First Solar has reached its next manufacturing milestone, producing 4GW of thin-film photovoltaic modules since the company began commercial production in 2002. Adding to this target, the company has also announced that its second factory at Frankfurt (Oder), near Brandenburg in Germany has begun producing solar modules, one month ahead of schedule.
The four new production lines at the new facility are still expected to ramp to full production during the third quarter of 2011, bringing annual capacity at the two Frankfurt factories to more than 500MW. This expansion represents a 100% increase in production and creates up to 500 additional clean, green jobs. The factory will draw some of its energy from the PV power plant installed on the roof.
“The solar industry in Brandenburg has become one of the most innovative growth markets,” agreed Ralf Christoffers, Minister for Economics and European Affairs in Brandenburg. “Almost every second solar panel in Germany comes from Brandenburg. Thanks to the solar industry we have been able to create hundreds of promising jobs. Expansion and investment by well-known companies has built an entire value chain in the region.”
The 4GW of generation capacity now produced by First Solar is enough solar electricity to power around two million households, displacing more than 2.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions a year.
First Solar is exhibiting at Intersolar Europe, booth A3.230.