KNOXVILLE, Tenn. & TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) today announced that it has secured 279 megawatts (MWDC) of advanced thin film solar panels from First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) for its planned Lawrence County Solar Project in Lawrence County, Alabama, which is expected to commence commercial operation in 2027. The project reflects TVA’s growing emphasis on solar in the region, which, by 2025, is also expected to become the home of one of the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing facilities in the United States, when Arizona-headquartered First Solar commissions its fourth American factory.
“TVA remains committed to investing in the energy system of the future for the benefit of the people of the Tennessee Valley that we serve and are pleased to work with First Solar,” said Roger Waldrep, vice president, TVA Major Projects. “Through our work with First Solar, TVA will continue to integrate more renewable generation into our overall portfolio with solar technology developed and manufactured in America.”
First Solar is investing approximately $1.3 billion in expanding its US manufacturing footprint from over 6.5 gigawatts (GWDC) of annual nameplate capacity currently, to approximately 10.9 GWDC by 2026. In addition to the $1.1 billion being invested in the new 3.5 GWDC Lawrence County facility, the company has also embarked on a $185 million expansion of its existing manufacturing footprint in Ohio. First Solar, the largest solar manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere, also announced an investment of up to $370 million for a dedicated research and development (R&D) innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
“As America’s Solar Company, we’re pleased that our technology will power the Lawrence County Solar Project,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar. “As we scale our manufacturing footprint and supply chains, it is vital that the communities we operate in benefit from our creation of jobs, economic value, and clean electricity produced by our solar technology.”
Designed and developed at its R&D centers in California and Ohio, First Solar’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. The modules have the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV technology today.
First Solar’s differentiated thin film semiconductor, integrated manufacturing process and tightly controlled supply chain helps eliminate the risk of exposure to solar supply chains identified by the US Department of Labor’s 2022 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor as being tainted by forced labor. First Solar is the only company among the ten largest solar manufacturers globally that is a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the world’s largest industry coalition dedicated to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities in the global supply chain. The company is also the first PV manufacturer to have its product included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry for sustainable electronics.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power supplier, delivering energy to 10 million people across seven southeastern states. TVA was established 90 years ago to serve this region and the nation by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges. TVA’s unique mission focuses on energy, environmental stewardship, and economic development. With one of the largest, most diverse, and cleanest energy systems – including nuclear, hydro, solar, gas, and advanced technologies – TVA is a leader in our nation’s drive toward a clean energy future.
TVA is a corporate agency of the United States, receiving no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels. From raw material sourcing and manufacturing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s approach to technology embodies sustainability and a responsibility towards people and the planet. For more information, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to statements concerning 1) an order for 279 MWDC of solar modules by the Tennessee Valley Authority; 2) First Solar’s plan to invest approximately $1.1 billion in building a fourth factory in Alabama, $185 million on expanding the capacity of its existing manufacturing footprint in Ohio, and $370 million in a new R&D innovation center in Ohio; and 3) First Solar’s expectation that its annual US nameplate manufacturing capacity will expand to 10.6 GW by 2026. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “goal,” “target,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “predict,” “continue” and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.