Silicon Ranch and First Solar in Strategic partnership to advance US energy transition
First Solar, Inc. announced that it has signed a master supply agreement (MSA) to supply 4 gigawatts (GW)DC of advanced, responsibly-produced thin film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules to Silicon Ranch, one of the nation’s largest independent power producers. The deal, one of First Solar’s largest, will see Silicon Ranch’s projects in the United States receive modules from 2023 to 2025. Silicon Ranch will benefit from the evolution of First Solar’s advanced Cadmium Telluride (CadTel) thin film module technology platform over the span of the agreement.
This significant agreement represents the latest milestone in the relationship between two best-in-class solar businesses, advancing the US energy transition while supporting American solar manufacturing growth. The growing strategic partnership began in 2015 when Silicon Ranch contracted with First Solar to supply the modules for its Aerojet Rocketdyne Solar Farm in Arkansas, the state’s first utility-scale solar project. The partnership between these industry leaders has grown substantially across the US since then, with over 30 projects totaling more than 1 GW.
“Silicon Ranch’s business model of long-term asset ownership demands that we emphasize best-in-class strategic partners and requires us to consider the future in every action we take, from the modules we buy all the way through to how we manage the land we occupy,” said Reagan Farr, co-founder and chief executive officer, Silicon Ranch. “Our customers care about the carbon impact of their procurement choices, and so do we at Silicon Ranch. We are already proving that we can sequester carbon on our sites through our Regenerative Energy® model of land management, and this partnership with First Solar enables us to improve the carbon footprint of our module supply, while also supporting additional investment in US manufacturing capabilities. We have grown our business at Silicon Ranch through our faith in the power of collaborative partnerships, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with First Solar as we accelerate our growth strategy across the country.”
Designed and developed at its research and development (R&D) centers in California and Ohio, First Solar’s responsibly produced advanced thin film PV modules set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. Under the agreement, end-of-life CadTel modules from Silicon Ranch projects can be processed by First Solar’s advanced high value recycling program, which recovers approximately 90 percent of CadTel material which can be used to manufacture new modules, as well as other materials including aluminum, glass, and laminates. Additionally, the recycled glass can be converted into useful glass products for beneficial use, while laminates can be processed into rubber products including shoe soles and bicycle handles. First Solar currently operates commercial recycling facilities in the US, Germany, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
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