First Solar nets module order for Vietnam solar projects

First Solar has a provisional module supply deal for a series of PV projects in Vietnam. Image: First Solar.

First Solar has gained a foothold in Vietnam with a provisional deal to supply modules for a series of projects in the Southeast Asian country.

The US thin-film manufacturer has signed a memorandum of understanding with Vietnamese developer, Thien Tan Group, to provide modules for a pipeline of projects the local firm is planning to build in the country.

The pipeline is of an unspecified size, but First Solar said construction on the first projects would begin before the end of 2016. The projects will be built across several provinces in Vietnam, with Thien Tan Group developing and owning them.

"We are delighted that Thien Tan Group has opted for our technology, as the company builds on its renewable portfolio. The advanced Cadmium Telluride modules offer significant efficiency and reliability advantages over typical crystalline silicon modules, particularly in a hot and humid climate like Vietnam,” said Rob Bartrop, First Solar's business development director for Southeast Asia.

Vietnam has yet to emerge as a significant end market for solar, despite featuring all the usual prerequisites such as growing demand, high power costs and attractive resources.

Before the last industry downturn between 2011 and 2013 First Solar had been construction on a new manufacturing facility, but this was subsequently shelved when the downturn hit.

Tags: first solar, vietnam