TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced its intention to build a fifth manufacturing facility in the United States, investing up to $1.1 billion in further expanding America’s capacity to produce its own photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. The planned fully vertically integrated facility, the location of which is yet to be determined, is expected to grow the company’s nameplate manufacturing capacity by 3.5 gigawatts (GW) to reach approximately 14 GW in the US and 25 GW globally in 2026.
The new facility, which is anticipated to be completed and commissioned in the first half of 2026, will produce First Solar’s Series 7 modules, which are expected to be manufactured with 100% US-made components identified in the current domestic content guidance issued by the US Department of Treasury. First Solar anticipates that once the new factory is completed and ramped, Series 7 modules will account for over two thirds of its annual domestic nameplate capacity. Series 7 modules currently produced at the company’s Ohio facility are already manufactured with US-made glass and steel.
“This decision is underpinned by robust fundamentals, including an order backlog of approximately 78 gigawatts, the industry’s strongest balance sheet, a repeatable vertically integrated manufacturing template, and a proven technology platform,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “With this investment, we continue to help deliver on the promise of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is to create enduring value for our country. By expanding America’s solar manufacturing base, and the value chains that support it, we are working to ensure that the US enters the next decade in a position of strength, fully capable of producing the technology it needs to complete its transition to a sustainable energy future.”
Over the past year and including this announcement, First Solar has committed to over $2.8 billion in capital investment and 7.9 GW of additional manufacturing capacity in the US. The company had previously announced an approximately $1.3 billion investment in a new 3.5 GW manufacturing facility in Alabama and a 0.9 GW expansion of its existing manufacturing footprint in Ohio, both of which are expected to be completed at the end of 2024. First Solar, the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere with 6.3 GW of operational capacity in the US, also previously announced an investment of up to $370 million for a dedicated R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
First Solar is already believed to be the largest employer in America’s solar manufacturing sector with over 2,500 employees across the country. The company estimates that the new facility will add over 700 new jobs, which when combined with the 850 new manufacturing jobs expected to be created in Alabama and Ohio and over 100 new R&D jobs planned in Ohio, takes its total number of direct jobs in the US to over 4,000 people across the country by 2026. The facility’s completion in 2026 is contingent upon obtaining necessary permits and approvals.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film PV modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV modules. From raw material sourcing and manufacturing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s approach to technology embodies sustainability and a responsibility towards people and the planet. For more information, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
For First Solar Investors
This press release contains various “forward-looking statements” which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning 1) our intention to invest up to $1.1 billion in a new 3.5 GW manufacturing facility in the United States; 2) our expectation that this new facility will be operational in 2026, add over 700 new jobs and will produce First Solar’s new Series 7 module; 3) our expectation that the Series 7 module produced at this new facility will be manufactured with 100% US-made components identified in the current domestic content guidance issued by the US Department of Treasury; 4) our forecast that our manufacturing footprint will grow to approximately 14 GW in the US and 25 GW globally in 2026; 5) our previously announced investment in a new manufacturing facility in Alabama and our expectation that this facility will be commissioned by late 2024; 6) our plan to upgrade and expand our Northwest Ohio manufacturing footprint by approximately 0.9 GW by 2024; and 7) our intention to invest up to $370 million in a dedicated R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio and our expectation that this innovation center will be comissioned in 2024. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “goal,” “target,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “predict,” “continue” and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on First Solar’s current expectations and First Solar’s projections about future events and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. First Solar undertakes no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause First Solar’s actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.