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First Solar Set to Build Largest PV Solar Power Plant in Latin America
|By Business Wire
|June 26, 2014 02:06 PM EDT
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) today announced it has received board
approval from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the
U.S. Government’s development finance institution, and IFC, a member of
the World Bank Group, for financing to support construction of the
141MW(ac) Luz del Norte solar power plant in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The
loans, which are expected to close later this summer, clear the way for
First Solar to proceed with construction planning at the site, which is
near the city of Copiapo. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
The OPIC board approved a loan of up to $230 million; the IFC board
approved a $60 million loan.
The Luz del Norte project is the first of several projects First Solar
has in its regional development pipeline, and will be the company’s
initial project to start construction in Chile. The Chilean government’s
National Energy Strategy includes expansion of the country’s renewable
energy capacity to 20 percent of its total generated power by 2025.
Energy from Luz del Norte will be supplied into the Chilean Central
Interconnected System, contributing significantly towards this goal.
“The Latin American region has a growing need for innovative and
efficient energy solutions right now,” said Tim Rebhorn, Senior Vice
President, Americas for First Solar. “This investment support from OPIC
and IFC is instrumental in bringing the project in Chile to life.”
Chile’s Atacama Desert receives some of the planet’s steadiest
concentrations of direct sunlight, presenting ideal conditions for solar
power generation. Widespread utilization of this tremendous resource is
relatively new, and Luz del Norte represents an important advancement
for development of solar energy in the region.
“The Luz del Norte project is an important step in furthering solar
power development in Chile, where the potential for this clean,
renewable resource is unrivalled,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s
President and CEO. “OPIC is proud to support this investment in Chile
while helping an innovative American company like First Solar expand its
operations and create new markets for its products abroad.”
"Chile is a global leader in developing solar resources as a low cost
element of energy supply,” said Bernard Sheahan, IFC Global Head of
Infrastructure. “This engagement with Luz del Norte and First Solar
exemplifies IFC's efforts to support cutting edge transactions in
emerging markets’ infrastructure.”
Rebhorn said First Solar has been working closely with the Chilean
national government, industry, regional authorities and the local
community to design, develop and build the Luz del Norte project. He
noted that particular effort has been placed on understanding community
concerns about environmental impact; national interest in the technology
related to connecting the project to the grid; and the broader
industry’s power requirements, among other important considerations.
“Forming strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with invested
constituents is the only way to build a solid foundation for long-term
success in this region, and that’s what we are working toward,” said
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 statements,
among other things, concerning: our business strategy, including
anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our
business and the markets in which we operate; future financial results,
operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products,
projected costs, warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of
systems ("BoS") cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product
reliability and capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce
the cost per watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs
to construct photovoltaic ("PV") solar power systems; research and
development programs and our ability to improve the conversion
efficiency of our solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and
competition. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by
the use of words such as "estimate," "expect," "anticipate," "project,"
"plan," "intend," "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. 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. 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 in Item 1A: "Risk Factors," of our
Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013,
Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other
reports filed with the SEC.
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