First Solar, Inc.
) has been chosen to build a 13 megawatt ("MWDC") solar
photovoltaic ("PV") power plant in Seih Al Dahal by the Dubai
Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA). The company will
not only provide advanced thin-film PV modules but will also
offer engineering, procurement and construction services.
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Located approximately 50 kilometers south of Dubai, the Arab
Emirates Dirham's ("AED") 12 billion project is spread over an
area of 48 square kilometers. On an average, the power plant has
the capacity to generate more than 22 million kilowatt hours of
electricity annually, which is sufficient to meet the average
annual electricity requirement of more than 500 homes. Being eco
friendly, the electricity generated by the plant will be
approximately equal to eradicate 1,600 cars from the road per
year. With the optimum use of both PV and solar thermal
technology, the plant will displace more than 14,000 metric tons
of CO2 per annum. The project will eventually help Dubai to get
5% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
First Solar is engaged in helping the states to meet their
standard goals of producing clean energy in a specified time
period either by constructing solar power plants or supplying
solar power modules. Recently, in October 2012, the company had
signed a memorandum of understanding ("MOU") with PT.
Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Services (PJB Services) of Indonesia for
the development, engineering, procurement, construction,
operation and maintenance of approximately 100 MW pipeline for
solar PV power plants in Indonesia. This also includes PV hybrid
solutions, using First Solar's advanced thin-film PV modules and
related system services and components.
In September, the company entered into an agreement to construct
four solar power plants with a total generating capacity of 20
megawatts ("MW") AC for PNM Resources, Inc. First Solar also
inked a deal with Kiran Energy Solar Power Pvt. Ltd. and Mahindra
Solar One Pvt. Ltd. to supply advanced, thin-film solar modules
for two solar PV power plants in India's Rajasthan state with a
total generation capacity of 50 MW.
Like First Solar, one of its peers,
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.
) in collaboration with Bangchak recently brought South East
Asia's largest silicon PV 44 MW power plant online. The project,
known as Sunny Bangchak, is located in Bang Pa-In, Ayutthaya,
which is forty kilometers away from Bangkok, Thailand.
Apart from minimizing the need to import about 40,000 tons of
coal, the plant will offset 32,000 tons of CO2 emissions, which
is almost equal to removing 9,000 cars from the roads or planting
of 3,000,000 trees. The project will help Thailand to meet 20% of
its total energy consumption with renewable sources by 2022.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive PV
solar systems, which use its advanced thin-film modules. The
company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an
economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity
First Solar is engaged in designing and manufacturing solar
modules using a proprietary thin-film-semiconductor technology
that allows it to reduce its average solar module manufacturing
costs to one of the lowest in the world. The company, however, is
currently witnessing a steep drop in Average Selling Prices like
its peers. Also, the current macro scenario does not bode well
for the solar industry, which thrives mainly on subsidies and
In order to counter the weak trend, the company is focusing more
on utility-scale electricity power projects. Moreover, First
Solar is partially compensating for its drop in margins through a
major restructuring of its operations that it had begun in April.
The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold)
that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the