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US solar company to open $680M plant in Ohio

US solar company to open $680M plant in Ohio
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The largest American-owned solar-panel maker announced plans on Wednesday to invest $680 million for a manufacturing facility in Ohio.

First Solar Inc. said it plans to begin construction after various state, regional and local incentives are approved and hopes to begin operations in the first half of 2023, according to a press release from the company.

The facility, which the company says will be 1.8 million square feet and create approximately 500 jobs, will be the third U.S. manufacturing facility for First Solar.

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The company said it expects the facility to initially produce enough solar panels to create 3 gigawatts of power per year which, according to The Wall Street Journal, is enough to power approximately 57,000 homes.

By 2025, the company said the combined three plants will produce panels that could generate 6 gigawatts of power per year, according to the Journal.

First Solar said an annual capacity of six gigawatts “is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOvernight Energy: Schumer to trigger reconciliation process Wednesday | Bipartisan bill would ban 'forever chemicals' in cosmetics | Biden admin eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve Biden administration eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland reportedly recommends full restoration of monuments Trump altered | EPA to reinstate air pollution panel disbanded under Trump | State appeals court upholds approval of Minnesota pipeline MORE praised First Solar in a statement, calling their investment "the perfect embodiment" of Biden's strategy for domestic manufacturing and supply claims.

“These investments in American-made solar technologies are the perfect embodiment of President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE’s strategy to buildout domestic manufacturing and supply chains for critical industries," Granholm said.

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“As a partner to our solar program since 2003 and a DOE [Department of Energy] loan guarantee recipient in 2012, this company is a great example of how investment and innovation can build the clean energy future right here at home—shoring up American competitiveness and bringing good-paying jobs to all pockets of the country,” she added.

The investment from First Solar comes amid a push from the Biden administration to take significant steps to curb the effects of climate change.

The White House in April hosted a virtual climate summit with 40 heads of state, where Biden announced that he will work to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent when compared to 2005 levels by the year 2030, as part of his larger goal of reaching net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050.

On the campaign trail last year, Biden said would aim to make electricity generation carbon free by 2035.