Product Line 

  • 100 W Mono Solar RV Camper | 100 W I Data Sheet
  • 150 W Mono Solar RV Camper | 150 W | Data Sheet
  • 330 W Mono Perc Full Black | 320-345W | Data Sheet
  • 410 W 72 Cell Mono Perc All Black | 385-410W | Data Sheet
  • 550 W 144 Cell Half Cut Mono Perc High Efficiency I 530W- 550W I Data Sheet
  • 550 W Bifacial 144 Cell Half Cut Mono Perc High Efficiency I 530-550W | Data Sheet

Qualify for Inflation Recovery Act (IRA)?: Yes

Bright Facts About Solar 4 America

  • Increasing capacity line from 700-MW to 2.4-GW to help manufacture new 410-W and 550-W M10 product line
  • The Sacramento plant is located at an old Army Base
  • Offers factory tours to visitors 
  • Newly under the SPI Groups umbrella 
  • Offers all-black solar modules
  • Launched a 550W solar module for the commercial and industrial market in early 2023

2. Mission Solar

Mission Solar

San Antonio’s Mission Solar opened its doors in 2014 and has been gradually climbing toward the top of North America’s most respected solar manufacturers. Branding itself “America’s Module Company,” they have benefited from being the only solar panel manufacturer in Texas, considering that the state is a nationwide leader in energy consumption and ranks 2nd in solar installations. Mission Solar plans to more than triple its capacity to 1 gigawatt annually and double its employees by the end of 2024. 

Mission Solar is known for selling high-quality MSE Perc and MSE Perc 72 monocrystalline panels in 40 mm aluminum frames (as opposed to the 35mm industry standard), with respectable power outputs ranging from 390-435 W and efficiency ratings between 19.4%- 19.9%. Unsurprisingly, the panels have the highest PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) rating of any USA-Made solar module. PTC tests gauge how solar panels operate in “real world conditions,” by heating them in temps up to 113 and a baseline of 68. These are the hearty panels you expect to get from an American-made product.

Website: Mission Solar 

HQ: San Antonio, Texas – USA

Year Founded: 2012

Projects: Residential, Commercial, Government, Utility

Faciality: Monocrystalline

Solar Panel Powerclass Range: 390-435

Mission Solar Main Product Line 

Qualify for Inflation Recovery Act (IRA)?: Yes

Bright Facts About Mission Solar

  • Highest PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) of any USA-Made solar module. 
  • Expanding annual manufacturing capacity from 200-MW to 1-GW. 
  • Sell monocrystalline modules
  • Their frames are 40mm as opposed to a standard of 35mm 
  • MSE Perc 60 solar panel has an all-black design and compact size 

3. Solaria


California-based Solaria has been around since 2000 and has long been known for its innovative approach to the design process. They specialize in shingled monocrystalline solar panels, which offer enhanced curb appeal and energy harvesting capabilities.

Since 2016, the PureBlack™ PowerXT panel has been Solaria’s flagship product. This all-black shingled panel blends well with roofs and offers over an impressive 20% efficiency rating, making it extremely popular in the residential market since it hit the market. 

Aside from their sleek design, they set themselves apart by offering installer partners and a custom design option on their website. 

Solaria will merge with Complete Solar under the name Complete Solaria to form an EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) company and go public under the symbol CSLR in the latter half of 2023. Solaria also manufactures panels, making them the only EPC that controls its supply chain, giving them a big leg up on the rest of the market. 

Tony Alvarez, CEO of Solaria, said, “The merger of our companies gives us critical mass, enabling us to immediately provide a broader array of services to our 1,200 plus installation partners while significantly expanding Complete Solar’s geographic footprint.”

