September 20 (Renewables Now) - US thin-film solar module maker First Solar Inc (NASDAQ:FSLR) on Thursday said it will start using third-party engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for projects using its modules rather than doing the work itself.
This decision is seen to strengthen First Solar’s competitiveness and position on the US solar market and is part of its growth strategy. This new execution model will be adopted through the rest of this year, without impacting projects that are currently being built or are slated for completion in 2019.
According to CEO Mark Widmar, the shift will enable the company to focus on its core business of developing and selling solar modules. The transition will affect about 100 of First Solar’s associates who will be separated from the company.
In line with its expansion, First Solar is investing almost USD 1 billion (EUR 904.7m) to boost the manufacturing capacity for Series 6 modules by opening a new factory in Ohio. Located in Perrysburg, the new site will lift the company's production capacity for the particular modules to 5.4 GW per year and make it the largest solar manufacturer in the US, First Solar says.
The opening of the facility, scheduled for early 2020, is planned to meet growing demand.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.905)