PORTLAND, Ore. and TEMPE, Ariz., Oct. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Green Electronics Council (GEC) today announced that the Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) module, designed and manufactured by U.S.-headquartered First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), is the world’s first PV product to be included in the launch of the EPEAT Photovoltaic and Inverters product category.

EPEAT is the leading life-cycle based Type-1 ecolabel used by public and private sector institutional purchasers globally. To be the first PV product included in the new EPEAT PV Modules and Inverters category, First Solar Series 6 sustainability benefits have been verified by a reputable third-party international certification firm.

The EPEAT ecolabel allows easy identification of credible sustainable electronic products from a broad range of manufacturers, and the online EPEAT Registry lists those products. Designed to help institutional purchasers, EPEAT is used by national governments, including the United States, and thousands of private-sector institutional purchasers worldwide as part of their sustainable procurement decisions. The GEC, which manages EPEAT and ensures its integrity, has launched the new EPEAT PV modules and Inverters product category in recognition of the tremendous growth of the solar sector.

“The EPEAT PV Modules and Inverters category provides those tasked with buying renewable energy the means to specify that the hardware used is truly sustainable,” said Nancy Gillis, CEO of the Green Electronics Council. “We are thrilled that First Solar is leading the solar industry towards more sustainable practices by becoming the first PV module manufacturer to have its products included in the EPEAT Registry, giving its customers confidence that they are purchasing an environmentally-leading product from a socially-responsible company.  By launching at the Silver tier, First Solar has shown their commitment to sustainability.  GEC calls upon the other PV module manufacturers to follow their lead.”

Series 6 was awarded an EPEAT Silver rating, certifying that it has exceeded the required stringent environmental and social criteria of a Bronze rating. EPEAT addresses the full product life cycle, including managing substances in the product, manufacturing energy and water use, product packaging, end-of-life recycling, and corporate responsibility. EPEAT also requires manufacturers to commit to continuous improvement in environmental and social responsibility, including labor and human rights, across their operations and supply chain. This helps ensure that PV modules and inverters, and their components, are not produced using forced labor and that fair and safe labor practices are adhered to.

“With solar PV expected to be the fastest-growing renewable energy technology from now to 2050, the sector has a collective responsibility to ensure that today’s clean energy solutions are certifiably sustainable. However, the PV industry has historically lacked a comprehensive, credible, and transparent standard to certify manufacturers’ environmental and sustainability claims,” said Andreas Wade, Director, Global Sustainability, First Solar. “The EPEAT ecolabel effectively addresses this gap, creating a stringent industry standard that will help purchasers evaluate the lifecycle impact of a PV module. We’re proud to continue leading the PV industry towards a truly sustainable energy future by being the first to have an EPEAT-rated module.”

Designed and developed at First Solar’s research and development (R&D) centers in California and Ohio, Series 6 is a uniquely American solar PV module that has set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. The result of over $1 billion in cumulative R&D investment, each module features a layer of First Solar’s proprietary CadTel semiconductor that is 33-times thinner than the thickness of a human hair. With a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower and a water footprint that is up to 24 times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods, Series 6 delivers a superior environmental profile and lowest carbon solar available today.

About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar solutions, 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 solutions protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

About the Green Electronics Council
The Green Electronics Council (GEC) is a mission-driven non-profit that seeks to achieve a world in which only sustainable electronics are designed, manufactured, and bought. GEC was founded in 2006 and manages the most widely used ecolabel for electronics globally, EPEAT, which is used by purchasers in more than 42 countries. GEC works with global electronics brands and large scale purchasers to facilitate their adoption of sustainable manufacturing and procurement systems. GEC aims to increase the market availability and purchase of sustainable electronics. For more information, please visit www.greenelectronicscouncil.org.

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, but are not limited to, statements concerning the EPEAT-Silver rating for First Solar’s Series 6 module and the growth of solar PV technology. 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 and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. 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, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. 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 under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.     

Media
Reuven Proença
First Solar Media
reuven.proenca@firstsolar.com 

Karen Drozdiak
First Solar Sustainability & ESG Communications
karen.drozdiak@firstsolar.com
Investors
Mitchell Ennis
First Solar Investor Relations
mitchell.ennis@firstsolar.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/3f9842eb-0f53-4286-a0aa-e0ee1243b226