First Solar Creates Utility Systems Business

July 07, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

First Solar, Inc. announced that it has formed a utility systems business group to address the large-scale photovoltaic (PV) system solutions market. Jens Meyerhoff has been named President of the group. Meyerhoff has served as First Solar’s Chief Financial Officer since 2006.

"With the pending completion of First Solar’s acquisition of NextLight, this part of our global business represents the next leg of growth for our industry and First Solar," said Rob Gillette, First Solar CEO. "Jens brings significant financial, operations and market expertise to the utility systems business in order to provide our customers with a full PV system solution to their renewable energy needs. He will ensure an integrated, portfolio-based approach to project economics--from site selection and project development through to transmission access, power purchase agreement and project asset sale."

First Solar will have power purchase agreements for 2.2 gigawatts of utility-scale solar projects in North America when the NextLight acquisition closes, which is expected in the current quarter. In the near term, the systems business supports utility customers’ achievement of renewable generation requirements at the lowest cost and shortest lead time to generation, while continuing to drive solar PV economics to levels comparable with fossil-fuel generation, enabling broader adoption of solar PV technology. To date, First Solar has built or has under construction 189 megawatts of utility systems projects in North America.