Website: Solaria  

HQ: Fremont, CA  – USA

Year Founded: 2000

Projects: Residential

Faciality: Monocrystalline

Solar Panel Powerclass Range: 360-430

Solaria Main Product Line

  • PowerX Performance Series | 390-400 | data sheet
  • PowerXT Premium Series 400R | 400 | data sheet
  • PowerXT Premium Series 430R I 430 I data sheet

Qualify for Inflation Recovery Act (IRA)?: Yes

Bright Facts About Solaria 

  • Specializes in shingled monocrystalline solar panels 
  • 20% efficiency
  • Offer installers directly from their website
  • Customers can design their system on the site
  • Will become an EPC after their merger with Complete Solar in ’23

4. Heliene

Heliene logo

Their name is a combination of the Greek sun god Helios + Energy, and their slogan is “Customer First.” 

They tout that their North American-based manufacturing reduces the risk of supply chain kinks we’ve gotten used to over the last two years. 

Further establishing themselves as a North American-only manufacturer, they recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with Canadian Premium Sand (CPS) to acquire patterned solar glass. 

CPS President and CEO Glenn Leroux said of the agreement, “Heliene’s anticipated glass demand in 2024 reflects over 40% of our production capability for Phase 1 of our facility. We look forward to working with Heliene as a strategic partner and supporting their future growth plans.”

Their total production capacity recently increased to a considerable 900 MW when they expanded their U.S. presence to Minnesota and Florida within five years. The Minnesota facility was the 2nd largest in the U.S. at the time. The Florida facility produces super high-efficiency heterojunction modules, allowing them to tap into a larger share of the ever-increasing residential market. 

Heliene counts community centers, school boards, large-scale solar parks, and distribution centers among their top customer profiles.

Website: Heliene

HQ: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario – Canada

Year Founded: 2010

Projects: Residential, Commercial, Utility 

Faciality: Mono PERC modules in both monofacial and bifacial formats

Solar Panel Powerclass Range: 390W – 585W for 2023 production and move to 580 – 615W in 2024 with TOPCon

Heliene Main Product Line

  • 108HC M10 SL All Black Module
  • 108HC M10 SL S1 All Black Module
  • 108HC M10 TPC SL All Black Module
  • 132HC M10 SL Monofacial Module
  • 132HC M10 TPC SL Monofacial Module
  • 132HC G12 HJT SL Bifacial Module
  • 144HC M10 SL Bifacial Module
  • 144HC M10 TPC SL Bifacial Module
  • 156HC M10 SL Bifacial Module
  • 156HC M10 TPC SL Bifacial Module

Qualify for Inflation Recovery Act (IRA)?: Yes

Bright Facts About Heliene 

  • Their total production capacity recently increased to a total of 900 MW
  • Their 2017 line was 150 MWp and 420 MWp line was commissioned in November 2022.
  • They opened a 350 MW plant in Riviera Beach, FL in 2021 
  • Their focus is on customer satisfaction and speed to market

5. First Solar

First Solar

First Solar (FSLR), headquartered in Tempe, AZ, builds its factories in its home state of Ohio. After adding their fourth factory this year and increasing the output of their existing facilities, they will expand their manufacturing capacity to 10 G.W. of solar panels per year. 

First Solar manufactures thin-film solar panels. Thin film is a budget-friendly second-generation panel that is known for its low profile (up to 350 times thinner than crystalline panels) and pliability. 

First Solar boasts a remarkably efficient manufacturing process that converts a sheet of glass into a fully-functional solar panel in 4.5 hours, all under one roof. Many manufacturers transport raw materials from one factory to another over several days. 

They also employ a state-of-the-art recycling process where they buy back and reuse over 90% of semiconductor materials at the end life of solar panels. 

