First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced that its high-performance thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules would power two utility-scale photovoltaic solar power plants in the Netherlands, developed by Denmark's Obton.
Obton broke ground on the first project, a 13.92-megawatt (MWDC) facility today, while a second, 4.4MWDC, project is expected to come online in mid-2018. Both projects are located in Stadskanaal and have secured licenses under the country's SDE+ renewable energy program. The plants are part of a growing wave of solar PV projects that have successfully competed against other technologies, including wind, in recent SDE+ procurement rounds. They also mark Obton's entry into the Dutch market as an independent power producer.
"Our projects allow us to play a role in the Netherlands' plans to decarbonize its energy mix. They demonstrate that solar PV can effectively compete against any other renewable energy technology when powered by bankable module technology," said Anders Marcus, CEO of Obton. "Importantly, the fact that we're using First Solar's eco-efficient modules ensures that we're also delivering the lowest carbon solar in the country."
Over 156,000 First Solar Series 4 modules, which have the lowest environmental impact of all solar technologies, will power the two projects. With a carbon footprint that is approximately half that of conventional crystalline silicon PV panels, the modules will displace an estimated 6,200 metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year; comparable to removing 2,300 cars from Dutch roads. Additionally, with an energy payback time of approximately five months, the modules recoup the energy required to manufacture them faster than any other PV technology.
"The Stadskanaal projects are clear evidence that reliable, bankable utility-scale solar has earned its place in the country's low carbon energy generation portfolio," said Stefan Degener, First Solar's Head of Business Development for Europe and Africa. "As the Netherlands makes steady progress towards its decarbonization goals, we're very proud to be able to contribute to the effort to deliver clean and affordable solar electricity."
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