In a significant development for the renewable energy sector, Longroad Energy, a prominent US-based renewable energy developer, owner, and operator, has extended its collaboration with First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) and increased its procurement of advanced thin film American solar modules by an additional 2 gigawatts (GW). This announcement comes as part of Longroad Energy’s commitment to sustainable energy and American solar manufacturing. The newly agreed-upon order of responsibly produced solar modules is slated for delivery between 2027 and 2029. This move builds upon an existing framework agreement between Longroad Energy and First Solar, which originally encompassed 3.7 GW of solar modules. With this latest expansion, Longroad Energy’s total procurement of First Solar thin-film modules will reach 8 GW since their partnership began in 2017.
Michael Alvarez, co-founder and chief operating officer of Longroad Energy, expressed enthusiasm about the extended partnership, stating, “Longroad Energy and First Solar share a longstanding partnership that’s based on shared values and a common vision for a sustainable energy future. By expanding our procurement of First Solar’s advanced thin film technology, we are extending our commitment to responsibly produced renewable energy technologies and to American solar manufacturing and domestic value chains.”
First Solar is renowned for its responsibly produced, advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules that set industry standards for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. Their solar modules boast the lowest carbon and water footprint among commercially available PV modules and are included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry for sustainable electronics.
As part of its commitment to responsible practices, First Solar is a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the world’s largest industry coalition dedicated to supporting worker and community rights in the global supply chain. The company maintains a zero-tolerance policy for forced labor within its manufacturing and supply chains. First Solar has also conducted third-party social audits across its global manufacturing operations, distinguishing itself among the world’s largest solar manufacturers.
Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer of First Solar, emphasized the value proposition of their partnership with Longroad Energy, saying, “Our ability to deliver certainty of pricing and supply, domestic manufacturing and supply chains, and responsibly made solar modules optimized for energy provides the value customers, such as Longroad, seek. We are thrilled that Longroad Energy has decided to underpin its continued growth with First Solar’s technology and look forward to growing this partnership.”
First Solar has embarked on a robust manufacturing expansion strategy over the past decade, increasing its global operational nameplate capacity from approximately 6 GW in 2020 to an impressive 13 GW today. Further expansion is expected to elevate their capacity to 25 GW by 2026. This year, First Solar commissioned its third factory in Ohio and is on track to complete a new facility in Alabama, along with expanding its existing footprint in Ohio by 2024. The company has also announced plans to establish a fifth US facility, set to be located in Louisiana and operational by the first half of 2026. Additionally, First Solar is investing up to $370 million in a dedicated R&D innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio, expected to be completed next year.