First Solar has unveiled its first functional Series 6 thin film photovoltaic module manufactured from a new production line at its facility in Perrysburg, Ohio.

According to the company, Series 6 is expected to be rolled out in the commercial market with a power rating of 420-445 watts and conversion efficiency of over 17%.

The new production line is expected to begin commercial product manufacturing by early in the second quarter of 2018. Operating at full capacity, the line will have an annualized output of 600MWdc.

Compared to crystalline silicon solar panels, Series 6 modules, measuring nearly 2 meters by 1.2 meters, are expected to offer more watts per lift.

First Solar CEO Mark Widmar said: “This is an extraordinary accomplishment, by any measure.

“Last November, we were in full Series 4 production mode. Since our decision at the end of 2016 to rapidly transition to Series 6, we’ve hit every incremental target with precision. We are absolutely delighted to be on track for delivery of commercial product early next year.”

First Solar also announced plans to expand production facility in Vietnam. When fully operational, the facility will have annualized production capacity of 2.4GWdc.

In combination with Perrysburg and facilities in Kulim, the facility is expected to expand First Solar’s Series 6 manufacturing capacity to nearly 5.4GWdc by 2020.

Separately, the company has closed two separate deals for delivering solar modules totaling 795MW with an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and Origis Energy for an undisclosed price.

As per the deal with DESRI, First Solar will provide new large area Series 6 thin film PV modules for the former’s pipeline of projects that are expected to break ground in the US, in the next 24 months.