First Solar, Inc. Planning To Set-up Module Factory In India

First Solar has a 20% share in India’s solar modules market

First Solar is planning to set up a module production facility in India. A company spokesman told Karl-Erik Stromsta of Recharge News that the Tempe, Arizona-based company was weighing its options as domestic demand in India is picking up. Last month, SunEdison teamed up with Adani Group to set up a $4 billion solar panel manufacturing facility in the western state of Gujarat.

First Solar, SunEdison commit to build 20,000MW solar capacity in India

Earlier this month, First Solar pledged to build 5,000 megawatts of solar capacity in India by 2019. Its rival SunEdison, at the RE-INVEST event in New Delhi, pledged to build 15,200MW of solar and wind-power capacity by 2022. The new Indian government has been encouraging investments in renewable energy to reach its target of 100,000MW solar energy capacity by 2022, a huge 33-fold rise from the current levels.

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Energy Minister Piyush Goyal told the conference that he wants renewable energy to contribute 15% of the country’s total energy production in 10 years, up from 6% now. First Solar currently has manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and Ohio. According to Recharge News, the company has a 20% share in India’s solar modules market.

India one of the most important markets for First Solar

First Solar CEO Jim Hughes recently said that India was “one of our most important global markets.” To reach its target of 100,000 megawatts by 2022, India has to install 13,800MW of solar every year, more than double what the U.S. installed in 2014. First Solar has already won two contracts to set up a 45MW facility in Telangana and another 40MW project in the southern state of Andra Pradesh.

India’s largest bank, the State Bank of India, has announced to provide funds for 15,000MW of solar power by 2020. It costs about $1 billion to build 1,000MW of solar farms. Separately, First Solar recently won a $850 million contract from Apple to build a giant solar farm in California.