3rd solar panel plant to open in Ohio, bringing 500 jobs


PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) — A solar panel maker announced plans on Wednesday to build a third factory in Ohio and add 500 jobs near Toledo.

First Solar Inc. said the new plant will double its production capacity.

The Biden administration’s support for green energy and increasing demand for sustainable energy products is a big reason why the company is expanding its manufacturing, said Mike Koralewski, First Solar’s chief manufacturing operations officer.

“We’re doubling down on manufacturing in the U.S.,” Koralewski said.

The $680 million plant in Perrysburg, Ohio, is slated to open in 2023, according to the company is based in Tempe, Arizona. It already employs roughly 1,700 people at its operations near Toledo.

State Rep. Haraz Ghanbari, a Republican from Perrysburg, said the state is working on finalizing a package of financial incentives for the project.

The new plant will be next to a 1.1-million square foot factory that the company built in 2018. It also has another plant and research facility in the area.

At full capacity once the new plant opens, the facilities will be able to make solar panels every 2.75 seconds, the company said.