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First Solar Facing $55 Million Penalty in Breach of Contract Dispute
Since uncovering an undisclosed SEC investigation, we’ve learned the solar panel maker waited more than 15-months to disclose a key customer’s arbitration demand.
October 28, 2022
In its latest quarterly filing, First Solar (FSLR), a solar module and systems manufacturer, revealed a customer, Southern Power Company, is seeking $55 million after accusing the company of breaching its contractual obligations.
Southern Power’s arbitration demand was filed July 12, 2021 but not disclosed until more than 15-months later in First Solar’s latest quarterly filing. Southern Power is accusing First Solar of breaching its obligations to design and engineer projects in accordance with engineering, procuring, and construction (EPC) agreements.
Specifically, Southern says First Solar did not live up to its portion of the agreement related to the procurement of tracker systems and inverters.
Not coincidentally, First Solar also disclosed that during the quarter ended September 30, 2022 it received various indemnification demands from customers, for whom it provided EPC services, regarding claims that such customers’ PV tracker systems infringe, in part, on patents owned by Trabant Solar, Inc.
First Solar says it has conducted due diligence on the patents and claims and believes it would prevail should it be obligated to defend itself before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In June, we published an Exclusive Report, available only to paid members of DuDil+, exposing an undisclosed SEC investigation at First Solar, possibly related to its new Executive Compensation Clawback policy which raised the possibility of an accounting restatement due to an executive bonus scandal.
Related: ENPH, SEDG, GNRC, TSLA
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