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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Solar Stocks News - PNM, First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) Sign Contract for 22 Megawatts of Utility Scale Solar Power for New Mexico

Solar Stocks News - PNM, First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) Sign Contract for 22 Megawatts of Utility Scale Solar Power for New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.----PNM, New Mexico’s largest electric utility, has signed a contract with First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) to construct 22 megawatts (MW) AC of utility scale photovoltaic (PV) solar power plants in New Mexico.

First Solar, based in Tempe, Arizona, will construct the facilities using its advanced PV panels at five separate sites within PNM’s service territory. The sites will be chosen based on cost, availability and suitability of land; the quality of a site’s solar potential; environmental and permitting considerations; and level of local support.

“We are proud to have a company with First Solar’s internationally recognized expertise and reputation building these facilities to help us meet the growing energy needs of our customers,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM president and CEO. More than 1,800 MW of First Solar’s PV panel technology has been deployed in multiple projects throughout the world.

“PNM’s decision to use First Solar’s panels demonstrates the value PV technology can bring to electric utilities seeking to adopt renewable energy generation,” said Bruce Sohn, First Solar president. “We are pleased to be working with PNM in New Mexico, a state that has excellent solar resources and is well positioned to take advantage of clean, affordable energy.”

If approved by state regulators, the 22 MW AC of new solar capacity – which, according to PNM, can produce enough power to supply 7,000 average sized New Mexico homes – would be the first contracted under the terms of an agreement PNM reached with state environmental, renewable energy and governmental organizations two weeks ago. The specifics of that plan, to be filed with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) on Jan. 25, call for a total of 45 MW of utility scale solar PV to be added to PNM’s system in the 2010-2011 timeframe.

Vincent-Collawn said that sites chosen to host the solar PV facilities will be announced as they are determined. Construction on the first site is expected to start by 2011, or as soon as the PRC approves PNM’s renewable plan. First Solar expects construction at all five sites to be completed by late 2011. The build-outs will create approximately 100 construction jobs. Once completed, PNM will own the sites as part of its generation portfolio to serve New Mexico customers.

About PNM

PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company based in Albuquerque, N.M. PNM provides electric utility service to about 500,000 retail customers in New Mexico. PNM Resources stock is traded primarily on the NYSE under the symbol PNM. For more information, see the company's Web site at

About First Solar

First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions. The company is delivering an economically viable alternative to fossil-fuel generation today. 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

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.

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