First Solar to invest up to $1.2 billion in US panel manufacturing, including new factory

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First Solar announced plans Tuesday to invest up to $1.2 billion for scaling up its U.S. solar panel production.

Up to $1 billion will go toward building a new solar panel factory somewhere in the Southeast, the largest U.S. solar panel manufacturer said in a press release. 

The new fully integrated factory, set to be First Solar's fourth in America, is expected to start operations in 2025, contingent upon permitting and pending government approvals.

First Solar will invest $185 million into expanding its three Ohio manufacturing facilities. The company said that its third factory in the state is expected to be commissioned in the first six months of 2023.

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"In passing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, Congress and the Biden-Harris administration has entrusted our industry with the responsibility of enabling America's clean energy future, and we must meet the moment in a manner that is both timely and sustainable," First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said in a statement.

A man works on solar panels.  (iStock / iStock)

He called the investment an "important step towards achieving self-sufficiency in solar technology, which, in turn, supports America’s energy security ambitions, its deployment of solar at scale and its ability to lead with innovation."

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FSLRFIRST SOLAR INC.122.31+0.62+0.51%

First Solar's announced investment will add at least 850 new manufacturing jobs, bringing its total number of U.S. employees to over 3,000 by 2025, the company estimated in the release.

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