v3.6.0.2
Document and Entity Information Document - USD ($)
$ / shares in Units, $ in Billions
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Feb. 17, 2017
Jun. 30, 2016
Document Information [Line Items]      
Entity Registrant Name FIRST SOLAR, INC.    
Entity Central Index Key 0001274494    
Document Type 10-K    
Document Period End Date Dec. 31, 2016    
Amendment Flag false    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2016    
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes    
Entity Well Known Seasoned Issuer Yes    
Entity Voluntary Filers No    
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer    
Entity Par Value Per Share $ 0.001    
Entity Public Float     $ 3.4
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   104,044,691