First Solar is now also relying on solar energy at its production site in Frankfurt (Oder). Today the company started operation of a 1.3 megawatt solar-power-plant on its facility’s roof. For the first time, First Solar now represents the entire value chain of photovoltaics in Frankfurt (Oder), from manufacturing of the solar modules and power generation to recycling.
With its PV-thin-film technology, First Solar offers the possibility to generate clean, low cost solar power to establish an alternative to conventional energy sources. The company focuses in particular on the sustainable management of the entire life cycle of its solar modules and, as the first manufacturer to do so, introduced a pre-financed collection and recycling program. The solar power plant on the roof of the production site in Frankfurt (Oder) is a logical step in implementing this philosophy. With the new solar-power-plant, First Solar in the future will also generate its own environmentally friendly power in addition to manufacturing solar modules and recycling.
"As one of the most important future industries, the solar industry is of tremendous significance for Brandenburg," says Ralf Christoffers, Minister for Economic Affairs of Brandenburg. "For years now, we have been successfully promoting the sustainable support of renewable energy and are therefore pleased that First Solar is taking the lead in an exemplary manner and is now using solar energy to manufacture its modules."
The new solar power plant has a capacity of 1.3 megawatts and will generate more than 1000 megawatt hours of clean energy every year. Mathematically, this corresponds to the needs of 366 three-person households and an annual CO2 savings of around 875 tons. More than 17, 070 FS-275 thin-film modules were installed for the 12,400-square-meter facility. More than 120 inverters transform the power into alternating current, which is then fed into the local network from the internal First Solar network.
"Our corporate philosophy is to generate environmentally friendly energy at competitive prices," said Burghard von Westerholt, plant manager and Managing Director of First Solar Manufacturing GmbH. "With the solar power plant, we cover the entire solar cycle at our German plant and offer a sustainable alternative to conventional energy sources from manufacturing and power generation to recycling."
Since 2007, First Solar has been producing solar modules in Frankfurt (Oder) that are based on its innovative thin film technology, and the company currently has almost 700 employees in Germany. Recently, the company announced plans to expand its production in Frankfurt (Oder). By the end of 2011, the company wants to double production capacity and create several hundred new jobs.