First Solar (FSLR) To Ramp Capacity Another 500MW With Two New Plants

First Solar (FSLR) is ramping capacity 500MW by building two new four line thin film solar manufacturing plants it was announced this morning.  The company plans to build a plant in Vietnam and the US, both of which are expected to be completed by 2012 and create a total of 600 green jobs here in the US.  The sites for the plants are still in negotiations and will be announced soon.  The latest expansion plan adds to previously announced expansions plans in Malaysia, Germany and France, so the company clearly sees a bright future for its products and isn’t concerned about GE!  All the expansions will double FSLR’s capacity in 2012 to 2.7GW which is double compared to current capacity.

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“These expansions provide proximity to growing U.S. demand while supporting our roadmap to drive down the cost of clean, sustainable solar electricity,” said First Solar CEO Rob Gillette. “Effective government policies provide long-term visibility and enable sustainable markets.”

Interesting comment about effective government polices from Gillette.  In the past FSLR has been frustrated with government policies to help drive growth in solar, but he may be referring to FSLR’s Silver State solar project which got approval from Ken Salazar yesterday.  It will be the first solar farm on public land and may indicate more deals like this are on the way.

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