After the Inflation Reduction Act and its incentives for domestic manufacturing pushed businesses to onshore production, First Solar said on Wednesday that it had chosen Alabama as the location for its fourth U.S. solar panel manufacturing facility.
Approximately $1.1 billion will be spent by First Solar on the site in Lawrence County, North Alabama. The site of the new plant had not yet been revealed when the corporation first announced its plans in August. The Inflation Reduction Act, according to First Solar CEO Mark Widmar in a prior interview with CNBC, was a major factor in the company’s decision to locate its newest factory in the United States.
By 2025, the new factory will be able to annually generate 3.5 gigawatts of solar modules. According to the corporation, the location will generate over 700 new jobs.
By 2025, First Solar expects to have produced more than 10 gigawatts worth of solar modules. Ohio is home to the company’s other three facilities, one of which is expected to open in the first half of 2023. First Solar said that it had invested more than $4 billion in American manufacturing with the unveiling of the most recent factory in Alabama.
According to First Solar’s Widmar, “the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has firmly positioned America on the path to a sustainable energy future.
He continued, “This plant will contribute to the industrial foundation that helps ensure that this transformation is driven by American invention and talent, together with its sister factories in Ohio.”
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the current capacity of the U.S. solar sector is around 126.1 GW, or enough energy to power 22 million homes. According to SEIA, the nation added 3.9 GW of solar capacity during the first quarter of this year.
The largest panel producer in the United States, First Solar, specialises in utility-scale panels. After the IRA rekindled interest in renewable energy businesses on Wednesday, shares of First Solar reached their highest level since April 2011. Nevertheless, there have been some recent challenges for the company as investors have shifted away from market segments that are focused on growth.
First Solar, however, has maintained its gains while outpacing other solar equities and the market as a whole. The company’s shares, which are located in Arizona, have increased by more than 80% this year. In contrast, the Invesco Solar Fund has increased 6% this year while the S&P 500 has decreased by 17%.
Following the climate bill, several solar businesses, such as SolarEdge and Enphase Energy, have stated they are considering U.S. manufacture. Other sustainable energy businesses that have announced new facilities include lithium miner Piedmont Lithium and battery manufacturer Freyr.