MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey announced last week that First Solar Inc. plans to invest $1.1 billion to establish a photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing facility in Lawrence County’s Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex, creating over 700 new jobs in NW Alabama. The new factory is part of the company’s previously announced investment in scaling its American manufacturing footprint to over 10 gigawatts (GW) by 2025. 

The facility in is expected to be commissioned in 2025, with a planned annual capacity of 3.5 GW. The new fully vertically integrated facility will join three factories in Ohio, including one that will come online in the first half of 2023, to form First Solar’s expanded domestic manufacturing footprint.

“First Solar is a world-class manufacturer, and its solar modules are poised to play an increasingly important role in U.S. energy self-sufficiency,” said Ivey. 

“This facility, along with its sister factories in Ohio, will form part of the industrial foundation that helps ensure this transition is powered by American innovation and ingenuity,” said First Solar CEO, Mark Widmar.

Tempe, Arizona-headquartered First Solar is unique among the world’s 10 largest solar manufacturers for being the only U.S.-headquartered company and for not manufacturing in China. Its latest investment is expected to bring the company’s total investment in American manufacturing to over $4 billion.

Tabitha Pace, President and CEO of the Lawrence County Industrial Development Board is excited about First Solar’s decision to locate its manufacturing facility in the rural North Alabama county.