First Solar to install 1.5 GW of 1,500-V solar farms in US - report
Solar panel arrays in California. Author: Russ Ferriday. License: Creative Commons. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
Dec 10, 2014 - First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) has plans to install 1,500 MW of 1,500-V large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) parks in the US over the next two years, a company official has said.
The US solar module maker and project developer is already operating two 1,500-V solar plants on a trial basis and intends to build more from 2015 to 2016, Mahesh Morjaria, vice president of product management, told Nikkei BP in an interview published today.
The solar industry is currently undergoing a transition period with the increase of plant voltage to 1,500 V from 1,000 V. Meanwhile, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has already set 2,000 V as the standard for large-scale solar farms, Morjaria explained.
The First Solar VP pointed out that raising voltage has a direct positive effect on the cost efficiency of the solar farm as it helps reduce the power production cost. However, it all depends on module and inverter manufacturers making products that support high voltage.
Morjaria noted that First Solar has already discussed the matter with Japanese inverter maker Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC).