First Solar Acquires Chilean Project Developer Solar Chile

  First Solar Acquires Chilean Project Developer Solar Chile

Investment to advance PV power plant projects in sustainable market with
world-class solar resource

Business Wire

TEMPE, Ariz. & SANTIAGO, Chile -- January 9, 2013

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.

Contact:

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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