First Solar signs 167 MW wind, solar PPA with Cleantech Solar


Cleantech Solar, a pan-Asia supplier of renewable energy to corporates, announced today that it has secured a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with US module manufacturer First Solar. Under the agreement, Cleantech Solar will construct 150 MW of photovoltaic (PV) solar and 16.8 MW of wind-generating assets in Tamil Nadu, India, supplying around 7.3 GWh of clean electricity to First Solar’s new 3.3 GW vertically integrated solar manufacturing facility, also located in Tamil Nadu.

When fully commissioned by the third quarter of 2024, the solar and wind generation assets are expected to meet up to 70% of the facility’s anticipated electricity needs. They are expected to displace almost 7,000 kilotons of CO2 emissions over the PPA duration.

Cleantech Solar will procure 150 MW of advanced, India-made Series 7 thin-film solar panels from First Solar, for use in the PV component of the PPA project. The modules are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2024.

First Solar’s cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film modules have among the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV module today. The modules are included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registry for sustainable electronics, signifying strong performance on metrics evaluating the management of substances in the product, manufacturing energy and water use, product packaging, end-of-life recycling and corporate responsibility.

“Our new manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu sets a high benchmark for responsible and sustainable vertically integrated solar manufacturing, not just in India, but globally,” said Sujoy Ghosh, vice president and manging director, First Solar, India. “By powering our operations with clean, renewably-generated electricity, we are working to further reduce our environmental footprint, which is already the lowest in the industry.”

First Solar’s Tamil Nadu plant, located in an area of high baseline water stress, is purportedly the world’s first net-zero water withdrawal solar manufacturing facility. The facility is designed to minimize its impact on local water resources and will rely entirely on tertiary treated reverse osmosis water from the city’s sewage treatment plant and have zero wastewater discharge. Additionally, the factory is home to India’s first photovoltaic (PV) solar recycling plant. The company pioneered high-value solar recycling, which provides closed-loop semiconductor recovery for use in new modules, while also recovering other materials including aluminium, glass, and laminates.

“This collaboration extends beyond powering First Solar’s flagship manufacturing facility in India; it involves leveraging their advanced, ultra-low carbon thin film solar panels to energize our solar assets,” said Sachin Jain, chief executive officer, Cleantech Solar.

With this latest agreement, Cleantech Solar’s total portfolio in Tamil Nadu now stands at nearly 500 MW (including solar, wind and hybrid power projects under operational and construction stages).

Headquartered in Singapore, Cleantech Solar has numerous solar and wind projects across India and Southeast Asia, with around 1.2 GWp of assets in operations, construction and development stages. The company is backed by long-term strategic shareholders – Keppel Corporation, Keppel Asia Infrastructure Fund and Shell Singapore.

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