In Short : Swift Current Energy, a leading renewable energy company, has extended its partnership with First Solar by placing a significant order for 500 megawatts (MW) of solar modules. This order underscores Swift Current Energy’s commitment to expanding its renewable energy portfolio and leveraging First Solar’s advanced photovoltaic technology.
In Detail : First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has agreed to supply Boston-based utility-scale clean energy developer, owner and operator Swift Current Energy with 500MW of Series 7 cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules. Swift Current Energy previously placed orders for 3.3GW of First Solar modules in 2022. This latest order, which was booked prior to the release of First Solar’s third-quarter 2023 results on 31 October, will see modules delivered between 2027 and 2028.
Swift Current Energy has commercialized more than 2.5GW of renewable energy projects, has a project pipeline of more than 10GW of solar, wind and energy storage, and owns 1.4GW of renewable energy projects currently in operation or in advanced construction.
“As we continue to progress our US development pipeline, certainty of pricing and supply is essential to ensuring that we deliver capacity as planned,” says Swift Current Energy’s co-founder & CEO Eric Lammers. “This latest agreement with First Solar supports our effort to build a resilient, competitive value chain, while supporting investments in domestic manufacturing, along with the jobs and economic benefits that come with it.”
First Solar’s modules are claimed to set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design and environmental performance, with the Series 7 modules having the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV module. The firm is reckoned to be the first PV manufacturer to have its product included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry for sustainable electronics.
“Swift Current Energy has chosen to extend its partnership with First Solar to 2028, entrusting a significant portion of its development pipeline to our technology,” notes First Solar chief commercial officer Georges Antoun. “Their decision speaks volumes to the competitive value that we are able to deliver in terms of energy, certainty of pricing and supply, and an advanced PV module that is responsibly produced in America, for America.”
First Solar is the largest solar manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere, with about 6GW of operational, fully vertically integrated nameplate capacity in the USA. The firm has embarked on an expansion strategy that is forecast to grow its footprint to 14GW of nameplate capacity in the USA and 25GW globally by 2026. In addition to its third Ohio factory, commissioned earlier this year, First Solar expects to further expand its footprint in the state by 0.9GW while building new manufacturing facilities in Alabama and Louisiana, each with an expected annual nameplate capacity of 3.5GW.
The Alabama and Louisiana facilities, which are expected to represent over $2bn in investment and are forecast to begin commercial shipments in 2024 and 2026 respectively, are designed to produce the Series 7 modules ordered by Swift Current and expected to be made with 100% US-made components identified in the current domestic content guidance issued by the US Department of the Treasury. First Solar anticipates that, once its Louisiana factory is completed and ramped, Series 7 modules will account for over two-thirds of its annual domestic nameplate capacity. Series 7 modules currently produced at the firm’s Ohio facility are already manufactured with US-made glass and steel.