When you’re choosing a solar panel brand, there are several important factors to consider. While most solar shoppers care about metrics like efficiency, power output, and warranty, which directly influence the value of your solar investment, we also hear from many homeowners who care about where their panels are manufactured. Looking at how much solar capacity manufacturers produce and sell can also give you a sense of their credibility; in many cases, they wouldn’t be able to produce at such a mass scale if their products weren’t in high demand.
Who are the biggest solar companies in the world and the U.S.? We reviewed global shipping data from TrendForce to determine which manufacturers shipped the largest capacity of shipments in 2022 and manufacturing data from the Department of Energy to see which companies manufacture panels in the U.S. Based on our Marketplace data, we evaluated these companies in terms of panel efficiency and price to help you decide if it’s worth it to choose solar panels from the top panel manufacturers globally, and here in the States.
This is an unbiased review: EnergySage is not paid to review brands or products, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising in this article. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing. Learn more about our mission and how we make money as a company.
- The top three global manufacturers by solar panel shipment capacity in gigawatts (GW) in 2022 are LONGi, Trina Solar, and Jinko Solar.
- Most solar panels are manufactured in China, but some companies in Canada and the U.S. are gaining traction.
- The largest U.S. solar manufacturers are First Solar, Q CELLS, and Solar4America.
- While the location of manufacture may be important to you, it’s also important to consider factors such as efficiency, price, warranty, and more when choosing a solar panel brand.
- Use the EnergySage Marketplace to receive free, custom quotes from solar installers near you.
What’s in this article?
- Top 6 solar manufacturers
- How to compare solar panel companies
- Where are the best solar panels manufactured?
- Top U.S. solar manufacturers
The top 6 solar manufacturers in the world
There are hundreds of companies that manufacture solar panels globally, but only a handful manufacture and ship enough capacity to reach the gigawatt (GW) scale (1 GW = 1,000 megawatts, MW = 1,000,000 kilowatts, kW). Based on solar panel shipment capacity, these are the top 6 solar panel manufacturers in the global solar industry:
|Manufacturer||Country of headquarters||2022 shipment capacity||2021 shipment capacity||Capacity increase in 2022||Average solar panel efficiency*||Price range**|
|LONGi||China||45-47 GW||38.52 GW||+6.48-8.48 GW||19.2%||$20,090 - $22,190|
|Trina Solar||China||~43 GW||24.8 GW||+18.2 GW||18.3%||$16,730 - $19,530|
|Jinko Solar||China||42-43 GW||22.23 GW||+19.77-20.77 GW||20.4%||$17,080 - $24,150|
|JA Solar||China||39.75 GW||25.45 GW||+14.3 GW||18.4%||$16,170 - $22,890|
|Canadian Solar||Canada||21.1 GW||14.5 GW||+6.6 GW||18.3%||$16,100 - $20,300|
|Risen Energy||China||16 GW||8.1 GW||+7.9 GW||N/A||N/A|
*Includes all actively quoted residential and commercial solar panel models on EnergySage.
**Prices reflect the average quoted price range of a 10 kW solar panel installation, including installation costs, after accounting for the 30% federal tax credit incentive.
Across the board, these top solar panel manufacturers increased shipment capacity in 2022 compared to 2021, indicating that supply chains have started to recover from pandemic-related constraints. Jinko Solar increased its capacity the most by about 20 GW, whereas LONGi shipped the most overall at about 45-47 GW.
As a solar shopper, should you care if your panels are manufactured by one of these top 6 companies? Does it matter where your panels are manufactured? Most of the panels from these solar companies are middle-of-the-road in terms of efficiency and price. Of these manufacturers, our installers only consistently quote panels from Canadian Solar, which have average efficiency in general (though their newest HiHero 445H-AG panels employ some of the most efficient solar technology) and consistently affordable prices.
Headquartered in Xi’an China, LONGi Solar is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells and panels. LONGi was founded in 2000; in 2022, they shipped between 45 and 47 gigawatts (GW) of solar. Based on PV-Tech’s Q3 2022 bankability report (the latest report that’s publicly available as of 2023), LONGi achieved the highest bankability rating, meaning it’s a highly reliable company in terms of manufacturing and finances.
A low number of our installers on the EnergySage Marketplace quote LONGi panels (keep in mind, you can always make a note in your EnergySage profile to request a particular brand): They were only among the top 50% of quoted solar panel manufacturers in 2022. Read reviews about LONGi solar panels from real customers.
