First Solar has made a significant leap in total area module efficiency that has been verified by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Easily surpassing its previous record of 14.4% efficiency, First Solar has pushed the bar to 16.1%. Importantly, the CdTe thin-film leader also set a record for open circuit voltage (VOC), reaching an NREL verified 903.2 millivolts (mV).

According to the company the VOC record is the first substantial improvement in CdTe-based VOC in over a decade R&D work across the globe.

Recently, First Solar set a new world record for CdTe solar cell efficiency of 18.7%.

"We are especially proud of this new efficiency record because the technology was created for production-scale implementation, as evidenced by our accelerated efficiency roadmaps," said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's Chief Technology Officer. "Measurements in the lab are an important benchmark, but our R&D mission is to deliver technology that is designed to shine in real-world conditions as part of our integrated power plant systems, engineered to deliver the best performance, reliability and value for our customers.”

First Solar's R&D team in Perrysburg, Ohio, were responsible for setting the new records.