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BELECTRIC, First Solar Connect Three Utility-Scale Solar Power Plants to UK Grid

June 17, 2014

MAINZ, Germany – June 17, 2014 – First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) and BELECTRIC GmbH today announced the grid connection of three utility-scale power plants in the United Kingdom. Together, the projects - all powered by First Solar’s advanced thin film modules - will produce approximately 33,900,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, which is sufficient to supply the energy needs of an estimated 10,200 average homes.

The largest of the three facilities, the 14MWAC Marsh Solar Farm in Wiltshire, is owned by, German asset management group KGAL’s ESPF 3 renewable energy fund for institutional investors. The 10.5MWAC Weston Longville Solar Farm in Norfolk and the 10MWAC Holton Solar Farm in Suffolk are owned by the BBIP infrastructure fund. Together, the projects will displace approximately 11,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to planting about 3,260,000 trees or removing over 4,300 cars from Britain’s roads.

The plants have been designed to have a minimal impact on the communities and ecosystems they are located in. For instance, Holton Solar Farm has been constructed on an abandoned World War Two-era airfield, RAF Halesworth, with the full approval of the local community. The site will feature a biodiversity enhancement program to further mitigate its impact on local ecosystems. Similarly, Marsh Solar Farm was also built on a decommissioned airfield, while the Weston Longville Solar Farm features a habitat management initiative. 

“The United Kingdom is a fast growing photovoltaic market and these plants are an important demonstration of our combined ability to effectively deliver clean, reliable solar energy in the United Kingdom,” said Martin Zembsch, Chief Business Development Officer of BELECTRIC. “The plants were completed and grid-connected on schedule and on budget, in keeping with BELECTRIC’s quality-based philosophy. We’re proud to have partnered with First Solar, whose advanced thin-film modules are powering all three plants.”

BELECTRIC and First Solar share a longstanding partnership that spans over a decade: the two groups entered into a joint venture in 2013 and also collaborated on the development of the 128MWAC Templin solar power plant in Germany, the largest deployment of First Solar modules in Europe. An estimated 80% of the 1,400MW of solar electricity generation capacity installed by BELECTRIC, is powered by First Solar modules.

“As the United Kingdom embraces the potential of clean and affordable solar electricity, these projects represent a new milestone in the country’s development of a sustainable solar energy portfolio,” said Stefan Degener, Managing Director, First Solar GmbH. “The projects also represent the latest success in First Solar’s longstanding partnership with BELECTRIC, demonstrating how our companies are capable of bringing together industry-leading capabilities and technologies to deliver reliable solar energy in virtually any market.”  

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. 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: 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, warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems ("BoS") cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability 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 photovoltaic ("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," "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 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.

About BELECTRIC®

BELECTRIC is one of the most successful international enterprises in the development and construction of ground-mounted solar power plants and roof-mounted photovoltaic systems. As an international company, BELECTRIC is represented in over 20 countries. Its position as technology leader is a result of the high degree of vertical integration in the development and manufacturing processes. The combination of economic and ecological interests has always been the basis for the sustainable success of our employees. BELECTRIC demonstrates its great innovative spirit with over 100 active patents. Alongside solar power generation, BELECTRIC Drive® works to develop the interface between photovoltaics and e-mobility. Further information can be found at www.belectric.com.

 

Contacts

Media

Reuven Proença
First Solar EMEA Communications
+971 (0)4 455 9410
reuven.proenca@firstsolar.com

 

 

Florian Dittert
BELECTRIC GmbH
+49 (0)9385 9804 5706
florian.dittert@belectric.com

Investors

David Brady
+1 602 414-9315
dbrady@firstsolar.com

 

Stephen Haymore,
+1 602-414-9315
stephen.haymore@firstsolar.com

 

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