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December 8, 2021

First Solar to obtain funding for solar module facility in India

Most of the solar modules produced at the facility are expected to be sold in the Indian market.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

US-based solar panel manufacturer First Solar is set to receive up to $500m in debt financing from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to build a 3.3GW photovoltaic (PV) solar module facility in Tamil Nadu, India.

The vertically integrated facility has been designed for India’s ‘unique’ operating environment.

Most of the solar modules produced at the plant will be sold on the country’s renewable energy market.

DFC said that the proposed financing will promote its commitment to diversifying supply chains.

The funding will also support the US’ efforts to address climate change at home and abroad and help the Indian Government meet its renewable energy targets.

The debt financing is subject to negotiations of definitive agreements.

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DFC acting CEO Dev Jagadesan said: “DFC is thrilled to be in a position to support First Solar’s new venture in India, which will boost solar panel manufacturing capacity for a key ally and help mobilise the industry to take up better standards that align with US values.

“This transaction represents another milestone in the US effort to drive alternative supply chains – and to articulate a vision for climate finance that drives our development mission.”

A member of the Responsible Business Alliance, First Solar manufactures ‘thin film’ solar panel modules that do not use polysilicon.

The company intends to implement its transparency and traceability protocols in India with the aim of making supply chains in the country’s renewable energy sector more transparent.

First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said: “Like the US, India has recognised that it must shape its own sustainable energy future and has sought to supercharge the expansion of its domestic solar manufacturing capacity.

“DFC’s intent to support this facility has the potential to create a high-visibility, repeatable blueprint for enabling the clean energy ambitions of like-minded nations through American innovation, ingenuity, and competitiveness.”

In August, First Solar began construction works on a 3.3GWdc manufacturing facility in Lake Township, Ohio.

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