Based out of Arizona, First Solar Inc.  (Nasdaq: FSLR ), the world's largest solar company, has made three announcements this week demonstrating the company's dominance and growing reach in the global solar market.
On Tuesday, First Solar said that it had broken ground on what will be Australia's first utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar installation. It will partner with Western Australia's state-owned utility, Verve Energy, and General Electric Co.'s (NYSE: GE ) financial division GE Energy Financial Services in developing the solar farm.
In addition to providing the project with 150,000 of its advanced thin film PV solar panels, First Solar will also design and build the 10 MW solar farm. The WA Water Corporation will purchase 100 percent the project's electrical output to power its Southern Seawater Desalination Plant which is currently under construction.
The next day, back in the United States, NRG Energy Inc . (NYSE: NRG ), a subsidiary NRG Solar, said  its Roadrunner Solar Generating Facility is online. First Solar took eight months to construct  the 20 MW project which employs its PV solar panels. Located in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, the Roadrunner facility, which is the state's third largest solar installation, is now delivering renewable energy to El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE: EE ) through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
And finally, today, First Solar's European division announced  that its solar module factory in Frankfurt, Germany has been certified by VDE, the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies to qualify for Italy's Conto Energia 4 (CE4) feed-in tariff program.
Under the program, projects that contain at least 60% of European-made components are rewarded with an additional 10% premium above and beyond normal feed-in tarrif rates. Stephan Hansen Vice President of Sales for First Solar in Europe, the Middle East and Africa stated that this certification will directly increase the attractiveness of First Solar PV modules for commercial installations in Italy.
Despite dissapointing investors  after reporting its 2010 financial results in February, the solar giant has showed little signs of slowing its growth in the solar market. A quick glance at the last four months reveals the company continues to expand:
First Solar CEO Rob Gillette believes that, even though the company reported lower sales in Q2 2011($533 million) relative to Q2 2010 numbers ($588 million), the foundation has been laid in the first half of 2011 to build a strong second half.
Commenting on the Q2 2011 financials report  he said, "We expect stronger performance in the second half of 2011 as we build projects from our systems pipeline, develop promising new markets, execute our cost reduction roadmaps and continue to improve module efficiencies."
Following today's announcement the First Solar stocks were down 2 percent in early morning trading.
Image Credit: First Solar