Website: First Solar  

HQ: Tempe, AZ – USA

Year Founded: 1999

Employees: 3,000 in four states by 2025

Projects: Commercial, Utility 

Faciality: Thin-Film

Solar Panel Powerclass Range: 430-540

First Solar Main Product Line 

Qualify for Inflation Recovery Act (IRA)?: Yes

Bright Facts About First Solar

  • Manufactured one of the world’s largest solar farms, the Topaz Solar Farm in California. The farm sits on over 4,700 acres of land, has over 9 million CdTe modules, holds a capacity of 580 MW, and powers 180,000 households.
  • Manufacture thin-film technology instead of crystalline silicon, known for module flexibility, portability, lower temperature coefficients, and higher radiation tolerance. 
  • They are currently building their 4th U.S. factory in Ohio.
  • Their recycling processing centers reuse over 90% of semiconductor material from solar panels.
  • They offer two-year recycling contracts to interested customers. 

6. Auxin Solar

auxin solar logo

Located in Silicon Valley, Auxin Solar is 100% owned, operated and headquartered in the U.S. They both produce Auxin branded panels and serve as an original equipment manufacturer for other brands. They are the oldest U.S. solar manufacturer and largest domestic producer of bifacial panels. They have a 150 Megawatt capacity.

Auxin is currently involved with a solar tariff petition that accuses four countries- Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam of using Chinese manufactured solar parts to circumvent tariffs. You can read about it here.

Website: Auxin Solar

HQ: San Jose, CA – USA

Year Founded: 2008

Projects: Residential, Commercial, Utility 

Faciality: Monocrystalline, Bifacial, Frameless

Solar Panel Powerclass Range: 325-405

Auxin Solar Main Product Line

Qualify for Inflation Recovery Act (IRA)?: Yes

Bright Facts About Auxin Solar

  • Auxin is the Oldest USA solar PV manufacturer
  • Along with their own product line, Auxin is an OEM for other tier 1 solar companies 
  • Largest domestic producer of bifacial panels 

7. Silfab Solar

Silfab Solar

Silfab currently has facilities in the U.S. and Canada and has just announced plans to open a third U.S. facility in 2024. The newest facility will generate 800 jobs and 1.2 GW solar module assembly. 

Silfab’s CEO Paolo Maccario said, “Domestic production of solar cells represents a strategic effort to further manage our supply chain and to apply our technical prowess from the ground up for a comprehensive manufacturing process. Our growth means more solar jobs for America and reliable energy that customers will use to reduce both costs and their carbon footprint.”

Silfab’s factories employ the just-in-time manufacturing (JIT) approach. They create panels to meet demand rather than manufacturing them in surplus or advance of need. This high-efficiency model mirrors their ultra-high-efficiency, premium-quality panels. 

Their panels are designed specifically for the North American market. They hold a maximum surface load of 5400 for both wind and snow, which is why they perform well in the Miami-Dade market, where there is a constant threat of hurricanes and inclement weather. They are also one of few manufacturers that offer a 25-30 year warranty. 

Silfab aims to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 by reducing energy consumption in their manufacturing processes. 

Website: SilfabSolar 

HQ: Mississauga, Ontario – Canada

Year Founded: 2010

Employees: 600+, up to an additional 800 by the end of 2024

Projects: Residential, Commercial, Utility 

Faciality: Monocrystalline, Bifacial

Solar Panel Powerclass Range: 370-500 W

Silfab Solar Main Product Line

  • Silfab Elite SIL-410 BG | 410 Data Sheet
  • Silfab Elite SIL-380 BK | 380 Data Sheet
  • Silfab Prime SIL-400 HC+ | Data Sheet
  • Silfab Prime SIL-370 HC | Data Sheet
  • Silfab Commercial SIL-490 HN | Data Sheet
  • Silfab Commercial SIL-500 HN | Data Sheet

Qualify for Inflation Recovery Act (IRA)?: Yes

Bright Facts About Silfab Solar

  • One of the very few manufacturers that offer a standard 25/30 warranty
  • Panels hold a maximum surface load of 5400 for both wind and snow
  • Uses the Just In Time manufacturing approach
  • Will more than double in size in 2024

Now That You Know

Did we leave any manufacturers out that you’d like to learn more about? Want to learn about EPC’s or other solar industry brands? Contact us directly to tell us what you’d like us to add to future installments. 

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