On the heels of Lake Twp. plans, First Solar will also expand in Perrysburg Twp.


By Debbie Rogers

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LIME CITY — On the heels of a plant expansion plan in Lake Township, First Solar also plans to expand its Perrysburg Township facility.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Perrysburg Township Trustees voted to enter into a tax incentive enterprise zone agreement with First Solar. It is for 10 years of 100% tax abatement.

Wade Gottschalk, Wood County economic director, said that he expansion will be at the company’s original facility at Cedar Park. It will add 50,000 square feet to the building and be a $120 million investment, he said.

There will be 30 new jobs, which are “very high paying” around $100,000 annually, Gottschalk said.

The agreement gives $41,500 annually for the 10-year abatement to Rossford schools and $3,000 a year to Penta Career Center, he said.

Trustee Bob Mack said he was pleased with the enterprise zone agreement, which requires job creation and sustainability.

“I think that’s important, but also in this economy, quite frankly, if they build the building like Peloton did and decided not to occupy it, I would still welcome their investment in the township,” Mack said. “Because the we would have something that would put us on the map for a new opportunity.”

“Making an investment of this magnitude is a great thing for our township,” he said.

Mack also pointed out that they are receiving full taxes on past abatement projects.

“Eventually, everything that’s abated ends up on the tax rolls at some point” Gottschalk added.

On Tuesday, the Lake Township Trustees approved tax abatement for a 200,000-square-foot expansion of a First Solar plant on Ohio 795. That 10-year, 100% tax abatement gives Lake Local Schools $149,500 annually.

“These are two separate projects, two separate expansions,” Gottschalk said Wednesday.

It is also separate from First Solar’s October announcement that it has plans to invest approximately $270 million in a dedicated research and development innovation center in Perrysburg Township. The new R&D center will be located near First Solar’s existing Perrysburg manufacturing facility, covering an area of approximately 1.3 million square feet.

Gottschalk said that northern Wood County is home for First Solar.

“They started here and there’s some level of operations efficiency,” he said. “I think we have a lot of good things to offer … the location’s obviously great, access to interstates, and also infrastructure like water and power. We’ve got a highly-skilled workforce, including a lot of glass know-how.”

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