February 9, 2015

One of the world's largest solar projects starts commercial operation

Desert Sunlight Solar Farm partners “flip the switch” on photovoltaic power plant


DESERT CENTER, CA – US Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell along with about 150 federal, state and local officials, and energy industry leaders, gathered today to commission the 550-megawatt (MW) Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, located in Desert Center, Riverside County, California.  

“Solar projects like Desert Sunlight are helping create American jobs, develop domestic renewable energy and cut carbon pollution,” said Secretary Jewell. “I applaud the project proponents for their vision and entrepreneurial spirit to build this solar project, and commend Governor Brown for implementing policies that take action on climate change and help move our nation toward a renewable energy future.”

Project owners NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE); GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE); and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas all helped flip the switch for the official commissioning of Desert Sunlight.

“We wouldn’t be here today without the hard work and cooperation of all our partners,” said Armando Pimentel, president and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy Resources, the managing owner of the plant. “We are proud that Desert Sunlight will help California meet its renewable energy goals and has helped bring much needed jobs and economic benefits to families and businesses throughout Riverside County.” The facility is capable of generating enough clean energy to power about 160,000 California homes.

The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is located on approximately 3,600 acres of land managed by the US Bureau of Land Management in Riverside County. The project is delivering significant environmental benefits, including displacing approximately 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equal to removing more than 60,000 cars from the road.

First Solar (NYSE: FSLR) permitted, constructed and is now operating the plant, which uses over 8 million First Solar modules. The power generated is being provided to Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Edison both under long-term contracts.

Development on the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm began in 2008. Desert Sunlight received its right-of-way grant from the Bureau of Land Management in August 2011. Since breaking ground, the project employed an average of 440 construction workers who logged more than 3.6 million man-hours of work at the facility. In addition, more than 40 California businesses contributed to the project through services ranging from materials, equipment, utilities, labor, housing, and food and beverage.

 

NextEra Energy Resources
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, "NextEra Energy Resources"), is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 18,300 megawatts of generating capacity primarily in 24 states and Canada as of year-end 2013. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet, which is one of the largest in the United States. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.

GE Energy Financial Services
GE Energy Financial Services-GE's energy investing business-works as a builder, not just a banker, to help meet the world's power and fuel needs. We offer more than money-expertise-for essential, long-lived and capital-intensive power, oil and gas infrastructure-GE's core business. Drawing on GE's energy technical know-how, financial strength and risk management, we see value where others don't and take on our customers' toughest challenges with flexible equity and debt transaction structures. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, GE Energy Financial Services holds approximately $16 billion in assets. More information: www.geenergyfinancialservices.com. Follow GE Energy Financial Services on Twitter: @GEEnergyFinServ.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas
Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York City, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) has 10 offices in major U.S. cities.  SCOA is the largest subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, one of the world's leading traders of goods and services.  As an integrated business enterprise, the firm has emerged as a major organizer of multinational projects, an expediter of ideas, an important international investor and financier, and a powerful force for distribution of products and global communications through a network of offices worldwide.  For more information visit www.sumitomocorp.com.

About Sumitomo Corporation
Sumitomo Corporation is a leading global trading company, with 115 locations in 66 countries and 24 locations in Japan. The entire Sumitomo Corporation Group consists of over 850 companies and more than 70,000 personnel. The SC business is continuously expanding into a diverse range of products and services. Its core business units are Metal Products; Transportation & Construction Systems; Environment & Infrastructure; Media, Network, Lifestyle Related Goods & Services; and Mineral Resources, Energy, Chemical & Electronics.  For more information visit www.sumitomocorp.co.jp

First Solar
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, 2012, as updated and supplemented by risk factors included in our Prospectus dated June 12, 2013 filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5) (the “Prospectus”), Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.