First Solar plans two new plants

This move will help meet strong demand for its thin-film photovoltaic modules. The plants are expected to be built in the United States and Vietnam and are slated to be completed in 2012. Each new plant will create approximately 600 green jobs and will be designed to accommodate additional production capacity. Negotiations and site assessments are ongoing in both countries and will be finalized and announced at a later date.

The new plans add on to First Solar’s previously announced capacity additions, which include eight lines at the Kulim facility in Malaysia, four lines in Frankfurt an der Oder in Germany and two lines in Blanquefort in France. The Ohio plant in Perrysburg also saw an expansion earlier this year. The new plants announced today, combined with these previously announced expansions, will nearly double production capacity from 1.4 GW in 2010 to more than 2.7 GW in 2012 according to First Solar’s chief executive officer Rob Gillette.

In addition to the increase in manufacturing employment, First Solar expects to generate over 1,000 construction jobs through the installation of solar power plants from the company’s 2.2 gigawatt North American project pipeline.