UPDATE 2-First Solar to boost capacity with new plants

* Plans two new manufacturing plants in U.S., Vietnam

* To increase capacity by nearly 500 mw/year

* Stock up 4 pct

NEW YORK, Oct 14 (BestGrowthStock) – First Solar Inc (FSLR.O: )
(FSLR.O: ) will build two new manufacturing plants in the United
States and Vietnam to meet strong demand for its thin-film
photovoltaic modules, sending its stock up over 4 percent.

Booming demand for clean electricity systems has sent sales
for many of the leading solar companies soaring this year, with
First Solar, Suntech Power Holdings (STP.N: ) and Yingli Green
Energy Holding Co (YGE.N: ) reporting they had sold out of
products.

The First Solar plants, which will add 500 megawatts of
module production, will lift the company to the industry’s top
spot in output capacity with 2.7 gigawatts (2,700 megawatts) in
2012.

Earlier this month, China’s Suntech opened its first
manufacturing plant in the United States as part of its plan to
raise output capacity this year to 1.8 gigawatts. First Solar’s
current capacity is about 1.4 gigawatts.

One gigawatt is about the size of a nuclear power reactor.

Unlike other major solar companies, First Solar, the
largest in the sector with market value of $11.7 billion,
produces modules that use cadmium telluride to produce
electricity from sunlight rather than polysilicon.

First Solar has previously announced it would expand
production in Malaysia, Germany and France to help supply its
pipeline of more than 2 gigawatts of projects.

The two new plants in the United States and Vietnam will
each create 600 new jobs, and employ about 1,000 people during
construction.

The plants would put new manufacturing capacity close to
strong demand growth areas, company spokesman Alan Bernheimer
said.

He declined to comment on the planned capital spending for
the new plants.

Earlier this year the company completed an expansion of its
Perrysburg, Ohio, manufacturing plant, which serves as First
Solar’s primary hub for engineering, research and development.

The announcement pushed shares in First Solar up 4.1
percent to $142.55 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock
Exchange.

It also lifted shares in its supplier 5N Plus (VNP.TO: ) to a
14-month high at C$6.44 on the Toronto Stock Exchange earlier
on Thursday.

(Reporting by Matt Daily and Steve James; Editing by
Bernard Orr)

UPDATE 2-First Solar to boost capacity with new plants