First Solar Files for IPO, Unveils Manufacturing Plans

July 09, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

First Solar, which recently filed for its IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commssion, announced that it intends to raise approximately $250 million in an initial public offering of its stock, and that the funds will be used to build manufacturing facilities and for basic corporate purposes.

First Solar, based in Phoenix, Arizona, makes solar modules using a proprietary thin film semiconductor technology, which the company claims has established it as one of the lowest cost solar module manufacturers in the world. In its registration statement filed with the SEC, the company stated, "In 2005, our average manufacturing costs were $1.59 per watt, which we believe is significantly less than those of traditional crystalline silicon solar module manufacturers."

First Solar plans to utilize the proceeds to construct a plant in Germany and fund the ramp up costs for the facility, as well as build another manufacturing plant in Asia. The company also announced that it intends to be the first solar module manufacturer to offer a solar electricity solution that competes on a non-subsidized basis with the price of retail electricity in key markets in the United States, Europe and Asia.