GE, First Solar Announce Solar Technology and Commercial Partnership
Partnership accelerates thin-film solar technology development
GE takes equity interest in First Solar
Existing scale and manufacturing capabilities of First Solar, combined
with both companies' complementary technologies, will enable increased
efficiency, cost competitiveness
Inverter, balance of plant commercial partnership to improve solar
grid integration and connection
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. & TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Today, GE (NYSE: GE) and First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced a
technology partnership to advance thin-film solar cells and modules.
First Solar has acquired GE's global cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar
intellectual property portfolio, setting a course for significant
advancement of photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar technology. GE received
1.75 million shares of First Solar common stock as part of this
transaction. GE has agreed to retain the shares for at least three years.
The combination of the two companies' complementary technologies and
First Solar's existing manufacturing capabilities are expected to
accelerate the development of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar module
performance and improve efficiency at manufacturing scale. In addition,
GE Global Research and First Solar R&D will collaborate on future
technology development to further advance CdTe solar technology.
GE, which has 34GW of renewable energy installed globally, will enhance
its presence in solar through access to purchasing and branding First
Solar's modules for future global GE deployments, in addition to its
investment in inverters, controls, balance of plant and ownership of
utility scale systems.
Additionally, GE and First Solar have formed a commercial relationship
around solar inverter technology. First Solar will continue to purchase
inverters from GE Energy Management for use in First Solar's global
solar deployments to optimize electrical balance of plant. By combining
complementary technologies, the collaboration is expected to lead to an
improvement in solar grid integration, more competitive cost structures
and a roadmap for combined electrical equipment.
"We are creating an exciting synergy with this deal," said Jim Hughes,
First Solar's Chief Executive Officer. "The addition of GE's PV thin
film technology and R&D resources will advance our technology roadmap,
while realizing cost reduction in our manufacturing process."
"To lead in today's solar industry, you must have the most competitive
technology at the most competitive cost position," said Anne McEntee,
president and CEO of GE's renewable energy business. "We're excited to
partner with First Solar to accelerate innovation and bring our
complementary technology and R&D to market faster through its
First Solar's existing manufacturing sites will be used to further
advance CdTe technology and achieve an increasingly competitive cost
position. GE has decided to discontinue the build-out of its Aurora,
Colorado, solar manufacturing facility.
The transaction has closed. King & Spalding LLP and Arnold & Porter LLP
represented GE on the transaction, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
represented First Solar.
About GE Power & Water
GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power
generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve
their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy
industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas
and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy.
The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the
world's most complex challenges related to water availability and
quality. Power & Water's six business units include Distributed Power,
Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services,
Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in
Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE's largest industrial business.
About First Solar
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic
(PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology.
The company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically
attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From
raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First
Solar's renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment.
For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant
to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not
constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a
number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially,
including risks associated with the company's business involving the
company's products, their development and distribution, economic and
competitive factors and the company's key strategic relationships and
other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any
forward-looking information contained in this press release or with
respect to the announcements described herein.
Source: First Solar, Inc.
News Provided by Acquire Media
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