First Solar Inc. has broken ground on its third manufacturing facility, in Ohio. The new 3.3 GW DC facility, which is scheduled to commence operations in the first half of 2023, represents a $680 million investment. When fully operational, the facility is expected to scale the company’s northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW DC, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside China.
The U.S.-headquartered company produces its thin film PV modules using a fully integrated, continuous process under one roof and does not rely on Chinese c-Si supply chains. The company’s eco-efficient module technology uses its proprietary cadmium telluride (CadTel) semiconductor.
“We’re leading the efforts to revitalize American solar manufacturing and secure critical clean energy supply chains because reliable access to competitive, efficient solar panels is essential to our country’s future,” says Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar.
”Solar panels are the next crude oil, and we cannot be beholden to adversarial nations for our supply. We’re scaling US cleantech innovation by investing in R&D, ensuring that a uniquely American solar technology that was developed right here in Ohio remains competitively advantaged. And we’re taking it a step further by producing the next generation of solar panels designed and made in the USA for the American solar industry.”