First Solar Postpones Vietnam Factory, Consolidates Global Manufacturing Capacity

First Solar Inc. says it has consolidated its manufacturing capacity plan and will postpone commissioning of its Vietnam factory until global supply and demand dynamics support the additional capacity.

The company plans to continue developing its factory in Mesa, Ariz., in order to supply PV modules for its 2.7 GW North American project pipeline, which includes the Agua Caliente, Desert Sunlight, Antelope Valley Solar Ranch and Topaz projects.

In addition, First Solar reports ‘accelerated progress’ toward its module conversion efficiency and production throughput targets. In the third quarter, the company began to implement technologies and processes derived from its research and development program that produced a world-record 17.3% efficient cadmium-telluride solar cell in July.

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.

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