First Solar has positioned itself as a strong player in the solar energy market. By Alan Dorich
First Solar has excelled in its market by following a mission that people can easily commit to, Senior Vice President of Global Manufacturing Mike Koralewski says. “It is to create enduring value by enabling a world powered by clean, affordable electricity,” he says.
With administrative headquarters in Tempe, Ariz., and manufacturing facilities in Perrysburg, Ohio and Kulim, Malaysia, First Solar provides photovoltaic (PV) solar energy products. The company has installed more than 10 gigawatts worldwide and developed, built and currently operates many grid-connected PV power plants across the world.
After a career in the glass industry, founder Harold McMaster started a predecessor company that, in 1999, became First Solar. “He was prominent in the Toledo, [Ohio], area, and Harold had this dream of trying to make solar modules,” Koralewski explains, noting that McMaster experimented with various technologies for several years.
“He finally fell on the technology we use today, which is cadmium telluride,” Koralewski continues, noting that McMaster worked with the material for several years to develop it to where he could make several modules.