First Solar has chosen a site at the Acadiana Regional Airport in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, as the location of its fifth solar panel manufacturing facility in the United States. The CdTe thin-film solar panel company will invest $1.1 billion into the site, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2026. The factory will have a nameplate annual capacity of 3.5 GW.
First Solar’s investment in Louisiana is expected to create over 700 new direct manufacturing jobs in the state, bringing the company’s total American jobs to over 4,000 by 2026. Acadiana Regional Airport is about 15 miles north of Vermilion Bay, which leads directly to the Gulf of Mexico, an area rife with oil and gas drilling platforms.
“We are pleased to partner with Louisiana as we lean into our commitment to creating enduring value for America by expanding our solar manufacturing footprint and the domestic value chains that enable it,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “As we evaluated our options, Louisiana’s ability to deliver the talent we need stood out, thanks to its extensive workforce development initiatives and the presence of academic institutions such as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette which now features a world-class solar energy lab.”
The new Louisiana facility will produce First Solar’s Series 7 modules, which are expected to be manufactured with 100% American-made components identified in the current domestic content guidance issued by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury.