First Solar Announces Expansion Of Manufacturing & Development Facilities

August 20, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

First Solar, Inc. announced that it plans to expand its manufacturing operations and development facilities at its Perrysburg, Ohio facility. The investment will add approximately 500,000 square feet of manufacturing, research and development, and office space, and will add at least 134 new jobs to the company’s current workforce of 700 at its Perrysburg facility. First Solar is collaborating with state and local leaders on a comprehensive incentive package for these two projects. These incentives are central to First Solar’s expansion plans in Ohio and are subject to approval by state and local authorities.

This expansion will add a fourth production line and reconfigure the company’s original pilot line to bring the manufacturing facility to the same four-line configuration as the company’s five other plants located in Germany and Malaysia. The expansion is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2010 and will increase the annual capacity at the Perrysburg facility to approximately 192 megawatts (based on run rates for the second quarter of 2008). In addition, the company will construct a separate facility to support increased development activities associated with its advanced thin film solar module manufacturing technology.

"Scaling our manufacturing capacity while taking advantage of existing infrastructure will incrementally lower the manufacturing cost per watt at a rate comparable to our lowest cost facility in Malaysia," said Bruce Sohn, President of First Solar. "The expansion of our operations in Ohio is a direct result of the outstanding achievements of our associates and a strong, ongoing partnership with state and local leaders."