WASHINGTON — The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) today applauded an announcement by First Solar, the largest American solar manufacturer, that it plans to build a fifth manufacturing facility in the United States, investing up to $1.1 billion in further expanding America’s capacity to produce its own photovoltaic (PV) solar modules. The planned fully vertically integrated facility, the location of which is yet to be determined, is expected to grow the company’s nameplate manufacturing capacity by 3.5 gigawatts (GW) to reach approximately 14 GW in the U.S. and 25 GW globally in 2026.
Last August, CPA applauded First Solar’s announcement that it would invest up to $1.2 billion in scaling production of its American-made, responsibly-produced PV solar modules. That announcement came just weeks after President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, which included a CPA-backed provision that reduces U.S. reliance on China by providing refundable production tax credits for the domestic solar manufacturing supply chain, including modules, photovoltaic cells, and solar-grade polysilicon.
“We applaud First Solar’s announcement that it is once again choosing to invest in America by expanding its already robust manufacturing footprint in our nation,” said CPA Chairman Zach Mottl. “This additional investment will create and support tens of thousands of high-quality jobs right here in America, and it is further evidence that domestic production tax credits—which CPA has long called for—are a critical industrial policy tool to boost domestic manufacturing and reshore supply chains. Now, it is imperative that the Biden administration and Congress protect this investment by enforcing U.S. trade law. Failing to do so will allow China to undercut the benefits of the solar domestic production tax credit and jeopardize efforts to reshore manufacturing and supply chains in industries that are critical to U.S. economic and national security.”
Over the past year and including this announcement, First Solar has committed to over $2.8 billion in capital investment and 7.9 GW of additional manufacturing capacity in the U.S. The company had previously announced an approximately $1.3 billion investment in a new 3.5 GW manufacturing facility in Alabama and a 0.9 GW expansion of its existing manufacturing footprint in Ohio, both of which are expected to be completed at the end of 2024. First Solar, the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere with 6.3 GW of operational capacity in the US, also previously announced an investment of up to $370 million for a dedicated R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is expected to be completed in 2024.