It was quite the flashy week in the world of solar.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) kicked things off with an announcement that it's going to China. The firm is looking to build a massive 2-gigawatt power plant in Inner Mongolia that will take about a decade to complete.

Also early in the week, Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) landed a large loan to finance a 500-megawatt capacity expansion (what, me worry about industry oversupply?), Solarfun Power (NASDAQ:SOLF) trotted out a letter of intent on 600 megawatts' worth of projects (also in sunny Inner Mongolia), and shares of Energy Conversion Devices (NASDAQ:ENER) soared on the rumor of a buyout by Applied Materials. Somehow, the stock has more or less clung to these gains all week. I say take the money and run.

LDK Solar (NYSE:LDK), which recently began polysilicon production at its in-house plant, announced that it will collaborate with Best Solar on future solar projects. That's no surprise, given their common controlling owner. I'll go out on a limb and predict a merger between these companies sometime in the next year or two.

Nanosolar, a thin-film start-up that we've followed with interest for quite a while now, made a series of announcements on Wednesday. The company has got its German factory up and running, with a nameplate capacity of 640 megawatts (though it's only spitting out one megawatt/month at present). Nanosolar also provided a few more details about its panels, which are certified at a higher system voltage than any other out there, and have been independently verified at 16.4% efficiency in the lab. Median efficiency in production is running above 11%.

Rounding out the week that was, Canadian Solar made further inroads into the South Korean market in a deal with the LG Group, solar thermal bigwig BrightSource brought in Bechtel as both a contractor and an equity investor on its 440MW Ivanpah facility in California, and Evergreen Solar (NASDAQ:ESLR) launched a line of off-grid solar panels. The company identified this as an "expanding market," but didn't bother to quantify the potential. The market for blankets with sleeves is also expanding, but there's only so much Snuggie demand.

Out of that trio of solar firms, Brightsource is probably the best bet. You can't invest in it yet, but Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), BP, and Chevron already have.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. First Solar and Google are Rule Breakers picks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.