First Solar Acquires 50 MWAC Macho Springs Project from Element Power Solar

  First Solar Acquires 50 MWAC Macho Springs Project from Element Power Solar

Business Wire

TEMPE, Ariz. -- January 31, 2013

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) and Element Power Solar today announced that
First Solar has acquired the 50-megawatt[AC ](MW) Macho Springs Solar project
that Element Power Solar has developed in Luna County, N.M. When complete, it
will be the state’s largest solar power project.

The photovoltaic (PV) solar project is expected to be completed in 2014,
providing up to 400 construction jobs, and producing enough clean, renewable
energy to power over 18,000 homes while displacing 40,000 tons of CO[2] per
year—the equivalent of taking 8,000 cars off the road. Terms of the
transaction were not disclosed.

The Macho Springs Solar project is located on land leased from the New Mexico
State Land Office, and electricity from the facility will be purchased by El
Paso Electric (NYSE: EE) under a power purchase agreement that is subject to
regulatory approvals, expected in the first half of 2013.

“We’re very excited to continue our work in New Mexico, increasing the state’s
utility-scale solar generation capacity,” said Dana Diller, First Solar Vice
President of U.S. Business Development.

“Element Power is pleased to once again work with the State of New Mexico,
Luna County, the town of Deming and El Paso Electric to bring renewable energy
and economic development to the region. The sale of Macho Springs Solar to
First Solar is the result of a strong working relationship that draws on each
company’s strengths,” said Raimund Grube, COO of Element Power.

“We look forward to working with First Solar on this very important renewable
energy project that will benefit all El Paso Electric customers,” said Tom
Shockley, El Paso Electric Chief Executive Officer. “We also want to thank
Element Power Solar for its dedication and commitment to bringing this project
to fruition.”

The Macho Springs project was the result of a Request for Proposal (RFP) by El
Paso Electric to include additional electric peaking resources in its current
energy mix.

First Solar will construct the Macho Springs facility using its advanced
thin-film PV modules. First Solar PV systems have the smallest carbon
footprint and shortest energy payback time of any PV technology on the market
today.

First Solar completed New Mexico’s 30 MW Cimarron Solar facility in 2011,
which is owned by Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy. First Solar
also completed 22 MW of solar projects in the state for PNM Resources, Inc. in
2011 and has been selected to build another 21.5 MW for PNM for expected
completion in late 2013.

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.

About Element Power

Element Power develops, acquires, builds and operates utility-scale solar and
wind power projects, creating clean, renewable sources of energy to meet the
increasing demand for green electricity and to address the pressing challenges
of global warming and energy security. Element Power is owned by Hudson Clean
Energy Partners, a leading global private equity firm dedicated solely to
investing in renewable power, alternative fuels, and energy efficiency and
storage. Learn more at www.elpower.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.

Contact:

First Solar media
Alan Bernheimer
+1 415 935-2499
media@firstsolar.com
or
First Solar Investors
David Brady
+1 602 414-9315
dbrady@firstsolar.com
or
Ryan Ferguson
+1 602 414-9315
rferguson@firstsolar.com
or
Element Power
John Knight
Director of Development
503-416-0808
 
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