DFC approves debt financing of up to $ 500 million for First Solar manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu



The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) said on Tuesday it had approved up to $ 500 million in debt financing for First Solar, America’s largest solar energy manufacturing company.

The loan represents the largest debt financing transaction for DFC and will support the company’s previously announced vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu.

The facility has an expected annual capacity of 3.3 gigawatts (GW), the development bank said in a statement.

“DFC is delighted to be able to support First Solar’s new venture in India, which will increase solar panel manufacturing capacity for a key ally and help mobilize the industry to adopt better standards that match. to American values, ”said Dev Jagadesan, interim CEO of DFC. “This transaction represents another important step in the United States’ effort to drive alternative supply chains – and to articulate a vision for climate finance that guides our development mission.”

First Solar produces “thin film” solar panel modules, which do not use polysilicon.

The company announced plans to build the plant in India in July, shortly after unveiling plans for a new $ 680 million plant in Ohio that will add 3.3 GW of new domestic manufacturing capacity. in the United States by 2023, while creating more than 700 new manufacturing jobs. .

The company plans to reach 16 GW of global manufacturing capacity by 2024.

“Like the United States, India has recognized that it must shape its own sustainable energy future and has sought to boost the expansion of its domestic solar generation capacity,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “DFC’s intention to support this facility has the potential to create a high-visibility, repeatable model to enable the clean energy ambitions of like-minded nations through American innovation, ingenuity and competitiveness.” . ”

Most of the output from the new facility is expected to be sold in the rapidly growing solar market in India, a Quad ally and a key US partner in the Indo-Pacific region. The bank said the financing offered by DFC promotes the United States’ commitment to tackling climate change at home and abroad and supports India’s ambitious renewable energy targets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a global effort to install 500 GW of renewable electricity generation in India, which “will help save lives by reducing pollution in major cities and helping to respond to the climate crisis” , the company said.

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