First Solar to power its module factory in India with solar and wind


From pv magazine India

Cleantech Solar, a supplier of renewable energy to corporate entities, has secured a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with US module manufacturer First Solar. It has agreed to construct 150 MW of solar and 16.8 MW of wind-generating assets in India, supplying around 7.3 GWh of clean electricity to First Solar’s new 3.3 GW vertically integrated solar manufacturing facility in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Once it is fully commissioned by the third quarter of 2024, the solar and wind generation assets are expected to cover up to 70% of the facility’s anticipated electricity needs. They are expected to displace almost 7,000 kilotons of CO2 emissions over the duration of the PPA.

Cleantech Solar will procure 150 MW of advanced, India-made Series 7 thin-film solar panels from First Solar, for use in the PV component of the project. The modules are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2024.

First Solar’s cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film modules have among the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV modules. The modules are included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry for sustainable electronics, signifying strong performance on metrics evaluating the management of substances in the product, manufacturing energy and water use, product packaging, end-of-life recycling and corporate responsibility.

“Our new manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu sets a high benchmark for responsible and sustainable vertically integrated solar manufacturing, not just in India, but globally,” said Sujoy Ghosh, vice president and managing director of First Solar India. “By powering our operations with clean, renewably-generated electricity, we are working to further reduce our environmental footprint, which is already the lowest in the industry.”

First Solar’s Tamil Nadu plant, located in an area of high baseline water stress, is purportedly the world’s first net-zero water withdrawal solar manufacturing facility.

“This collaboration extends beyond powering First Solar’s flagship manufacturing facility in India; it involves leveraging their advanced, ultra-low carbon thin film solar panels to energize our solar assets,” said Sachin Jain, chief executive officer of Cleantech Solar.

With this latest agreement, Cleantech Solar’s total portfolio in Tamil Nadu now stands at nearly 500 MW (including solar, wind and hybrid power projects under operational and construction stages).

Singapore-based Cleantech Solar has built numerous solar and wind projects across India and Southeast Asia, with around 1.2 GWp of assets in various stages of development. The company is backed by Keppel Corp., Keppel Asia Infrastructure Fund, and Shell Singapore.

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