First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) proudly announced a milestone for the company and for solar – it is the first company to install 10 gigawatts of thin-film solar PV.
Founded in 1999,
The vertically integrated company has invested deeply in R&D, resulting in breakthrough conversion efficiencies of 21% and steeply declining manufacturing costs for thin-film PV. Costs have come down to the point where the US Department of Energy could meet its SunShot goal three years early – less than $1 per watt for solar PV by 2020.
Read our article, Solar Prices Hit All-Time Lows, Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels.
First Solar’s 10 GW of installed capacity is producing an estimated 14,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year, enough for five million households each year, while eliminating the need for 20 coal-fired power plants.
"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," says
Last year, First Solar ranked as the world’s largest solar engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Some of its projects:
- 250 MW McCoy Solar Energy Project, which could grow to 750 MW
- 250 MW Silver State South
- 250 MW Moapa Southern Paiute project
Chile, the largest solar project in Latin America.
After focusing on utility-scale projects for years, First Solar is also back in the residential installation business. The next step is community solar projects, which it will develop on behalf of client utilities. First Solar took an equity stake in Clean Energy Collective, the leader in developing solar gardens.