First Solar, Inc. has inked a 15-year, captive Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Cleantech Solar. Cleantech is a leading provider of renewable energy solutions within India and the rest of South East Asia. As per the terms of the agreement, Cleantech Solar has undertaken the task of setting up 150 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar and 16.8 MW of wind-generating assets in Tamil Nadu, India. This will be for supplying approximately 7.3 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean electricity to a 3.3-gigawatt (GW) owned by First Solar, Inc. This PPA is supposed to be among the largest intra-state Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in India.
This is a vertically integrated solar manufacturing facility situated in Tamil Nadu. Expected to be commissioned by the third quarter of 2024, these assets will supply up to 70% of the facility’s expected electricity needs. They will also amount to reducing approximately 7,000 kilotons of CO2 emissions over the life of the PPA. Additionally, Cleantech Solar will also procure 150 MW of advanced, India-made Series 7 thin film solar panels from First Solar and use them to power the solar PVs. The delivery of these modules is slated for the first half of 2024.
The Tamil Nadu facility of First Solar, situated in an area characterized by significant water stress, is recognized as the world’s inaugural solar manufacturing facility with net-zero water withdrawal. The plant has been meticulously designed to minimize its impact on local water resources by exclusively utilizing tertiary treated reverse osmosis water sourced from the municipal sewage treatment plant, ensuring zero wastewater discharge. Notably, the facility also houses India’s inaugural photovoltaic (PV) solar recycling plant. First Solar has been a trailblazer in high-value solar recycling, introducing a closed-loop semiconductor recovery process for incorporation into new modules. This innovative approach extends to the recovery of various materials such as aluminum, glass, and laminates.
“Our new manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu sets a high benchmark for responsible and sustainable vertically integrated solar manufacturing, not just in India, but globally,” said Sujoy Ghosh, vice president and managing director, First Solar, India. “By powering our operations with clean, renewably-generated electricity, we are working to further reduce our environmental footprint, which is already the lowest in the industry.”“We are delighted to announce our strategic partnership with First Solar. This collaboration extends beyond powering First Solar’s flagship manufacturing facility in India; it involves leveraging their advanced, ultra-low carbon thin film solar panels to energize our solar assets,” added Sachin Jain, chief executive officer, Cleantech Solar. “Cleantech has a substantial presence in the state of Tamil Nadu within the renewable energy sector, particularly in Wind and Solar. Our state-of-the-art solar and wind energy parks in the region play a pivotal role in delivering clean and cost-competitive power to our esteemed clients, including First Solar.”
Jain added, “This collaboration enables our partners’ efforts to diversify their energy sources, integrate renewable energy into their operations, and achieve a higher degree of stability and sustainability in their power supply. This partnership exemplifies our commitment to advancing sustainable energy solutions and reinforces our position as a key player in the renewable energy landscape. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with First Solar, contributing to the growth and success of both organizations.”