First Solar to Build $1.1 Billion Manufacturing Facility in the U.S.
First Solar Inc. will build the company’s fifth manufacturing factory in the United States. The $1.1 billion investment is expected to create 700 jobs.
The fully vertically integrated facility is set to boost the solar panel manufacturer’s nameplate capacity by 3.5 gigawatts, allowing the company to achieve 14 gigawatts in the U.S. and 25 gigawatts worldwide by 2026. First Solar expects to complete and commission the facility in 2026. The company did not disclose a location.
Adhesives and sealants are widely used in solar applications. They offer a superior alternative to mechanical fasteners and welding. They also help bond dissimilar substrates such as metals and plastics, protect components from moisture and weather intrusion, link photovoltaic cells together, and ultimately increase long-term durability and reliability.
The new First Solar factory will produce the company’s Series 7 modules, which they estimate will make up more than two-thirds of its yearly domestic nameplate capacity once the facility is completed and ramped. First Solar already manufactures Series 7 modules in Ohio with steel and glass made in the U.S.
First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said the new site is supported by an order backlog of some 78 gigawatts and would help the U.S. transition to a sustainable energy future.
The development brings First Solar to more than $2 billion in investments and 7.9 gigawatts of additional U.S. manufacturing capacity in the past year. Previous investments include $1.3 billion for a 3.5-gigawatt Alabama facility and a 0.9-gigawatt growth of its Ohio manufacturing footprint.