First Solar announces $185 million expansion for NW Ohio factories
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - First Solar said it will invest $185 million in upgrading and expanding its Northwest Ohio manufacturing footprint, currently the largest vertically-integrated complex of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, by 0.9 GWDC.
As part of its plans, First Solar will invest in expanding the capacity of its two operating facilities in Perrysburg and Lake Township, Ohio, by 0.6 GWDC to 3.6 GWDC of annual Series 6 module capacity. The company will also expand its third Ohio factory, expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2023, to 3.5 GWDC of annual Series 7 module capacity. The expansion will increase First Solar’s total investment in its Ohio manufacturing facilities to over $3 billion, with a cumulative annual production capacity of over 7 GWDC by 2025.
First Solar estimates that the total new investment for all of its holdings, more than $1.2 billion, will add at least 850 new manufacturing jobs, taking its total number of direct jobs in the US to over 3,000 people in four states by 2025, which is believed to make it the largest employer in the American solar manufacturing sector.
“In passing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration has entrusted our industry with the responsibility of enabling America’s clean energy future and we must meet the moment in a manner that is both timely and sustainable,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “This investment is an important step towards achieving self-sufficiency in solar technology, which, in turn, supports America’s energy security ambitions, its deployment of solar at scale, and its ability to lead with innovation. We are proud of the fact that our manufacturing presence in the US is expected to directly and indirectly support over 18,000 jobs across the country by 2025, while our manufacturing investment will add an estimated $3.2 billion2 in value to the US economy, reflecting the impact of solar manufacturing on our country. We are investing in America’s future.”
On its last earnings call on July 28, 2022, First Solar announced a record bookings backlog of 44.3 GWDC. The company has seen demand for its advanced thin film photovoltaic solar modules driven by its ability to provide its customers and partners with long-term supply certainty, lower political and compliance risk, and access to its best available technology through its agile contracting approach.
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