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Arizona-based solar panel maker expanding operations in Ohio

(Twitter photo/@FirstSolar)

PHOENIX — An Arizona-based solar panel company is expanding operations in Ohio with its third factory in the state, the company announced Wednesday.

First Solar Inc. said the new $680 million plant – slated to open in 2023 – will double its production capacity and add 500 jobs near Toledo. The company, which has its worldwide headquarters in Tempe, already employs 1,700 people at its operations near Toledo.

Mike Koralewski, First Solar’s chief manufacturing operations officer, said 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.

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

The new plant will be next to the company’s 1.1-million square foot factory that was built in 2018. First Solar Inc. also has another plant and research facility in the area.

Once the new plant opens, the company said the facilities will be able to make solar panels every 2.75 seconds.

The company also has manufacturing locations in Vietnam and Malaysia, along with offices around the world. Approximately 6,400 people are employed by the company worldwide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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