Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 118

First Solar
www.firstsolar.com / HQ: Tempe, Ariz. / Employees: 6,000+ / Mike Koralewski, senior VP of
global manufacturing: "We're competitive with conventional power structures today."

Northeast

Solar Excellence

first solar has positioned itself as a strong
player in the solar energy market. by alan dorich

image provided by first solar inc.

first solar has installed
more than 10 gigawatts of
photovoltaic solar energy
products worldwide.

118

manufacturing-today.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016

First Solar has excelled in its market by following a mission that people
can easily commit to, Senior Vice President of Global Manufacturing Mike
Koralewski says. "It is to create enduring value by enabling a world powered
by clean, affordable electricity," he says.
With administrative headquarters
in Tempe, Ariz., and manufacturing
facilities in Perrysburg, Ohio and
Kulim, Malaysia, First Solar provides
photovoltaic (PV) solar energy products. The company has installed more
than 10 gigawatts worldwide and
developed, built and currently operates many grid-connected PV power
plants across the world.
After a career in the glass industry,
founder Harold McMaster started a
predecessor company that, in 1999,
became First Solar. "He was prominent in the Toledo, [Ohio], area, and
Harold had this dream of trying to
make solar modules," Koralewski explains, noting that McMaster experimented with various technologies.
"He finally fell on the technology we
use today, which is cadmium telluride,"
Koralewski continues, noting that McMaster worked with the material for
several years to develop it to where he
could make several modules.
McMaster also received additional
backing from John Walton and his venture capital firm, True North Venture
Partners. "They gave some fantastic
financial backing," Koralewski says. "It
was really John who put the money in
to build the first commercial manufacturing plant in 1999."
Ultimately, Walton took the majority interest in the company, which


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016

Contents
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - 1
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Contents
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Manufacturing Today - September/October 2016 - Cover3
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