First Solar maxed out
Demand for First Solar’s CdTe thin-film modules nearly exceeded supply in the third quarter as major projects were completed and its German rebate program came into full affect. The company expects demand to exceed supply for installations in the fourth quarter and expects to enter 2010 with low inventories. First Solar produced 292MW during the third quarter, 1% over the prior quarter as all lines including those in Malaysia were fully ramped, shipping its entire production in the quarter. However, the company noted that during the quarter, it started to decommission line one in Perrysburg, Ohio to enable higher production capacity as a four-line configuration. The Ohio line expansion remains on plan to ramp in the first quarter of 2010, company executives said during a conference call with financial analysts.
Production improvements continued in the quarter as First Solar’s current 22 lines annual line run rate was 53MW, up 2.5% over the second quarter due to improved throughput and conversion efficiency improvements. The thin-film leader noted that average conversion efficiencies had reached 11% in the quarter, up 0.1% compared with the previous quarter....MORE