With its CdTe thin film module capacity now above 1GW with the full ramp of its new production lines in Malaysia, First Solar says it has become the first PV manufacturer to reach a gigawatt of production in a single year. The company estimated that 1GW of production is equivalent to enough electricity to serve the needs of approximately 145,000 average U.S. homes and saves roughly 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
“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’s president. “Our efforts in scaling our technology are critical to creating a more sustainable energy infrastructure and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
With its thin film production techniques and manufacturing scale, First Solar also has the lowest cost of manufacturing within the industry, reaching a cost per watt of US$0.85 cents in 3Q09.