First Solar to expand manufacturing capacity by 3.3 GW

First Solar module production in Lake Township; 1.2 GW capacity factory opened in October 2019

First Solar Inc., US manufacturer of cadmium telluride thin film modules, will invest $680 million to expand its domestic photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturing capacity in America by 3.3 GW annually, representing an implied capital expenditure of approximately $0.20 per watt. The company intends to fund the construction at its manufacturing facility in Lake Township, Ohio, with existing cash resources.
The new facility is expected to commence operations in the first half of 2023. It is projected to achieve its throughput entitlement (modules produced per day) by the end of the same year with over 3 GW of nameplate capacity, and is expected to attain full nameplate capacity in 2025. When fully operational, the facility will scale the company’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW, said First Solar.
The factory is projected to directly create approximately 500 jobs and is expected to produce »an enhanced thin film PV module for the utility-scale solar market in the US, which is anticipated to have a higher efficiency and wattage in a larger form factor.« Once it achieves its full production capacity, the manufacturing site will allow First Solar to produce »an anticipated average of one module roughly every 2.75 seconds« across its three-factory Ohio facilities, including Lake Township, Toledo and Cleveland. First Solar also operates factories in Vietnam and Malaysia.

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