Glass company Vitro has entered into an agreement to make glass for First Solar thin-film solar panels at Vitro’s architectural glass production line in Cochranton, Pennsylvania. Vitro will invest $93.6 million to rebuild and modernize the production line at its Meadville Plant.
First Solar Series 4 production (Archive photo by Dennis Schroeder/NREL)
“While much of the focus has been the role of clean energy manufacturing tax credits in catalyzing solar manufacturing, it’s important to understand that the true value being created for America goes well beyond the direct investment and creation of jobs in factories that produce solar panels,” said Mike Koralewski, chief supply chain officer, First Solar. “Our fully vertically integrated factories must be served by robust, domestic supply chains that produce vital components such as glass and steel and even wooden crates, while supporting thousands of American jobs. We are pleased to welcome the Vitro Meadville Plant to the First Solar network of suppliers. Once the facility is commissioned, its workers will join thousands of American solar workers in enabling our country’s energy transition.”
Vitro’s investment in the Meadville Plant is expected to provide First Solar with a domestic source of float glass.
“We are committed to being a valued supplier to First Solar and a partner in their efforts to bring more clean, renewable energy capacity to the U.S and more broadly, North America,” said Ricardo Maiz, President of Vitro Architectural Glass. “This represents a pivotal moment in Vitro’s history, and we’re proud to play a role in helping to bring our technical expertise in glass manufacturing to the solar PV industry.”
In 2020, Vitro Meadville’s Line 2 was at the end of its useful life when it was also impacted by the automotive industry supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new agreement with a solar manufacturer will put the line back into production. Production is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2025, resulting in the creation of approximately 130 full-time jobs.
News item from Vitro