First Solar lands order from National Grid for 2 GW of solar modules


First Solar announced an agreement with National Grid Renewables for 2 GW of Cadmium Telluride film solar modules to be delivered in 2024 and 2025 throughout the United States. The deal was booked prior to the release of First Solar’s Q1 2022 earnings in April and also prior to the Biden administration’s announcement on the two-year tariff exemption on solar modules manufactured in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, while also invoking the Defense Production Act as a means to accelerate American manufacturing.

Last August, First Solar broke ground on its third manufacturing facility in Ohio. The new 3.3 GW facility is scheduled to start operations in the first half of 2023 and represents a $680 million investment. When it is fully operational, the facility is expected to scale the company’s northwestern Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW, which would make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China. First Solar has invested over $2 billion in its US manufacturing footprint and, when its third factory is fully operational, will directly employ over 2,500 people in Ohio, while supporting an estimated 15,000 indirect jobs through its American supply chain.

In addition to its Ohio manufacturing facilities, First Solar also operates factories in Vietnam and Malaysia, and is building a new 3.3 GW factory in India that is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2023.

A Minneapolis-based business, National Grid Renewables has a portfolio of solar, wind, and energy storage projects located throughout the United States in various stages of development, construction, and operation. In the past National Grid Renewables and First Solar have partnered on multiple projects, including the recently operational 200 MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois and the currently under construction 275 MW Noble Solar and 125 MWh Storage Project in Texas.

“National Grid Renewables and First Solar share more than just deep roots in the US Midwest and a longstanding strategic partnership. We share a common view on the need to create a sustainable energy future,” said Nathan Franzen, vice president, Development for National Grid Renewables. “We’re pleased to be working with First Solar as we continue on our mission to deploy clean, economically beneficial and community-focused solar energy projects, powered by responsibly produced American solar technology.”

First Solar recently announced other large orders from solar developers including a 4 GW order from Silicon Ranch, a 1.5 GW order from SoftBank subsidiary SB Energy Global, and a commitment from Lightsource bp and bp to procure 5.4 GW, and more.

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