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13 September 2013

VDE Americas and First Solar implement new standards for bankability and quality assurance

VDE Americas (a subsidiary of Germany’s VDE Testing and Certification Institute) and First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) services, have established a strategic relationship that aims to boost technical bankability and risk reduction for PV power plant operators, investors and financial entities.

First Solar says that, for years, it has relied on module-level testing and manufacturing processes that went beyond currently established international standards. Working with third-party independent certification body VDE, First Solar reckons that it has now set a benchmark for quality and reliability for entire PV solar power systems.

“This expanded relationship with VDE documents rigorous quality assurance requirements at the PV plant/system level,” says Azmat Siddiqi, First Solar’s senior VP of quality and reliability.

The ‘VDE Quality Tested’ mark for PV power plants was designed by VDE together with its partner, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Germany. The testing portfolio is said to deliver advantages in four key areas: electrical and mechanical safety of the system; system performance (through a highly accurate energy yield report); appropriate system operation; and independent verification for investors, lenders, insurance companies and other stakeholders by highly competent and reputable independent experts.

“VDE has been engaged with First Solar for many years in the certification of modules and manufacturing processes. We’re pleased that First Solar will be leading the industry by implementing our new VDE Quality Tested mark for their PV solar power systems,” says VDE Americas’ president John Sedgwick. “VDE and our partner Fraunhofer ISE are committed to reducing the technical risk often associated with PV power plant investments. We will continue to work closely with industry players to help raise the standard for the solar sector.”

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe



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