First Solar Reaches Photovoltaic Milestone

First Solar's photovoltaic manufacturing plant in Frankfurt, Germany
First Solar’s photovoltaic manufacturing plant in Frankfurt, Germany.

First Solar has manufactured and shipped more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of its photovoltaic solar modules in 2009, becoming the first PV company to attain this production volume in a single year. One gigawatt of solar modules produces enough electricity to serve the needs of approximately 145,000 average American homes and saves roughly 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

As the world’s largest solar module manufacturer, First Solar has increased its manufacturing capacity from approximately 75 megawatts (MW) per year at the beginning of 2007 to more than 1GW today.

“This proof that the solar industry can achieve the manufacturing scale necessary to fight climate change is especially timely in light of the Copenhagen conference that began last week,” said Bruce Sohn, First Solar president. “Our efforts in scaling our technology are critical to creating a more sustainable energy infrastructure and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

First Solar has continually lowered the cost of manufacturing solar modules, breaking the $1 per watt barrier earlier this year.

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. By continually driving down manufacturing costs, First Solar is delivering an economically viable alternative to fossil-fuel generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating cost-effective, renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment.

Read Large-Scale Solar Power Systems: Construction and Economics from Amazon.

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