Solar panel maker First Solar could spend as much as $1.2 billion to build its fourth factory in the US, creating 1,000 new jobs.

The New York Times reports the company is based in Tempe in Arizona and has confirmed it will build the new factory at an as-yet-undisclosed location in the southeast – the first outside Ohio.

First Solar says the new plant would produce almost as much power-generating capacity on an annual basis as the total capacity put to use at solar farms and rooftops in the first three months of the year across the US.

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The announcement comes after President Joe Biden signed the energy and climate bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act.

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The new law authorizes hundreds of billions of dollars in grants and loans and federal tax credits to encourage companies and people to switch to renewable energy and electric cars in the battle against climate change.

Mark Widmar, First Solar’s chief executive, said: “This investment is an important step toward achieving self-sufficiency in solar technology, which, in turn, supports America’s energy security ambitions, its deployment of solar at scale and its ability to lead with innovation.

“While we have made no decisions at this time, we continue to evaluate further investments in incremental capacity and could announce further expansion plans in the future.”

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