SB Energy places 1.5-GW solar PV order with First Solar

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SB Energy Global LLC, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., placed a multi-year order for 1.5 GW of First Solar’s ultra-low carbon thin-film PV solar modules. SB Energy plans to deploy these modules across its 4-GW solar and storage development pipeline in the U.S.

SB Energy is no stranger to First Solar. This order follows SB Energy’s original procurement of 1.7 GW of First Solar modules for five utility-scale projects in Texas and California, which began construction in 2020. SB Energy and First Solar’s partnership now covers around 3.2 GW of U.S. solar projects.

“First Solar’s partnership and the incredible work of our team enabled us to bring 1.3GW of new solar projects to commercial operations in 2021, making us the second largest in terms of new solar capacity added to the grid,” said Abhijeet Sathe, co-CEO of SB Energy. “We’re excited to expand our partnership with First Solar as we enter our next phase of growth and continue to develop cutting-edge climate infrastructure and technology solutions.”

SB Energy’s team has reached commercial operations on 1.3 GW across projects in Texas and California in the last six months. The remaining 0.4 GW of projects from the original 1.7 GW procurement are expected to reach commercial operations in the first half of 2022.

“At First Solar, we value long-term relationships based not simply on our ability to deliver a competitive, high-quality product that is a hedge against pricing and supply volatility but on trust and a shared vision,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar.

All 1.5 GW of the modules in the order announced today will be produced in First Solar’s Ohio manufacturing plant and support SB Energy’s plans to achieve 10 GW of renewable energy and storage projects in operation or under construction by the end of 2025.

Designed and developed at its research and development centers in California and Ohio, First Solar’s responsibly produced advanced thin-film PV modules set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. First Solar also operates an advanced recycling program that recovers more than 90% of CadTel semiconductor material for use in new modules.

Last year, First Solar announced that it will invest $680 million to expand America’s domestic PV solar manufacturing capacity by 3.3 GW annually by building its third U.S. manufacturing facility in Lake Township, Ohio. The new facility is expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2023 and, when fully operational, will scale the company’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China.

For more on how to incorporate First Solar modules into your C&I solar projects, check out our webinar from last year on-demand.

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