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First Solar Evolves U.S. EPC Delivery Approach with Third-Party Execution Model

Scaling, developing, and selling Series 6 module technology is Company’s top priority

TEMPE, Ariz., Sept. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) today announced that it is transitioning away from its internal Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) execution model in the United States, and moving towards leveraging the capabilities of trusted EPC partners.

The transition to leveraging third-party EPC services will occur through the rest of 2019 and will not impact any projects under construction and slated for delivery this year. This evolution will allow the Company to solidify its competitiveness and position as America’s leading solar module manufacturer.

First Solar is expanding its manufacturing capacity to meet the demand for Series 6 modules, with its second facility in the United States - representing nearly $1 billion in cumulative investment - expected to start production in early-2020. Once operational, the new facility in Perrysburg, Ohio, will take the Company’s aggregate Series 6 manufacturing capacity to 5.4GW per year, making First Solar America’s largest solar manufacturer.

“This transition, which mirrors the technology shift to the large-format Series 6 module, marks the natural evolution of our long-term growth strategy. While self-performed EPC was necessary to optimize our earlier generation modules, the seamless compatibility of Series 6 with industry systems and processes now allows us to leverage a much broader external ecosystem of knowledge and expertise,” said Mark Widmar, Chief Executive Officer, First Solar.

“We expect that this shift will allow us to concentrate on our core business of scaling, developing, and selling our world-class module technology while executing on our project development pipeline with the same level of service that our customers have come to expect,” Widmar added.

The transition will impact approximately 100 associates who will be separated from the Company at various stages of the process and will be provided with compensatory and outplacement support.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems 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 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, but are not limited to, statements concerning the transition of First Solar’s U.S. EPC delivery approach to a third-party execution model. 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 and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.     

Contacts

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

Steve Kerekes
Kyte Consulting for First Solar
steve@jkyteconsulting.com  
First Solar Investors
investor@firstsolar.com