General Electric (NYSE:GE) and First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) today announced partnership plans to advance thin-film solar cells and modules. In exchange for 1.75 million shares of First Solar common stock, the solar-tech company has acquired GE's cadmium telluride solar intellectual property. Cadmium telluride is a material found in solar cells.

As a result of the transaction, First Solar expects to accelerate its cadmium telluride manufacturing capabilities, which will improve its overall production of solar technology. GE, meanwhile, will further expand its presence in solar by purchasing a number of First Solar's products for future global GE deployments.

"To lead in today's solar industry, you must have the most competitive technology at the most competitive cost position," said Anne McEntee, GE's president and CEO of renewable energy. "We're excited to partner with First Solar to accelerate innovation and bring our complementary technology and R&D to market faster through its manufacturing capabilities."

GE has seen its stock price rise in 2013 from $20.99 to $24.70, a 17% increase. First Solar stock, meanwhile, has experienced a 53% jump, from $30.85 to $47.30.