04 December 2012

First Solar establishes new operating subsidiary in South Africa, New office in Cape Town

- Hires Johan Cilliers as Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa 

Cape Town, South Africa & Tempe, Ariz.- 04 December 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) - First Solar, Inc. today announced that Johan Cilliers has joined the company as Regional Director of Business Development for Sub-Saharan Africa and Managing Director of its new South Africa operating subsidiary. Cilliers will be based in First Solar's newly established office in Cape Town and will report to Christopher Burghardt, Vice President of Business Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). 

Cilliers brings more than 25 years of energy industry experience in South Africa and the region to First Solar. He joins from Suzlon, where he was vice president of sales and marketing in South Africa. Prior to that he worked at General Electric, Siemens and Eskom in a wide range of roles including market development, sales and marketing, project development and financing. 

"South Africa has great potential to be a sustainable market for solar energy, and Cilliers' quarter-century of experience in the African energy industry and strong understanding of the Sub-Saharan Africa market will be invaluable as we work with our customers to help the region meet its energy and economic development needs," said Burghardt. 

"I am excited to be part of the First Solar team, which combines proven technology and unrivaled experience with a local approach that supports both the energy and economic development needs of this market," said Cilliers. 

Cilliers earned a BS degree in chemistry from the University of Pretoria and BS degree in energy from the University of Johannesburg. 

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. First Solar is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, USA. 

Source: First Solar