- First Solar has identified Acadiana Regional Airport in Louisiana’s Iberia Parish for its new manufacturing facility
- This would be its 5th US manufacturing facility, and will host 3.5 GW annual capacity
- To be built at a cost of $1.1 billion, the factory will expand First Solar’s nameplate manufacturing capacity in the US to 14 GW by 2026
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin– film solar module manufacturer First Solar has announced Louisiana as the location of its 5th production facility in the US with 3.5 GW annual capacity. It has selected Acadiana Regional Airport in Iberia Parish to host the fab.
Once online in H1/2026, it will expand the company’s US located cumulative nameplate production capacity to around 14 GW by 2026. First Solar has unveiled the location just weeks after announcing its plans to further expand US manufacturing with its 5th facility (see First Solar Announces 5th Solar Factory In US).
“As we evaluated our options, Louisiana’s ability to deliver the talent we need stood out, thanks to its extensive workforce development initiatives and the presence of academic institutions such as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette which now features a world-class solar energy lab,” said First Solar CEO Mark Widmar.
The $1.1 billion Louisiana fab is expected to create more than 700 new direct manufacturing jobs in the state, according to First Solar that claims to be the largest employer in America’s solar manufacturing sector with over 2,500 employees.
First Solar already operates 3 fabs in Ohio, and is expanding one of them further along with adding an R&D center in Perrysburg. The company has one more factory under construction in Alabama. In addition, it is building a 3.4 GW DC facility in India.
Its manufacturing plans are taking shape to align with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that seeks to support projects using locally manufactured solar PV equipment. The Louisiana fab will manufacture the company’s Series 7 modules with 100% US-made components.
On a long-term module supply signing spree over the last few months, First Solar is sold out through 2026 with potential booking opportunities at 78 GW as of the end of June 2023 (see Strong Q2/2023 For US Thin-Film Module Manufacturer).