First Solar establishes itself a reputation for the world’s top thin film PV module manufacturer by installing 10 GW of PV solar capacity globally. Announcement of the new milestone was made at the start of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, where First Solar is showcasing a comprehensive range of solar energy solutions.
Founded in 1999, First Solar made its first commercial shipment in 2002, and since then its advanced thin film modules have been used in a wide range of applications, from kW-scale mini-grid and rooftop applications, to multi-MW utility scale solar energy plants. With enough modules installed worldwide to circle the planet three-and-a-half times, First Solar’s 10GW of installed capacity produces an estimated 14,000 GWh a year. This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of the city of Washington, D.C. It is also sufficient to power five million average households and displaces the need for as many as 20 average coal-powered plants.
“This is much more than just a celebration of First Solar’s track record and the trust that our customers have placed in our technology,” said James Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, First Solar, Inc. “This milestone is a clear indication that solar is no longer a subsidy-driven extra; it has evolved into a valued component of the global generation portfolio, able to hold its own in terms of cost competitiveness and energy yield.”
Significantly, with the smallest carbon footprint of all solar technologies, First Solar’s installed capacity displaces an estimated seven million metric tons of CO2 per year, or the equivalent of planting 180 million trees. Additionally, with the lowest water use on a lifecycle basis, the use of First Solar’s advanced thin film modules helps displace an estimated 18 billion liters of water per year, sufficient to fill 7,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.