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Southern Company Helps FirstSolar’s Revenue Rise 65% in 2Q15

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FirstSolar (FSLR) revenue performance

FirstSolar (FSLR) reported $896.2 million in revenues in 2Q15, 65% higher than 2Q14’s $350.3 million. The solar (TAN) systems segment reported revenues of $574.8 million in 2Q15 against $243.6 million in 2Q14. The solar components segment reported $321.4 million in revenues in 2Q13 against $194.1 million in 2Q14.

FirstSolar (FSLR) sold its 51% majority interest in the North Star and Lost Hills solar projects in California to Southern Company (SO) during the quarter for a total of $268.4 million, causing a large part of the spike in revenues. Lost Hills and North Star have capacities of 32 MW and 60 MW, respectively. The remaining 49% stake is these projects was offloaded to 8point3 Energy (CAFD)—FirstSolar and SunPower’s (SPWR) joint yieldco. FSLR’s consolidated financial statements include CAFD.

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Third-party module sales drop

Interestingly, FSLR’s solar module sales to third parties came in at $18.8 million in 2Q15, the lowest in five quarters. The company had reported $65.4 million in third-party sales in 2Q14. The drop came as a result of lower shipments and prices per watt. Falling third-party sales signal an increased focus on the systems segment, which has been the primary growth driver for the company in recent years. The company produced 563 megawatts of modules in 2Q15, running its manufacturing capacities at a utilization rate of 85%.

While FirstSolar recorded revenue gains by selling projects to Southern Company, SunEdison (SUNE) retained a higher percentage of watts on its balance sheet. Read on to the next part of this series to learn more.

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