First Solar to expand PV module production with fifth US facility
First Solar, Inc. has announced plans to invest up to $1.1 billion in the construction of a new, fifth manufacturing facility in the United States, which is set to enhance America’s capacity to domestically produce photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. The location for this fully vertically integrated facility is yet to be announced. However, it’s expected to boost the company’s nameplate manufacturing capacity by 3.5 gigawatts (GW), to a total of 14GW in the US, and 25GW globally by 2026.
Set to be completed and commissioned in the first half of 2026, the new facility will manufacture First Solar’s Series 7 modules. These modules are projected to be produced using 100% US-made components, as per the domestic content guidance issued by the US Department of Treasury. Once the factory is operational, Series 7 modules will account for more than two-thirds of First Solar’s annual domestic nameplate capacity.
“Our decision is driven by strong fundamentals, including a 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. “This investment aids in delivering on the promise of the Inflation Reduction Act, thereby creating enduring value for our country.”
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 within the past year. The company, already the largest employer in America’s solar manufacturing sector with over 2,500 employees nationwide, estimates the new facility will create over 700 new jobs. This will bring its total direct employment in the US to more than 4,000 people across the country by 2026.