23 Aug 2012:
U.S. Solar Panel Maker to
Build Solar Farms in Energy-Hungry India
First Solar Inc., the U.S.-based solar panel manufacturer, plans to expand its role in the global energy industry by developing solar power farms in India
, where an emerging industrial sector is looking to
shore up energy security in the aftermath of record blackouts. The company aims to secure 20 percent of India’s photovoltaic sales by expanding beyond its role as a solar panel supplier and building large solar arrays, Sujoy Ghosh, First Solar’s new India head, told Bloomberg News. According to Ghosh, First Solar will sell electricity at below-market prices directly to private businessess looking to lock in their own power supplies in the event of electricity shortfalls. India, which last month endured blackouts that left half the nation’s 1.2 billion people without power, has a 30-gigawatt backup power market comprised of factories and businesses that switch to diesel generators when power fails. First Solar is one of the world's most successful photovoltaic panel manufacturers and its plans to operate solar farms and sell electricity would help protect the firm against the falling price of solar panels. With increasing competition from Chinese manufacturers, the global price of panels dropped 47 percent last year.