First Solar continues to operate its flagship factory in Perrysburg, Ohio, effectively scaling its total annualized production capacity in the U.S. to 1.9-gigawatts (GW)DC.
First Solar’s expanded manufacturing footprint in the US, which represents over $1 billion in cumulative investment and directly created approximately 500 new jobs, makes it the largest solar manufacturer in America and the Western Hemisphere. The investment includes a new $265 million TCO (transparent conductive oxide) coated glass factory being built by the NSG Group in Troy Township, Ohio, its first new float glass line in the country since 1980.
“Eighteen months ago, we announced that we would expand our manufacturing footprint in the United States in response to demand. We have delivered,” said Mark Widmar, CEO, First Solar. “The fact that we were able to transform a greenfield site into a high tech manufacturing facility in that time, and on time, speaks volumes about not just the scalability of our technology, and our ability to deliver on our commitments, but also the relentless energy of our people, our towering strength.”
Both facilities produce First Solar’s Series 6 module technology. Designed and developed at the Company’s research and development centers in California and Ohio, the module is produced in just 3.5 hours using sophisticated, fully-integrated manufacturing processes.
Each large-format Series 6 module leverages First Solar’s proprietary thin film technology, retaining the proven performance and reliability advantages of earlier generation modules. With a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels that are manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods, Series 6 delivers a superior environmental profile and cleaner solar electricity.
“Our Lake Township facility is a marvel of modern manufacturing, a factory of the future, operational today. Its levels of automation, digitalization, machine learning, and artificial intelligence demonstrate that the ambitions of Industry 4.0 are not out of reach for the PV manufacturing industry,” said Tymen de Jong, chief operating officer, First Solar.