Apple 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.”