First Solar slashes guidance of Capex

First Solar PV modules

First Solar has slashed its guidance towards capital expenditure (Capex) for 2022 to $800 million – $1 billion from the previous estimate of $850 million – $1.1 billion.

First Solar is currently expecting module shipment of 9.1 GW – 9.4 GW in 2022 as compared with previous estimate of 8.9 GW – 9.4 GW.

First Solar is targeting 2022 revenue of $2.6 billion – $2.7 billion as compared with earlier estimate of $2.55 billion – $2.8 billion.

First Solar said sales were $629 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2022, an increase of $8 million from the prior quarter, primarily due to increased module sales.

First Solar reported operating loss of $68 million in Q3 2022, compared to operating income of $145 million in the prior quarter. Third quarter operating income fell primarily due to a gain on the sale of the company’s Japan project development platform recorded in the prior quarter and higher logistics charges in the third quarter.

Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar, said: “This year we have developed the potential for our CdTe semiconductor technology by progressing our next-generation Series 7 and bifacial platforms, set in motion plans to scale our global manufacturing capacity to over 20 GWDC by 2025, and secured record year-to-date bookings of 43.7 GWDC with deliveries extending into 2027.”

First Solar also announced plans to invest approximately $270 million in a dedicated research and development (R&D) innovation center in Perrysburg, Ohio.

The new R&D center will be located near First Solar’s existing Perrysburg manufacturing facility, covering an area of approximately 1.3 million square feet. It will feature a high-tech pilot manufacturing line allowing for the production of full-sized prototypes of thin film and tandem PV modules.

First Solar, which has invested over $1.5 billion in R&D, operates a dual purpose manufacturing line at its Perrysburg facility which handles both commercial production of solar modules and the company’s product development efforts.

First Solar recently announced an investment of up to $1.2 billion in scaling production of solar modules, expanding the company’s US manufacturing footprint to over 10 gigawatts (GW)DC by 2025.