Solar modules produced by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) in its factory in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, satisfy requirements for a 10% feed-in tariff premium in Italy after passing a thorough factory inspection, the company announced today.
The news follows an official Factory Inspection certification by VDE, the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies, on the basis of guidelines established by the Italian government as part of its "Conto Energia 4" (CE4) feed-in tariff program. The CE4 intends to encourage the use of components "made in Europe" with the program, which rewards projects that contain at least 60% local content with a 10% premium over normal feed-in tariff rates.
"This certification provides an added value to our customers in Italy by increasing the attractiveness of investments in commercial PV systems," said Stephan Hansen, Vice President of Sales for First Solar in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "It also validates our commitment to manufacturing in Europe, which remains one of our most important markets globally."
First Solar has operated a manufacturing plant for its innovative, thin-film solar modules in Frankfurt (Oder), since 2007. The company is currently in the process of doubling manufacturing capacity at the plant to approximately 500MW a year. First Solar employs more than 1,200 people in Frankfurt (Oder) and more than 1,400 in the European Union overall and was recently recognized as a Great Place to Work by Germany's Great Place to Work Institute for the second year in a row.
In addition, most of the raw materials that First Solar uses for its German production are sourced within the European Union.
First Solar modules also recently received the IEC 61701 certification demonstrating their resistance to corrosive salt mist in coastal environments. All First Solar modules are covered by a 25-year performance warranty and the company offers an industry-leading, prefunded module collection and recycling program. Moreover, the resource- and energy-efficient way in which First Solar modules are produced results in a best-in-class energy payback time and the smallest carbon footprint among all commercially available PV technologies.