First Solar Acquires Chilean Project Developer Solar Chile

Wed Jan 9, 2013 4:00am EST

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Investment to advance PV power plant projects in sustainable market with
world-class solar resource
TEMPE, Ariz. & SANTIAGO, Chile--(Business Wire)--
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) and Fundación Chile today announced that First
Solar has acquired Solar Chile, a Santiago-based solar development company in
which Fundación Chile was an early investor. This culminates a strategic working
alliance the two companies formed in Oct. 2011. Solar Chile has a portfolio of
early- to mid-stage utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) power projects totaling
about 1.5 gigawatts (GW) in Regions I, II, III, and XV in northern Chile,
including the Atacama Desert region, which offers the highest solar irradiance
in the world. 

"We have been very impressed by the quality of the Solar Chile team and the
projects they are developing, and we believe that together we will bring even
more value to the Chilean market," said Jim Hughes, First Solar CEO. "Combining
Solar Chile`s market knowledge and promising project portfolio with First
Solar`s resources, technology and strong execution track record offers Chile a
rapid and proven path to add significant solar generation capacity, helping to
meet high energy demand and support economic growth." 

"First Solar`s acquisition of Solar Chile is a milestone of enormous
significance to our country," said Alvaro Fischer, President of Fundación Chile.
"It highlights the tremendous potential that solar PV energy has to change the
demography and the economy of northern Chile, opening it up to new opportunities
beyond mining and fishing, into water desalinization, hydrogen production or
large green data centers." 

"Chile faces a growing energy demand from its sustained economic growth," said
Hernán Cheyre, Executive Vice-President of CORFO, the Chilean government`s
economic development agency. "Solar energy provides a sustainable and clean
energy source that takes advantage of our outstanding clear skies and
irradiance. The growth of the solar industry and the arrival of First Solar
validates Chile´s position as a regional hub for entrepreneurship and
innovation." 

First Solar has a global development pipeline of projects under contract to
utilities totaling 3 GW, with 2 GW under construction. It has constructed more
than 600 megawatts of PV power projects worldwide. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the five-person Solar Chile team is joining
First Solar, and Fundación Chile will provide ongoing consultation services.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

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 collection and 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 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. 

About Fundación Chile

Fundación Chile (FCh) is a unique public-private partnership fostering
innovations that "move the boundary of possibility." Its partners are the
Chilean government and BHP Billiton - Escondida Mine. We partner globally to
provide a high impact response to address our country`s challenges-ultimately,
today`s global challenges: sustainability, human capital development, healthier
food, and digitalization. Since our creation in 1976 by the Chilean government
and ITT Corporation, this non-profit has generated over two billion dollars in
social value in industries and enterprises initiated by FCh. 

FCh is a "do-tank," pioneering new sectors through a portfolio of capacity
building initiatives, demonstrative companies, and enabling technology services.
We are best known for jumpstarting the farmed salmon industry in the 1980s,
launching Chile`s first venture capital funds in the 1990s, moving into
renewable energy in the 2000s and launching Latin America`s first Climate
Exchange. The organization`s dynamic response to the country`s ever changing
needs speaks of challenges faced to remain competitive in a global context.

First Solar
Giselle Concha
Burson-Marsteller Santiago
+56 (2) 27517143
Giselle.Concha@bm.com
or
Alan Bernheimer
+1 415 935-2499
media@firstsolar.com
or
Fundación Chile
Carmen Gloria Solís
+56 (2) 22400305
cgsolis@fundacionchile.cl
or
First Solar Investors
David Brady
+1 602 414-9315
dbrady@firstsolar.com
or
Ryan Ferguson
+1 602 414-9315
rferguson@firstsolar.com



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