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First Solar Donates Thin-Film Solar Modules to Inner Mongolia University of Technology Students for 2013 Solar Decathlon Competition

published: 2013-03-19 14:30

First Solar, Inc.(Nasdaq:FSLR) announced that a team of students from Inner Mongolia University of Technology (IMUT) will use the Company's advanced thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) modules to power its house in the 2013 Solar Decathlon China competition. First Solar donated 150 of its PV modules with a peak generating capacity of 13 kilowatts (KW) to IMUT's "Team Green Sun" and will provide technical support for the project team, as well as collaborating with IMUT on solar education. This is the third time First Solar has supported the Solar Decathlon competitions.

"We are proud to support IMUT's Team Green Sun in bringing cost-effective and energy-efficient technology to the region," said Bruce Yung, First Solar's Managing Director and Vice President of Business Development for China. "China represents a very important market for First Solar. The fact that this year's Solar Decathlon is being held here is reflective of the government's commitment to developing the solar industry to meet interlinking economic, energy and environmental goals. First Solar is very pleased to be able to contribute to China's solar development in this way."

Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002, the Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges students to use a holistic approach to design and engineer houses with net-zero energy consumption. The competition helps demonstrate that solar-powered homes are fully functional and sustainable, while promoting innovation and adoption of solar energy technologies.

This year marks the first time China has hosted the Solar Decathlon competition. It features 22 teams from around the world, with 13 teams coming from China. The 2013 Solar Decathlon China is the result of an agreement between China's National Energy Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy to encourage energy collaboration between the two countries.

"First Solar strives to give back to the communities in which we operate. We are eager to share our expertise with students in the industry around the world so that we can help cultivate new and creative ideas in our future leaders," said Jim Brown, First Solar's Executive Vice President of Global Business Development. "First Solar supports China's sustainable development and the Chinese government's commitment to the solar energy industry at the national and provincial levels. We hope that by participating in the Solar Decathlon competitions, we can further raise awareness about the importance of solar technologies in achieving a sustainable energy future."

Team Green Sun's house design for the 2013 Solar Decathlon China is based on the yurt, a tent-like habitat indigenous to Inner Mongolia and other parts of Central Asia. The team's project seeks to address energy issues common in the region, including power grid inaccessibility, water shortages and high heating demands. First Solar's advanced thin-film solar modules will equip the house with an efficient source of energy that successfully addresses the energy needs of off-grid areas with challenging operating conditions. The team consists of 21 graduate and undergraduate students from various majors, including energy and power engineering, architecture, civil engineering and management.

First Solar's thin-film solar modules generate clean, renewable energy with no emissions, waste or water consumption during operation. The company's unique cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) technology offers compelling advantages over typical silicon technology, including superior light absorption and better performance at high temperatures. The technology enables First Solar's modules to perform better in real-world conditions, as they are impacted less by heat, shading and soiling. First Solar's module production process also has the lowest carbon footprint and the shortest energy pay-back time of any current PV technologies on a life-cycle basis.

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