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Responsible Solar: First Solar Invests $11 Million in Underserved American Communities

First Solar partners with LISC and Hope Credit Union to help power sustainable, inclusive economic change

TEMPE, Ariz., July 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) has invested $11 million in efforts to revitalize American communities and bridge racial gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity. As part of the initiative, the company has purchased $10 million in Impact Notes from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and made a $1 million Transformational Deposit in the HOPE Credit Union.

“LISC and Hope Credit Union are doing a tremendous job at addressing inequality and, as America’s solar company, we’re proud to be supporting their mission. By working with companies like ours to reallocate cash holdings, they’re creating capital for underserved communities and powering sustainable and inclusive economic change,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “We hope that these investments, which are in line with our commitment to socially- and environmentally-responsible solar, will help communities across America.”

LISC is a national non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that was conceived by the Ford Foundation in 1979. The Impact Notes are fixed-income debt securities issued by LISC, which help fund community and economic development projects across 36 cities and 2,100 rural counties in 45 states.

“Innovative companies like First Solar are putting their treasury dollars to work in ways that reflect their corporate values and objectives,” said Annie Donovan, chief operating officer at LISC. “In effect, First Solar is leveraging its business strength to help finance lasting economic, social and racial justice, so that families and communities throughout the country can thrive."

First Solar’s Transformational Deposit in Mississipi-based HOPE Credit Union will support its work to provide business, mortgage, and consumer loans, and other financial services to Black communities across the South. HOPE works to import capital through Transformational Deposits into underbanked communities where poverty has constrained the amount of savings and other assets. First Solar’s $1 million investment provides the capital required for HOPE to finance small businesses, housing, healthcare, and other vital needs, such as helping communities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

First Solar’s Transformational Deposit in Hope Credit Union will fuel life-changing opportunities for some of America’s most vulnerable people and places,” said Bill Bynum, chief executive officer, HOPE. “Investing in institutions owned by people of color and women is a proven way to advance our nation’s collective prosperity.”

About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly-produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels. From raw material sourcing and manufacturing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s approach to technology embodies sustainability and a responsibility towards people and the planet. For more information, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

About LISC
With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $22 billion to build or rehab more than 419,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 70.3 million square feet of retail, community and educational space.

About HOPE Credit Union
HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute) provides financial services; aggregates resources; and engages in advocacy to mitigate the extent to which factors such as race, gender, birthplace and wealth limit one’s ability to prosper. Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2.9 billion in financing that has benefitted more than 1.7 million people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. For more information, please visit www.hopecu.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 First Solar’s purchase of $10 million in Impact Notes from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and its making of a $1 million Transformational Deposit in the HOPE Credit Union. 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.


Reuven Proença
First Solar Media


Mitchell Ennis
First Solar Investor Relations