India has a domestic manufacturing capacity of only 3GW for solar cells and 15GW for solar modules and heavily depends on imports from China.(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)
India has a domestic manufacturing capacity of only 3GW for solar cells and 15GW for solar modules and heavily depends on imports from China.(PICTURE FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY)

First Solar plans $684 mn investment in TN facility

  • Mint had reported on December 17 about First Solar being among firms that are considering building solar equipment manufacturing facilities, capitalizing on the Indian government’s initiative to push local manufacturing.
Livemint | By Utpal Bhaskar, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 31, 2021 03:16 AM IST

US solar panel maker First Solar, Inc. on Friday said it will invest $684 million to build a 3.3 gigawatt (GW) solar module plant in Tamil Nadu, in yet another example of India’s import barriers on solar gear inspiring local manufacturing.

Apart from Mukesh Ambani controlled Reliance Industries Ltd’s plans to set up an integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) module gigafactory, Vikram Solar recently opened a 1.3GW plant in Tamil Nadu, and Premier Energies set up a 750 megawatt (MW) each of solar cell and module capacity in Telangana.

Mint had reported on December 17 about First Solar being among firms that are considering building solar equipment manufacturing facilities, capitalizing on the Indian government’s initiative to push local manufacturing.

“First Solar, Inc. today announced that it intends to invest $684 million in a new, fully vertically-integrated photovoltaic (PV) thin film solar module manufacturing facility in India. Contingent upon permitting, and pending approval of Indian government incentives that are satisfactory to First Solar, the advanced facility is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2023,” the company said in a statement.

Despite running the world’s largest clean energy programme, India has a domestic manufacturing capacity of only 3GW for solar cells and 15GW for solar modules and heavily depends on imports from China.

“India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidized global dominance of the crystalline silicon solar supply chain. The country’s comprehensive approach provides the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits, and should be a template for other like-minded nations. We are pleased to be able to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally with American-designed solar technology,” Mark Widmar, chief executive officer of First Solar, said in the statement.

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