First Solar Inc., a global player in the manufacturing of solar panels and modules, has inked an agreement with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation for the delivery of their solar products in Japan through 2015. This is a part of First Solar’s plan to devote roughly $100 million in building solar power plants in Japan.
As a part of their current deal with JX Nippon, First Solar plans to develop and produce new technology leveraging the expertise of TetraSun, their newest acquisition. TetraSun is one of the leading developers of high-efficiency solar panels, using a break-through architecture that has the potential to convert 21% sunlight into electricity at lower manufacturing costs in comparison to conventional solar cells. JX Nippon along with First Solar will provide solar energy solutions to meet Japan’s power requirements. First Solar will be selling its silicon solar panels, which are more efficient than its cadmium-telluride solar panels, through JX Nippon Oil & Energy.
The movement towards renewable energy is gaining momentum in Japan, especially as its conventional thermal power source – nuclear energy – is under question due to the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Most of Japan’s nuclear power plants have been mothballed, and public outcry against nuclear power is gaining voice. Recently, Kyocera completed what is now Japan’s largest offshore solar power plant in Kagoshima. There is also movement towards wind power, and offshore wind turbines have been tested near Fukushima to harness the higher wind speeds away from land.