13 January 2022
First Solar wins 1.2GW order from Swift Current Energy
First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA says that Swift Current Energy (which acquires, develops, constructs, owns and operates utility-scale wind, solar energy and battery storage projects across the USA) has placed an order for 1.2GWDC of its cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules, to be delivered in 2023 and 2024.
Founded in 2016, backed by Buckeye Partners L.P. and Nala Renewables, and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts (with offices in Illinois, Maine, Montana and Texas), Swift Current has commercialized 1.1GW of renewable energy projects, and has a growing pipeline of over 6GW of planned renewable assets across North America.
“This is our largest procurement yet and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in renewable energy,” says Swift Current Energy’s CEO Eric Lammers. “First Solar, with its record of quality and sustainability, is a great match for our team and will support our work to develop, construct and own best-in-class renewable energy projects safely, on time and within budget,” he believes.
Designed and developed at its R&D centers in California and Ohio, First Solar’s modules are claimed to set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design and environmental performance. First Solar also operates a recycling program that recovers more than 90% of CdTe for use in new modules.
“We look forward to enabling their [Swift Current Energy’s] efforts to support our country’s march towards sourcing 45% of its electricity from solar by 2050 with responsible solar technology that is designed and developed in the United States,” says First Solar’s chief commercial officer Georges Antoun. “As US project developers look for reliable module supply partners, we’re able to support their needs not only with advanced technology that reliably performs in the field, but also with our ability to provide long-term pricing and supply commitments.”
First Solar is investing $680m in expanding the USA’s domestic PV solar manufacturing capacity by 3.3GW annually by building its third US manufacturing facility (in Lake Township, Ohio). The new facility is expected to be commissioned in first-half 2023 and, when fully operational, will scale the firm’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6GW, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside China.
In addition to its Ohio manufacturing facilities, First Solar also operates factories in Vietnam and Malaysia, and is building a new 3.3GW factory in India that is expected to be commissioned in second-half 2023. With First Solar’s expansion in the USA and India and optimization of its existing fleet, the firm anticipates that its nameplate manufacturing capacity will double to 16GW by 2024.