A new PV (photovoltaic) solar manufacturing facility has been announced to be in the works for future construction in Lake Township, Ohio. The US$680 million solar module plant will be constructed and designed by Rudolph Libbe Group who will begin building the 1.8 million-square-foot facility this summer. Over 500 construction jobs are expected to be created from the project however GEM Inc and Rudolph Libbe will self-perform trades work. Operations at the facility are expected to begin within the first half of 2023. It is projected to achieve its throughput entitlement by the end of 2023 with over 3 GW of nameplate capacity. It is also expected to attain full nameplate capacity, based on First Solar’s module efficiency roadmap, in 2025.
When fully operational, the site will greatly increase First Solar’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW DC, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China. This facility will be one of a kind among the world’s top ten solar manufacturers because it will not use crystalline silicon (c-Si) semiconductors but also because it is the only U.S.-based company. Enhanced thin-film PV module for the utility-scale solar market is expected to be produced at the facility which is anticipated to have higher efficiency and wattage in a larger form factor.
“These investments in U.S.-made solar technologies are the perfect embodiment of President Joe Biden’s strategy to build out domestic manufacturing and supply chains for critical industries. As a partner to our solar program since 2003 and a DOE loan guarantee recipient in 2012, this company is a great example of how investment and innovation can build the clean energy future right here at home – shoring up competitiveness and bringing good-paying jobs to all pockets of the country,” said Jennifer M. Granholm, the U.S. Energy Secretary.