GE Now on Collision Course With First Solar

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Includes: FSLR, GE, MDR
by: SustainableBusiness

GE (NYSE: GE) announced it is focusing its research and development efforts on thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology in conjunction with PrimeStar Solar Inc., the startup firm in which GE is a majority investor.

After considering different photovoltaic technologies, the company said it will bring to bear the full scale of its four Global Research operations to bring a new thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) product to market.

“After having completed an exhaustive survey of the PV landscape, we determined that thin films were the optimum path for GE,” said Danielle Merfeld, GE’s solar R&D leader.

The decision puts GE in direct competition with First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR), which is the leading producer of CdTe thin-film panels.

The GE/PrimeStar product is being developed at PrimeStar’s headquarters in Arvada, Colorado, while GE researchers in Germany, China, India and New York are also contributing to the effort.

GE Sells Emissions Unit

GE also announced it will sell a business unit involved in emissions control and monitoring to a subsidiary of McDermott International (NYSE: MDR).

Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc. (B&W) has signed a contract to acquire GE's electrostatic precipitator (NYSEMKT:ESP) and emissions monitoring business units.

In addition to the ESP assets, B&W will gain about 220 GE employees at offices in Kansas City, Missouri; Folkston, Georgia; Newport News, Virginia; and Hatfield, Pennsylvania; in the United States, as well as locations globally.

McDermott is an engineering and construction company, with specialty manufacturing and service capabilities, focused on energy infrastructure. McDermott’s customers are predominantly utilities and other power generators, major and national oil companies, and the United States Government. McDermott operates in over 20 countries with more than 25,000 employees.

Disclosure: No positions