Responsibly produced modules to power 17 percent of energy needs of world’s largest gold-producing complex
Nevada Gold Mines Partners with First Solar Technology to Decarbonize Energy Supply
TEMPE, Ariz. and ELKO, Nev., April 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced that its responsibly-produced photovoltaic (PV) solar module technology would power 17 percent of the annual energy needs of Nevada Gold Mines (NGM), the single largest gold-producing complex in the world. NGM is a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) (TSX:ABX) and Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM) that is operated by Barrick.
NGM, which produces approximately 3.5 million ounces of gold a year, is investing in building a solar power plant as part of a broader effort to decarbonize its operations and minimize its environmental footprint. As part of the deal, which was booked prior to the release of First Solar’s Q4 and Full Year 2021 earnings in February, 260 megawatts (MW)DC of solar modules manufactured by First Solar in Ohio will be deployed to power the new 200 MWAC facility in the second quarter of 2023.
NGM has a strong focus on environmental management practices and is a committed custodian of the unique lands, waters, flora, and fauna within the state of Nevada. Barrick has committed to a 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2030, with the goal of net-zero operations by 2050. NGM will support Barrick’s targets and has set an intermediate goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2025, compared to its 2018 baseline. This is expected to be achieved by the solar power plant and conversion of NGM’s coal fired power plant to cleaner burning natural gas.
“When we selected our solar module technology partner, we did so with very careful consideration. We made the choice to contract with a supplier who shares our values, including a commitment to fair labor practices and investment in American manufacturing and American jobs. By partnering with First Solar we also found an innovator that can deliver high performance solar panels with the lowest carbon footprint and the best environmental profile available today,” said Greg Walker, NGM executive managing director. “At NGM, we believe that our corporate social responsibility and the profitability of our business go hand in hand. While minimizing the environmental impacts of our operations — we bring sustainable long-term social and economic benefits to Nevada.”
Designed and developed at its research and development (R&D) centers in California and Ohio, First Solar’s responsibly produced advanced thin film PV modules set industry benchmarks for quality, durability, reliability, design, and environmental performance. First Solar also operates an advanced recycling program that recovers more than 90 percent of CadTel for use in new modules.
“As America’s solar company, we’re proud to support Nevada Gold Mines with responsible solar technology designed and developed right here in the United States,” said Georges Antoun, chief commercial officer, First Solar. “NGM is part of a growing wave of customers that are unwilling to compromise on quality or their principles, and choose to partner with First Solar. They partnered with us because we can deliver a high-performance module that comes without the social, environmental, and political risks that are, unfortunately, associated with too many solar manufacturers today.”
First Solar is investing $680 million in expanding America’s domestic PV solar manufacturing capacity by 3.3 GW annually, by building its third US manufacturing facility, in Lake Township, Ohio. The new facility is expected to be commissioned in the first half of 2023 and when fully operational will scale the company’s Northwest Ohio footprint to a total annual capacity of 6 GW, which is believed to make it the largest fully vertically integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China. First Solar has invested over $2 billion in its US manufacturing footprint and, when its third factory is fully operational, will directly employ over 2,500 people in Ohio, while supporting an estimated 7,000 indirect jobs through its American supply chain.
In addition to its Ohio manufacturing facilities, First Solar also operates factories in Vietnam and Malaysia, and is building a new 3.3 GW factory in India that is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2023. With First Solar’s expansion in the United States and India and optimization of its existing fleet, the company anticipates that its nameplate manufacturing capacity will double to 16 GW by 2024.
About Nevada Gold Mines
Nevada Gold Mines is operated by Barrick Gold Corporation and is a joint venture between Barrick (61.5%) and Newmont (38.5%) that combined their significant assets across Nevada in 2019 to create the single largest gold-producing complex in the world.
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 260 MWDC of solar modules for Nevada Gold Mines; (2) First Solar’s plans to establish new factories in the United States and India and the expected capacities of those factories; and (3) when those factories are expected to be commissioned and First Solar’s resulting Northwest Ohio and global manufacturing capacity. 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 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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