“Today, First Solar powers communities, infrastructure, and decarbonization ambitions with the world’s cleanest PV solar technology; technology that forms the backbone of utility-scale solar fleets in some of the largest markets around the globe,” said Mark Widmar, CEO, First Solar.
Headquartered in Tempe, AZ, First Solar’s technological roots are in Perrysburg, OH, where the company achieved commercial production of its proprietary thin film module technology in 2002. It became the first solar module manufacturer to break the $1 per watt barrier, while also producing 1GW of modules in 2009.
More recently, First Solar has successfully transitioned to its new large-format Series 6 module. The module leverages First Solar’s proprietary thin film technology, retaining the proven performance and reliability advantages of earlier generation modules. Produced in just 3.5 hours using fully-integrated manufacturing processes at factories in the US, Malaysia, and Vietnam, the Series 6 module has a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels that are manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods.
First Solar is on track to become the largest solar module manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere when its second Series 6 factory in the US - representing nearly $1 billion in cumulative investment – becomes operational in early-2020. Once operational, the new facility in Perrysburg, OH, will take First Solar’s aggregate Series 6 manufacturing capacity to 5.4GW per year.
“From 1.5MW of annual production less than two decades ago to multiple gigawatts today, our journey has seen us successfully overcome challenges and make the most of opportunities. Our ability to not just survive but to thrive in challenging environments that have claimed a number of our competitors is due to the relentless energy and the sense of purpose that drives us as a company,” Widmar said.