Weekly Solar Earnings Recap: Daqo, FTC and First Solar


pv magazine USA recaps the top earnings reports and conference calls for public companies that supply solar modules, silicon wafer materials, inverters, hardware and energy storage systems to the North American renewable energy market, as well as integrated residential solar installation companies and rooftop solar finance providers. This report tracks quarterly and annual volumes of orders, wafer material shipments and customer allocations.

Daqo New Energy

In Q4 2022, Daqo New Energy  (NYSE:DQ) sold 23,400 metric tons (MT) of polysilicon, or double its sales volume of 11,642 MT sold in Q4 2021.  The average production cost dropped to $7.69 per kg in the quarter, compared to $14.11 per kg a year ago. Overall, Daqo produced 33,702 metric tonnes of polysilicon, a 47.2% increase over 23,616 metric tons produced in Q4 2021.

Revenue for Q4 2022 was $864.3 million in Q4 2022,  a 118% increase compared to  $395.5 million in Q4 2021

‘We are very pleased to report record results for the year 2022. Our annual polysilicon production volume was 133,812 MT in 2022, exceeding our guidance of 130,000 to 132,000, and 54.5% higher than 86,567 MT produced in 2021,” said Longgen Zhang, chief executive officer of Daqo New Energy.

The Shanghai-based polysilicon producer entered 2023 with plans for construction of phase 5A of its 100,000 MT polysilicon capacity expansion project in inner Mongolia, with construction to be completed and the start of pilot production in April 2023, and full capacity expected by June 30, 2023.  With the expansion, Daqo said it expects to produce 190,000 to 195,000 MT of polysilicon in 2023.

First Solar

Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) generated $1 billion of revenue in Q4 2022, representing a 10% increase from $900 million in revenue from Q4 2021, as the solar module producer ended 2022 with a surge of 48.3 GW (DC) of net booking, representing a 2.76x increase over 17.5 GW (DC) net bookings in 2021.

“This momentum is driven by our points of differentiation, including our unique CdTe (Cadmium telluride) technology, vertically integrated manufacturing process, domestic production, and commitment to responsible solar,” said Mark Widmer, chief executive officer. “We enter this year in a significantly stronger commercial, operational, and financial position, with increased R&D investment, new domestic and international capacity coming online, and a new Series 7 product.”

“In addition, we expect to begin benefiting from the advanced manufacturing production tax credits provided for under Section 45X of the Inflation Reduction Act,” Widmer said during a conference call session, though he said the company is awaiting Internal Revenue System and U.S. Treasury guidance regarding implementation of the IRA.

During the call, Widmer said 45X credits recognized are expected to increase in Q2 2023, driven by timing of module volumes sold and overcoming inventory lag.

In 2022, First Solar exited the Japanese project development and operations and maintenance market by selling its Japan business, including a 665 MW (DC) portfolio of solar development assets, to PAG Real Assets for about $496 million.

FTC Solar

Solar tracker FTC Solar (Nasdaq:FTCI) posted $26.2 million in Q4 2022 revenue, down 74% from $101.7 million of revenue in Q4 2021, driven by near-term challenges due to Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) module constraints.  The company continued to execute by adding $240 million in bookings and “expects continued momentum in the second half of 2023.”

For Q1 2023, the Austin, Texas-based company provided $36 million – $40 million of revenue guidance, with sequential improvement throughout the year based on easing of UFLPA trade constraints.

In February 2023, FTC signed a JV with steel fabricator Taihua New Energy to build a new U.S. steel facility in Sealy, Texas, called Alpha Steel LLC, which is expected to begin commercial operations in mid-2023. The JV agreement bolsters FTC’s domestic supply chain and achieves domestic content adder benefits under the Inflation Reduction Act provisions for sourcing of U.S.-made content for solar systems.

Contracted and awarded orders as Feb. 28 were $1.2 billion, and FTC’s pipeline has grown to a record high of 110 GW. The majority of its new additions this period were not impacted by UFLPA, the company noted. Its current backlog now includes $400 million of non-UFLPA impacted projects as FTC continues to diversify its sales efforts.

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