First Solar, Israeli Group Announce Major Solar Equipment Deal

Global solar power equipment provider First Solar announced a massive deal with Israel-based Energix Renewables, an agreement in which First Solar will deliver more than 5 GW of ultra-low carbon thin film solar modules for projects in Israel, the U.S., and Poland.

Energix, among the largest renewable energy companies in Israel and with more than 7 GW of projects under development in those three countries, on July 16 said Arizona-based First Solar’s recycling division also will manage the end-of-life handling of decommissioned modules.

The equipment will power facilities expected to come online between 2026 and 2030.

“As we grow our pipeline, we want a trusted partner that will not compromise on quality, its commitments, or principles, and that partner is First Solar,” said Asa Levinger, CEO of Energix, which previously had placed orders for more than 3.5 GW of First Solar’s technology since 2017. First Solar is known for its cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film modules.

Strategic Partnership

“This deal, our largest ever, strongly reflects the long-term strategic partnership we share with First Solar,” said Levinger. “It also constitutes a significant milestone for Energix’s long-term growth, as we rapidly expand our global pipeline, with an emphasis on the United States. With shared goals and a united vision for a sustainable energy future, this deal perfectly suits our needs, paving the way for groundbreaking achievements and reinforcing our commitment to our stakeholders.”

U.S. solar module manufacturer First Solar said Israel-based Energix Renewables has agreed to procure 5 GW of First Solar’s ultra-low carbon thin film solar modules for use in projects in Israel, Poland, and the U.S. Source: Business Wire

Both companies recently secured more financial support for their U.S. operations. Energix, which entered the U.S. market in 2016, today has nine solar power plants with 224 MW of capacity in the Mid-Atlantic region. The company in June received $520 million of financing for six utility-scale solar projects in Virginia and Pennsylvania, with a total combined generation capacity of 416 MW.

First Solar recently secured a five-year revolving credit guarantee facility for $1 billion, which it will use to support an expansion of its domestic manufacturing. The company said it is investing about $1.3 billion for additional U.S. output, increasing from a current 6.5 GW of annual nameplate capacity to about 10.9 GW by 2026. The company expects to invest $1.1 billion in a new 3.5 GW manufacturing plant in Alabama, and also is expanding its existing factory in Ohio.

The company also has said it will invest as much as $370 million for a dedicated research and development center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is expected to open next year.

Energix Expanding in U.S.

Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer for First Solar, said the latest deal with Energix “demonstrates once again the substantial place Energix takes as one of our biggest client worldwide, and we feel honorable to take active part in Energix’s significant growth, especially in the United States. We are pleased that Energix will power its asset portfolio with First Solar’s module technology.”

First Solar touted the recycling aspect of the agreement, saying its First Solar Recycling Services will manage the program. The company said it will provide closed-loop semiconductor recovery for use in new modules, and said it also will recover materials such as aluminum, glass, and laminates.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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