FIRST SOLAR TO DELIVER 48.5MW MANILDRA SOLAR FARM IN AUSTRALIA

Company's installed capacity to surpass 400MW in Australia

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced that financial close has been reached for the Manildra Solar Farm in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. First Solar will leverage its expertise in utility-scale solar development to deliver the 48.5 megawatt (MW)AC project, which will utilize approximately 466,000 First Solar thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules and single-axis tracking technology expected to produce more than 120,000 megawatt-hours of electricity in its first year of operation. The Manildra Solar Farm will take First Solar's installed capacity in Australia to more than 400MWAC when it is complete in 2018.

The Manildra Solar Farm is supported by AUD$9.8 million of grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). First Solar has entered into a 13-year power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia for the generated electricity and large-scale generation certificates.

"Today's milestone is a testament to the ability and experience of First Solar's development and delivery team, and we congratulate ARENA and EnergyAustralia on their commitment to commercially viable projects," said Jack Curtis, First Solar's Regional Manager of Asia Pacific.

"We have witnessed unprecedented cost reductions in large-scale solar in recent years. As the appetite for this asset class continues to grow, timely and reliable project delivery will be the strongest driver of future cost reductions, cementing solar as a competitive energy source in Australia," Curtis said.

Located one kilometer east of Manildra in regional NSW, the Manildra Solar Farm will benefit directly from existing solar supply chains, and operations and maintenance hubs. It will also provide significant economic benefits to the region, through the creation of direct and indirect jobs, supporting small business and developing regional skills in a growing industry.

"Customers rightly expect access to reliable, affordable and cleaner supplies of energy, which means the industry needs to evolve," said EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna. "The Manildra Solar Farm is a great example of the projects that will underpin the future of energy in Australia, and we're proud to be partnering with First Solar to bring it to market."

First Solar is pleased to confirm the appointment of RCR O'Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd for the engineering, procurement and construction of the project. Construction is scheduled to commence in the first half of 2017.

Once complete, the project is expected to produce enough solar energy to serve the needs of approximately 14,000 average NSW homes and displace more than 91,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year - the equivalent of taking about 24,000 cars off the road.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the Manildra Solar Farm had reached financial close through ARENA's groundbreaking large-scale solar competitive round, which was driving down costs and boosting investment.

"Construction will soon begin at the site, creating new economic opportunities for Australian businesses and families in the local region," Frischknecht said. "By supporting innovators like First Solar, ARENA has fast-tracked the development of substantial new Australian industries like the large-scale solar sector, which is now on the cusp of being commercial."

First Solar is committed to the communities in which it operates and thanks the local community in Manildra and the broader region for its ongoing support.


Hans Thoma, general manager from the Thoma-group, is eager to acquire a substantial market share in Brazil, a growing country with tremendous potential for solar energy output. Having complied with local official procedures (Inmetro, TÜV, Fraunhofer CSP) and cleared the way for future business collaboration, he expresses his hope that the solar industry will henceforth expand quickly.

”Being able to introduce Brazil to the infinite opportunities of a solar industry is a privilege for J.v.G. Thoma GmbH, and one that we are extremely grateful for. At the same time, this placed the ball squarely in our court, and the pressure to get the ball rolling quickly was high. Now that the lengthy initial formalities are out of the way, we can focus on making this project a success.“

The first DESERT solar module production in BRAZIL! Lets go ....
J.v.G. Thoma GmbH is delivering a DESERT turnkey production line to Brazil, the first of its kind and hopefully the first in many breakthroughs to leave the factory floor on their way to the largest country in South America. With a capacity of 30 MW, this is a small semi-automatic DESERT production line, but still a flagship in terms of DESERT solar module production and electricity generation in the country, now fully functional and ready to start with operation.

The machinery consists of DESERT production machines for high-efficiency DESERT solar modules built specifically for extreme hot climate, such as can be seen in deserts or in tropical areas. Made solely in Germany and built using the latest in DESERT and TROPIC module production, the systems inlcudes all cutting-edge technology.

Certified DESERT solar modules, DESERT containers, DESERT power plants and DESERT manufacturing machinery built using pioneering DESERT and TROPICS technology are now fully set up, and ready to perform. But powering on the machinery has been a long time coming. Up until recently, this advanced piece of equipment had been waiting for clearance at a port in Brazil. Now that the formalities have been dealt with, both J.v.G. Thoma and its customer in Brazil can get production under way.

J.v.G. Thoma GmbH is a company whose vision has always been to harness the infinite power of the sun and convert it into an inexhaustible supply of energy. But a vision such as this requires global reach, and this project has opened new doors. Brazil is not only a gateway to South American cooperation, but also the launchpad to international reach and expansion.

Following the delivery of this initial order, J.v.G. Thoma GmbH will be looking forward to an ongoing collaboration with the Brazilian company. From setup and initial training to setting the scene for a ramp up, J.v.G. Thoma will be there to provide expertise and assistance. Moreover, the company will be jointly responsible, along with the client, for the successful integration of the DESERT solar module factory.

In the future, bigger DESERT power plants will be set up on Brazilian soil, and together with existing turnkey production systems, they intend to take up a large share of the products and assets this sector will possess locally. J.v.G. Thoma plans to build up a local network of sales agents that can extend a premium offering to neighbouring countries in South America. Eventually, the company hopes to be able to expand its customer base to clients in North America.

Hans Thoma, general manager from the Thoma-group, is eager to acquire a substantial market share in Brazil, a growing country with tremendous potential for solar energy output. Having complied with local official procedures (Inmetro, TÜV, Fraunhofer CSP) and cleared the way for future business collaboration, he expresses his hope that the solar industry will henceforth expand quickly.

”Being able to introduce Brazil to the infinite opportunities of a solar industry is a privilege for J.v.G. Thoma GmbH, and one that we are extremely grateful for. At the same time, this placed the ball squarely in our court, and the pressure to get the ball rolling quickly was high. Now that the lengthy initial formalities are out of the way, we can focus on making this project a success.“

The first DESERT solar module production in BRAZIL! Let
Source: First Solar, Inc.