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Intersect Power starts operation of its Lumina Solar project in USA…

17 Jan 2024

…and First Solar opens new 3.3 GW solar manufacturing facility in India.

Intersect Power has announced the opening of its Lumina Solar project, located in Scurry County, Texas. The Lumina project generates 828 MWp/640 MWac of reliable solar energy, enough to power more than 243,000 homes for one year.

Built with panels from First Solar, the project created more than 900 jobs at peak construction.

“Renewable energy is a critical piece of the overall American energy production story and Texas continues to lead the way in development and production,” commented Sheldon Kimber, Intersect’s CEO.

“We are proud to own and operate our now fully operational 2.2 gigawatt solar + 1.4 gigawatt hour storage portfolio in Texas and California, which has helped drive significant economic development and job creation while bringing energy security and independence to our country.”

Renewable Energy Credits generated by the Lumina project will be purchased by two Fortune 100 companies. Funding for the project’s construction and operations was secured as part of the broader portfolio financing announced in September, 2023, when Intersect Power closed on portfolio level term debt, tax equity, and construction financing commitments from leading financial institutions and investors.

…and First Solar opens new 3.3 GW solar plant in India

First Solar, has inaugurated its new facility in Tamil Nadu, India, said to be the country’s first fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing plant.

The Minister for Industries, Promotions and Commerce of the Government of Tamil Nadu, Dr T R B Rajaa inaugurated the facility in a ceremony attended by the United States Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, and Scott Nathan, CEO of the US International Development Finance Corp.

“We are pleased that First Solar chose Tamil Nadu for this landmark investment, solidifying our state’s position as India’s hub for manufacturing,” said Dr Rajaa. “This factory sets a high bar for sustainability and advanced manufacturing and has created high-value jobs as a result of its presence in our state, all while supporting India’s ambition to become self-sufficient in solar technology.”

The facility, which has an annual capacity of 3.3 GW and directly employs approximately 1,000 people, produces First Solar’s Series 7 photovoltaic solar modules, which were developed at the company’s research and development centers in the US and optimized for the Indian market.

First Solar is unique among the world’s largest solar manufacturers for being the only US-headquartered company. The company’s tellurium-based semiconductor, which allows it to avoid dependence on Chinese crystalline silicon supply chains, is the second most common photovoltaic technology available today.

Ambassador Eric Garcetti said, “One month ago in Dubai, COP28 participants issued a bold call for the world to transition away from fossil fuels, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This First Solar production facility will help advance our global transition to cleaner, greener energy, and stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when the United States and India work together.”

Representing an investment of approximately $700 million, which includes $500 million in previously announced DFC financing, the facility is First Solar’s sixth operational factory and expands the company’s global manufacturing footprint to four countries, including the US, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Since the start of this decade, First Solar has embarked on a $4.1 billion manufacturing expansion strategy that has seen it grow from approximately 6 GW operational in 2020 to over 16 GW global nameplate capacity at the end of 2023. In addition to its India facility, the company also commissioned its third US factory, located in Ohio, in 2023.

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