First Solar and Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) have signed an agreement under which First Solar will supply 1 GW of advanced, ultra-low carbon and thin-film PV solar modules to Leeward. As per the company’s statement, LRE plans to deploy these modules across its 20 GW solar development and construction pipeline in the US between 2023 and 2024. With this agreement, LRE and First Solar will be able to order more than 3 GW of solar panels. This will result in the installation of 18 new solar power sites from 2022 to 2024.
Reportedly, First Solar has designed and developed these thin-film modules at its research and development centres in California and Ohio. First Solar also stated that the production of modules stands as the industry’s benchmark of quality, durability, reliability and environmental performance. The carbon footprint is said to be 2.5 times lower and the water footprint is 3 times lower than the average silicon solar panel made with cells produced in China.
In December 2021, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) approved up to $500 million in debt financing for First Solar, subject to definitive agreements being negotiated. The DFC funding would go toward the company’s previously announced vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing facility in the Indian-state of Tamil Nadu, which is expected to produce 3.3 GW of solar modules annually.