The US’s largest solar panel maker just scored a 5 GW order

First Solar, the largest solar panel maker in the US, will supply Israeli renewable energy company Energix with 5 gigawatts (GW) of ultra-low carbon thin film solar panels.

The panels, which First Solar will deliver to Energix between 2026 and 2030, will provide clean energy for projects in Israel, Poland, and the US. This is Energix’s largest deal ever.

Energix, which already has more than 7 GW of projects under development in the three countries, will also work with First Solar Recycling Services to manage end-of-life solar panels. The recycling program provides closed-loop semiconductor recovery for use in new modules and also recovers other materials such as aluminum, glass, and laminates.

Since Energix already has existing orders with First Solar, this latest order means that Energix will be operating between 7 and 9 GW of First Solar panels by 2030.

Among the world’s 10 largest solar panel makers, First Solar is the only US-headquartered company and the only maker of thin film PV modules. First Solar’s big orders keep rolling in, thanks to the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which incentivizes companies to manufacture renewables in the US.

The Tempe, Arizona-headquartered company uses cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV technology. Its ongoing investment in developing CdTe since 1999 has made it the second most common PV technology in the world. First Solar says its panels have the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available solar panel today.

First Solar is investing about $1.3 billion to expand its US manufacturing footprint from over 6.5 GW of annual nameplate capacity to around 10.9 GW by 2026. In addition to the $1.1 billion expected investment in a new 3.5 GW DC factory in Alabama, it’s also embarked on a $185 million expansion of its existing factory in Ohio. It’s also investing up to $370 million for an R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is expected to be finished in 2024.

Read more: Renewable deployment surge puts world on track for net zero pathway – study

Photo: First Solar

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