First Solar is the largest solar module firm by market capitalization, the largest thin-film solar firm, and one of the largest solar firms by capacity, shipments, and certainly by cumulative profits. The company is in the cross-hairs of every other solar firm and continues to set the bar in terms of solar panel value and corporate performance.
What first Solar does in the next few years is important.
Which is why more than 200 people showed up to attend a presentation by Alex Panchula, First Solar’s Manager of Performance Analysis, presented by the Silicon Valley PV Society chapter of the IEEE.
Last week we looked at the market issues that are compelling First Solar to innovate “beyond the module.”
This week, we’ll look at some of those innovations and some of First Solar’s deployments.
According to Panchula, First Solar must deploy 65 gigawatts over the next 10 years in order to thrive, rather than continuing to play whack-a-mole and chase subsidized markets. First Solar’s goal is to get new sales from utility-scale power plants in sustainable markets by 2014. That means eliminating the dependency on subsidies and getting the price of solar down to levels where it is genuinely at grid parity at utility scale in developing nations.
Panchula’s presentation proclaims, “Our low-cost technology and captive U.S. project pipeline will help us remain profitable in a shrinking, structurally unbalanced industry.”
The First Solar strategy is to go after “open markets” at utility scale. First Solar will not be addressing residential rooftops anytime soon.