First Solar Becomes Largest PV Module Manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere

TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 24, 2019 (PVTIME) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) today announced the start of production at its new photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing facility in Lake Township, Ohio, its second factory in the United States. First Solar continues to operate its flagship factory in Perrysburg, Ohio, effectively scaling its total annualized production capacity in the U.S. to 1.9-gigawatts (GWDC.

First Soar’s expanded manufacturing footprint in the United
States, which represents over $1 billion in cumulative investment and directly
created approximately 500 new jobs, makes it the largest solar manufacturer in America and the Western
Hemisphere. The investment includes a new $265 million TCO (transparent
conductive oxide) coated glass factory being built by the NSG Group in Troy Township, Ohio, its
first new float glass line in the country since 1980.

“Eighteen months ago, we announced that we would expand our
manufacturing footprint in the United States in response to demand. We have
delivered,” said Mark Widmar, Chief Executive Officer, First Solar. “The fact
that we were able to transform a greenfield site into a high tech manufacturing
facility in that time, and on time, speaks volumes about not just the
scalability of our technology, and our ability to deliver on our commitments,
but also the relentless energy of our people, our towering strength.”

Both facilities produce First Solar’s Series 6 module technology. Designed
and developed at the Company’s research and development centers in California
and Ohio, the module is produced in just 3.5 hours using sophisticated,
fully-integrated manufacturing processes. Each large-format Series 6 module
leverages First Solar’s proprietary thin film technology, retaining the proven performance and
reliability advantages of earlier generation modules. With a carbon footprint
that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels that are
manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods, Series 6
delivers a superior environmental profile and cleaner solar electricity.

“Our Lake Township facility is a marvel of modern
manufacturing, a factory of the future, operational today. Its levels of
automation, digitalization, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
demonstrate that the ambitions of Industry 4.0 are not out of reach for the PV
manufacturing industry,” said Tymen de Jong, Chief Operating Officer, First
Solar. “We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved, and we are proud to
have achieved it in Northwestern Ohio, the technological home of American solar.”  

First Solar is also celebrating two decades since its
founding in 1999, and 25GWDC of PV modules shipped, making it the
only American solar module manufacturing company to achieve this
milestone. First Solar also operates manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and
Malaysia with a current global annualized manufacturing capacity of 6.7GWDC.