First Solar has announced its selection of the Acadiana Regional Airport in Iberia Parish, Louisiana as the location for its fifth manufacturing facility in the United States.
This facility is expected to represent a substantial investment of up to $1.1 billion and will significantly contribute to expanding America’s capacity for producing photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. The completion of this facility is anticipated in the first half of 2026 and is projected to increase First Solar’s nameplate manufacturing capacity by 3.5 gigawatts (GW), reaching approximately 14 GW in the US by 2026.
The investment in Louisiana is predicted to generate more than 700 new direct manufacturing jobs within the state. First Solar is already a major employer in the American solar manufacturing sector, boasting over 2,500 employees across the country.
By 2026, First Solar is targeting a total of over 4,000 direct employees in the US, which includes the creation of 850 new manufacturing jobs in Alabama and Ohio and over 100 new research and development (R&D) positions in Ohio.
First Solar has undertaken a significant manufacturing expansion strategy amounting to $4.1 billion. This strategic initiative has led to a remarkable growth from around 6 GW of global nameplate capacity in 2020 to its current operational capacity of 13 GW. The company anticipates an additional 12 GW of nameplate capacity to be established in the US and India between the latter half of 2023 and 2026.
In addition to the Louisiana facility, First Solar recently inaugurated its third Ohio factory, and plans to conclude the construction of a new facility in Alabama and the expansion of its existing footprint in Ohio by 2024.
First Solar is also gearing up for the commencement of commercial production at its new facility in India during the second half of this year. Furthermore, First Solar is investing up to $370 million in establishing a dedicated R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is slated for completion in the upcoming year.