American Solar Panel Maker to Open New Ohio Factory, Creating 500 Jobs

Employees with Ipsun Solar unload solar panels on the roof of the Peace Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia on May 17, 2021. - Using donations, the church installed a 60.48 kilowatt solar instillation to bring down their carbon footprint. US President Joe Biden has called for the US energy sector …
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

An Arizona-based solar panel maker has announced a $680 million investment to open a new factory in Lake Township, Ohio, creating 500 American jobs in the community with likely many more jobs created in supporting industries.

First Solar executives announced on Wednesday that they will invest millions in the Ohio community, building a new manufacturing plant to produce enhanced thin film PV module for the United States market. The plant will be the company’s third in the state.

While still waiting for state and local permits, First Solar will break ground on the plant — set to be 1.8 million square feet — in the first half of 2023 and is expected to create about 500 jobs in the area with likely more in supporting industries.

First Solar executives said the plant “will be one of the most advanced of its kind in the solar industry” by combining artificial intelligence technology with highly skilled factory workers to initially produce enough solar power for 570,000 homes.

While still importing 40 percent of its solar panels from Vietnam and Malaysia, according to the Wall Street Journal, First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said they are “the only ones to stand up to the onslaught of the Chinese” in the solar industry.

In 2018, former President Trump imposed a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels to boost American production of the products that have been drastically hurt by China’s domination since 2011.

Today, President Joe Biden has kept those tariffs, now at 15 percent, in place. The tariffs expire in 2022 and it remains unclear whether the administration will seek to renew them.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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