First Solar, Inc., a trailblazer in solar technology, inaugurates a groundbreaking 3.3 GW fully integrated solar manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu, India. Unveiled by the Minister for Industries of Tamil Nadu and attended by dignitaries like the US Ambassador to India, the facility is a beacon of sustainability and innovation. With an investment of approximately $700 million, including $500 million in US International Development Finance Corporation financing, this facility underscores First Solar's commitment to diversifying global energy supply chains and fostering lasting climate action.
In a momentous stride towards a sustainable future, First Solar, Inc. inaugurates India's first fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu. The ceremony, graced by the Minister for Industries of the Government of Tamil Nadu, Dr T R B Rajaa, the US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, and Scott Nathan, CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), marks a significant chapter in India's journey towards self-sufficiency in solar technology.
The facility, boasting an annual nameplate capacity of 3.3 gigawatts (GW), is a testament to First Solar's commitment to environmental sustainability and advanced manufacturing. Employing approximately 1,000 individuals, it specializes in producing First Solar's Series 7 photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, meticulously developed for the Indian market through innovation at the company's research and development centers in the US.
Ambassador Eric Garcetti emphasizes the global impact of this endeavor, aligning with the recent call for a shift away from fossil fuels at COP28. This facility is poised to propel the transition to cleaner, greener energy, exemplifying the synergy achieved when the US and India collaborate across government and private sectors for lasting climate action.
Representing a $700 million investment, including $500 million in DFC financing, the facility expands First Solar's global manufacturing footprint to four countries—US, Malaysia, Vietnam, and now India. This strategic move aligns with the company's $4.1 billion manufacturing expansion strategy, projecting a global annual nameplate capacity of 25 GW by 2026.
CEO Scott Nathan emphasizes the strengthening partnership between the US and India, showcasing the positive impact on both nations. The financing reflects not only economic growth but also the shared commitment to sustainable practices, particularly in India, DFC's largest market.
Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar, expresses pride in achieving this milestone, highlighting the dedication of associates who worked tirelessly to replicate and adapt advanced solar manufacturing for India. The facility, believed to be the world's first net-zero water withdrawal solar manufacturing plant, is designed with a sustainable approach, using tertiary treated reverse osmosis water and housing India's first solar PV recycling plant.
The Series 7 module produced at the facility sets industry standards for eco-efficiency, with a carbon and water footprint four times lower than crystalline silicon solar panels produced in China. First Solar's sustainable manufacturing approach ensures 50% less energy usage and only a third of the water required by an equivalent polysilicon module production facility.
The inauguration of First Solar's manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu marks a significant leap towards a sustainable and self-sufficient solar future for India. With cutting-edge technology, eco-efficient modules, and a commitment to environmental responsibility, this facility stands as a beacon of innovation. The collaboration between the US and India, as exemplified by the US International Development Finance Corporation's financing, reinforces the global significance of this initiative. First Solar's journey toward a 25 GW global annual capacity by 2026 is not just a corporate milestone but a substantial contribution to the global transition to cleaner energy.