US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on Tuesday announced that it approved up to $500 million of debt financing for First Solar, the largest American solar manufacturing company.
The DFC financing will support the company’s previously announced vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, with a projected annual capacity of 3.3 gigawatts (GW).
First Solar’s new venture in India will boost solar panel manufacturing capacity for a key ally and help mobilize the industry to take up better standards that align with US values, said Dev Jagadesan, DFC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer.
“Like the United States, India has recognized that it must shape its own sustainable energy future, and has sought to supercharge the expansion of its domestic solar manufacturing capacity,” said Mark Widmar, Chief Executive Officer, First Solar.
First Solar produces 'thin film' solar panel modules, which do not use polysilicon. The company will replicate its transparency and traceability protocols in India, amplifying efforts to boost supply chain transparency throughout the renewable energy sector, DFC said in a statement.
DFC’s proposed financing promotes the US commitment to tackle climate change at home and abroad and supports the Government of India’s ambitious renewable energy goals.
First Solar announced its intent to build the India facility in July 2021, shortly after it unveiled plans for a new $680 million factory in Ohio that will add 3.3GW of new domestic manufacturing capacity in the US by 2023 while creating over 700 new manufacturing jobs. The company expects to reach 16GW of global manufacturing capacity in 2024.