First Solar halts Agua Caliente PV module deliveries

Bloomberg has reported that work on the US$1.8 billion project, which reached the 200 MW milestone in mid-July, is "ahead of schedule and the company must slow down to meet contractual milestones." According to construction manager, Fred Pech, shipments aren’t expected to resume until January 2013.

Citing Maxim Group LLC analyst, Aaron Chew, Bloomberg said the move came, despite the fact construction on the plant was accelerated this year, meaning it is now diverting shipments to other projects. Speaking to the news source, Chew stated, "First Solar delivered panels to the project ‘because it was more profitable’." He added, "They overdid Agua Caliente."

He went on to say that the news is not expected to affect First Solar’s earnings in 2012. "However, it does highlight the extent to which they’re pulling things forward, with bigger risks in 2013 and 2014."

The Agua Caliente project is owned by NRG and MidAmerican Solar. To date, it is said to be the largest operating photovoltaic plant globally. It is scheduled for completion in 2014.