The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from Business Wire

First Solar Consolidates Manufacturing, Increases Conversion Efficiency

<p class='bwalignc'> <b>Vietnam Factory Commissioning Postponed;</b><br/><b>Average Conversion Efficiency Reaches 12.4 percent for Best Manufacturing Lines in Q3 2011;</b><br/><b>Production Throughput Expected to Reach 70 MW/Line Annually by Year-End 2012</b> </p>

Thursday, November 03, 2011

First Solar Consolidates Manufacturing, Increases Conversion Efficiency16:10 EDT Thursday, November 03, 2011 TEMPE, Ariz. (Business Wire) -- First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) today announced it has consolidated its manufacturing capacity plan and accelerated progress toward its module conversion efficiency and production throughput targets. The company will postpone commissioning of its Vietnam factory until global supply and demand dynamics support the additional capacity. First Solar will continue developing its factory in Mesa, Ariz., in order to supply PV modules for the company's 2.7 GW North American project pipeline, which includes the Agua Caliente, Desert Sunlight, Antelope Valley Solar Ranch and Topaz projects. In the third quarter, First Solar also began to implement technologies and processes derived from its research and development (R&D) program that produced a world-record 17.3 percent efficient cadmium telluride solar cell in July, resulting in average module conversion efficiency of 12.4 percent from its best-performing production lines during the quarter. Average conversion efficiency for all production lines was 11.8 percent in the third quarter, up from 11.7 percent in the second quarter. First Solar also expects that continuous improvement programs in its production process, coupled with the efficiency gains, will increase its average manufacturing throughput to 70 MW annually per production line by the end of 2012, up from 63.5 MW per line in the third quarter of 2011. “Our achievements in R&D continue to showcase the long-term conversion efficiency potential and scalability of our advanced thin-film technology,” said Mike Ahearn, Chairman and interim CEO of First Solar. “This consolidation will help us to balance our production with market demand, while still providing local capacity to supply our U.S. project pipeline and the broader American market.” About First Solar, Inc. First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology, and is a premier provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. The company is delivering an economically viable alternative to fossil-fuel generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating value-driven renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com. For First Solar Investors This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company's business involving the company's products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors, and the company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein. First Solar, Inc.MediaTed Meyer+1 602-427-3318ted.meyer@firstsolar.comFirst Solar InvestorsLuke Fairborn+1 602-414-9315lucas.fairborn@firstsolar.com