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First Solar has harnessed thin-film technology for various solar equipment

The global solar technology company already committed an investment of $684 million

As part of India’s efforts to become a one stop solution centre for renewable energy sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met prominent US-based manufacturer First Solar CEO Mark Widmar in Washington DC and requested him to expedite the process to set up manufacturing facility.

In a detailed discussion, Narendra Modi gave an overview of India’s renewable energy landscape and discussed India’s renewable energy landscape, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Nasdaq-listed First Solar, Inc announced its India plan in July to invest $684 million to set up a new, fully vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) thin film solar module manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu.

“Contingent upon permitting, and pending approval of Indian government incentives that are satisfactory to First Solar, the advanced facility is expected to be built in the state of Tamil Nadu and commence operations in the second half of 2023,” states the company

Mark Widmar shared plans to use the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing solar power equipment with unique thin-film technology, it added. It also plans to integrate India into global supply chains, MEA said.

First solar Inc is a US Multinational corporation, which manufactures solar panels, provide utility-scale PV power plants. The company also provides services associated with finance, construction, and maintenance and end-of-life panel recycling.

Commenting on the company’s investment commitment, First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said India is an attractive market for First Solar, and not simply because our module technology is advantaged in its hot, humid climate.

“It is an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy, with a well-defined goal that will need over 25 GW of solar to be deployed every year for the next nine years,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “Crucially, it has combined its clean energy targets with effective trade and industrial policy designed to enable self-sufficient domestic manufacturing and true energy security,” said First Solar CEO Mark Widmar.

He also pointed out that First Solar also have many longstanding customers in the country that will be pleased to have access to an advanced PV module, which is made in India, for India.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the One world, one sun, and one grid initiative and its potential. He referred to India’s ambitious target of 450 GW of renewable energy. He also emphasized India’s focus on manufacturing for solar energy and said that Companies in the field of solar energy can take maximum advantage our PLI schemes, ANI reported.

Narendra Modi also spoke about India’s green hydrogen mission. Further, CEO and PM both agreed on the enhancement of the manufacturing of Solar in India. This will also benefit the countries in the region.

The planned facility in India is projected to have a nameplate capacity of 3.3 gigawatts (GW)DC. With First Solar’s expansion in the United States and India and optimisation of its existing fleet, the company anticipates that its nameplate manufacturing capacity will double to 16 GWDC in 2024.

Unique among the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers for being the only US-headquartered company, for not using a crystalline silicon (c-Si) semiconductor, and for not manufacturing in China, First Solar produces its thin film PV modules using a fully integrated, continuous process under one roof and does not rely on Chinese c-Si supply chains. The company’s eco-efficient module technology, which uses its proprietary Cadmium Telluride (CadTel) semiconductor, has the lowest carbon and water footprints of any PV module available today.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected that India will overtake the European Union (EU) to become the world’s third largest consumer of electricity by 2030, as the country’s population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) continue to grow. As part of its climate targets, India has committed to ensuring that renewables will make up 40 percent of its energy portfolio by 2030, and the country is forecast to account for almost 20 percent of the world’s installed solar capacity by 2040.

First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels.

 

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