TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced a commitment to power 100 percent of its global photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturing operations with renewable energy by 2028. As part of an interim goal, the company has pledged to transition its facilities in the United States to carbon-free electricity by 2026.
The commitments, which cover the company’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, were announced as First Solar joined RE100, a global, collaborative initiative bringing together influential businesses committed to 100 percent renewable power. RE100 is led by international nonprofit the Climate Group in partnership with CDP.
“Making a credible commitment to go 100 percent renewable is not a decision we take lightly. It was essential for us to ensure that the promise that we make today is one that we can keep,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “With this pledge, we will further lower our embodied carbon footprint, already the lowest in the industry, and move towards realizing the full promise of cleaner solar. We recognize that the solar manufacturing industry has a collective responsibility to set challenging decarbonization goals for itself, and we hope that our decision encourages other PV manufacturers to make their own commitments.”
The only American company among the world’s largest solar manufacturers, First Solar celebrated two decades since its founding in 1999 and has shipped over 25 gigawatts (GW)DC of PV modules to over 45 countries around the world. With facilities in the U.S., Malaysia, and Vietnam, First Solar exited 2019 with a total global annualized manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWDC. It is also the Western Hemisphere’s largest solar manufacturer, with a 1.9GWDC manufacturing footprint in Ohio.
“By relying on long-term, fixed-price renewable energy, we’re not only investing in reducing our exposure to energy price volatility, but we’re also investing in a sustainable energy future,” said Mike Koralewski, chief manufacturing operations officer, First Solar. “As part of our strategy, we will strive to support the delivery of additional renewable energy capacity, especially in emerging corporate renewables markets in Malaysia and Vietnam.”
First Solar’s thin film PV module technology, designed and developed at the company’s research and development (R&D) centers in California and Ohio, has a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods. Its modules already deliver the lowest carbon solar electricity available today, and the company anticipates that the carbon footprint of its modules will decrease by an additional 40 percent by 2028.
“We’re glad to see First Solar leverage its extensive experience in enabling corporate renewables to decarbonize its own operations,” said Sam Kimmins, head of RE100, the Climate Group. “Today’s RE100 pledge is the natural evolution of its commitment to sustainability and carbon-efficient manufacturing. We urge others in the solar manufacturing industry to follow suit and commit to 100% renewable electricity.”
With over 1GW of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed, First Solar is an industry leader in corporate solar. Its track record includes projects to support the decarbonization efforts of RE100 members such as Apple, Facebook, Kellogg’s, and Microsoft.
Note to the Editor:
Scope 1 emissions are defined as direct emissions from First Solar-owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 emissions are defined as indirect emissions from the generation of electricity purchased from third party sources.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar solutions, 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 solutions protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
RE100 is a global initiative bringing together the world’s most influential businesses committed to 100% renewable power. Led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, the group has a total revenue of over US$5.4 trillion and operates in a diverse range of sectors. Together, they send a powerful signal to policymakers and investors to accelerate the transition to a clean economy. #RE100
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 First Solar’s commitment to power its existing operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2028. 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 Conditions and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/95cc38b1-82b1-4969-8138-d281e885291bLowest Carbon Solar First Solar, Inc. today announced a commitment to power 100 percent of its global photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturing operations with renewable energy by 2028. As part of an interim goal, the company has pledged to transition its facilities in the United States to carbon-free electricity by 2026.