First Solar awaits Section 201 before making Series 4 extension call

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
First Solar CEO says there is no desire to rush into short-term deals simply because they present themselves. Credit: First Solar

First Solar will wait for more clarity on the Section 201 case before deciding whether to extend production of its Series 4 modules, CEO Mark Widmar has told PV Tech.

The company plans to equip a dormant factory building in Vietnam to operate as the third production site for the larger format Series 6 modules. This offers the chance to continue Series 4 production in Malaysia while the Series 6 ramp continues in the US and Vietnam. In a recent earnings call First Solar said Series 4 production could run into 2018 and even through to the end of 2018 as demand for it remains strong.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

“We need to best serve the needs of our customers but we also have to make sure that we don't do anything to jeopardize Series 6, which is by far the most competitive advantage product that we have and we don't want to do anything to compromise that,” said Widmar at the SPI show in Las Vegas.

Any increase in demand for Series 4 as a result of the Section 201 trade case adding punitive duties to c-Si modules imported into the US, could evaporate if the case reached a premature conclusion. Widmar insists there is no desire to rush into short-term deals simply because they present themselves.

“To the extent that we are going to continue with Series 4, we need to have the right terms and conditions in the contract. If for any reason the contract were to be cancelled there has to be some advancements we receive on the front end to protect our interests because we don't want to commit to running a production line and then in the middle of that find out that the demand has gone away.

“All the clarity on those items will come in the next few months. The 201 case determination on whether there has been injury or not could create an inflection point that would potentially pivot some of that demand for Series 4,” said Widmar. “Then later in the year there would be a determination of what a remedy could be and then finally the President makes the final decision, which is targeted for some time in January. But across that entire continuum a lot can change and I don't want to make any commitments to our customers or our shareholders until we have more clarity on how that plays out and what potential implications it could have around the underlying demand we receive for Series 4.”

With the company’s long-term strategy inextricably linked to the Series 6 roll-out, Widmar stressed that it will remain the priority, regardless of what happens.

“It won't impact Series 6 at all. Series 6 demand is strong on its own merits. Series 4 would only be an opportunistic play to serve our customers should there be an impact from the 201 case,” he said.

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 17, 2024
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has taken control of a 500kV, 125-mile transmission line between California and Arizona.
June 17, 2024
German renewable energy developer Juwi has completed the construction of a 223MW solar PV project in the US state of Colorado.
Sponsored
June 17, 2024
This year at SNEC, the booth of Quanwei Solar Technology (QW Solar) attracted many visitors to participate in its interactive experiments.
June 14, 2024
Ørsted has commissioned its Helena Energy Center in the US state of Texas, a 518MW co-located solar and wind project.
June 14, 2024
US renewable energy project developer Ameren Missouri has acquired a 150MW solar PV project in the state of Illinois.
Premium
June 14, 2024
PV Tech Premium looks at FERC's recent ruling on Order 1920 and how it will affect transmission planning in the future.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia