First Solar has chosen north Alabama as the location for its fourth US solar module manufacturing facility. The new thin-film factory is part of the first announced investment to grow First Solar’s American manufacturing footprint to 10 GW by 2025.
The planned factory in the Mallard Fox Industrial Park outside Decatur, Alabama, represents an investment of approximately $ 1.1 billion and is expected to be commissioned in 2025, with a planned annual capacity of 3.5 GW. The new fully vertically integrated facility will join three factories in Ohio, including one scheduled to come online in the first half of 2023.
“Our commitment to responsible solar includes operating facilities that are among the cleanest, safest, and most diverse in the nation, and we are excited to bring our model of responsible solar manufacturing to Alabama, ” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “We are proud of the role this facility will play in creating stable, well-paying manufacturing jobs in the state, demonstrating the economic and social value that clean energy can provide.”
First Solar estimates that its new investments in Alabama and Ohio, now estimated at $1.3 billion, will add at least 850 new manufacturing and more than 100 new R&D jobs, bringing the total -the number of direct jobs in the United States of more than 3,000 people in four. state in 2025.
If First Solar’s Alabama plant is on Mallard Fox Drive, it appears there are other manufacturers nearby, including several steel distributors, a polyester (PET) film manufacturer and several chemical companies.
See a list of US solar panel manufacturers here.