Leading CdTe thin-film PV module manufacturer and ‘Solar Module Super League (SMSL), First Solar expects to start volume production at its second US manufacturing plant in early 2020, restoring its bragging rights as the largest PV module manufacturer in US and western hemisphere.
Recently, another SMSL, Q CELLS, officially opened its first module assembly plant in the US with a nameplate capacity of 1.7GW. The purpose-built Dalton, Georgia facility is currently the largest in the US and western hemisphere.
However, First Solar already has a 600MW production plant operating in Perrysburg, Ohio producing its large-area Series 6 modules. The second Perrysburg plant that is expected to be in pre-production qualification by the end of 2019 has a nameplate capacity of 1.2GW, giving a total nameplate capacity of 1.8GW.
Before then, First Solar is celebrating two decades of operations, after being founded in 1999. The company has noted that its cumulative shipments from production plants in the US, Europe and Asia have topped 25GW (DC) making it the only US headquartered PV manufacturer to achieve this milestone.