Capstone Project: First Solar, Inc.
•Company & Product Overview:
oleading manufacturer in photovoltaic solar modules and provider of solar solutions oSolar modules that consist of glass and cadmium telluride when combined convert sun light into electricity oComprehensive recycling program that salvages old parts and an environmentally friends manufacturing process •Financial Analysis:
oAn overview of current quarter end and extended ratios
oComparative key financial statistics of First Solar’s direct competitors •External / Internal Environmental Factors:
oTarget Market Segments
oPosition vs. Competition
•Evaluation & Summary:
oConsolidated look at the facts
oOpinion on companies future success
oTechnological Innovation and future affects
Company & Product Overview:
“First Solar is a leading manufacturer in photovoltaic solar modules and provider of solar solutions.” (First Solar, 2011) Through clean and renewable electricity First solar provides a viable alternative to energy at an economically and environmentally competitive price. By setting an environmental benchmark in response to fossil -fuel electricity First Solar has created a comprehensive recycling program and has created value through renewable energy solutions.
As the use of fossil-fuels start to diminish and grow unpopular due to the potentially harmful and irreversible environmental effects First Solar uses the abundant energy of the sun. By harnessing a sustainable and renewable energy source First Solar strives to decrease the dependence of fossil-fuels and limit the greenhouse gases that are emitted in the atmosphere. Using solar energy along with other renewable energy creates a long term strategy to preserving global health and a sustainable means to energy.
Product Life Cycle
Product Design: Modules consists of a front and back cover of laminated glass that are stressed tested with the “Hail Ball” test to ensure the modules and withstand golf ball size hail. The modules are also put to extensive 25+ year simulation endurance testing to ensure longevity. The semiconductors are very thin layers of photovoltaic cells which convert sunlight into electricity. (See Exhibit 1)
Material Sourcing: The semiconductor material is primarily from the byproducts of mining operations. The modules are made up of micron amounts of cadmium telluride. Once the cadmium is compounded and encapsulated it provides optimal converting of sunlight to electricity.
Manufacturing: First Solar’s mission is to work in conjunction with factories that promote minimizing waste, clean air, water treatment, solid waste collection and the core value of safety first. Through environmental responsibility First Solar looks to create long-term relationships with businesses and stakeholders.
Product Use: The modules represent a renewable source of clean energy which in turn will reduce harmful air emissions. These modules could represent 89% reduction of harmful emissions if used in place of conventional energy generation technologies.
Product Collection: As the modules come to the end of their life cycle First Solar provides a convenient and free service to dismantle the units and recycles at no additional cost to the customer.
Recycling Process: Once the unit is collected First Solar puts them through a process in which the salvage parts can be reused into new modules. The process includes shredding, hammer mill, film removal, solid-liquid separation, glass-laminate material separation, glass rinsing, precipitation and dewatering. (See Exhibit 2)
(Exhibit 1)(Exhibit 2)
The current ratio suggests that First Solar produces $3 of current assets for every $1 of current...