February 23, 2016

First Solar Achieves Yet Another Cell Conversion Efficiency World Record

Thin film record 22.1 percent research cell continues performance advancement trend

TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced it has established yet another world record for cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) research cell conversion efficiency, achieving 22.1 percent efficiency certified at the Newport Corporation's Technology and Applications Center (TAC) PV Lab. The achievement confirms that First Solar is on pace with its established research cell roadmap, and validates CdTe's growing competitive advantage over multi-crystalline silicon technology and other commercial thin film PV.

The record-setting research cell was constructed at the company's Perrysburg, Ohio manufacturing factory and Research & Development Center using processes and materials suitable for commercial-scale manufacturing. In addition to the Newport TAC Lab certification, the record has been documented in the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) "Best Research Cell Efficiencies" reference chart.

This is the ninth substantial update to CdTe record efficiency since 2011, firmly establishing a sustained trend of rapid performance improvements that significantly outstrips all other commercial technologies.

"We are tracking very closely to a technology roadmap we first presented in 2013 and revised upward in March 2014," said Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's Chief Technology Officer. "At that time, we said we'd hit a 22 percent research cell efficiency milestone by the end of 2015. We've delivered on that promise. The accomplishment validates our continued confidence in CdTe as a superior PV material that combines cost effectiveness, reliability and high performance. In recent years and based on our research cell progress, we've improved the efficiency and energy density of our mass produced commercial PV modules at a rate at least three times faster than our multi-crystalline Si competitors. We fully expect to further separate ourselves from the pack in coming years."

Garabedian noted that First Solar's lead manufacturing lines were producing PV modules with 16.4 percent conversion efficiency in 4Q 2015, and that the research cell efficiency accomplishment serves as a powerful driver for integrating performance improvement into the real-world manufacturing environment.

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Conversion efficiency of CdTe is one of several factors that translate to superior performance of First Solar's technology in the field, which have a proven specific energy yield advantage, delivering more usable energy per nameplate watt than conventional c-Si modules. In other words, a PV power plant operator gets more energy (or higher Capacity Factor) for the same capital investment using First Solar modules, with a lower Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE). First Solar also has numerous certifications documenting industry-leading reliability, including Atlas 25+ certification, Long Term Sequential Test (harsh climates), IEC 62804 PID-Resistant Certification (resistance to degradation) and a track record of long-term predictability.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company's integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar's renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

For First Solar Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements, among other things, concerning: effects on our financial statements and guidance resulting from pending tax matters; our business strategy, including anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected costs (including estimated future module collection and recycling costs), warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability, investments in unconsolidated affiliates and capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs to construct PV solar power systems; research and development programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and competition. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as "estimate," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "intend," "seek," "believe," "forecast," "foresee," "likely," "may," "should," "goal," "target," "might," "will," "could," "predict," "continue" and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed in Item 1A: "Risk Factors," of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.

First Solar Media
Steve Krum
+1 602-427-3359
steve.krum@firstsolar.com
or
First Solar Investors
Stephen Haymore
+1 602-414-9315
stephen.haymore@firstsolar.com

Source: First Solar, Inc.

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