First Solar’s Thin Film Modules Approved for Use in DCR Solar Projects

The modules are produced at First Solar's manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved the use of thin film solar modules produced at First Solar’s (FS India Solar Ventures) vertically integrated solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu in projects that have a Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) mandate.

DCR solar modules refer to those in which both the solar cells and modules are manufactured within India. MNRE introduced this policy to promote local manufacturing and support the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The Tamil Nadu facility has an annual nameplate capacity of 3.3 GW. It focuses on producing First Solar’s Series 7 solar modules, specifically developed for the Indian market at the company’s research and development centers in the U.S.

The company claimed its Series 7 module has a carbon and water footprint approximately four times lower than crystalline silicon solar panels produced in China.

MNRE recently enlisted cadmium telluride thin film-based models from manufacturers that adhere to Bureau of Indian Standards norms and meet specific minimum module efficiency criteria. The minimum efficiency listed for cadmium telluride thin film-based modules is as follows:

  • Category I (grid-scale power projects): minimum module efficiency of 19%
  • Category II (rooftop and solar pumping): minimum module efficiency of 18.5%
  • Category III (solar lighting): minimum module efficiency of 18%

First Solar was added to the ALMM with an annual supply capacity of 3,212 MW.

First Solar’s net income for the first quarter of 2024 surged by 455% to $236.6 million from $42.6 million in the same quarter last year, with the solar module manufacturer benefitting from higher sales volume and gross margins.

The company produced a record 3.6 GW of solar modules in the first quarter and said its total bookings backlog stood at 78.3 GW with an aggregate value of $23.3 billion extending through 2030.