3 November 2011

First Solar doubles annual production capacity in Germany to 250MW

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, the world’s largest manufacturer of thin-film solar photovoltaic modules, has inaugurated its second cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV manufacturing plant in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and celebrated the production of the new plant’s one millionth module. Guests at the opening ceremony included Brandenburg Minister President Matthias Platzeck; Katherina Reiche (State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety), and Jürgen Trittin (chairman of the parliamentary faction of the Greens/Bündnis 90 Party in the German Parliament).

Picture: First Solar’s new factory in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, inaugurated after reaching full production in October.

Covering an area of about 50,000m2, the new plant (which reached full production in October) will manufacture 250MW a year of solar modules, doubling First Solar’s annual production capacity in Germany to500 MW. The new plant became fully operational on schedule after just one year of construction and an overall investment of more than €170m. First Solar’s staffing in Frankfurt (Oder) has almost doubled, from 650 to more than 1200.

“With the inauguration of our second German plant in Frankfurt (Oder), we're operating Europe's largest and most modern production site for advanced, thin-film solar modules,” reckons Tymen DeJong, senior VP for global operations. “Our additional investment shows: Germany is a key market for solar energy and an important production location for First Solar,” he adds.

First Solar sats that the new factory also demonstrates its complete life-cycle approach to manufacturing: the factory will incorporate electricity from its own rooftop solar system, helping to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint. It has also voluntarily established the industry's first comprehensive, pre-funded solar module collection and recycling program and operates a recycling facility in Frankfurt (Oder).

“First Solar and Brandenburg are a good match,” comments Platzeck. “Compared with other German states, we are already leading in the area of renewable energy,” he adds. “We will continue to strengthen our top position and contribute to further establishing Germany as one of the key players in protecting the climate and achieving a balance between ecology and economy.”

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First Solar postpones Vietnam factory commissioning

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

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