- First Solar has started the construction of its previously announced solar fab in Louisiana, US
- The 3.5 GW factory will be the company’s 5th manufacturing facility in the US, and will produce Series 7 modules
- First Solar previously said it is already booked out through 2026 and the YTD contracted backlog extends into 2029
Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) solar module manufacturer First Solar has begun constructing its 5th production factory in the US in Louisiana. The 3.5 GW fab, when online in H1/2026, will scale up the group’s nameplate manufacturing capacity to 14 GW in the US and 25 GW globally in 2026.
The Louisiana plant is expected to be built for $1.1 billion, adding to its 3 Ohio fabs and another one under construction in Alabama (see US’ Iberia Parish To Host Solar Module Factory).
It shared, “When completed, the fully vertically integrated manufacturing facility will cover over two million square feet and is designed to transform a sheet of glass into a ready-to-ship Series 7 module in approximately 4.5 hours, producing over one dozen new Louisiana-made solar panels every minute.”
In the background of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), First Solar is quickly expanding its US manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand that seems unsatiable as of now. The manufacturer earlier claimed it is already booked out through 2026 and its year-to-date contracted backlog extends into 2029 (see First Solar’s Q1/2023 Net Sales Tumble Sequentially).
Meanwhile speaking to Bloomberg, First Solar’s CEO Mark Widmar called out to the US administration to toughen its trade enforcement against unfair competition from Chinese solar suppliers as it is leading to dumping in the US market.
According to the Bloomberg report, “The executive hinted more domestic production will further strengthen the panel makers’ hands — potentially giving manufacturers additional leverage and resources to mount new trade cases.”