Published on November 29th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Apple Buys First Solar Arizona Manufacturing Facility

November 29th, 2013 by  

apple buildingApple has reportedly purchased First Solar’s solar module manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, manufacturing facility. The factory reportedly never started producing any solar modules, and it is sheltered by the largest rooftop solar array in Arizona.

The thin-film solar market was hit pretty hard by the tremendous solar PV cost drop that occurred over the past few years. The First Solar factory was prepared for massive thin-film solar expansion, but this was apparently undercut by the solar PV revolution. First Solar, which seems to be selling the facility for $115 million, “announced in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it expected to take a $55-60 million hit on the module production line,” pv magazine writes.

It’s unclear what Apple will actually use the manufacturing facility for, but it made the purchase through a data server company that serves Apple.

“Apple has so far been coy on its plans but the Arizona Commerce Authority announced last week that the electronics mega corp would be coming to Arizona and creating 700 high quality jobs – as well as 1,300 construction posts – in Mesa as part of a planned new manufacturing facility.”

Keep up with the latest solar power news by keeping an eye on our solar power category or even subscribing to our solar power newsletter (it’s free!).

Image Credit: Apple via Andrey Bayda /

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , ,

About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Maybe they are saving their money for that giant headquarters for the workers to drive to…

  • Shiggity

    Wow Apple finally spends some money. They have over 100 billion dollars off shore. No that isn’t a mistake, OVER ONE HUNDRED BILLION.

    • jameskatt

      Apple has over 140 BILLION DOLLARS in cash. And it earns over 40 BILLION a year in profits. Apple is like Warren Buffet. Like Warren, it is fiscally conservative with its spending. And when it spends, it spends wisely.

      Apple in 2013 has spent 12 BILLION in component manufacturing. It spend $400 MILLION on the Kinect creating company. And it spent BILLIONS in stock dividend.

      When it comes to money, I prefer Apple following Buffet’s advice rather than sleezy ICahn’s advice.

      • Shiggity

        Well to investors if you aren’t spending your money on anything and you’re not giving a dividend, it tells us that they don’t know what to spend the money on. That is a bad future out look for a company with a glass half empty.

      • Bob_Wallace

        We know the difference between billion and million. Please don’t shout.

  • Matt

    If I follow the link above I see
    “The filing adds the Mesa building features a 3.3 MW rooftop array – reported by First Solar in December to be a 4.1 MW installation and Arizona’s largest solar rooftop”
    That is a big difference.

    • This might be a simple change in reporting the DC or AC power.

Back to Top ↑