SolAmerica Energy procures 205 MW of First Solar modules


First Solar will supply SolAmerica Energy LLC with 205 MWdc of its Series 6 Plus and Series 7 thin film solar bifacial modules.

SolAmerica specializes in developing, engineering, procuring and constructing utility and commercial-scale solar projects across the U.S. The company plans to use First Solar’s modules for its portfolio of community solar facilities, three commercial and industrial solar plants and various other solar projects across the South, Northeast and Midwest regions of the U.S. The company has finished more than 100 projects and has an additional 500 MW in active development. 

The 455 and 480 watt 6 Plus modules have an efficiency of up to 19.0%. The bifacial modules are made from cadmium telluride chemistries and have SpeedSlots that the company says reduces installation time and mounting hardware costs. First Solar’s Series 7 bifacial modules offer a more significant form factor and innovative back rail mounting system to increase efficiency and lifetime energy performance while reducing installation time.  

The 550 watt Series 7 modules have an efficiency of up to 19.7%. First Solar states that the increased capacity reduces balance of system costs associated with labor, permitting, interconnection, inspection, land, and building due to the higher amount of watts per install.

The Series 7 modules also have a protective coat of zinc covering their steel back rails, allowing them to be mounted closer to the center of rotation on a tracker. First Solar says this installation style improves the mechanical efficiency of the motors and dampener as well as space efficiency because longer tracker rows allow for more watts per motor, dampener and torque tube. The Series 7 modules are made in the U.S. and are configured for the domestic utility-scale market. 

 “SolAmerica is all-in on buying American solar, and this agreement is the centerpiece of that commitment,” says Tully Balalock, the CEO of SolAmerica.

The modules are scheduled to be delivered in 2024 and 2025. 

First Solar says it is the first solar module manufacturer to have its product included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). The global registry helps purchasers decipher an offering’s environmental impact by assessing how various aspects of its lifecycle impact nature. Products are ranked as Gold, Silver or Bronze based on EPEAT’s ecological performance criteria. 

First Solar has approximately 6 GW of operational capacity in the U.S. First Solar hopes to increase this figure to 14 GW domestically and 25 GW globally by 2024. The company opened a factory in Ohio last year and plans to expand its capacity in the state by 0.9 GW and build new 3.5 GW manufacturing plants in Alabama and Louisiana. 

“First Solar is proud that SolAmerica Energy has selected our technology,” said Dana Kennard, the director of business development at First Solar. By powering their near-term pipeline with American-innovated and manufactured solar, SolAmerica directly supports U.S. manufacturing and the domestic supply chain.”

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