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.
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