Founded in 1997, Trina Solar is a Chinese solar company with solar products suitable for residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects. In 2022, they shipped about 43 GW of solar. They recently launched a new, highly efficient 210mm silicon cell panel as part of their Vertex series. If you’re looking to install a solar system for your business, Trina Solar also has an in-house solar tracking product for large-scale installations. Similar to LONGi, Trina Solar achieved PV-Tech’s highest bankability rating in Q3 2022.
Trina Solar panels are occasionally included in quotes on EnergySage: They were among the top 40% quoted solar panel manufacturers on EnergySage in 2022. Read reviews about Trina solar panels from real customers.
JinkoSolar produces a wide range of solar and storage products for use across solar projects of all sizes. Recently, JinkoSolar opened a manufacturing location in Jacksonville, FL where they manufacture about 400 MW (or 0.4 GW) to help meet U.S. demand for their products. In 2022, JinkoSolar shipped 42-43 GW of solar.
On EnergySage, installers infrequently quote JinkoSolar panels: They were only among the top 50% quoted manufacturers in 2022. Read reviews about JinkSolar panels from real customers.
JA Solar was founded in 2005, opening its first manufacturing hub in Fengxian, China, where its main manufacturing hub now lives. They produce budget solar panels with half-cell technology that fall in the mid-range for efficiency. In 2022, JA Solar shipped 39.75 GW of solar. JA Solar is a highly reliable company, also achieving PV-Tech’s highest bankability rating in Q3 2022.
Installers rarely quote JA Solar panels on EnergySage: In 2022, they were among the bottom 50% quoted manufacturers. Read more about JA Solar.
Its name gives it away, but Canadian Solar is a solar manufacturer originally founded (and still headquartered) in Ontario, Canada. Aside from a wide range of home solar modules, Canadian Solar also produces and sells inverters and solar batteries. In 2022, Canadian Solar shipped 21.1 GW of solar.
While Canadian Solar has historically manufactured only average efficiency panels, their newest high-quality HiHero 445H-AG panels match SunPower’s efficiency record at 22.8%, though they’re not yet widely available. Installers regularly include Canadian Solar panels on EnergySage (likely in large part due to their affordable prices); in 2022, they were among the top 20% of quoted manufacturers. Read reviews about Canadian Solar panels from real customers.
Risen Energy manufactures large high output and high-efficiency PV modules primarily designed for commercial applications. They’re headquartered in China and shipped 16 GW of solar in 2022.
Installers didn’t quote panels from Risen Energy in 2022; these panels are uncommon in residential solar energy systems due to their large size (and likely high price point).
How to compare the best solar energy companies in the world
We based the solar panel manufacturer rankings above on the total volume of solar panels that the companies ship, so having the top position doesn’t necessarily correlate to the highest quality panel. Some of the smaller manufacturers specialize in premium products, whereas most of the larger manufacturers grew their capacities by manufacturing panels for the high-volume market or focusing on large-scale projects. However, a company’s proven ability to produce and sell a large number of products is testimony to its brand’s credibility, building trust among solar shoppers and installers.
When choosing a solar panel, you’ll want to select a brand and model that best suits your needs and budget. For example, if you want a high-efficiency panel, you might pick SunPower, the leading brand for solar panel efficiency. If budget is top of mind, you might select Canadian Solar, which generally offers middle-of-the-road panels at affordable prices. The best way to decide what company is best for you depends on your own needs and the area where you live, which can determine if tax credits, rebates, and other incentives are available to you.
We developed a solar panel quality ranking system to help you easily and confidently make your decision. If you’re interested in learning more about how we rank solar panels, check out our list of the best solar panels.
Where are the best solar panels manufactured?
We hear this question a lot. The simple answer is East Asia, which has become the solar manufacturing hub of the world. You’ll notice that the majority of the top 6 manufacturers are Chinese. However, The U.S. is increasing domestic solar manufacturing to promote a clean energy economy and strengthen supply chains.
But remember: A solar panel’s country of manufacture is not usually the most important consideration for those going solar. Most people find a balance between cost and quality, with a panel’s country of manufacture a secondary consideration. However, for some homeowners, supporting U.S. energy independence is a major reason they go solar, so they specifically look for American-made panels. At EnergySage, we’ll support you in any decision you make, but we recommend asking your installer for their advice and considering their suggestions: They’ll have up-to-date experience with long-term efficiency, maintenance, and durability of various solar panel brands and will also know which models are most popular on the market.
