TEMPE, Ariz., Jul 16, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced today that Southern California Edison (SCE) has selected First Solar to engineer and supply the PV power plant system for a 2 megawatt project to be installed on the roof of a commercial building in Fontana, CA. This is the first installation in SCE's plan to install 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity on large commercial rooftops throughout Southern California over the next five years. SCE began installation of this initial project on July 14, 2008, and expects to connect the PV power plant to the grid in September 2008. In March, SCE, with California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced the five-year solar PV installation project, which is the largest rooftop solar program ever proposed by a U.S. utility.
In addition, on July 10, 2008, the CPUC approved project terms of a 20 year power purchase agreement between First Solar and SCE for the sale of electricity generated by a PV power plant. First Solar plans to build the new plant in Blythe, CA. The PV power plant will be a minimum of 7.5 megawatts, with an option by First Solar to increase the size to 21 megawatts, and when completed will be the largest ground based PV power plant in California. First Solar will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the PV power plant, and maintain the PV power plant over its lifetime. Subject to the satisfaction of remaining contingencies, including the extension of the federal solar investment tax credit, First Solar expects to begin construction of the PV power plant in 2009.
"By harnessing the clean, renewable energy of the sun that is abundant in California, these innovative solar projects are helping to meet our long-term energy and climate change goals," Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said. "These projects are evidence that California's ingenuity is spurring a clean tech boom that will bring companies and investment dollars to California while reducing the state's carbon footprint."
The Governor has set a goal of increasing California's renewable energy sources to 20 percent by 2010, and he supports reaching 33 percent by 2020.
"These projects represent significant steps towards the deployment of low cost, solar electric generation resources for California," said Mike Ahearn, CEO of First Solar. "First Solar looks forward to developing these and other projects which will move California closer to its renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals."
"We are pleased to be working with First Solar on these important renewable energy projects," said SCE President John R. Fielder. "Their successful bid to supply the first system for our major utility solar project is helping SCE provide solar PV generation to our customers at a lower cost than traditional PV installations."
First Solar is the cost leader in the solar PV industry, driven by an advanced thin film semiconductor manufacturing process. At the end of 2007, over 300 megawatts of First Solar PV modules had been installed worldwide, with an additional 400 megawatts scheduled for installation in 2008. With its project partners, First Solar has supplied several of the largest ground and rooftop PV power plants in the world.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:FSLR) manufactures solar modules with an advanced thin film semiconductor process and provides comprehensive system solutions that significantly reduce solar electricity costs. By enabling clean renewable electricity at affordable prices, First Solar provides an economic alternative to peak conventional electricity and the related fossil fuel dependence, greenhouse gas emissions and peak time grid constraints. First Solar has set the benchmark for environmentally responsible product life cycle management by introducing the industry's first comprehensive collection and recycling program for solar modules. From raw material sourcing through end of life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating cost-effective renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. First Solar modules have the lowest life cycle environmental impact of current PV technologies. In addition, PV power plants generate electricity with no air emissions, no waste stream and no water use.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is the largest electric utility in California, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
For First Solar Investors:
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company's business involving the company's products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.
SOURCE: First Solar, Inc.
First Solar, Inc. Paula Vaughnn Director, Communications 602-414-9361 firstname.lastname@example.org
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