First Solar signs PPA with Dow for its Gulf Coast operations


First Solar has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Dow for its Gulf Coast operations.

Dow’s Texas Operations is the largest petrochemical site in the western hemisphere.

Under the agreement, First Solar will supply Dow with renewable energy from 75 percent of its 200 megawatt (MW) AC Horizon Solar project in Frio County, Texas.

The project will utilize First Solar’s Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) modules, designed and developed at the company’s research and development (R&D) centers in California and Ohio. The Series 6 modules that will power the project utilize a range of advanced technologies, including ENGAGE PV Polyolefin Elastomers by Dow, which are used as encapsulant films to enhance the module’s performance and efficiency.

“Dow and First Solar share a common vision for a more sustainable planet and a long history of partnership. Multiple raw materials, components, and derivative products produced by Dow contribute to the reliability and sustainability of First Solar’s module technology, including ENGAGE PV polyolefin elastomers. Now we are putting that technology to work in helping to power our operations in Texas and to reach Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goal of obtaining 750 megawatts of our power demand from renewable sources.”

Edward Stones, Dow’s global business director for Energy and Climate Change.

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, the module delivers a superior environmental profile and the lowest carbon solar electricity available.

“With 123 years of history and a range of products that touches virtually every aspect of our lives, Dow helps define the image of American innovation on the world stage. As America’s solar company, we’re proud to support Dow’s renewable energy objectives with technology designed and developed in the United States. Dow reinforces its longstanding commitment to sustainability by sourcing energy produced by the PV technology with the lowest carbon and water footprints available today. Importantly, the agreement also enables the addition of resilient, reliable solar capacity to our nation’s electricity grid.”

Karl Brutsaert, senior director, Corporate Renewables, First Solar.

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, equivalent to planting 2.4 million trees per year. The project will create approximately 350 jobs at the peak of construction and is also expected to bring benefits to local businesses.

Anela Dokso

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