TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) today announced that global solar leader, Lightsource bp has placed an order for 4 gigawatts (GW)DC of advanced thin film solar modules. The modules, scheduled to be delivered between 2026 and 2028, are expected to power Lightsource bp projects in the United States. This latest deal follows a prior order by Lightsource bp for up to 4.3 GWDC signed in 2021, and places the company on the path to becoming one of the world’s largest users of First Solar’s ultra-low carbon solar technology.
“The US solar industry is at a pivotal moment, poised to expand at an exponential rate with the Inflation Reduction Act serving as the catalyst,” said Kevin Smith, chief executive officer, Americas, Lightsource bp. “We are seizing the opportunity by not just growing our 20 GW development pipeline across the United States, but also creating sizeable demand for our US-based partner First Solar, which, in turn, is investing in innovation and manufacturing, and supporting thousands of direct and indirect American jobs.”
The deal includes orders for First Solar’s Series 6 Plus and next-generation Series 7 modules. Designed and developed at its R&D centers in California and Ohio, First Solar’s advanced thin film PV modules set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance.
Lightsource bp has been a leader in fostering circularity in the solar industry and as such has committed to recycling solar panels across all their projects. As part of this pledge, Lightsource bp has also committed to using First Solar’s advanced high-value recycling program to manage modules at the end of their operating lives. First Solar is a pioneer in recycling solar panels, operating an advanced recycling program that provides closed-loop semiconductor recovery for use in new modules, while also recovering other materials including aluminum, glass, and laminates.
Additionally, Lightsource bp has set targets to reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and is proud to work with First Solar, which has also set targets to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. Significantly, First Solar is the first PV manufacturer to have its product included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry for sustainable electronics.
“This is another sizeable commitment by Lightsource bp and a reflection of their trust in First Solar and our technology,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar. “Our relationship with Lightsource bp is a partnership in growth. We enable their growth with certainty through long-term pricing and supply commitments, and advanced technology, while they enable ours by providing the certainty of demand we need to invest in manufacturing.”
First Solar is expanding its US manufacturing capacity, with a third factory expected to come online in Ohio in the first half of 2023 and a fourth factory which is under construction in Alabama and expected to be commissioned by 2025. Both factories will produce the Series 7 modules ordered by Lightsource bp. First Solar’s new $1.1 billion Alabama factory and $185 million expansion of its existing manufacturing footprint in Ohio are expected to bring its total investment in American manufacturing to over $4 billion. The company’s annual US nameplate manufacturing capacity is forecast to expand to 10.6 GWDC by 2026.
First Solar estimates that its new investments in Alabama and Ohio will add at least 850 new manufacturing and over 100 new R&D jobs, taking its total number of direct jobs in the US to over 3,000 people in four states by 2025, which is believed to make it one of the largest employers in the American solar manufacturing sector.
About Lightsource bp
Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy and energy storage projects and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. For more than a decade, Lightsource bp has delivered affordable, safe and sustainable energy to businesses and communities around the world. Their team includes nearly 1,000 industry experts, working in 19 countries, providing full scope development for projects, from initial site selection, financing and permitting to long-term management of solar projects and energy sales to their customers. Lightsource bp in the U.S. is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver, Austin, Philadelphia and Atlanta and staff in more than 25 states. Since 2019, the team has brought into operation or initiated construction on 3.2 gigawatts of U.S solar projects with capital costs of nearly $4 billion across 11 states in America. For more information please visit www.lightsourcebp.com/us.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels. From raw material sourcing and manufacturing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s approach to technology embodies sustainability and a responsibility towards people and the planet. For more information, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning an order for 4 GWDC of solar modules by Lightsource bp; First Solar’s plan to invest approximately $1.1 billion in building a fourth factory in Alabama and $185 million on expanding the capacity of its existing manufacturing footprint in Ohio; First Solar’s expectation that such investment will bring the company’s total investment in American manufacturing to over $4 billion, and its expectation that its annual US nameplate manufacturing capacity will expand to 10.6 GW by 2026. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “goal,” “target,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “predict,” “continue” and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
First Solar Media
Lightsource bp Media
First Solar Investor Relations
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8d25c25d-53ad-487f-9367-db439c7729a1.