TEMPE, Ariz. and SAN FRANCISCO, April 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- US-headquartered First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced that it has signed two 15-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE).

Under the PPAs, both agencies will buy electricity from the Rabbitbrush Solar project developed by First Solar in Kern County, California. The 100-megawatt (MW)AC photovoltaic (PV) solar plant, scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2022, will also feature 20MW of battery storage capacity, capable of delivering electricity for 2.5 hours.

“We are delighted to partner with First Solar to add to our growing solar generation and battery storage portfolio,” said Tom Habashi, Chief Executive Officer, MBCP. “Responsibly developed to minimize its impact on the ecosystem, and powered by the most eco-efficient solar technology available today, this project mirrors our own commitments to sustainability and the communities we serve.”

The project will be powered by First Solar’s proprietary thin film module technology, designed and developed at the Company’s research and development (R&D) centers in Santa Clara, California, and Perrysburg, Ohio. The technology is the result of over $1bn in cumulative R&D spend, among the highest in the PV manufacturing industry.

“We are thrilled that Rabbitbrush Solar will help deliver clean electricity to Santa Clarans with photovoltaic technology that was developed in Santa Clara by First Solar,” said Girish Balachandran, Chief Executive Officer, SVCE. “Our customers have made an important choice in selecting carbon-free energy, and we are looking forward to adding this project to our long-term efforts to cut energy-related emissions in line with our decarbonization commitments.”

The PPAs are the latest to be signed by First Solar with CCAs in California, enabling the delivery of cleaner solar electricity to several communities across the state. While SVCE provides renewable, carbon-free electricity to 13 communities in Santa Clara County, MBCP sources clean electricity for the Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties, as well as parts of San Luis Obispo county.

“The fast-growing CCA segment, with its base of environmentally conscious consumers, aligns well with our inherent emphasis on sustainability and our mission to lead the world’s sustainable energy future,” said Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer, First Solar. “As America’s solar company, we are pleased to support MBCP and SVCE in powering communities with solar energy that is not only cost-competitive, reliable and efficient, but also has a superior environmental profile.”

When it is complete, the facility will generate enough electricity to power 45,000 average homes, while displacing 62,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 12,000 combustion engine cars from the road.  The air quality benefits of the project will amount to more than $10 million in avoided healthcare costs annually.

With 1.9-gigawatts (GW)DC of annualized manufacturing capacity in the US, First Solar is America’s and the Western Hemisphere’s largest solar manufacturer. Headquartered in Arizona, the Company operates two factories in Ohio. First Solar recently celebrated two decades since its founding in 1999, and 25GWDC of PV modules shipped, making it the only American solar module manufacturing company to achieve this milestone. It also operates manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Malaysia, with a global annualized Series 6 manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWDC.

About First Solar
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 Monterey Bay Community Power
Monterey Bay Community Power is a Community Choice Energy agency established by local communities to source carbon-free electricity for Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties in addition to San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay as well as most of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties starting in 2021. PG&E and SCE continue their traditional role delivering power as well as maintaining electric infrastructure and billing. As a locally controlled public agency, MBCP supports regional economic vitality by sourcing cleaner energy at a lower cost and advancing local energy programs to accelerate electrification, fuel-switching and resiliency. For more information, visit www.mbcp.org.                                                

About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a community-owned agency serving the majority of Santa Clara County communities, acquiring clean, carbon-free electricity on behalf of more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Member jurisdictions include Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Saratoga, Sunnyvale and unincorporated Santa Clara County. SVCE is guided by a Board of Directors, which is comprised of a representative from the governing body of each member community. For more information, please visit www.SVCleanEnergy.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 First Solar’s signing of two 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the 100MWAC Rabbitbrush solar project in Kern County, California. 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 Conditions and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.     

MediaInvestors
  
Reuven Proença
First Solar Media
reuven.proenca@firstsolar.com 
Mitchell Ennis
First Solar Investor Relations
mitchell.ennis@firstsolar.com
  
Steve Kerekes
Kyte Consulting for First Solar
steve@jkyteconsulting.com
 

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6d028afe-7587-4c24-9793-c2e525789b72