First Solar to build biggest solar factory in Western hemisphere

Solar PV manufacturer will First Solar has revealed it will build a new thin film solar factory in the US state of Ohio.

The factory will employ 500 workers and have the capacity to produce 1.2GW of the firm’s Series 6 modules when fully ramped – making it the largest solar factory by capacity in the Western hemisphere.

Tesla’s solar gigafactory in New York state is the current largest solar manufacturing facility in the West.

Construction of the factory is slated to commence in mid-2018, with full production mode expected in late 2019, given that state and local incentive packages, currently under negotiation, are confirmed.

“Strong demand in the US for advanced solar technology, along with recent changes in US corporate tax policies, have encouraged our decision to grow First Solar’s US production operations,” said Mike Koralewski, First Solar’s senior vice president of global manufacturing.

“State and local officials and Jobs Ohio have also worked with us to create a business-friendly environment that supported our objectives.

“These factors, combined with our own economies of scale in high-tech manufacturing, make expanding US operations an attractive, win-win opportunity.”