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First Solar Produces One Gigawatt of Clean Solar Electricity

Mar 24, 2009 - Adrienne Selko - IndustryWeek

First Solar, Inc., recently announced that it has produced 1 gigawatt (GW) of its advanced solar modules since beginning commercial production in early 2002. First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive PV solutions.

It took the company more than six years to produce its first 500 megawatts (MW) and eight months to produce its second, creating today's 1GW total. By the end of this year, the company has announced it will have the capacity to produce more than 1GW per year -- the equivalent of an average-sized nuclear power plant.

"This volume allows us to rapidly reduce manufacturing costs, thereby furthering our mission of making solar power an affordable alternative to conventional energy sources," said Bruce Sohn, First Solar president.

First Solar began production in Perrysburg, Ohio, with a single manufacturing line and approximately 150 associates in 2002. By the end of 2009, the solar modules will come from 23 manufacturing lines on three continents and employing more than 4,000 associates. The company currently has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Germany and Malaysia and offices located throughout North America and Europe.