First Solar Series 6 CuRe has Industry’s Lowest Warranted Degradation Rate

Tuesday, 13. April 2021 15:00

TEMPE, Ariz., April 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Series 6 CuRe, the next-generation photovoltaic (PV) technology developed by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), has a warranted degradation rate of 0.2% per year, the lowest rate for any commercially available PV product today based on publicly available information. This unprecedented degradation rate is up to 60% lower than conventional crystalline silicon (c-Si) products, and ensures that the module will retain at least 92% of its original performance at the end of its 30-year warranty.

The near-zero degradation rate, combined with a superior temperature coefficient, spectral response, and shading behavior advances the Series 6 CuRe platform’s competitiveness in all markets. The enhanced performance is enabled by First Solar’s semiconductor-level innovation and its Copper Replacement (CuRe) program. CuRe, developed by the company’s scientists at its Silicon Valley and Ohio research and development (R&D) centers, is a proprietary semiconductor platform that replaces copper with atoms of Group V elements that enhance performance, delivering long-term stability.

“We invested in our understanding of copper’s dynamics in order to turn what had been a cause of degradation into an opportunity to virtually eliminate it,” explained Markus Gloeckler, chief technology officer at First Solar. “Armed with this knowledge, we researched a range of alternatives and found that Group V elements could effectively replace copper, acting as a stable dopant and furthering our goal of zero degradation. CuRe is the deployment-ready result of that research, and the world’s most technologically advanced thin film solar module.”

First Solar’s cadmium telluride (CadTel) semiconductor technology, the result of over $1.4 billion in cumulative investment, already has one of the industry’s longest proven track records in module degradation. Its early-generation modules, pre-dating most of the world’s largest c-Si manufacturers, were installed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Outdoor Test Facility in Colorado and recently completed 25-years of continuous monitoring. The long-term study revealed a degradation rate of just 0.48% a year.

Mark Widmar, chief executive officer of First Solar, commented, “Series 6 CuRe represents innovation in its truest form. From engineering the atoms in the semiconductor to its ability to withstand extreme weather events such as hailstorms, and from the social license that comes built-in to being able to recycle over 90% of each module, this responsibly-produced technology is packed with innovation designed to address many of our customers’ biggest challenges.”

Series 6 CuRe builds on the success of First Solar’s Series 6 technology, the world’s only large-format thin film module. The Series 6 CuRe module technology features a -0.28%/0C temperature coefficient, which improves upon the existing Series 6 baseline, and a superior spectral response, allowing it to outperform c-Si in hot and humid environments. Unlike c-Si panels that can experience disproportionate power loss under shaded conditions, First Solar Series 6 modules feature a superior shading response with a linear relationship to the shaded area that minimizes shading loss.

Series 6 CuRe technology is also immune to many issues that the company believes continue to plague c-Si panels, including cell-cracking due to mishandling during installation or extreme weather events, such as high winds or hailstorms. It comes with the industry’s first and only cell-cracking warranty. It is also immune to Light Induced Degradation (LID) and Light and Elevated Temperature-Induced Degradation (LeTID) mechanisms that affect c-Si modules.

“This truly is a product that delivers more in every respect,” said Georges Antoun, First Solar’s chief commercial officer. “Series 6 CuRe is built with our customers’ needs in mind. It delivers not just more performance, but fast installation with lower structural costs, industry-leading quality, reliability, and durability, and unparalleled levels of traceability and transparency.”

Manufactured under one roof at the company’s manufacturing facilities in the United States, Malaysia, and Vietnam, the technology’s quality assurance and quality control programs offer full traceability. Series 6 CuRe also has the industry’s best environmental profile, with a carbon footprint that is 2.5-times lower than high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon, which uses energy-intensive methods to refine and produce its polysilicon semiconductor. It has a water footprint that is three times lower and an energy payback time that is twice as fast as monocrystalline silicon.

First Solar, the only US-headquartered company among the world’s largest solar manufacturers, also has a longstanding zero-tolerance policy towards forced labor, requiring its suppliers to abide by its standards and policies, regardless of geographical location.

About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly-produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels. From raw material sourcing and manufacturing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s approach to technology embodies sustainability and a responsibility towards people and the planet. For more information, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning First Solar’s Series 6 CuRe module technology. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “goal,” “target,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “predict,” “continue” and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Media
Reuven Proença
First Solar Media
reuven.proenca@firstsolar.com
Investors
Mitchell Ennis
First Solar Investor Relations
mitchell.ennis@firstsolar.com

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/31f84912-c2f2-4ae7-8bd1-f8e26860fcca 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d6b9290e-b3b5-45d3-9ec6-7dd8cb698ab6


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First Solar Series 6 CuRe has Industry’s Lowest Warranted Degradation Rate

Series 6 CuRe, the next-generation photovoltaic (PV) technology developed by First Solar, Inc., has a warranted degradation rate of 0.2% per year, the lowest rate for any commercially available PV product today based on publicly available information. This unprecedented degradation rate is up to 60% lower than conventional crystalline silicon (c-Si) products and ensures that the module will retain at least 92% of its original performance at the end of its 30-year warranty.
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