First Solar Invests $1.1 Billion in Fifth U.S. Panel Plant

by | 28. Jul 2023 - 10:29 | Economy

The American solar technology company First Solar plans to build a fifth manufacturing facility in the U.S., investing up to $1.1 billion to expand PV solar module production. The new fully vertically integrated facility will increase the company’s manufacturing capacity by 3.5 GW, according to a press release. This will bring the company’s total production to about 14 GW in the U.S. and 25 GW globally by 2026. The location is yet to be determined, but it’s expected to be operational in the first half of 2026, producing modules with 100 percent U.S.-made components and is projected to create 700 jobs. The company supports its investment with a strong order backlog and a solid balance sheet, according to the statement. First Solar has already committed over $2.8 billion to U.S. investments in the past year, including a 3.5 GW facility in Alabama and a 0.9 GW expansion in Ohio, with plans for an R&D center.

In May, First Solar announced the acquisition of the Swedish copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) industry company Evolar which specializes in perovskite thin films, underlining the company’s ambitions to expand beyond the U.S. Most solar panels are silicon-based because of lower costs and more accessible application. However, the technology metals gallium and indium which Evolar utilizes in its R&D center, increase the efficiency of thin film panels and offer better performance

Photo: iStock/delectus

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