First Solar spends $1.2 billion on US power plants after climate law

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First Solar Inc., America’s Largest Panel Maker, Plans to Invest About $1.2 Billion in New and Expanded U.S. Manufacturing After Congress Passes Landmark Bill on the climate.

The Tempe, Arizona-based company plans to choose a site in the southeastern United States for a new 3.5-gigawatt facility and expand its plants in Ohio by about 900 megawatts, a- she said in a statement. statement Tuesday August 30. Three Southeast states are in the running for the new plant, with operations in 2025, according to CEO Mark Widmar.

First Solar estimates that the new investments will create at least 850 new manufacturing jobs, bringing its total number of direct U.S. jobs to more than 3,000 people in four states by 2025.

The company announced it would invest $185 million to upgrade and expand its manufacturing footprint in northwest Ohio. As part of its plans, First Solar will invest in expanding capacity at its two operating facilities in Perrysburg and Lake Township, Ohio. The expansion will increase First Solar’s total investment in its Ohio manufacturing facilities to more than $3 billion.

While solar power has taken hold in the United States, the country sources most of its panels from Asia – a reliance that has threatened projects amid trade tensions and crushing barriers to climate change. Supply Chain. The new U.S. climate law supports both domestic manufacturing, which is expected to spur new clean-tech factories, and facilities.

“We have never before had legislation or a commitment to grow the entire industry at once,” said Samantha Sloan, vice president of global policy, sustainability and marketing at First Solar, in an interview. “This is a first step towards real investment in all forms of clean energy sectors that will drive investment at every stage.”

The decision to expand U.S. manufacturers is a turnaround for First Solar, which said in June it chose not to do so amid trade and political uncertainty. President Joe Biden signed the Climate Act earlier this month.

“We prioritize the US market,” Widmar said.

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