New Delhi : First Solar, a US-based solar panel manufacturer, on Friday said it plans to invest $684 million in a fully vertically-integrated photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar module manufacturing facility of 3.3 gigawatt (GW) capacity in Tamil Nadu, India.
It added that upon permissions and pending approval of Indian government, the facility is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2023.
“India is an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy, with a well-defined goal that will need over 25 GW of solar to be deployed every year for the next nine years,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar.
According to the company press release, the facility is projected to create over 1,000 new jobs in the state.
Widmar added that India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised 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 like minded nations,” he said.
The company added that the facility will be involved in sourcing, manufacturing, and lifecycle management, and is expected to feature an integrated, high-value recycling facility that will be able to recover over 90 per cent of materials from processed modules for reuse.
“The resource-efficient manufacturing process allows it to produce solar modules with a carbon footprint that is 2.5-times lower, a water footprint that is three times lower, and an energy payback time that is twice as fast as c-Si panels made in China.
The advanced thin film PV module has a layer of Cadmium Tellurium semiconductor that is only 3 per cent the thickness of a human hair.