Vitro's Architectural Glass unit is to invest $93.6 million to rebuild and modernise a production line at its Meadville plant in Cochranton, PA, USA.
It has entered into an agreement with America’s largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturer, First Solar to manufacture glass for the company’s thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
The investment will also include the construction of offline production capabilities.
Vitro CEO, Adrian Sada, said: "This agreement is a true manifestation of Vitro's purpose of enabling the full potential of glass to shape how we move, build, and live today and in the future.
“It also reflects our continued commitment to the North American Trade Region and is proof that we have a sound strategy for growth as a global player.
“We are thrilled by how, through this partnership, we will serve the U.S. market with new and better sustainable products while advancing our strategy to drive growth in the renewable energy sector,".
Mike Koralewski, chief supply chain officer, First Solar, said: “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”.
“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, which is a significant component of the company’s thin film solar panels.
Since August 2022, First Solar has embarked on an expansion plan that is expected to grow its existing annual nameplate capacity from approximately 6 gigawatts GWDC currently to over 10 GWDC by 2025, by expanding its capacity in Ohio and adding a new manufacturing facility in Alabama.