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First Solar Commences Expansion of Ohio Plant

First Solar Inc. reported Monday that it officially cut the ribbon on the expansion of its manufacturing and development facility located in Perrysburg, Ohio. The Tempe, Ariz.-based alternative energy firm said the groundbreaking ceremony kicks off a construction project that won't be complete until the first half of next year, with full-volume production expected by Q2 2010. The expansion, First Solar noted, will add some 500,000 square feet of floor space and increase its existing, 700-strong Perrysburg workforce by at least 134 employees. Once complete, First Solar added, the upgraded facility will boast an annual power output of 192 megawatts. First Solar manufactures solar modules based on thin-film semiconductor technology.