First Solar has produced four gigawatts (GW) of thin film photovoltaic solar modules in under a decade, which is estimated to be sufficient to have displaced 2.5 million metric tons of CO2. The company also claims that its products have the fastest energy payback time of any available photovoltaic technology, when measured on a life cycle basis.
First Solar took the opportunity, when announcing the four GW milestone, to advise that its second factory, at Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany, has begun production. It was completed one month ahead of schedule.
When the four new production lines in Frankfurt are ramped up, during the third quarter of 2011, annual capacity of the two Frankfurt factories will exceed 500 megawatts. First Solar also has manufacturing sites in the United States, Malaysia and Vietnam.