First Solar announced plans to build a fifth solar module manufacturing facility in the United States, an investment of up to $1.1 billion. 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 as defined by the current domestic content guidance issued by the US Department of Treasury.
The location is yet to be determined but is expected to grow the company’s nameplate manufacturing capacity by 3.5 GW. In total, First Solar’s capacity would reach approximately 14 GW in the U.S. and 25 GW globally by 2026.
First Solar is the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere with 6.3 GW of operational capacity in the US. 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.
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 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.
— Solar Builder magazine