First Solar, GE form solar technology partnership in US

First Solar, a US-based film photovoltaic modules manufacturer, has forged a technology partnership with American conglomerate GE to acquire the latter’s global cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar intellectual property portfolio.

Through this acquisition, First Solar is intending to drive the growth of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar module performance as well as improve efficiency at manufacturing scale.

Both companies have also agreed to align their respective research and R&D units to further develop the technology.

First Solar chief executive officer Jim Hughes said the new alliance would create a potential synergy for both companies.

“The addition of GE’s PV thin film technology and R&D resources will advance our technology roadmap, while realizing cost reduction in our manufacturing process,” added Hughes.

Under the collaboration, GE will receive 1.75 million shares of First Solar common stock, which it will retain for at least three years.

GE renewable energy business president and CEO Anne McEntee said, “We’re excited to partner with First Solar to accelerate innovation and bring our complementary technology and R&D to market faster through its manufacturing capabilities.”

The companies have also entered into a commercial partnership, which calls for First Solar to continue purchasing GE Energy Management’s inverters for its global solar deployments to optimize electrical balance of plants.

Meanwhile, GE is set to terminate the build-out of its Aurora, Colorado, solar manufacturing facility.