First Solar secures loan for Japanese pipeline

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Japan was long thought to be a PV market largely closed to U.S. developer First Solar. The reason being that Japan has a history of poisoning linked to cadmium contamination of waterways, as a result of mining operations. As the semiconductor stack in First Solar’s modules is based on cadmium telluride, it was thought the company could not ship product to Japan.

However this have proven not to be the case, with First Solar having developed a very small pipeline of projects in Japan.

This week’s announcement that First Solar has obtained financing from Mizuho Bank further indicates that it is continuing to develop projects in. First Solar has said the financing “underlines…[its] strong commitment to the development of Japan’s PV utility scale… industry.”

First Solar reports that Mizuho Bank is providing a “low interest construction loan facility.” An alternative to First Solar shipping its CdTe modules to Japan for projects in the country is its TetraSun crystalline silicon modules, although this appears unlikely as the TetraSun module is a high efficiency product and therefore better suited to rooftop applications.

First Solar has a distribution partnership with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation to distribute its TetraSun modules in Japan.

Japan is expected to install more than 12 GW of PV in 2015.