GE partners with First Solar on solar energy

General Electric (GE) and First Solar struck a technology partnership to advance thin-film solar power cells and modules. First Solar has acquired GE’s global cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar intellectual property portfolio as part of the deal, which the company says will advance photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar technology.

GE received 1.75 million shares of First Solar common stock as part of this transaction. GE has agreed to retain the shares for at least three years.

The combination of the two companies’ complementary technologies and First Solar’s existing manufacturing capabilities are expected to accelerate the development of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar module performance and improve efficiency at manufacturing scale. In addition, GE Global Research and First Solar R&D will collaborate on future technology development to further advance CdTe solar technology.

First Solar’s existing manufacturing sites will be used to further advance CdTe technology and achieve an increasingly competitive cost position. GE has decided to discontinue the build-out of its Aurora, Colorado, solar manufacturing facility.

The transaction has closed. King & Spalding LLP and Arnold & Porter LLP represented GE on the transaction, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP represented First Solar.

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