US-based solar energy firm First Solar has revealed plans to invest up to $1.2bn to increase the production of US-made photovoltaic (PV) solar modules.

The investment is expected to increase American-made solar module production capacity by more than 10GWdc for the domestic market by 2025.

First Solar will build a manufacturing unit in the US’ South-East region, which will have the capacity to manufacture 3.5GWdc worth of PV modules a year.

Once completed, it will be First Solar’s fourth fully vertically integrated domestic factory in the country.

In addition, the company plans to invest $185m to upgrade and expand its Northwest Ohio manufacturing footprint by 0.9GWdc.

It plans to expand the Series 6 module manufacturing capacity at its two operating facilities in Perrysburg and Lake Township, Ohio, by between 0.6GWdc and 3.6GWdc.

First Solar will also increase its annual solar module manufacturing capacity at its third Ohio factory to 3.5GWdc. The facility is expected to come online in the first half of next year.

The company’s third facility produces Series 7 module capacity.

The investment is expected to create at least 850 manufacturing jobs. By 2025, First Solar expects to support around 15,000 indirect and induced jobs in total.

First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said: “This investment is an important step towards 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.

“We are proud of the fact that our manufacturing presence in the US is expected to directly and indirectly support over 18,000 jobs across the country by 2025, while our manufacturing investment will add an estimated $3.2bn in value to the US economy, reflecting the impact of solar manufacturing on our country.”

In May this year, First Solar decided to sell two of its solar assets in Japan to funds managed by PAG Real Assets.