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First Solar Sells 10mw Solar Power Plant to KGAL

Source: 7/25/2011, Location: Europe

First Solar, Inc. and KGAL GmbH & Co. KG (KGAL) announced the purchase of a 9.9-megawatt (MW) (DC) solar power plant near Zamora, Spain by European Solar Power Fund — a renewable energy-focused fund for institutional investors managed by KGAL — from First Solar. Currently under construction by Gehrlicher Solar Espania with an expected completion in December, the 37.6 hectare solar farm will produce an estimated 15,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean, green electricity a year — equivalent to the annual needs of around 3,400 Spanish households and CO2 savings of approximately 5,600 metric tons/year.

"We are very glad about the successful acquisition of this exceptional solar farm in Spain and the opportunity to collaborate with highly professional partners like First Solar and Gehrlicher," said Dr. Klaus Wolf, managing director of KGAL. "The total capacity of solar farms owned and operated by KGAL's investment funds now exceeds 200 MW." The solar farm is located in Pereruela in the province of Zamora, Spain, about 250 kilometers northwest of Madrid.

The Zamora area is one of the sunniest in Europe, with around 1,700 kWh/m2 of sunlight a year.

Guillermo Barea Herranz, CEO of Gehrlicher Solar Espania, said: "We are happy about the successful realization of this project together with our business partners. Based on our long-term experience and the high potential of the Spanish PV market, we look forward to installing many more PV systems in this region as well as in the rest of the world." As with other large, ground-mounted solar farms such as the 53MW Lieberose solar farm in Germany and 26.3MW Badajoz solar farm in Spain, First Solar helped to organize third-party financing in addition to supplying solar modules in this case some 122,000 FS Series 3 thin-film solar modules.

"Lage-scale projects are essential to greenhouse gas reductions and driving economies of scale that make us more competitive with fossil fuels," said Peer Guenzel, Managing Director of First Solar's Utility Systems Business Group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "We are pleased to be able to continue to enable a market for large-scale solar power plants in Spain," he said.

The long-term financing for the Zamora project was structured by HSH Nordbank AG. Jürgen H. Lange, head of energy at HSH Nordbank, said: "We have been active in the renewable energy sector for several years now. Knowing the international network, the financial and technical developments, and specific regional requirements for solar projects, we were able to structure the Zamora transaction in a way that satisfied the needs of all parties."

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