Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) signed a multi-year supply agreement through First Solar to provide 1 GW of thin-film PV solar modules to be used across the developer’s pipeline of solar projects in 2023 and 2024.
This latest supply agreement expands LRE’s order book with First Solar to over 3 GW and will result in 18 new solar sites. First Solar developed these thin-film modules at its research and development centers in California and Ohio with a manufacturing process the company says has a carbon and water footprint significantly lower than the average silicon solar panel made with cells produced in China.
“We are pleased to build on our strong relationship with First Solar and support the expansion of domestic solar manufacturing,” said Eran Mahrer, chief strategy officer at LRE. “This agreement creates significant growth opportunities bringing stability, predictability and diminished risk from geopolitical tensions to our solar module supply chain, and by extension to our finance, construction and offtake partners. We look forward to working closely with First Solar and other U.S.-based component manufacturers as we aggressively expand our solar portfolio.”
First Solar is investing $680 million to build its third US manufacturing facility, in Lake Township, Ohio. The new facility is expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2023 and when fully operational will scale the company’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China.
First Solar has invested over $2 billion in its US manufacturing footprint and when its third factory is fully operational, will directly employ over 2,500 people in Ohio.
“Sophisticated project developers such as LRE are looking to secure their development portfolios by partnering with a module supply partner that offers a reliable, clean energy solution with a long-term agreement structure,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer at First Solar. “First Solar is able to meet this need by delivering a competitive, high-quality, responsibly produced solar module. We are delighted LRE recognizes the value in our eco-efficient solar modules that are advancing the fight against climate change, and we look forward to playing a role in growing their solar platform.”
News item from Leeward Renewable Energy