First Solar, which is presently the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the United States, has officially begun construction of its new and highly-touted manufacturing facility in Lake Township, Ohio - just south of Toledo. The plant, which is less than 10 miles from a current facility in Perrysburg, is expected to be up and running by late next year. The $400 million plant will be capable of producing solar modules with a total of 1.2 GW of annual capacity.
First Solar said the expansion, which is projecting to bring up to 500 new jobs to the area, will more than double their output in order to keep pace with heightened demand. The company has stated that changes to the corporate tax rate and a 30 percent increase in tariffs being placed on imported solar cells by the Trump administration have played key roles in driving construction of the new facility. Depending on market trends, First Solar has also stated that there is the potential for additional manufacturing expansion in the future.
First Solar indicated that it had invested approximately $3 billion in Ohio since the company's inception in 1999. The company, which is based out of Tempe, Arizona, had 2016 revenues in access of $3 billion and employs over 5,400 employees worldwide.
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