As previously reported there was a significant slowdown in global solar PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in the third quarter of 2017, which we highlighted was hardly surprising due to significant level of expansions plans announced in the first half of the year. However, despite increased concerns over the potential imposition of restrictive trade practices in the US and India in the fourth quarter of 2017, there was a significant rebound over the previous quarter, leading to the highest recorded gigawatts of new expansion announcements.
Leading CdTe thin-film module manufacturer First Solar is increasing its shipment guidance for 2018, due to plans to bring back online 180MW of mothballed Series 4 module capacity at its Perrysburg, Ohio manufacturing facility.
The major manufacturing transition by First Solar to its large-area Series 6 CdTe thin-film module format is well underway and, going by recent management commentary in its fourth quarter 2017 conference call with financial analysts, has increased its tempo slightly, not least due to updated spending plans for the second time in a few months.
Leading thin-film manufacturer First Solar highlighted at its 2017 Analyst Day event that it had recently fabricated the first functional CdTe Series 6 thin-film panel at its Perrysburg, Ohio plant, which is spearheading the transition to the larger format at all of the company’s manufacturing plants based in Malaysia and Vietnam.
Leading thin-film manufacturer First Solar said at its 2017 Analyst Day event that it was already building its second CdTe module plant in Vietnam to support the transition to its Series 6 large format panel.
Documents filed by US-headquartered high-efficiency PV cell and module producer SunPower Corp to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in respect to the ‘Section 201’ trade case show that SunPower wants thin-film modules made by First Solar included in any remedy actions, while pitching for its IBC (Interdigitated back contact) cells and modules to be excluded.
Technology changes being implemented by major solar PV module suppliers today are poised to provide large-scale solar investors, developers, EPCs and asset owners with significant opportunities in 2018-2020.
PV Tech reached its own little milestone of having reported and analysed the R&D spending habits of the same 12 key PV module manufacturers for 10 years. The results have just been published in sister technical journal Photovoltaics International as part of the annual leaders and laggards of R&D spending for 2016.
Leading CdTe thin-film module manufacturer First Solar has secured a 241MW module supply contract with Australian EPC firm, RCR Tomlinson. The latest contract is for two major PV power plant projects, bringing its contracted business in the country to over 500MW in the next 12 months.
Leading thin-film PV manufacturer First Solar raised both shipments and revenue expectations for 2017 after reporting net sales of US$623 million in the second quarter of 2017, down from US$892 million in the previous quarter.
The production volume of solar PV panels based on thin-film deposition of semiconductor materials on large-area glass panels is set to hit a seven-year low in 2017, in spite of the end-market demand for solar panels increasing by a factor of three over the same time period.
Updated: The US solar trade body, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said it would spearhead the campaign against the trade petition by US-based bankrupt cell and module manufacturer, Suniva with the USITC (United States International Trade Commission) that threatens import duties on all crystalline solar cells and panels imported from anywhere across the world not produced in the US.