Once known for its utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems, Arizona-based First Solar is shifting gears to provide smaller programs the PV modules they need. Among the applications First Solar will now support are community solar projects that generally supply solar energy to low-income communities.
By pursuing the distributed-generation photovoltaic market, the Arizona solar panel manufacturer will be able to expand its reach and revenue while helping increase the prevalence of solar energy. Currently, the nation’s largest PV producer has a portfolio of 25-gigawatts of cadmium telluride panels installed around the world. The impact it will make by selling its Series 6 panels will be a noticeable one in the solar community.
According to First Solar’s senior director of business development, Darin Green, the company has seen its PV modules used in distributed generation programs before. Though its focus as always been utility-scale, the technology has been implemented for smaller projects in the United States and around the globe. Green confirms, however, that this shift to focusing on distributed projects will allow its PV panels to be used more commonly for community solar programs and installations for schools and municipalities.
First Solar will use its distributors – WESCO Distribution, Graybar, and Kinect Solar – to help make this shift to smaller generation projects. These companies will provide the Series 6 PV panels to projects of all sizes, including community solar gardens that will benefit municipalities and their residents.
According to First Solar, its Series 6 modules are more efficient than any Tier 1 solar panel currently on the market. Its PV panels leave behind the lowest carbon emissions, use less water, and produce less pollution. The thin-film PV modules are built efficiently and with sustainability in mind. First Solar also offers recycling services for all of its PV modules.
Though community solar farms are often considered distributed-generation projects, First Solar’s PV panels were used in several utility-scale community solar farms, including in Austin, TX, and for Black Hills Energy in Colorado.
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