Ice Industries Invests in new Ohio Facility to Serve America’s Largest Solar Manufacturer
Northwest Ohio facility will produce steel back rails for advanced photovoltaic modules made by First Solar.
$9 million investment to create up to 120 new jobs, extend capabilities with new, highly automated roll forming lines.
SYLVANIA, Ohio – March 30, 2022 – Ice Industries (Ice) announced that it will establish a new Ohio facility after being selected to supply solar panel components to First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), America’s largest photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturer, under a multi-year contract.
First Solar is investing $680 million in expanding America’s domestic PV solar manufacturing capacity by 3.3 gigawatts (GW) annually, by building its third U.S. manufacturing facility, in Lake Township, Ohio. The new facility is expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2023 and when fully operational will scale the company’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China.
Ice Industries’ new 150,000 square foot plant, located at 333 Van Camp Road, Bowling Green, Ohio will produce steel back rails for First Solar’s advanced thin film modules. Representing an investment of $9 million, the new plant is expected to launch in October 2022. The facility will initially create 71 new jobs, with that number reaching 120 when it reaches full production. Hiring of general workers, supervisors, material handlers, maintenance, accounting, and operations associates will begin in advance of the October launch. Jobs are expected to start at $18/hour, and will be accompanied by competitive benefits.
Ice Industries has participated in the clean energy market for many years, having supplied brackets, actuator arms, and various fasteners for many utility scale solar farms throughout the U.S.
“This is a new and significant opportunity for Ice to support the growing and important solar industry, while partnering with First Solar, an American company and global industry leader in the production of PV panels. These jobs result from our country’s increasing focus and investment in clean energy technology. Northwest Ohio’s existing solar investment, logistics advantage, glass heritage, and steel production and forming knowledge is coming together in support of alternative energy, making it the true home of American solar”, said Howard Ice, Chairman and CEO of Ice Industries.
“As America’s solar company, we’re committed to growing our U.S. supply chain and we’re pleased that the back rails for our next generation of solar modules will be manufactured right here in Ohio,” said Mike Koralewski, chief manufacturing operations officer, First Solar. “Ice Industries’ investment in Ohio delivers yet more evidence that high-value solar manufacturing is good for America. Our decision to double down on our manufacturing footprint in the state is bringing in more jobs and more investment through our supply ecosystem. Investment in manufacturing creates a durable, long-term economic impact.”
“Ice Industries is excited to undertake this new endeavor in a new location. The City of Bowling Green, the Regional Growth Partnership and Jobs Ohio have been very helpful in our location selection and planning and will provide various incentives and methods of support for training and onboarding of our new associates. We’re excited to advance our hiring later this summer as we get equipment installed and move closer to production launch”, said Monica Perez, Director of Human Relations for Ice Industries. Kati Thompson, Executive Director of Bowling Green Economic Development shared “Ice Industries had considered several potential locations for their new operation, and we’re thrilled they’ve chosen Bowling Green. With a strong history of success and their presence in an important industry, weknow they’ll be a tremendous asset to our community. We look forward to supporting their efforts as they get up and running and beyond.” “Ice Industries’ investment further establishes Ohio as a leading supplier for the rapidly-growing solar panel industry,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio, President and CEO. “This new, cutting-edge facility in Bowling Green will support rising global demand for solar energy while bringing new advanced manufacturing jobs to Northwest Ohio - another great example of Ohio’s global leadership in manufacturing!”
“Since its inception in 1999, Ice Industries has prided itself in providing customized solutions for our customers and this is no exception,” said Paul Bishop, Ice’s President. He went on to say, “In a tight real estate market and challenging operating environment, Ice considered many options in the Ohio and Michigan area, and we are pleased with the location selection in Bowling Green. All the parties came together to provide just the right package to undertake this project within a relatively short period from contract to launch. All of those involved at the BG Chamber, State of Ohio, and the Regional Growth Partnership, have proven very helpful and professional to the initiation of this new plant.”
Companies looking for these same advantages are invited to visit the Ice Industries’ website at http://www.iceindustries.com/manufacturing. For more specific information regarding what Ice’s manufacturing prowess brings to the table, call the Company’s headquarters at 419-842-3600, or contact any of their customer service specialists listed at http://www.iceindustries.com/manufacturing/contact-us.
About Ice Industries
Ice Industries, Inc. is a world-class supplier with a broad range of capabilities including: deep drawmetal stamping; CNC machining; MIG, TIG, and resistance welding; assembly; rolled and welded pressure vessels, large format enclosures, high volume blanking, automated roll forming, and powder coating. Customers are assured of both company stability and quality performance through a diversified customer base serving markets including HVAC-R, automotive, commercial and heavy truck, alternative energy, filtration, fire & safety, furniture, healthcare, and off-highway vehicles. Facilities are distributed throughout the central manufacturing corridor, with locations in: Cincinnati, Toledo, and Bowling Green, Ohio; Grenada, Mississippi; and Apodaca/Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Ice's production facilities are ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and IATF 16949:2016 certified. Ice works with companies that require the highest levels of quality and delivery, and those who are in need of localization or de-integration of their stamping operations. Further information can be obtained on the Ice website at http://www.iceindustries.com.
Paul J. Bishop
Ice Industries President and Chief Operating Officer