First Solar to Invest $680m in Expanding US Solar manufacturing facility
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced that it will invest $680 million to expand America’s domestic photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturing capacity by 3.3 gigawatts (GW)DC annually, representing an implied capital expenditure of approximately $0.20 per watt. The company intends to fund construction of its third US manufacturing facility, in Lake Township, Ohio, with existing cash resources.
Contigent upon permitting and pending approval of various state, regional and local incentives, the new facility is expected to commence operations in the first half of 2023. It is projected to achieve its throughput entitlement (modules produced per day) by the end of the same year with over 3 GWDC of nameplate capacity, and is expected to attain full nameplate capacity, based on the company’s module efficiency roadmap, in 2025. When fully operational, the facility will scale the company’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GWDC, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China.
“These investments in American-made solar technologies are the perfect embodiment of President Biden’s strategy to buildout domestic manufacturing and supply chains for critical industries,” said US Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “As a partner to our solar program since 2003 and a DOE loan guarantee recipient in 2012, this company is a great example of how investment and innovation can build the clean energy future right here at home—shoring up American competitiveness and bringing good-paying jobs to all pockets of the country.”
Unique among the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers for being the only US-headquartered company and for not using a crystalline silicon (c-Si) semiconductor, First Solar produces its ultra-low carbon thin film PV modules using a fully integrated, continuous process under one roof.
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