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First Solar Modules "Made in EU" Qualify for Italian Feed-In Tariff Premium

September 01, 2011

VDE Factory Inspection Certification Adds Value to Commercial PV Investments in Italy

ROME & MAINZ, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Solar modules produced by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) in its factory in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, satisfy requirements for a 10% feed-in tariff premium in Italy after passing a thorough factory inspection, the company announced today.

The news follows an official Factory Inspection certification by VDE, the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies, on the basis of guidelines established by the Italian government as part of its "Conto Energia 4" (CE4) feed-in tariff program. The CE4 intends to encourage the use of components "made in Europe" with the program, which rewards projects that contain at least 60% local content with a 10% premium over normal feed-in tariff rates.

"This certification provides an added value to our customers in Italy by increasing the attractiveness of investments in commercial PV systems," said Stephan Hansen, Vice President of Sales for First Solar in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "It also validates our commitment to manufacturing in Europe, which remains one of our most important markets globally."

First Solar has operated a manufacturing plant for its innovative, thin-film solar modules in Frankfurt (Oder), since 2007. The company is currently in the process of doubling manufacturing capacity at the plant to approximately 500MW a year. First Solar employs more than 1,200 people in Frankfurt (Oder) and more than 1,400 in the European Union overall and was recently recognized as a Great Place to Work by Germany's Great Place to Work Institute for the second year in a row.

In addition, most of the raw materials that First Solar uses for its German production are sourced within the European Union.

First Solar modules also recently received the IEC 61701 certification demonstrating their resistance to corrosive salt mist in coastal environments. All First Solar modules are covered by a 25-year performance warranty and the company offers an industry-leading, prefunded module collection and recycling program. Moreover, the resource- and energy-efficient way in which First Solar modules are produced results in a best-in-class energy payback time and the smallest carbon footprint among all commercially available PV technologies.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology, and is a premier provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. The company is delivering an economically viable alternative to fossil-fuel generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating value-driven renewable energy solutions that 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 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.

First Solar—Europe
Brandon Mitchener or Pia Alina Lange
+49 (0) 6131 1443-399
media-emea@firstsolar.com
or
First Solar—Germany
Sebastian Fasbender
+49 (0) 3020 88942-30
media-germany@firstsolar.com
or
First Solar—USA
Alan Bernheimer or Melanie Friedman
+1 (602) 414-9361
media@firstsolar.com
or
First Solar Investors
Larry Polizzotto
+1 (602) 414-9315
LPolizzotto@firstsolar.com

Source: First Solar, Inc.

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