First Solar Inc. is poised to take the wraps off the Series 6 panel Tuesday, a long-awaited product rollout that has huge implications for the biggest U.S. solar manufacturer.
It’s not a stretch to say that Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar has bet its future on the success of this product. As solar panels get cheaper and cheaper, and global demand continues to swell, production costs have become key to competing against other companies, especially in Asia where most of the world’s panels are produced.
First Solar has “become a pure widget manufacturer and they need to compete exclusively on cost,” said Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc. “It’s a risky bet. They need to show a cost road map that keeps them ahead of China.”