Solar panel manufacturer planning $1B facility in Acadiana


First Solar, the largest solar energy manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere, last week announced it has selected Acadiana Regional Airport as the site of its fifth U.S. manufacturing facility.

The company plans to invest up to $1.1 billion in the facility, which will produce high-performance photovoltaic solar modules. The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2026.

The company expects to create more than 700 new direct jobs with a total annual payroll of at least $40 million. It is believed to be the largest single capital investment in the Acadiana area’s history, according to a news release from Louisiana Economic Development.

Founded in 1999, First Solar is a leading U.S.-based energy technology company and global provider of eco-efficient solar modules. The company is unique among the world’s 10 largest solar panel manufacturers as the only company with a U.S. headquarters and without a base of operations in China.

To secure the project in Iberia Parish, the state of Louisiana offered First Solar an incentive package that includes the workforce solutions of LED FastStart. Additional incentives include performance-based grants for site development and infrastructure improvements totaling $30 million. The company is also expected to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs program. See the full announcement from LED.