First Solar has plowed through the solar business difficulties of the past few years. And it is looking to push through strong to the other side. As one checkpoint along the way, it looks like First Solar is set to be to first solar developer to install over 1 GW (1,000 MW) of solar power within one calendar year.

IHS solar revealed last week that First Solar is likely to install about 1.1 GW of solar in 2013.

First Solar started out simply as a thin-film solar module manufacturer. However, it eventually slid into a developer role as well, a role that seems to be serving the company quite well. In 2012, it installed about 516 MW of solar power projects. Globally, it was actually the #1 solar developer and the #2 solar module manufacturer in 2012. Hitting 1.1 GW this year would mean a more than doubling of annual installation capacity.

“First Solar’s successful strategy of acquiring, installing and divesting projects will keep the company among the world’s leading solar system integrators over the next years,” said Josefin Berg, senior analyst for downstream solar research at IHS Solar.

PV Magazine adds: “First Solar has also been moving into emerging solar markets and IHS Solar notes its acquisition in January of Solar Chile, which delivered it a 1.5 GW pipeline in the South American country.