Vitro, First Solar Expand Contract for Solar Panel Glass Sales by $1.3 Billion

Solar panels being manufactured at First Solar plant

(Credit: First Solar)

by | Oct 24, 2023

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Vitro is expanding its contract with First Solar, providing the sales of $1.3 billion worth of glass front sheets used for the company’s advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

According to Vitro, this expansion is expected to generate additional sales for the company over the next 10 years, broadening the original contract made in May, which outlined a $1.2 billion contract. In order to accommodate this expansion, the company plans to invest an additional $180 million to upgrade one of its furnaces located at its Meadville, Pennsylvania, plant, also adapting its other existing facilities to support First Solar’s growing manufacturing capacity.

“We take great pride in having earned this vote of confidence from First Solar,” said Ricardo Maiz, president of Vitro’s architectural business unit. ”We are confident that our experience, technological capabilities, and innovative product development will contribute to their efforts to increase clean and renewable energy capacity in the United States and more broadly in North America.”

The new agreement supports Vitro’s growing presence in the PV glass sector, which is expected to see growth due to the nearshoring effect in the United States. Vitro’s plants reportedly already have the raw materials needed for the increased glass production, which will commence in the first quarter of 2026.

Expanded Contract Follows Continued FirstSolar Growth

Earlier this year, First Solar announced plans to invest up to $1.1 billion to build its fifth solar manufacturing facility in the United States. The company also expresses commitment to domestically-produced solar technologies, incorporating 100% U.S.-made components in its Series 7 solar modules. With this new production capacity, the company expects to produce about 25 gigawatts of solar energy globally by 2026.

The company also recently entered a joint agreement with UbiQD in order to collaborate on the development of quantum dot technology, used to increase solar panel efficiency.

“As we continue to grow our domestic manufacturing footprint, it is essential that our domestic value chain scales with us,” said Mike Koralewski, chief supply chain officer for First Solar. “We are pleased to expand our contract with Vitro, which gives us access to a new source of American-made glass for the front sheets in our solar panels and supports our efforts to build resilience into our US supply chains.”

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