Good news for First Solar sales

The 2011 sales are expected to be between US$3.7 billion and US$3.9 billion. These forecasts include the US$80 to 85 million manufacturing start-up expenses and US$15 to 20 million of factory ramp costs associated with plant expansions. First Solar plans to invest US$1.0 to 1.1 billion of capital to nearly double production capacity by year-end 2012, to maintain existing capacity and to add infrastructure to support growth.

"First Solar revenue and profit is continuing to grow in 2011," said Rob Gillette, First Solar’s CEO. "We are benefiting from diversifying global partner demand and an increase in revenue from utility scale projects."

The company plans to keep trimming prices of the thin film modules to reach price parity according to Gillette. "Our thin-film module is expected to maintain a cost advantage of at least 30 percent in 2011, compared with crystalline silicon competitors," Gillette said during a press conference call.

Expansion plans were set but location was rather uncertain. According to the Gillette, a plant that was planned to be built in France could either be delayed or cancelled altogether due to the uncertain subsidy situations around countries in Europe.