17 November 2011

First Solar achieves 5GW PV production milestone

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which manufactures thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe), says that its cumulative production has reached 5GW, or 66 million solar modules, which is capable of generating enough clean electricity to power about 2.5 million homes.

Five GW of solar generation displaces 3.3 million metric tons of CO2e annually (equivalent to taking 650,000 average cars off the road or planting 84 million trees each year). On a life cycle basis, systems using First Solar modules also have the lowest carbon footprint and fastest energy payback time (the amount of time a system must operate to recover the energy that was required to produce it) of any other photovoltaic technology, it is claimed.

First Solar began commercial production in 2002 and has since grown to become one of the world’s largest solar module manufacturers, with 36 production lines on three continents. “This milestone helps advance our mission of providing clean solar electricity at affordable prices,” says Tymen DeJong, senior VP of global manufacturing. “Our ability to scale high-volume production has been a key factor in reducing the cost of renewable energy,” he adds.

In July, First Solar announced that implementing technologies and processes derived from its R&D program had produced a record 17.3%-efficient CdTe solar cell, resulting in average module conversion efficiency of 12.4% from its best-performing production lines during third quarter 2011. Efficiency gains have also enabled the firm to begin production of 87W modules, which produce higher amounts of electricity when installed in the field.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

See Latest IssueRSS Feed