Modules & Upstream Manufacturing

First Solar to build the biggest solar factory in the Western Hemisphere – in Ohio

The 1.2 GW factory will employ 500 workers. The new facility is expected to First Solar’s total capacity to 7.6 GW by the end of 2020.

Yingli’s financials go from bad to worse

In reporting its FY 2017 financials, Yingli has again revealed that “substantial doubt exists as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” It is seeking to agree on a debt restructuring plan with creditors, and is asking them to refrain from initiating bankruptcy proceedings. Overall, it recorded a 2017 net loss of US$510 million and total liabilities of $3.2 billion. It has not issued guidance for this year.

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Wacker to restart US polysilicon production

Wacker Chemie AG has said it is gradually ramping up production at its beleaguered U.S. polysilicon production site, with product expected to be again available in Q2. The shutdown has affected its Q1 earnings, with sales down 18% compared to a year ago.

Meyer Burger secures $16 million equipment order from Asia

Meyer Burger Technology Ltd has secured a CHF 16million (US$16.3 million) order from an unidentified Asian customer for its MAiA and FABiA cell coating equipment. It is the first industrial order for the latter platform, says the company.

Order situation ‘weakening’ for German equipment suppliers, says VDMA

After a strong finish to 2017, Germany’s equipment suppliers are looking at weaker demand in 2018, although the industry still expects sales growth of 9.2% this year, according to the latest Business Climate Survey published by the German Engineering Federation’s Photovoltaic Equipment Group.

Longi half cut PERC module exceeds 360 W

Longi is progressing at breakneck speed, having announced yet another world record. This time, the Chinese manufacturer says its 120-cell half-cut monocrystalline PERC module has exceeded 360 W.

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Strong sales for Germany’s equipment makers in Q4 2017 – VDMA

According to the latest report published by the German Engineering Association (Verbandes Deutsches Maschinenbau Anlagen, or VDMA), solar equipment sales for German tool makers increased by 117% in Q4 2017, compared with the previous quarter.

Meyer Burger to appeal Chinese ruling in patent infringement lawsuit

Meyer Burger (Switzerland) Ltd has said it will appeal the decision by a Chinese court to dismiss claims that Wuxi Shangji Automation Co. Ltd has infringed on its patented wire wrapping system.

GCL-Poly Energy offers $110m loan to subsidiary

China’s GCL-Poly Energy Holdings has agreed to lend US$110 million to GNE Development, a wholly owned unit of the group.

Indian government mandates stringent quality controls for solar equipment

In a much-awaited move, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has mandated that, effective April 16, 2018, all solar equipment manufacturers will have to register their equipment with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).