Founded in Austria in 1945, Fronius remains a family-owned and operated business, but is a global player in welding, battery charging and, of course, solar energy. Fronius has been active in the United States solar market since 2002 — a facility we have visited many times over the years — but they’ve been a little quiet on the news front the last year or so.
Well, that’s about to change. Last year, Fronius broke through the $1 billion mark in global sales and is investing heavily in additional production lines and new jobs around the world. Some of those additional production lines are coming to Portage, Indiana.
Fronius USA will invest in its 400,000-square-foot manufacturing facility to add new solar inverter production lines, a new data center and to hire new research and development engineers.
“We are very pleased to announce that Portage, Indiana is a key part of our business development strategy,” said Klaus Strassmair, Managing Director at Fronius USA. “This will create a wide range of jobs, from advanced manufacturing, technical support, and sales positions to software developers.”
Fronius USA has approximately 200 employees, and by the end of next year, that number will increase and more than double up to 500.
“The business-friendly environment in Portage, Indiana, combined with the large pool of highly skilled workers in Northwest Indiana, is why we are investing in this area,” said Elisabeth Strauss, CEO of Fronius International and granddaughter of company founder Gunter Fronius. “The solar boom in the United States offers great opportunities for sustainable business and a healthy climate. We made the decision to build new manufacturing capacity in the US years before the announcement to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), but of course it accelerated our activities to get started earlier with US-manufactured solar inverters.”
The initial inverter manufacturing capacity in Portage, IN will be 1 GW in 2024. Over the course of five years, the annual capacity will increase to over 7 GW, adding significant capacities to the facility each year.
Don’t overlook the R&D investment either: The United States lacks in inverter manufacturing, but also in the facilities and knowledge base to develop next-generation products. The new Fronius R&D offices and high-tech electrical engineering laboratory will be able to test and analyze Fronius products and even perform pre-certification tests.
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