First Solar Inc. FSLR recently unveiled its 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with diversified chemical products manufacturer, Dow Inc. DOW. Per the terms of the deal, 75% of solar energy from First Solar’s 200 megawatt-ac (MWac) Horizon solar project will be supplied to Dow’s Texas operations, the largest petrochemical site in the western hemisphere.
First Solar’s Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) modules will power solar energy generation at the Horizon plant. For First Solar, this PPA reflects the significant demand that its series 6 modules are enjoying, since their inception and further solidifies the company’s position as the largest solar module manufacturer within the United States.
Details of the Agreement
The portion of the solar facility covered by the PPA will generate enough electricity to power up to 25,000 average Texas homes, while displacing 147,000 metric tons of CO2 annually. Notably, this PPA reflects Dow’s commitment to fulfil its recently announced targets to reduce its net annual carbon emissions by 5 million tons by 2030 and eventually achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.
The PPA has also intensified a well-established partnership between First Solar and Dow, considering the fact that First Solar’s series 6 modules utilize Dow’s ENGAGE PV Polyolefin Elastomers, which are used as encapsulant films to enhance the module’s performance and efficiency. Together, these two state-of-the-art technologies will enhance the solar market of Texas, which is poised to become a nationwide leader in solar energy.
Why Series 6 Module?
With up to six times lower carbon footprint and 24 times lower water impact than conventional crystalline silicon PV panels on a life cycle basis, First Solar’s series 6 module delivers a superior environmental profile and the lowest carbon solar electricity available. In addition to having the lowest water footprint in the solar industry, First Solar has reduced its manufacturing water intensity per watt produced by 64% since 2009. Moreover, this new technology possesses the capacity to reduce the number of electrical connections and hardware required for solar system installation. These must have boosted the growing demand for this solar product.
Global Solar Boom: First Solar & Others
Per a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global solar power market size is projected to reach 4766.8 MW in 2026 from 2019, exhibiting CAGR of 30.7%.
To reap the benefits of this expanding global solar market, First Solar and other solar players are making every possible effort, which is expected to boost their profit. The company ended 2019 with net bookings of 6.1 gigawatts and the current contracted backlog of 12.4 gigawatts. Given the growing demand for solar modules, First Solar expects to increase its nameplate Series 6 manufacturing capacity to 6 GW by 2020 and 8 GW by year-end 2021.
During 2019, ReneSola SOL connected about 60 MW of projects. It aims incremental project pipeline in its core markets of 1GW by the end of 2020.
In 2019, JinkoSolar JKS reported record high solar module shipment of 14.3 GW. For 2020, it projects total solar module shipments of 18-20 GW, indicating an improvement of approximately 35%.
Price Performance & Zacks Rank
In a year’s time, shares of First Solar have lost 19.9% against the industry’s increase of 24.7%.
First Solar currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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Renesola Ltd. (SOL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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