First Solar adds 700 MW to 4 GW solar module supply deal with Silicon Ranch

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Silicon Ranch, a leading independent power producer, and First Solar, the largest solar manufacturer based in the U.S., announced the two have expanded upon a 4 GW supply deal made this April, adding 700 MW of modules to the agreement. First Solar will  supply its thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) modules.

The partnership dates back to 2015 when silicon ranch became the first owner-operator of utility-scale PV plants utilizing First Solar modules. The expanded partnership shows a continued commitment to domestic supply and lower-carbon production processes. Silicon Ranch said the deal will support U.S. innovation, manufacturing expansion and job creation; improve the carbon footprint of its supply chain; and reduce volatility and logistics risks.

(Read: “First Solar closes 4 GW module supply agreement with Silicon Ranch“)

“One of our guiding principles at Silicon Ranch is that we choose the right path over the easier path to get the job done, and this agreement with First Solar represents the ‘right path’ for our module supply,” said Reagan Farr, co-founder and chief executive officer at Silicon Ranch. “In recent months, Silicon Ranch has re-affirmed our leadership in supporting US solar manufacturers and decarbonizing our supply chain, and we are pleased to achieve this progress by working collaboratively with our strategic partners to deliver the best possible power plants to serve our customers and communities across the US.”

In addition to making long-term agreements with First Solar, Silicon Ranch has partnered with Nextracker to improve the carbon footprint of its tracker supply, while supporting additional investments in US manufacturing capabilities.

“Since the beginning of our relationship, it has been clear that Silicon Ranch places genuine emphasis on responsible solar development, and with the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV technology, First Solar delivers reliable and responsibly produced modules right in line with this vision,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer at First Solar.

In August, First Solar announced plans to invest up to $1.2 billion in scaling production of American-made solar modules, an investment that is forecast to expand the company’s ability to produce modules for the U.S. solar market to over 10 GWDC by 2025.

As part of its push to scale U.S. production of solar modules, the company intends to build its fourth, fully vertically integrated domestic factory, with an annual capacity of 3.5 GWDC, in the U.S. Southeast. The company said it expects to invest up to $1 billion in the new factory, which, contingent upon permitting and pending approval of various federal, state, regional, and local incentives, is expected to begin operations in 2025.

Solar project developers seeking the maximum value from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are required to meet minimum thresholds of domestic content in their projects. A 10% adder is applied to the ITC for projects that reach domestic content requirements. To qualify, 100% of any steel or iron that is a component of the facility must be produced in the United States, and 40% of all components of the facility must be produced in the United States. Products will be deemed to have been produced domestically if not less than 40% of the total costs across all such manufactured products of such facility are attributable to manufactured products that are mined, produced or manufactured in the U.S.

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