President Biden visits Lexington County manufacturer

President Biden visits Lexington County manufacturer

July 7, 2023 | SC Biz News

A West Columbia manufacturer celebrated its first shipment of products for a leading solar energy supplier with a visit from President Joe Biden on July 6.

President Biden visited the West Columbia facility of Flex, a global diversified firm that recently announced its first shipments of solar microinverters for California-based Enphase Energy Inc., a leading supplier of microinverter-based solar and battery systems.

Microninverters are used to help convert solar energy into electricity that can be used for power for customers. The devices work with solar arrays to convert the direct current solar energy into the alternating current that can be used in homes and businesses.

Enphase had announced back in April that they would begin manufacturing their products here in the U.S. through three manufacturing partnerships, one of which is with Texas-based Flex at its West Columbia facility. The partnership is expected to create 600 jobs in West Columbia, company officials said.

Biden visited the West Columbia plant as part of his “Investing in America” tour designed to promote his administration’s economic policy, which he has labeled “Bidenomics,” and promoted federal legislation designed to boost infrastructure and clean energy production nationwide.

In a speech, President Biden praised recent efforts across the country to boost U.S. manufacturing and stop jobs from being sent overseas.

“We’re creating jobs here and exporting American products,” Biden said. “That’s the story here in South Carolina. Jobs that used to go to Mexico, India, Romania and China are now coming home to South Carolina.”

The president praised Enphase’s partnership with Flex and its commitment to making the microinverters in South Carolina and other locations in the U.S. Not only will the partnership help to boost the country’s switch to clean energy, but it will also boos the number of well-paying jobs available to workers without the need for a four-year degree, Biden said. He noted a partnership between Flex and Midlands Technical College to help prepare workers for the type of work needed at its factory.

President Biden also stressed how the country’s push to pivot to clean energy has been good for the economy of states like South Carolina.

“Companies have invested $11 billion so far in manufacturing and clean energy investments just in South Carolina,” he said.

The president was joined by Flex CEO Revathi Advaithi and Enphase Energy president and CEO Badri Kothandaraman, as well as national, state and local government officials.

“We are pleased that President Biden is able to visit our manufacturing operations at Flex’s factory in South Carolina and we appreciate his support of U.S. companies investing in domestic manufacturing,” s Kothandaraman said. “Enphase is proud to be a leader in expanding the domestic manufacturing of clean energy products while bringing high technology jobs and further economic development to the United States. We thank Flex for its commitment as a valuable partner globally over the past 15 years and we are pleased to expand our partnership in the United States to better service our customers with local manufacturing.”

California-based Enphase Energy is a leading supplier of microinverter-based solar and battery systems that enable customers to make, use, save and sell their own power and control it through a smart mobile app. The company builds all-in-one solar, battery and software solutions. About 63 million microinverters made by Enphase have been shipped worldwide and 3.3 million Enphase-based systems have been deployed in more than 145 countries, according to information from the company.

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