First Solar bounces back from slump expanding production and workforce in Ohio

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Blade:Three years ago, the mood around the First Solar Inc. complex in Perrysburg Township, Ohio was glum.The Tempe, Ariz.-based solar panel manufacturer announced the permanent layoff of about 450 employees as it phased out its older panels to make room for its new, larger Series 6 thin-film panels.The Series 6 went into production in mid-2018, and on Thursday the company commenced producing more of the Series 6 at a new plant that just opened in Lake Township.Their combined annual production capacity of 1.9 gigawatts — 600 megawatts at Perrysburg Township and 1.3 gigawatts at Lake Township, makes First Solar the largest solar manufacturer not just in the United States, but in the entire Western Hemisphere, the company said.The area workforce, which had dipped to around 800 after being just over 1,200, now stands at 1,400 employees.“Based on our customers’ needs, we have the ability to ship anywhere in the world. This added capacity positions us to expand our support within the U.S. solar sector with American-made manufacturing,” Jay Lake, a First Solar spokesman said via email.First Solar officials have always said that the Series 6, which is larger, more efficient, and up to 40 percent cheaper to manufacture than the older Series 4 panels, would be a game-changer for the company.Thin film technology, which is based on cadmium telluride, has a carbon footprint that’s up to six times lower than crystalline silicon solar panels made using conventional, energy-intensive production methods.The company is so convinced that the product will be a huge seller that it struck a deal with NSG Pilkington North America, a maker of sheet glass and the owner-operator of the Rossford glass plant, to invest $265 million to construct a 511,000-square-foot float glass plant in Wood County’s Troy Township.More: Three years after layoffs, First Solar producing like never before First Solar bounces back from slump expanding production and workforce in Ohiolast_img

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