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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced Wednesday afternoon that First Solar Inc. will be opening a facility in Lawrence County that’s expected to be commissioned sometime in 2025.

Governor Ivey says the new facility will create over 700 new jobs manufacturing clean energy in North Alabama.

First Solar is a solar panel manufacturer. The company will be investing $1.1 billion in this project to establish a solar module manufacturing facility in Lawrence County.

The facility will be located in Lawrence County’s Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex. This new factory is part of First Solar’s investment in “scaling its American manufacturing footprint to over 10 gigawatts.” Annually, First Solar says it expects to have a capacity of 3.5 gigawatts.

“I’m thrilled to see the company’s growth project headed to Lawrence County because I know it will create good jobs and have a major economic impact on this rural region,” said Governor Ivey.

Tabitha Pace, president and CEO of the Lawrence County Industrial Development Board, said she is excited about First Solar’s decision to locate its manufacturing facility in the rural North Alabama county.

“Our team, from the state down to the local level, has worked extremely hard to make this project a reality. First Solar will have a tremendous impact on our economy and region,”

Tabitha Pace

The facility in Lawrence County will join three facilities in Ohio, one of which is set to open in 2023.

First Solar is unique among the world’s 10 largest solar manufacturers for being the only U.S.-headquartered company and for not manufacturing in China. It is believed in 2025, it will be the largest employer in the American solar manufacturing sector, with 3,000 direct jobs.