IIT-Madras Research Park signs thin-film R&D deal with First Solar


From pv magazine India

IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP), India’s first university-based research park, has signed an agreement with US-based manufacturer First Solar to work on the application of thin-film PV technology in India.

The two organizations will cooperate on a range of  R&D activities, including the localization of thin-film solar and other next-generation PV technology supply chains in India, high-volume manufacturing, the testing of PV modules, and high-value recycling.

“First Solar is the world leader in thin film solar and its knowledge and track record in both R&D and high-volume manufacturing represents a tremendous opportunity for India, which is working to secure its clean energy supply chains,” said Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala, an official from IIT Madras Research Park. “First Solar has demonstrated the potential of thin film to counter China’s dominance of crystalline silicon with high-performance solar panels that are competitive, sustainable, and responsibly produced.”

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First Solar produces its thin-film PV modules through a fully integrated, continuous process. Its eco-efficient module technology uses its proprietary cadmium telluride (CadTel) semiconductors.

“The [agreement] covers a number of areas that directly support India’s decarbonization, energy independence, and sustainability goals and we would be pleased to share our experience, while also benefitting from the institution’s expertise in areas such as field testing,” said Kuntal Kumar Verma, chief manufacturing officer of First Solar.

In 2021, First Solar announced plans to invest in a vertically integrated thin-film solar factory in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with an annual capacity of 3.3 GW DC. The facility will be commissioned in the second half of this year.

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