The US’s largest solar panel maker just secured yet another big order

First Solar, the largest solar panel maker in the US, today announced that it will supply North American wholesale power producer Capital Power with 1 gigawatt (GW) of ultra-low carbon thin film solar modules.

Capital Power operates 7.5 GW of capacity across 29 facilities in the US and Canada. It has a US solar pipeline of about 2.4 GW DC.

First Solar will make Series 6 Plus modules for Capital Power. The up to 480-watt panels use the company’s thin-film cadmium telluride technology and have up to 19% efficiency and a 30-year warranty.

The Plus modules have a larger form factor, fewer connections and less mounting hardware per watt, and an overall lower levelized cost of energy. They’ll be delivered between 2026 and 2028.

For perspective, 1 GW of solar modules – over 3.1 million modules – would be enough to power around 800,000 homes in the US.

First Solar, the US’s largest solar panel maker, is unique among the world’s 10 largest solar manufacturers for being the only US-headquartered company and the only manufacturer of thin film PV modules.

The Tempe, Arizona-headquartered company uses cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV technology. Its ongoing investment in developing CdTe since 1999 has made it the second most common PV technology in the world after crystalline silicon. CdTe solar cells are known for their high efficiency and low cost.

First Solar is investing about $1.3 billion to expand its US manufacturing footprint from over 6.5 GW of annual nameplate capacity to around 10.9 GW by 2026. In addition to the $1.1 billion expected investment in a new 3.5 GW DC factory in Alabama, it’s also embarked on a $185 million expansion of its existing factory in Ohio. It’s also investing up to $370 million for an R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is expected to be finished next year.

First Solar executed 9.9 GW of contracts and recognized 1.9 GW of volume sold in Q1 2023, resulting in a total backlog of 69.4 GW.

Read more: Detroit is going to power 100% of its municipal buildings with solar

Photo: First Solar


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