Arizona solar company to pour millions into plant expansion

Apr 30, 2018, 1:42 PM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — A Tempe-based solar manufacturer will be beefing up production with construction of an enormous facility in Ohio that will be up and running in the next few months.

First Solar announced last week that the 1.2 gigawatt factory would create 500 jobs. The 1-million-square-foot plant will be near the flagship site in Perrysburg, Ohio. Officials said they planned to invest about $400 million in the project.

Five years ago, First Solar had planned to build a similar plant in Mesa, bringing with it 600 jobs. Those plans were dropped by 2013 and the plant was sold to a company that eventually declared bankruptcy.

Tech giant Apple took over the site at Signal Butte and Elliot roads and turned it into a data center.

“Strong demand in the U.S. for advanced solar technology, along with recent changes in U.S. corporate tax policies, have encouraged our decision to grow First Solar’s U.S. production operations,” Mike Koralewski, company senior vice president of global manufacturing, said in a statement.

The panels made at the plant will produce enough energy to run about 700,000 homes, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.

The new plant will produce the latest version of the company’s thin film photovoltaic panel.

The deal was dependent on Ohio state and local municipalities’ incentive packages.

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Arizona solar company to pour millions into plant expansion