Sustainable Practices for Long-Term Growth
First Solar delivers global sustainable solutions that produce energy with low greenhouse gas impacts, improve energy security, create jobs and contribute to economic development. Economic sustainability forms one of the three pillars of First Solar’s global sustainability program. Achieving long-term growth and profit results in the success of First Solar and enables us to drive utility-scale solar market growth, create direct and indirect jobs and provide support for community development worldwide. The goal of our Sustainability mindset is to create a balanced approach to the business decision-making process; producing socio-economic benefits while following sustainable environmental practices. As we strive for lower Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), improved financial performance, new market growth and strong investor rankings, we want to accomplish those objectives with an informed, responsible and accountable approach.
Creating Green Jobs
First Solar is strengthening communities across the globe by creating local jobs in areas where we manufacture and build projects. On average, per solar PV project, First Solar creates several hundred construction jobs along with long-term monitoring and operation positions. Our 550 MW Topaz project alone is creating approximately 400 construction jobs and 15 long-term positions while providing indirect benefits to dozens of businesses in the San Luis Obispo County of California. First Solar is contributing to global economic development by creating around 40,000 global jobs* throughout our offices and locations, supply chain, and construction sites worldwide.
* First Solar estimate based on calculations provided by the Center for American Progress and Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) in The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy
Boosting Energy Security
Today, First Solar provides solar PV energy that is already cost competitive with conventional energy sources in specific regions. We are helping regions meet their renewable energy targets and achieve energy security by diversifying their energy portfolio and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. First Solar is continuously driving down the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) and our Balance of System costs, making widespread clean and affordable solar electricity a reality.
Crossing Over to Sustainable Markets
In order to create long-term growth and provide cost-effective solar energy, First Solar is focusing on providing utility-scale solar power to regions with abundant sunshine and growing demand for peak electricity. In new markets such as India, China, Australia, the Middle East, and Latin America, solar power has the potential to fuel decades of growth without dependence on subsidies. Our unique capability to design, engineer, construct, operate and maintain large solar electricity generation plants and integrate them with the grid is enabling us to reduce solar electricity prices to grid parity levels in these markets.
The 10MW (AC) Greenough River Solar Farm in Geraldton, Western Australia is the first utility-scale PV project in Australia.