“First Solar Inc. (FSLR) Chief Executive Officer Jim Hughes is stepping up efforts to managepower plants that generate electricity from the sun, helping utilities use the technology in a way his rivals in China can’t.
The biggest U.S. solar panel maker plans to build new projects from the Middle East to Australiaand use proprietary systems that help power-purchasers manage the amount they buy from solar farms, Hughes said in his first interview since taking the CEO position in May.
The company’s pitch to utilities is that it will help them predict uneven power flows from solar panels, giving grid operators the ability to integrate the facilities into their networks alongside those that burn fossil fuels. That’s making First Solar less dependent on manufacturing, an industry dominated by Chinese companies led by Suntech Power Holdings Co. (STP)”
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