|New product by First Solar sets world record|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Wednesday, 27 February 2013 11:49|
LIME CITY - First Solar announced Tuesday that it has set a world record for a new solar cell - and additionally announced record sales figures.
In a press release, First Solar stated that a cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic cell made at the Perrysburg Township research and development facility, located at 28101 Cedar Park Blvd., achieved 18.7 percent cell efficiency in tests confirmed by a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory.
The cell is designed for commercial-scale manufacturing.
"We are confident the advanced technologies and processes we developed for this record-setting cell will further enhance the performance of our future production modules and power plants," said First Solar Chief Technology Officer Raffi Garabedian in the release.
First Solar's lead solar cell line was producing models with 13.1 percent efficiency during the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 12.6 percent during the same period in 2011.
First Solar additionally announced that net sales for the fourth quarter of 2012 amounted to $1.1 billion, a new record for the company. Overall sales for the year were $3.4 billion, up 22 percent over 2011, but profits were down nearly 10 percent.
First Solar's stock fluctuated during 2012, dropping from nearly $37 a share to $11.43 a share mid-year, before rebounding. It closed at $31.36 Tuesday. The solar industry has taken deep hits from the nation's poor economy and competition from China.
"Despite a very challenging market environment, we continued to make meaningful progress in all critical value drivers for the company," said CEO Jim Hughes in a statement.
"We expect the market will remain turbulent for some time to come, but we have seen some evidence of improvement and believe we have the right strategy in place to retain our industry leadership by providing the best value for our customers."
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