- First Solar has announced it plans to set up a 3.3 GW DC vertically integrated solar PV manufacturing facility in India
- It plans to locate the advanced fab in the state of Tamil Nadu and ramp up production by H2/2023
- Project realization will depend on regulatory clearances and pending approval of Indian government incentives
US based thin film solar module manufacturer First Solar, Inc. has chosen the state of Tamil Nadu in India to set up a fully vertically integrated PV thin film module facility in the country with 3.3 GW DC nameplate capacity.
The $684 million facility will be realized upon requisite regulatory approvals and ‘pending approval of Indian government incentives that are satisfactory to First Solar’. If all goes well, the advanced facility is expected to commence operations in H2/2023.
Calling India an attractive market for the company, First Solar’s CEO Mark Widmar said the country is an inherently sustainable market with its appetite for energy. He added, “India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidized global dominance of the crystalline silicon solar supply chain. The country’s comprehensive approach provides precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits, and should be a template for other likeminded nations.”
First Solar builds a business case for its technology in India saying since the company’s technology doesn’t use silicon and instead uses its proprietary Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) semiconductor technology, and has a fully integrated manufacturing process, it doesn’t rely on Chinese c-Si supply chains.
Notably India has been acting tough on Chinese solar PV supply chains, on which India depends heavily at present, imposing heavy tariffs on imported solar cells and modules, while incentivizing companies for setting up local PV production chains (see Indian Cabinet Approves PLI Scheme For Solar Manufacturing).
The American manufacturer confirmed the new facility will be designed using the advanced manufacturing template it has established for the company’s recently announced factory in Ohio, US also to have 3.3 GW DC capacity (see First Solar To Expand US Production Capacity By 3.3 GW DC).
“With First Solar’s expansion in the United States and India and optimization of its existing fleet, the company anticipates that its nameplate manufacturing capacity will double to 16 GW DC in 2024,” the company shared.
Recently there was news of US based silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies planning to set up shop in India with a 2 GW solar wafer and cell manufacturing (see 1366 Planning Solar Manufacturing In India). The news was followed by 1366 Technologies and Hunt Perovskite announcing a merger to form CubicPV (see US Direct Wafer & Perovskite Producers Merge: CubicPV).