First Solar’s solar module manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona has just been purchased by Apple for $113.6 million. The factory, which has the largest rooftop solar array in Arizona, never had a chance to begin making solar modules.
During the Solar PV cost drop that happened a while back, the thin-film solar market was adversely affected. First Solar’s factory was prepared for an explosion of thin-film solar, but this was quickly undercut by the solar PV revolution. As a result, First Solar will probably take a $55 to $60 million hit on the module production line.
Apple hasn’t shared much about its plans for the Arizona facility but the Arizona Commerce Authority does know that it will be creating 700 high quality jobs, not to mention 1,300 construction posts in Mesa.