More on First Solar: Module efficiency, production, GE, TetraSun

|By:, SA News Editor

First Solar (FSLR +10.6%) aims to increase its lead-line module manufacturing efficiency from 13.9% in Q4 to 15.6%-15.8% by the end of 2015, 17.7%-18.4% in 2016, and 18.1%-18.9% in 2017.

Installed manufacturing capacity is expected to grow from less than 2GW in 2014 to 3.5GW in 2018, with deployable capacity rising above 4GW.

The company says it has produced a thin-film module with a record 17% efficiency (up from a prior 16.1%). First Solar has already developed a thin-film cell with a 20.4% efficiency.

First Solar is extending its partnership with GE to include developing a new utility-scale plant design the companies assert "significantly increases the size of the solar array served by each inverter and reduces the number of inverter/transformer stations required for each plant" to convert DC power into grid-ready AC power.

First Solar's TetraSun unit (high-efficiency silicon solar cells) is set to begin production in late 2014.

Previous: First Solar soars after setting 2014-2016 guidance