The Latest: Ohio solar panel plant will lose 450 jobs

Features Associated Press

The Latest on First Solar's job cuts and restructuring (all times local):

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5:25 p.m.

The biggest U.S. manufacturer of solar panels is cutting a quarter of its jobs worldwide and will start by eliminating 450 jobs at its only North American plant, in Ohio.

First Solar Inc. said Thursday the cuts at its production plant near Toledo will begin next week. It says it's facing challenging market conditions and needs to retool operations to begin making a more efficient solar panel.

First Solar is based in Tempe, Arizona, and will cut 1,600 jobs worldwide.

The company says some production will continue at its Ohio plant along with its research and development. The site employs about 1,400 people.

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First Solar CEO Mark Widmar says the Ohio plant has higher production costs than its international manufacturing facilities.

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4:30 p.m.

The biggest U.S. manufacturer of solar panels is cutting a quarter of its jobs worldwide and will reduce production at its only North American plant, in Ohio.

First Solar Inc. says it's facing challenging market conditions and needs to retool operations to begin making a more efficient solar panel.

The company is based in Tempe, Arizona, and will cut 1,600 jobs worldwide.

Details about the restructuring plan haven't been released. But the company says it will reduce production at its plant near Toledo, Ohio, where it employs about 1,400 people.

First Solar CEO Mark Widmar says the Ohio plant has higher production costs. But he says Ohio will continue to be its innovation center.

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This item has been corrected to show Ohio production will be reduced, not halted.