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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First Solar Passes $1 Per Watt Industry MilestoneCompany Cuts Manufacturing Cost to 98 Cents Per Watt in Fourth Quarter

First Solar Passes $1 Per Watt Industry MilestoneCompany Cuts Manufacturing Cost to 98 Cents Per Watt in Fourth Quarter

TEMPE, Ariz.--Feb 24 2009 -First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR ) today announced it reduced its manufacturing cost for solar modules in the fourth quarter to 98 cents per watt, breaking the $1 per watt price barrier.

“This achievement marks a milestone in the solar industry’s evolution toward providing truly sustainable energy solutions,” said Mike Ahearn, First Solar chief executive officer. “First Solar is proud to be leading the way toward clean, affordable solar electricity as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.”

First Solar began full commercial operation of its initial manufacturing line in late 2004. From 2004 through today, manufacturing capacity has grown 2,500 percent to more than 500 megawatts in 2008. First Solar’s annual production capacity will double in 2009 to more than 1 gigawatt, the equivalent of an average-sized nuclear power plant. These escalating volumes have been accompanied by a rapid reduction in manufacturing costs. From 2004 through today, First Solar’s manufacturing costs have declined two-thirds from over $3 per watt to less than $1 per watt. First Solar is confident that further significant cost reductions are possible based on the yet untapped potential of its technology and manufacturing process.

First Solar is not only committed to making solar power affordable but also to making it environmentally sustainable. The Company takes responsibility for its products throughout their life cycle, ensuring that First Solar modules have the smallest carbon footprint of any current photovoltaic (PV) technology. First Solar is proud to have the industry’s first and only comprehensive pre-funded, end-of-life module collection and recycling program, recycling more than 90 percent of each collected module into new products.

Ahearn expressed thanks to governments in Germany and other countries for making today’s milestone possible. “Without forward-looking government programs supporting solar electricity, we would not have been able to invest in the capacity expansion which gives us the scale to bring costs down,” he said. “First Solar’s ongoing focus on cost reduction enables continued growth even as subsidies decline. In the meantime, those initial investments are paying off in a cleaner environment and in the creation of thousands of jobs with a clear future.”

“This represents a major milestone for the solar industry,” said Ken Zweibel, an industry veteran currently serving as Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Solar Energy at The George Washington University and former Program Leader for the Thin Film Partnership Program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. “In order to address climate change in a meaningful way, we need energy technologies that are affordable, scalable and have a low environmental impact on a life-cycle basis. With this announcement, First Solar continues to demonstrate the ability of thin film PV technology to provide an alternative to traditional fossil fuels and for solar power to provide a meaningful contribution in addressing climate change."

About First Solar

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive PV solutions that significantly reduce solar electricity costs. By enabling clean, renewable electricity at competitive prices, First Solar provides an economic and environmentally responsible alternative to existing peaking fossil-fuel electric generation. First Solar PV power plants operate with no water, air emissions or waste stream. First Solar set the benchmark for environmentally responsible product life cycle management by introducing the industry's first comprehensive collection and recycling program for solar modules. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating cost-effective renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com, or www.firstsolar.com/media to download photos.

For First Solar Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the company's business involving the company's products, their development and distribution, economic and competitive factors and the company's key strategic relationships and other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. First Solar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

Contact:First Solar, Inc.United States:Lisa Morse+1-602-414-9361media@firstsolar.comEurope:Brandon Mitchener+49-6131-1443-399media@firstsolar.com







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