In a significant development for the clean energy sector, First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) has entered into an agreement to supply Swift Current Energy with 500 megawatts (MW) of cutting-edge thin-film Series 7 modules. Swift Current Energy, a prominent Boston-based developer, owner, and operator of utility-scale clean energy assets, has been at the forefront of renewable energy projects. The company had previously placed substantial orders for 3.3 gigawatts of First Solar modules in 2022. This latest order, secured just before First Solar’s Q3 2023 results were announced on October 31, will witness the delivery of these modules between 2027 and 2028.
Swift Current Energy has demonstrated its commitment to advancing renewable energy, commercializing more than 2.5 GW of renewable energy projects and boasting a project pipeline of over 10 GW of solar, wind, and energy storage. Additionally, the company currently owns 1.4 GW of renewable energy projects either in operation or in advanced construction.
Eric Lammers, co-founder and chief executive officer of Swift Current Energy, emphasized the importance of stable pricing and supply, stating, “As we continue to progress our US development pipeline, the certainty of pricing and supply is essential to ensuring that we deliver capacity as planned. This latest agreement with First Solar supports our effort to build a resilient, competitive value chain while supporting investments in domestic manufacturing, along with the jobs and economic benefits that come with it.”
First Solar, renowned for its responsibly produced advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules, is an industry leader in quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. Their Series 7 modules stand out with the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV module and the distinction of being the first PV manufacturer included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry for sustainable electronics.
Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer of First Solar, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “We are thrilled that Swift Current Energy has chosen to extend its partnership with First Solar to 2028, entrusting a significant portion of its development pipeline to our technology. Their decision speaks volumes to the competitive value that we are able to deliver in terms of energy, certainty of pricing and supply, and an advanced PV module that is responsibly produced in America, for America.”
First Solar holds the distinction of being the largest solar manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere, boasting approximately 6 GW of operational, fully vertically integrated nameplate capacity in the US. The company is pursuing an ambitious expansion strategy aimed at growing its footprint to 14 GW of nameplate capacity in the US and 25 GW globally by 2026. In line with this, First Solar commissioned its third Ohio factory earlier this year and has plans to expand its presence in the state by 0.9 GW. The company is also preparing to build new manufacturing facilities in Alabama and Louisiana, each with an expected annual nameplate capacity of 3.5 GW.
The Alabama and Louisiana facilities represent substantial investments, totalling over $2 billion, and are expected to commence commercial shipments in 2024 and 2026, respectively. These facilities are designed to produce the Series 7 modules ordered by Swift Current and are expected to use 100% US-made components, complying with the current domestic content guidelines issued by the US Department of the Treasury. First Solar anticipates that once its Louisiana factory is operational, Series 7 modules will account for over two-thirds of its annual domestic nameplate capacity. Notably, Series 7 modules already produced at the company’s Ohio facility are manufactured using US-made glass and steel.