1 July 2010


First Solar creates utility systems business

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which makes thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing turnkey solar projects and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, has formed a utility systems business group to address the large-scale photovoltaic (PV) system solutions market. Jens Meyerhoff (chief financial officer since 2006) has been named president of the new group, but will remain CFO until a replacement is appointed.

“With the pending completion of First Solar's acquisition of NextLight [announced in late April], this part of our global business represents the next leg of growth for our industry and First Solar,” CEO Rob Gillette. NextLight Renewable Power LLC of San Francisco, CA, USA is an independent developer of utility-scale solar projects in the southwestern USA that was founded in 2007.

“Jens brings significant financial, operations and market expertise to the utility systems business in order to provide our customers with a full PV system solution to their renewable energy needs,” Gillette continues. “He will ensure an integrated, portfolio-based approach to project economics — from site selection and project development through to transmission access, power purchase agreement and project asset sale.”

First Solar will have power purchase agreements for 2.2GW of utility-scale solar projects in North America when the NextLight acquisition closes (expected this quarter). In the near term, the systems business supports utility customers’ achievement of renewable generation requirements at the lowest cost and shortest lead time to generation, while continuing to drive solar PV economics to levels comparable with fossil-fuel generation, claims the firm, to enable broader adoption of solar PV technology. To date, First Solar has built or has under construction 189MW of utility systems projects in North America.

Search: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe