First Solar Passes $1 Per Watt Manufacturing Milestone

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First Solar Inc. says it reduced its manufacturing cost for solar modules in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $0.98 per watt, breaking the $1 per watt price barrier.

‘This achievement marks a milestone in the solar industry's evolution toward providing truly sustainable energy solutions,’ states Mike Ahearn, First Solar chief executive officer. ‘First Solar is proud to be leading the way toward clean, affordable solar electricity as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.’

First Solar began full commercial operation of its initial manufacturing line in late 2004. From 2004 through today, manufacturing capacity has grown 2,500%, to more than 500 MW in 2008. First Solar's annual production capacity will double in 2009 to more than 1 GW.

These escalating volumes have been accompanied by a rapid reduction in manufacturing costs, the company adds. From 2004 through today, First Solar's manufacturing costs have declined two-thirds from over $3 per watt to less than $1 per watt.

SOURCE: First Solar Inc.

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