First Solar announced on their website on Wednesday that they were teaming up with GE’s Power Conversion business to combine their technologies and create the next generation of utility-scale PV power plants which will be more cost effective and energy efficient.
Combining First Solar’s thin-film CdTe modules and GE’s new ProSolar 1500 Volt inverter/transformer system and backed by a recently established technology and commercial partnership, the new utility-scale PV power plant design intended to maintain high power delivery while lowering installation and maintenance costs.
“This is a significant step in establishing the next generation of utility-scale PV power plants,” said Mahesh Morjaria, First Solar’s Vice President of Product Management. “Partnering with an industry giant such as GE, we are able to take our power plant design to the next level, and bring additional value to our customers.” Morjaria also noted that future generations of First Solar modules will increase optimization, benefiting from advances gained in part from the acquisition last fall of GE thin-film PV technology.
“GE is known throughout the industry as an established leader in power generation technology. With our ProSolar inverters, we were able to draw from our experience developing and manufacturing technology for traditional power plants to create a highly efficient solution with industry-leading capabilities,” said Joe Mastrangelo, CEO of GE Power Conversion. “The inverters’ design enable our customers to apply engineering design that significantly increases efficiency of energy production. Together with First Solar, we can help customers get the most out of their solar power systems.”
First Solar has already identified projects under construction for initial deployment of the new 1500v system, which allows an increase in the size of the solar array while reducing the number of inverters.