Bila Solar, a solar energy startup, launched today, announced plans to establish its U.S. headquarters and a state-of-the-art solar module manufacturing facility in Indianapolis, creating more than 240 new jobs in the coming years.
“Indiana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is strong, and we’re excited to welcome Bila Solar to our growing network of innovators advancing products that power the world,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “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 will invest more than $35 million in its new headquarters and manufacturing facility, renovating and equipping an existing 150,000-square-foot space just south of downtown Indianapolis at 1249 S. White River Parkway East Drive. The new factory, which is expected to begin production in the summer of 2024, will produce a yearly capacity of one gigawatt (GW) of innovative glassless, frameless solar modules – an output akin to crafting around 5,000 high-capacity modules daily. Bila’s debut product will increase opportunities for solar power where traditional glass modules cannot be used, accelerating the transition to clean energy.
“We are thrilled to begin the Bila Solar journey in Indianapolis,” said Mick McDaniel, vice president and U.S. general manager of Bila Solar. “We’re bringing to the U.S. 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.”
Bila’s new operations will help power Indiana’s clean energy storage and production industry, which ranks No. 4 in the U.S. for the most clean energy capacity in development by Canary Media.
The company’s debut product is a lightweight solar module that combines the reliability and high efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells with the lightness of specialty designed and patented aerospace composites. Weighing just 30% of regular glass panels and 95% slimmer, these modules can be employed in various challenging applications, including low load-bearing commercial and industrial roofs, waterproof membrane roofs, integration into vehicles for solar power and off-grid energy utilization.
“We are excited to welcome Bila Solar to Indianapolis,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This partnership not only bolsters our shared commitment to power greener solutions, but also underscores the importance of good-paying jobs in Indianapolis neighborhoods. Just recently, Indianapolis was ranked one of the top cities in the Midwest to launch a startup, and Bila Solar’s $35 million investment and creation of 240 new jobs in Indianapolis is a testament to that.”
Pending approval of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) board of directors, the IEDC will commit an investment in Bila Solar of up to $4.2 million in the form of incentive-based tax credits and up to $300,000 in workforce training grants, based on the company’s investment and job creation plans. The IEDC will also commit an investment of up to $2 million in Hoosier Business Investment tax credits and up to $200,000 in Manufacturing Readiness Grants, which are designed to help companies invest in smart manufacturing and new technologies. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. The city of Indianapolis will offer additional incentives.