Top U.S. solar manufacturers
Though the large majority of solar manufacturers import their equipment from Southeast Asia (even in the case of leading American solar companies like SunPower/Maxeon), a short list of American solar companies manufactures all or a portion of their solar panels here in the U.S.
Not all of these companies have headquarters in the U.S., but they all have manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Based on data from the Department of Energy, here are solar manufacturers across the U.S., with most located in the West, Southwest, and Midwest:
U.S. solar panel manufacturers
|Manufacturer||Manufacturing state||Number of U.S. facilities||Annual capacity||Average solar panel efficiency*||Price range**|
|Auxin Solar||California||1||150 MW||N/A||N/A|
|CertainTeed Solar||California||1||120 MW||19.50%||$17,780 - $22,960|
|Crossroads Solar||Indiana||1||12 MW||N/A||N/A|
|First Solar||Ohio||1||2,800 MW||17.70%||N/A|
|GAF Energy||California||1||50 MW||N/A||N/A|
|JinkoSolar||Florida||1||400 MW||20.40%||$17,080 - $24,360|
|Merlin Solar||California||1||5 MW||19.00%||N/A|
|Mission Solar||Texas||1||300 MW||18.90%||$17,150 - $22,470|
|Q CELLS||Georgia||1||1,700 MW||19.90%||$17,920 - $23,240|
|Silfab Solar||Washington||1||800 MW||20.30%||$17,710 - $23,170|
|Solaria||California||2||40 MW||19.90%||$16,800 - $23,520|
|Solar4America||California||1||1,100 MW||20.30%||$18,130 - $21,350|
|Sunspark USA||California||1||250 MW||19.40%||$19,600 - $19,600|
|SunTegra||New York||1||10 MW||N/A||N/A|
|Toledo Solar||Ohio||1||100 MW||N/A||N/A|
*Includes all actively quoted residential and commercial solar panel models on EnergySage.
**Prices reflect the average quoted price range of a 10 kW solar panel installation, including installation costs, after accounting for the 30% federal tax credit incentive. If there’s “N/A”, it indicates that our installers do not quote this panel frequently enough to have accurate pricing data.
All U.S. solar panel manufacturers that our installers frequently quote are reasonably priced on EnergySage and have average, not exceptional, efficiency. First Solar manufactures the largest solar capacity in the U.S. but also offers the lowest efficiency panels in the list above. According to our Solar & Storage Marketplace Report based on our Marketplace data from the second half of 2022, installers include panels from Q CELLS, the second biggest U.S. solar panel manufacturer, in more quotes than any other solar panel brand.
Who are the biggest solar installers in the U.S.?
Most solar manufacturers don’t install the panels themselves. In the U.S., the biggest residential solar installation companies are Sunrun and Tesla. To connect with our network of local solar installers, sign up for free quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace.
Frequently asked questions about solar panel companies
Based on power output, efficiency, temperature coefficient, and warranty, SunPower, REC, and Panasonic sell the best solar panels overall.
As noted earlier, China is the largest producer of solar panels worldwide. Based on the latest data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2021 China manufactured 75% of modules, 85% of cells, 97% of wafers, and 79% of polysilicon. As for the company with the largest shipment capacity, LONGi, headquartered in China, ranked first according to the most recent 2022 data.
When selecting an installer, you want to ensure it’s a reputable company, has a strong track record, has all the licenses and certifications required in your state, and has the expertise to design a solar power system that’s right for your energy consumption needs.
Choosing between solar installers can be daunting, but EnergySage is here to help. We vet the installers that quote on our Marketplace, present installer-specific differentiators in the quotes you see, and show you our badge tier system, which will help you find top solar installers in your area.
There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. As general guidance, monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient and have the highest wattages, polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient but also less expensive, and thin-film solar panels are best for unique installations like an off-grid RV or a DIY solar shed.
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to explore solar quotes
Interested in powering your home with renewable energy and saving on electric bills? To learn more about the solar installation process, connect with one of our Energy Advisors by signing up for a free EnergySage account. Through the EnergySage Marketplace, you’ll be able to compare multiple quotes from our network of vetted installers so you can go solar with confidence.