First Solar Reports 1 Gigawatt Production

Tempe, Arizona-based solar panel manufacturer First Solar is reporting today that the firm has now produced 1 gigawatt of its solar modules, since beginning commercial production in 2002. The firm, which makes thin-film, Cadmium Telluride based solar panels for both the commercial and residential market, said that it is expecting that it will have the capacity to produce more than 1GW per year by the end of this year. 1GW is roughly equal to the output of an average nuclear power plant. First Solar said it took six years to produce the first 500 megawatts of that total. First Solar's photovoltaic technology lowers the cost of manufacturing solar panels; however, the firm's usage of highly toxic Cadmium has cast some doubts on how "green" the firm's technology is, despite the firm's robust end-of-life recycling program.