First Solar To Increase Production Capacity To 2.7 GW

Posted on October 15th, 2010 by

Expect higher heating bills this winter, which company is doubling down on solar production, and a continent that you wouldn‘t immediately think of that’s quickly becoming the hot place for smart grid development.

Even with a winter that’s forecasted to be less harsh than last year, many households should expect to see higher heating bills in the coming months. New data released by the Energy Information Administration shows that higher energy prices are a key reason to the increase in bills. Home using natural gas as their primary heat source should expect to see a 2% decrease in consumption but a 6% increase in price. When comparing to last year, this projection equates to an additional $27 in heating costs. There a good chance that this could affect you because approximately 52 percent of all American homes rely on natural gas for heating.

First Solar, Inc. has announced plans to nearly double their photovoltaic production capacity from 1.4 GW to 2.7 GW by 2012. The company, which manufactures advanced thin-film photovoltaic modules, will build new manufacturing plants in the US and Vietnam to handle the added capacity. Each new plant is also expected to create an additional 600 green jobs. The specific sites have yet to be determined.

GE has added another company to its smart grid software portfolio. GE’s Digital Energy Business has acquired smart grid network software and services provider Opal Software. With Opal Software being based in Australia, the acquisition allows for GE’s Digital Energy business to further expand their reach in the Asia-Pacific. Australia is the new hot bed for smart grid development growth as the Australian government is currently putting in place a national broadband plan that includes specific implementation requirements for countrywide smart grid network investments. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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