Two Ohio thin-film solar panel manufacturers have settled a lawsuit claiming one sold the other’s product under its own brand name.
Thin-film giant First Solar first brought the complaint in May of this year, saying that it found Toledo Solar had taken First Solar panels and sold them under the Toledo Solar label. The mislabeled panels were also from First Solar’s Malaysian assembly factory and being sold as American-made.
Toledo Solar said that the two parties have reached a “mutually agreeable settlement,” in which the terms will remain confidential. Toledo Solar announced a transition to a new investor-led independent board of directors in July to clean up the operations.
In regards to the lawsuit settlement, newly elected Chairman Sean Fontenot stated, “We appreciate First Solar’s understanding and quick resolution of this matter stemming from the unfortunate actions taken by the company’s prior management team. The company is now operating well under new management. We look forward to continuing to work alongside First Solar as the anchor manufacturers of the US-MAC and CTAC consortia to strengthen U.S. leadership in strategic domestic manufacturing of cadmium telluride-based solar panels.”
Toledo Solar, now calling itself an “early-stage manufacturer,” operates a small, likely 100-MW capacity manufacturing line in Northwest Ohio. The company, which began production in 2021, originally planned to make CdTe thin-film solar panels, a technology pioneered by First Solar, for the residential and small commercial markets. The new management said this week that Toledo Solar is changing its “strategic direction to focus on technologies to hardened solar panels for geographies with the most significant heat and humidity and harsh weather environments.” The company will also accelerate efforts to develop semi-transparent solar panels.