Tamil Nadu

$500 mn funding for solar module project in T.N. gets DFC green light

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced that it has approved up to U.S. $500 million of debt financing for First Solar, Inc. to 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).

The debt financing would be subject to negotiations of definitive agreements between the DFC, America’s development bank and First Solar, the largest American solar manufacturing company.

“The DFC is thrilled to be in a position to support First Solar’s new venture in India, which will boost solar panel manufacturing capacity for a key ally and help mobilise the industry to take up better standards that align with the U.S. values,” said Dev Jagadesan, DFC’s Acting Chief Executive Officer in a press release. “This transaction represents another milestone in the U.S.’ effort to drive alternative supply chains and to articulate a vision for climate finance that drives our development mission.”

Mark Widmar, First Solar’s Chief Executive Officer said like the U.S., India has recognised that it must shape its own sustainable energy future and has sought to supercharge the expansion of its domestic solar manufacturing capacity.

“The DFC’s intent to support this facility has the potential to create a high-visibility, repeatable blueprint for enabling the clean energy ambitions of like-minded nations through American innovation, ingenuity, and competitiveness.”

A press release said this investment will promote the DFC’s commitment to diversify supply chains. First Solar produces “thin film” solar panel modules, which do not use polysilicon. First Solar, which was the first of the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers to join the Responsible Business Alliance, will replicate its industry-leading transparency and traceability protocol in India, amplifying efforts to boost supply chain transparency throughout the renewable energy sector.

First Solar had announced its intent to build the India facility in July 2021. The company expects to reach 16GW of global manufacturing capacity in 2024.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:50:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/500-mn-funding-for-solar-module-project-in-tn-gets-dfc-green-light/article37890844.ece

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