PV Power Plants

Bankable PV Energy Solutions

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First Solar PV Power Plant

As the global leader in PV energy, our PV power plants set the bar for bankable project execution, receiving numerous “Project of the Year” awards. In addition, we have been named the “#1 EPC Company” and “#1 Project Developer” in the industry.

With experience and expertise across the entire solar value chain, we integrate our technologies and activities to maximize energy output and reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for our customers. By accepting full value chain responsibility and standing behind the performance of the entire power plant, we maximize the value of our customers PV investment while minimizing their risk.

  • Stable grid integration and advanced plant control features
  • Maximum project value with our engineering & plant optimization services
  • Bankable results with project development and financing expertise
  • Superior energy yield with integrated and optimized technologies throughout the plant
  • World-class execution with our procurement and construction capabilities
  • Industry-leading system availability with our operations and maintenance (O&M) services
  • Technologies proven to deliver reliable energy yield and stable grid integration

Developing electricity-generation assets starts with grid integration. We understand the challenges associated with integrating solar into the electricity grid on a global scale. Our power plants are equipped with advanced plant control features typical of large, conventional power plants that actively stabilize the electricity grid.

Learn more about First Solar’s Grid Integration & Plant Control Systems »

First Solar Plant Controller

DC-AC Ratio

We design power plants to maximize energy output and reduce LCOE. Every project is different. Project specific factors such as the local irradiance, weather, soil, wind, and topography must be taken into account for the design, layout, technology selection, and system configuration.

Maximizing Energy Output and Project Value

Our expert engineers have designed gigawatts of PV plants and have experience with more than 1,000 iterations of plant design improvements. In a process called “design optimization,” we go beyond standard plant engineering to configure PV plants that maximize project value. By applying our experience and expertise to meticulously configure PV plant parameters, we ensure our PV plants deliver the maximum financial results.

Project development is essential to creating valuable power plant assets and includes activities prior to construction, such as securing a power purchase agreement (PPA), establishing site control, project permitting, and project financing.

Development Timeline

One of the World's Largest Solar Pipelines

We have developed one of the world’s largest contracted solar project pipelines (currently approximately 3GW). More importantly, we have a proven track record of converting more PPAs to energy than anyone else in the industry. Our experienced project development team has successfully developed numerous solar power plants over 100MW in highly regulated environments. If you have a PPA with First Solar, you can count on us to deliver reliable, dependable, and cost-effective solar energy for the life of that agreement.

Cost of capital is the single-largest contributor to reducing LCOE. The impact financing terms have on the total cost of ownership is far more substantial than the module, balance of system, project development, or operating costs over the life of the plant.

Project Finance graph

Often a major constraint, obtaining low-cost financing and access to capital markets is critical to accelerating solar adoption worldwide. First Solar has raised approximately $11 billion of debt and equity financing for power plants developed by First Solar, and has won numerous awards for innovative deal structures resulting in valuable returns to our customers.

Project Financing Overview

AVSR

AV Solar Ranch One

Los Angeles County, California, USA

  • Size (MW AC)
  • 230
  • ~US$ Raised (Public Estimates)
  • $1.2 Billion
  • Owner(s)
  • Exelon
  • Bond Market
  • N/A
  • Federal Financing Market
  • Yes
  • Bank Market
  • N/A
  • Credit Guarantee: DoE
  • Yes
  • Uncovered Markets
  • N/A
AVSR 1 Agua Caliente Desert Sunlight Topaz
Size (MW AC) 230 290 550 550
~US$ Raised(Public Estimates) $1.2 Billion $1.5 Billion $2.5 Billion $2.4 Billion
Owner(s) Exelon NRG & MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company NextEra Energy & GE Energy Financial Services & Sumitomo Corporation of America MidAmerican Energy Holding Company
Bond Market X X
Federal Financing Market X X
Bank Market X
Credit Guarantee: DoE X X X
Uncovered Markets X X

First Solar has developed world-class procurement and construction management capabilities. As the largest buyer of many utility-scale PV power electronics, our global supply chain network has strong purchasing power and ensures the timely delivery of First Solar modules and balance of system components to construction sites. Our proven construction management capabilities have delivered more than 1.6GW of utility-scale PV plants on three continents and provide significant value to plant owners, developers, and plant builders.

First Solar Procurement and Construction Management Features:

  • Robust, agile supply chain with global network, purchasing power, and timely delivery
  • Integrated planning, scheduling and execution system
  • Expertise in project-specific engineering design and plant optimization
  • Construction experience with more than 1.6GW built to date
  • Grid integration and best-of-class plant controls
  • Track record of execution and award-wining safety record
  • Significant improvements in cost reduction and installation velocity
  • Ideal partner with leadership, experience and technical expertise


Consultative Delivery Approach

We offer an integrated approach to our customers’ solar energy needs by providing solutions that are tailored to their economic goals and capabilities. For system owners, we deliver PV power plants on time and on budget that are engineered to maximize their economic goals, and built to provide reliable solar energy over the life of the plant. For plant builders, we offer pre-engineered solutions with engineering and construction services and superior warranties to deliver “the First Solar advantage” through local construction partners. Having designed and built many of the world’s largest PV power plants in existence, we apply our expertise to deliver the right solution for each customer.

Construction Process

First Solar has made numerous improvements to construction processes in order to increase installation speed, reduce labor costs and environmental impact, and maximize energy output over the life of the plant.


Construction Process


Site Preparation and Environmental Mitigation

Our first utility-scale PV plants employed a grading technique during the site preparation process that provided a level foundation for the construction of the PV plant. Over time, we have evolved our site preparation processes in order to minimize land disturbance. One example of this is our disk-and-roll technique, which contours the land without changing the macro-level topography and existing drainage patterns in order to minimize impact, resulting in less earth movement, air emissions, and water use during construction.

Disk & Roll Technique

Disk-and-Roll Site Preparation

PV power plants generate electricity for multiple decades. We have developed industry-leading O&M capabilities to ensure our PV power plants generate as much energy (and revenue) for our customers as possible. We have also incorporated forecasting and energy scheduling capabilities to assist grid operators and utilities with daily load balancing.