CHENNAI, INDIA – The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on Thursday, January 11 celebrated the launch of a major strategic investment in critical supply chains with a U.S. company’s new solar panel manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. DFC provided a $500 million loan to support the establishment of First Solar’s new facility, which will help diversify the supply chain in a critical sector and drive economic growth in India.
The new First Solar facility reflects the United States’ commitment to financing more diverse supply chains that invest in local communities, create jobs, and ensure high standards, including in labor rights. This is one of DFC’s recent investments in solar supply chain diversification, which also include major financing for TP Solar’s Tamil Nadu-based facility and a retainer letter signing with Vikram Solar to build an at-scale solar cell and module production facility in Tamil Nadu.
DFC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott Nathan traveled to India to cut the ribbon and formally inaugurate the new facility. He was joined by U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti, U.S. Consul General in Chennai Christopher Hodges, First Solar Chief Commercial Officer Georges Antoun, and Minister for Industries, Promotions and Commerce of the Government of Tamil Nadu, Dr. T.R.B. Rajaa.
“The United States is leveraging American innovation and technology to diversify critical energy supply chains around the world and drive economic growth in India,” CEO Scott Nathan said. “That’s good for the United States and it’s good for India. This $500 million in financing reflects the increasing strength of our partnership with India – DFC’s largest market and a like-minded partner with a dynamic private sector.”
Ambassador Eric Garcetti said, “One month ago in Dubai, COP28 participants issued a bold call for the world to transition away from fossil fuels, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This First Solar production facility will help advance our global transition to cleaner, greener energy, and stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when the United States and India work together – across government and private sectors – to achieve lasting climate action.”
The new facility will boost solar panel manufacturing in India and help mobilize the solar industry to adopt innovative strategies to reduce reliance on imported equipment while offering a responsibly sourced alternative to the highly concentrated solar panel manufacturing sector.
With DFC’s support, the new facility has created 2,000 jobs during construction and more than 1,100 high-skilled operations jobs, 40 percent of which are held by women. The investment will also support India’s ambitious goals of having clean energy make up over 50 percent of its generation capacity by 2030 and achieving self-sufficiency in solar panel production, demonstrating India’s leadership in creating economic growth that emphasizes green industries to drive development and investment.
DFC’s partnership with the Indian private sector has evolved as the country has built a highly sophisticated market for financial innovation and manufacturing. India is DFC’s largest market with $3.8 billion in active DFC financing. DFC’s partnerships in the solar panel manufacturing space lay the groundwork to move into adjacent industries and markets. DFC is now working with Indian private sector partners to invest in emerging markets across the globe. These partnerships include GeneSys Biologics, which produces biosimilar insulin in India for global markets, and Eye-Q Vision, which has built on DFC’s financing for its chain of eye clinics in India and is now expanding into Nigeria to provide the same crucial care.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, and small business and financial services. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.