Strong Q2/2023 For US Thin-Film Module Manufacturer

First Solar Sold Out Through 2026 As Orders Pour In; Reiterates Annual Shipment Guidance

Strong Q2/2023 For US Thin-Film Module Manufacturer

During H1/2023, First Solar says it added 13.6 GW contracted volume. Additional capacity contracted in July 2023 alone took its total backlog to 78 GW. (Photo Credit: First Solar, Inc.)

  • First Solar’s potential booking opportunities at the end of June 2023 stood at 78 GW  
  • It remains sold out through 2026, and will use some India production to meet US orders in 2024 and 2025 
  • Net sales increased to $811 million, while net income grew to $171 million, up on both YoY and QoQ levels  

First Solar of the US reported a sequential decline of 34 GW in its potential booking opportunities of 78 GW in Q2/2023 attributing it to various factors including its ‘sold-out position’ and ‘diminished available supply’, even as it added $262 million QoQ to report net sales of $811 million.  

A total of 13.6 GW of contracted volume was added in H1/2023, leading to a backlog of 70.3 GW worth $20.8 billion, the management explained. Factoring in additional capacity the company contracted since the end of Q2, its total backlog is around 78 GW.   

All contracted backlog extends through till 2030 and excluding India, First Solar said it is sold out through 2026. Some India production will be used to support US orders in 2024 and 2025.   

Financial analyst Philip Shen of Roth MKM quoted a First Solar customer to share that with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) restricting tier I Chinese companies to sell in the US, tier 2 manufacturers are now under the radar of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is an ‘incremental positive’ for First Solar.  

Financially, the company reported a healthy quarter with net sales growing around 31% annually and 48% sequentially. Gross profit of 38.3% increased from 20.4% last quarter and a negative -3.7% from last year.  

Operating income rose 16% YoY and over 800% QoQ to $169 million, while net income expanded well over 200% on both accounts to $171 million during the quarter.  

In Q2, First Solar produced 2.4 GW of Series 6 and 425 MW of Series 7 modules, and also started a limited production run of its maiden thin-film bifacial solar panel, announced in June this year (see First Bifacial CdTe Solar Module).    

Management said its Ohio expansion and R&D facility, India, and Alabama thin-film solar module fabs are all on track to come online as scheduled. It also announced a new US factory for Series 7 modules, at an undisclosed location, with 3.5 GW annual capacity. Planned to come online by H1/2026, the company’s 5th US module fab will take its annual nameplate production capacity globally to 25 GW by 2026 (see First Solar Announces 5th Solar Factory In US).    

The American company has reiterated its annual guidance of $3.4 billion to $3.6 billion net sales and 11.8 GW to 12.3 GW volume sold for 2023.  

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

SENIOR NEWS EDITOR Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews, she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. In the past 9 years that she has been associated with TaiyangNews, she has covered over thousands of stories, and analysis pieces on markets, technology, financials, and more on a daily basis. She also hosts TaiyangNews Conferences and Webinars. Prior to joining TaiyangNews, Anu reported on sustainability, management, and education for leading print dailies in India. [email protected]

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