First Solar reports successes in Turkey and India


First Solar has traditionally done a large portion of its business in the United States, including developing and building a number of large solar projects in California and the U.S. Southwest.

However, the company has had an increasingly international outlook in recent years, and over the last two days First Solar reported success from both India, where it has long had a presence, and Turkey, which is still an emerging solar market on the global scale.

On Wednesday First Solar’s Indian subsidiary announced that it had put online an 80 MW-AC in Andhra Pradesh a 50 MW-AC project in Telangana. Both of these projects hold 25-year power contracts with state power companies.

These two projects represent half of a 260 MW-AC Indian project portfolio which First Solar owns entirely. The company has recently reached a milestone of 1 GW of PV capacity in India.

This was followed on Thursday, when First Solar announced that it has won contracts to supply 160 MW-DC of PV modules to projects in Turkey so far in 2016. This includes 100 MW-DC of its Series 4 modules which it will supply to Zorlu Enerji, for projects expected to be completed by the end of 2017, and 60 MW-DC of modules for Basariarge Enerji A.S. for projects it will develop and/or provide with contracting services.

First Solar will deliver the first modules to Turkey under these deals in the latter part of this year. The company established an office in Turkey in 2014, and has since contracted more than 300 MW of module sales, which it says make it the leading supplier in the country.

Both India and Turkey are fast-growing markets. Mercom Capital predicts that India’s solar market will more than double to 5 GW this year, and the Turkish Solar Energy Society (Solarbaba) has told pv magazine that it expects at least 500 MW to go online this year, more than tripling last year’s market volume.

“First Solar continues to pursue growth in global markets, and recent announcements about sales and projects in Turkey and India demonstrate that we continue to gain traction in those regions,” First Solar Director of Corporate Communications Steve Krum told pv magazine. “Our business strategy counts on a balance between US and international markets in module sales as well as project development.”

First Solar says that it is particularly optimistic about the upcoming renewable energy resource areas (YEKA) solicitation in Turkey, which it says will “will go a long way in establishing a sustainable solar energy market in Turkey.”

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