First Solar is planning a new $300 million factory in Mesa, Arizona, that will create more than 600 jobs and produce more than 250 megawatts of PV modules annually. The company's U.S. manufacturing center will entail four production lines making these advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules.
"Supportive state and federal policies have provided the visibility needed for the U.S. to become our fastest-growing market, and the Mesa factory will enable us to meet that growing demand," said Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar. "Programs such as Department of Energy loan guarantees and the solar investment tax credit are crucial to helping the renewable energy industry quickly reach the scale needed to compete with fossil fuels. Over the long-term, programs like these facilitate the market growth and investment that will support the future expansion of this factory."
First Solar will begin construction in the second quarter of 2011. It expects to begin shipping modules in the third quarter of 2012. The plant, which formerly housed a General Motors (GM) testing site, will include a 3-megawatt rooftop solar installation and ground-mounted PV testing facility.