Gov. Ivey awards $1.5 million to support industrial project bringing 715 jobs to north Alabama

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $1.5 million in grant funds for industrial site development in Lawrence County to support a new company that will produce solar panels and create 715 jobs.

The Community Development Block Grant to the Lawrence County Commission will help provide infrastructure needed for First Solar Inc. to construct a more than $1 billion plant to keep up with North America’s growing demand for solar energy.

Additionally, the presence of the First Solar plant has the potential to attract supplier companies to the area creating even more employment opportunities in north Alabama.

“Last November, I was pleased to announce First Solar’s plans to locate a major photovoltaic solar module manufacturing facility in Lawrence County, employing over 700 workers,” Gov. Ivey said.  “I commend local leaders who have worked hard to lay the groundwork for the construction of this monumental new facility, and today I am proud to award these significant grant funds to continue that process.”

CDBG funds will be used to provide sewer, water and street improvements in the Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex where the plant will be constructed.

First Solar’s Alabama plant is the fourth one to be constructed in the United States. The other three are in Ohio, where First Solar is headquartered. The Alabama plant is expected to begin production in 2025.

The grant is being administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Community Development Block Grant funding is made available to Alabama through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in support of this project which will have a tremendous impact in north Alabama and particularly Lawrence County, which suffered a severe blow several years ago when one of its largest employers, International Paper Co. plant, shut down,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.

Gov. Ivey notified Bobby Burch, chairman of the Lawrence County Commission, that the grant had been approved.

ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.


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Posted in Newsroom.