OMCO Solar opens US manufacturing facility, signs module backrail supply deal with First Solar

OMCO Solar’s First Solar backrails at RE+ 2023. Image: OMCO Solar.

US solar equipment manufacturer OMCO Solar has opened its sixth manufacturing facility in the US, and will begin work on providing backrails for First Solar’s new Series 7 modules.

OMCO’s new facility is in the southern state of Alabama, and the company has invested US$10 million into the new manufacturing hub. The start of commercial production has increased the company’s production capacity to 10GW across its US facilities, and expansion of the US solar manufacturing sector will be vital to meet the country’s long-term clean energy goals.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

According to a report from BloombergNEF, the US plans to deploy 358GW of new solar capacity between 2023 and 2030. But the National Renewable Energy Laboratory said the US produced just 5GW of solar panels domestically in 2022. While the majority of these planned solar installations are still likely to come from China, the US is keen to reduce its reliance on solar components produced in China, and the construction and commissioning of new manufacturing facilities on US soil will be vital to this end.

“The First Solar agreement, and our newest facility in Alabama, demonstrate our commitment to bolster domestic manufacturing, create US jobs, and provide factory-direct solutions that solve the complexity of utility-scale solar projects,” said OMCO CEO Gary Schuster.

“Our legacy of using only domestically produced steel further underscores our dedication to driving growth at home, as well as our commitment to build domestic supply chains that support our nation’s energy security.”

The news is First Solar’s latest investment into manufacturing for its Series 7 modules, following its commitment of US$1.1 billion to a new module production facility in Texas. The company expects to produce 3.5GW of modules per year at the new facility, upon its opening in 2026, and the is the latest positive development in the US solar manufacturing sector.

OMCO announced the commissioning of the new facility, and its work with First Solar, at the RE+ conference in Las Vegas this week, at which the company is in attendance. This is not the first time First Solar has struck a supply deal during the event, with the company expanding a module supply deal with Longroad Energy earlier this week, as it looks to solidify its US-based supply chain.

“Ever since we made the strategic decision to build a domestic value chain in 2019, we have built a supply ecosystem that demonstrates that it is possible to manufacture a solar module in America, for America, with domestically sourced materials including glass and steel,” said Mike Koralewski, First Solar chief supply chain officer.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 21, 2024
Solar PV is expected to generate 20% of global power across midday peaks on the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, up from 16% in 2023.
June 21, 2024
US community solar developer Summit Ridge Energy and PV manufacturer Qcells have extended their module supply partnership.
June 21, 2024
PV Tech speaks to Autowell about some of its successes in recent years, and how it plans to expand its footprint into new markets.
June 20, 2024
PV tracker manufacturer Nextracker has acquired US-based solar foundation company Ojjo to expand its utility-scale solar foundations business.
June 20, 2024
Greater supply chain independence is a priority for companies in the solar sector, according to Hardeep Singh at Intersolar Europe 2024.
June 20, 2024
A study exploring the feasibility of resurrecting PV manufacturing in Germany and Europe more widely has identified an eight-cent-per-watt cost gap between modules produced in China and those produced locally.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia