First Solar, the largest solar panel manufacturer in the US, is opening a third factory in Ohio. This doubles production. When operational, the company’s factories will produce enough panels for a total of 6 gigawatts per year.
The new factory in Lake Township, a place near the city of Toledo in Ohio, should cost just under 560 million euros and will initially produce 3.3 gigawatts of panels per year. With the addition of the new factory, First Solar claims to be the largest solar panel manufacturer outside of China. It is in any case the largest solar panel manufacturer in the US.
The factory is due to open in 2023, by 2025 the company expects slightly more than half of all solar panels it makes for the US to also be produced in the United States. Still, the new plant is not enough to fully cover the demand for solar panels in the US. The company still expects to import 40 percent of its panels from its factories in Vietnam and Malaysia, it told The Wall Street Journal.
The opening of a new solar panel factory in the US is in line with the policy of the current government in the country, which, like the previous administration, wants to stimulate the national economy by investing in factories in the US by purchasing mainly locally, with an extra focus on the green energy sector. Earlier this year, President Biden announced his intention to replace the entire government fleet with US-made electric vehicles. The same goes for solar panels.