The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has approved $500 million of debt financing to First Solar to set up a 3.3 GW vertically integrated solar module manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India.
With this investment, DFC aims to diversify solar supply chains. It said its investment promotes the commitment of the U.S. to tackle climate change at home and abroad. The investment also supports India’s ambitious energy targets.
In June, First Solar announced investing $684 million to set up a vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar module manufacturing facility in India.
First Solar produces thin-film solar panel modules that do not use polysilicon. The company also joins the Responsible Business Alliance and will replicate transparency and traceability protocols in India to amplify supply chain transparency throughout the renewable energy sector. The company’s new facility will cater to the growing Indian solar market, a Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) ally, and a critical partner to the U.S. in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Quad comprises Australia, Japan, India, and the United States. Their primary objective is to work for a free, prosperous, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
Last month, at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India aims to become a net-zero economy by 2070 and has set a target of installing a non-fossil energy capacity of 500 GW by 2030.
Dev Jagadesan, Acting Chief Executive Officer of DFC, said, “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 mobilize the industry to take up better standards that align with the U.S. values. This transaction represents another milestone in the United States effort to drive alternative supply chains – and to articulate a vision for climate finance that drives our development mission.”
According to DFC, First Solar is the only U.S.-based company among the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers. The company also unveils its plans to develop a 3.3 GW module manufacturing facility in Ohio, United States. The company expects to have 16 GW of global module manufacturing capacity by 2024.