US bank to lend $500 million for First Solar’s 3 GW fab in India


From pv magazine India

The U.S. International Development Finance Corp. (DFC) has approved up to $500 million of debt financing for thin-film module manufacturer First Solar. The DFC financing will support a 3.3 GW, vertically integrated solar module manufacturing facility that First Solar plans to build in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

The foundation stone for the First Solar fab was recently laid out at Pillaipakkam, Tamil Nadu. First Solar is the only U.S. company among the world’s 10 largest solar manufacturers. It announced plans to build the India facility in July, shortly after it unveiled plans for a new $680 million factory in Ohio that will add 3.3 GW of new domestic manufacturing capacity in the United States by 2023. The company expects to reach 16 GW of global manufacturing capacity in 2024.

“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,” said Dev Jagadesan, DFC’s acting CEO.

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Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar, said that India aims to “supercharge” the development of a domestic PV manufacturing industry. “DFC’s intent to support this facility has the potential to create a high-visibility, repeatable blueprint for enabling the clean energy ambitions of likeminded nations through American innovation, ingenuity, and competitiveness,” said Widmar.

This investment will promote DFC’s commitment to diversifying supply chains. First Solar produces thin-film solar panel modules, which do not use polysilicon. The company, which was the first of the world’s 10 largest solar manufacturers to join the Responsible Business Alliance, will replicate its transparency and traceability protocols in India, amplifying efforts to improve supply chain transparency throughout the renewable energy sector, said the DFC.

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