EDP Renewables places order for 1.8 GW of First Solar modules


First Solar and EDP Renewables announced a multi-year order for 1.8 GW (DC) of First Solar’s advanced thin-film photovoltaic solar modules. The modules, which will be delivered through 2028, will power EDP Renewables’ U.S. project portfolio.

EDP Renewables is a global renewable energy producer, and its subsidiary EDP Renewables North America currently operates 475 MW of solar projects with 1.6 GW of solar projects under construction. The company also operates more than 200 distributed generation solar sites throughout North America. For example, EDPR has installed 51 distributed energy projects for Walmart across seven states from Arizona and California to New Jersey and Maryland. Including both utility-scale and DG, EDPR plans to add 4.8 GW of solar capacity in North America over the next three years.

“EDP Renewables’ ambitious business plan calls for more than 4 GW of renewable capacity annually through 2026 with nearly half of the new clean energy generation to come from North America,” said Sandhya Ganapathy, chief executive officer, EDPR NA. “Solar is an increasingly important technology in our portfolio, and we are well-positioned to work with innovative and environmentally responsible partners and products that can help us meet our outlined targets and lead the energy transition.”

First Solar is a U.S. manufacturer of solar modules made with cadmium telluride thin-film technology, which has a lower carbon intensity to manufacture than traditional polysilicon solar cells. It is the only company among the ten largest global solar module manufacturers to be a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the world’s largest industry coalition dedicated to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities in the global supply chain.

“We welcome EDP Renewables’ decision to power its projects with our technology and look forward to supporting its growth in the U.S. and, potentially, beyond,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “EDP Renewables joins a growing roster of large, sophisticated developers choosing long-term pricing and supply certainty, and responsibly produced solar modules by powering their projects with First Solar’s technology. This validates the value that our customers place in our differentiation, not just in technology but our way of doing business.”

The module producer’s $1.1 billion Alabama factory and $185 million expansion of its existing facilities in Ohio are expected to bring its total investment in American manufacturing to over $4 billion. The company expects to have more than 20 GW of annual global nameplate manufacturing capacity by 2025. It also expects to add at least 850 new manufacturing jobs and over 100 new R&D jobs, taking its total number of direct jobs in the U.S. to over 3,000 people in four states by 2025.

First Solar generated $1 billion of revenue in Q4 2022, representing a 10% increase from $900 million in revenue from Q4 2021, as the solar module producer ended 2022 with a surge of 48.3 GW (DC) of net booking, representing a 2.76x increase over 17.5 GW (DC) net bookings in 2021.

With this strategic agreement, EDPR increases its commitment to U.S. domestic content, while also pursuing its strategy of supply chain and technology diversification. The partnership between both companies started in 2019, when EDPR acquired a 50% stake in a 278 MW solar portfolio developed by First Solar.

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