Leeward Renewable Energy Announces 2-Year, 2 GW First Solar Order, Redoubling its Commitment to American Solar

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) today announced an agreement to supply 2 gigawatts (GW)DC of advanced, responsibly produced thin film photovoltaic solar modules to Leeward Renewable Energy (“LRE”). The deal is expected to see First Solar deliver the modules in 2026 and 2027.

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First Solar, Inc. today announced an agreement to supply 2 gigawatts (GW)DC of advanced, responsibly produced thin film photovoltaic solar modules to Leeward Renewable Energy. The deal is expected to see First Solar deliver the modules in 2026 and 2027. (Photo: Business Wire)

First Solar, Inc. today announced an agreement to supply 2 gigawatts (GW)DC of advanced, responsibly produced thin film photovoltaic solar modules to Leeward Renewable Energy. The deal is expected to see First Solar deliver the modules in 2026 and 2027. (Photo: Business Wire)

This agreement builds on LRE’s existing relationship with First Solar as a major buyer and operator of the company’s solar technology. This latest agreement is expected to take LRE’s total fleet of First Solar modules to almost 6 GWDC by 2028.

“We look forward to expanding our long-standing partnership with First Solar, which is consistent with our high-growth strategy as we continue to expand our renewable energy portfolio in the U.S., prioritizing sustainable and responsible development,” said Jason Allen, chief executive officer, LRE. “Through this partnership, LRE’s solar portfolio champions U.S. manufacturing, fortifying the U.S. solar module supply chain and supporting the creation of new American jobs.”

Designed and developed at its R&D centers in California and Ohio, First Solar’s advanced thin film PV modules set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. The modules have the lowest carbon and water footprint of any commercially available PV technology today.

First Solar’s differentiated thin film semiconductor, integrated manufacturing process and tightly controlled supply chain helps eliminate the risk of exposure to solar supply chains identified by the US Department of Labor’s 2022 List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor as being tainted by forced labor. First Solar is the only company among the ten largest solar manufacturers globally that is a member of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the world’s largest industry coalition dedicated to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities in the global supply chain. The company is also the first PV manufacturer to have its product included in the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) global registry for sustainable electronics.

“We are pleased that Leeward Renewable Energy has expanded on its commitment, not just to First Solar but to responsibly produced solar technology developed here in the United States,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar. “In partnering with First Solar, LRE is part of a group of sophisticated solar project developers that have recognized the value of strategic procurement, which optimizes the competitiveness of solar projects, while minimizing pricing, supply, and compliance risk.”

First Solar is expanding its US manufacturing footprint, which currently stands at approximately 6 GW of annual nameplate capacity with three operating factories in Ohio. The company is expected to reach more than 10 GW of annual nameplate capacity in the US by 2025, when it is scheduled to complete its new $1.1 billion factory in Alabama and a $185 million expansion of its existing capacity in Ohio. First Solar is also investing up to $370 million in a new research and development innovation center in Ohio.

About Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC

Leeward Renewable Energy (LRE) is a leading renewable energy company that owns and operates a portfolio of 25 renewable energy facilities across nine states totaling approximately 2,700 megawatts of generating capacity. LRE is actively developing and contracting new wind, solar, and energy storage projects in energy markets across the U.S., with 1.9 gigawatts contracted and 20 gigawatts under development and construction, spanning over 100 projects. LRE is committed to providing long-term, sustainable energy solutions across all its projects that benefit its community partners while protecting and enhancing the environment. LRE is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans with C$124.2 billion in net assets (as at December 31, 2022). For more information, visit www.leewardenergy.com.

About First Solar, Inc.

First Solar is a leading American solar technology company and global provider of responsibly produced eco-efficient solar modules advancing the fight against climate change. Developed at R&D labs in California and Ohio, the company’s advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules represent the next generation of solar technologies, providing a competitive, high-performance, lower-carbon alternative to conventional crystalline silicon PV panels. From raw material sourcing and manufacturing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s approach to technology embodies sustainability and a responsibility towards people and the planet. For more information, 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, but are not limited to statements concerning 1) an order for 2 GWDC of solar modules by Leeward Renewable Energy; 2) Leeward’s total fleet of First Solar modules of almost 6 GWDC by 2028; 3) First Solar’s plan to invest approximately $1.1 billion in building a fourth factory in Alabama, $185 million on expanding the capacity of its existing manufacturing footprint in Ohio, and up to $370 million in a new R&D innovation center in Ohio; and 4) First Solar’s expectation that its annual US nameplate manufacturing capacity will expand to 10 GW by 2025. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “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 and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. 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, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. 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 under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.