VANCOUVER, BC and TEMPE, AZ - January 5, 2011 -
Plutonic Power Corporation (TSX: PCC) and GE (NYSE: GE) unit GE Energy
Financial Services have agreed to acquire a 50-megawatt (alternating
current) portfolio of three photovoltaic solar facilities to be built in
Ontario from First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR), marking Plutonic's
expansion into solar power and Ontario.
Plutonic Power is expected to make an equity contribution of
approximately C$6 million and serve as the projects' managing partner.
Project debt will be arranged by First Solar on behalf of Plutonic and
GE Energy Financial Services and is expected to be in place at financial
close, which coincides with the start of commercial operation.
Additional financial details were not disclosed.
"Expanding into both a new market and a new technology represents
significant growth for Plutonic," said Donald McInnes, Vice-Chairman and
CEO of Plutonic Power. "Our solid relationship with GE Energy
Financial Services enabled this expansion into our third joint near-term
"This transaction is GE Energy Financial Services' first solar
investment in Canada, broadening our US$6 billion renewable energy
portfolio and supporting our strong partnership with Plutonic," said
Mark Tonner, Managing Director and Canada business leader at GE Energy
Financial Services. "We see significant growth potential for solar
power worldwide, which continues to improve on technology costs and
efficiencies, and helps balance wind-generated power, which peaks at
First Solar will continue developing the facilities--Amherstburg (10
MW), Belmont (20 MW) and Walpole (20 MW)---and will provide engineering,
procurement and construction services and operations and maintenance
services under long-term contracts. Permitting the projects under the
province's Renewable Energy Approval process is expected in the spring
of 2011. Construction is expected to begin by mid-2011.
"These projects will significantly expand Ontario's supply of clean,
affordable, sustainable solar energy," said Frank De Rosa, First Solar
senior vice president of project development for North America. "First
Solar is pleased to be working with Plutonic and GE Energy Financial
Services to realize these development projects."
The projects will create more than 600 construction jobs, generate tax
revenues for various levels of government and create economic benefits
for local businesses. The projects will sell their power to the Ontario
Power Authority under 20-year energy purchase agreements and will
interconnect to the province's distribution grid at five points.
Combined, the facilities are expected to produce enough clean,
sustainable electricity to power approximately 6,300 local homes and
avoid 14,600 tons of carbon dioxide a year---the equivalent of taking
3,700 cars off the road.
In addition to this investment, Plutonic Power and GE Energy Financial
Services also jointly own British Columbia's largest wind farm, the
Dokie Wind Project, and British Columbia's largest independent
run-of-river hydro project, the East Toba River and Montrose Creek
hydroelectric project. The two projects have a combined capacity of 340
megawatts and have secured long-term Energy Purchase Agreements with BC
Last month, GE Energy Financial Services announced it had reached its
multi-year target of investing US$6 billion in renewable energy
projects, which today span 14 countries and include investments in wind
farms, solar installations, hydroelectric projects, landfill gas
facilities and projects involving other technologies across a wide
spectrum of capital - from project equity to debt and venture capital.
GE Energy Financial Services' renewable energy investments reinforce
GE's ecomagination initiative, a program to help its customers meet
their environmental challenges while expanding its own portfolio of
cleaner energy products.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) 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
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.
About Plutonic Power Corporation
Plutonic Power identifies, develops and operates clean power projects in
a safe reliable and efficient manner. Plutonic Power strives to be a
Canadian-based leader in clean power. For more information, visit www.plutonic.ca.
About GE Energy Financial Services
GE Energy Financial Services' experts invest globally across the capital
spectrum in essential, long-lived and capital-intensive energy assets
that meet the world's energy needs. In addition to capital, GE Energy
Financial Services offers the best of GE's technical know-how,
technology innovation, financial strength and rigorous risk management.
Based in Stamford, Connecticut, the GE business unit helps its customers
and GE grow through new investments, strong partnerships and
optimization of its US$21 billion in assets. For more information, visit
First Solar, Inc.
Plutonic Power Corporation
Director, Investor Relations
GE Energy Financial Services
The TSX Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or
accuracy of this release. Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements -
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements,
including statements regarding the business and anticipated financial
performance of the Company. These statements are subject to a number of
risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from
results contemplated by the forward-looking statements. When relying on
forward-looking statements to make decisions, investors and others
should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties
and should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.
The Company does not undertake to update any forward looking statements,
oral or written, made by itself or on its behalf.