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Desert Center to Receive Emergency Generator, School Field Trips, Library Improvements and More

February 9, 2014

DESERT CENTER, Calif – On Tuesday, February 6 the Desert Sunlight Fund Advisory Board, made up of seven community members, awarded over $80,000 in grants from the First Solar Desert Sunlight Fund to three local non-profit organizations. The grants will provide funds for four projects that will directly benefit the local community. Of the original $350,000 that First Solar committed to Desert Center in mid-2011, about $168,000 remains to be distributed over the next two years.

“The Desert Sunlight Fund grants will support our community by providing not only vital needs, but also enrichment for local residents,” said Travis Rye, Advisory Board Chairman and local firefighter. “We look forward to seeing the benefits these grants will bring to our community.”

Eagle Mountain/Desert Center Church of Nazarene was awarded $30,000 for an emergency generator to serve the community during power outages, as well as $1,000 to continue and enhance fitness with Wii stations for those of all ages at the clubhouse.

Eagle Mountain School received just over $7,000 for field trips to locations across Southern California, including The Living Desert Zoo and Botanical Garden, the McCallum Theater and even a whale watching tour. This grant will allow students to enjoy a variety of activities and incorporate their experiences into classroom learning.

The Desert Center Chapter of Friends of the Desert Libraries was awarded just over $24,000 for new flooring and paint and about $18,000 for new furniture. These resources will help increase attendance, enhance programs, and better serve the needs of the community.

The Desert Sunlight Fund Advisory Board is still looking for community members and nonprofits to apply for the remaining grant funds. Half of the funds have been distributed, with the remainder to be distributed over the next two years. The board’s goal is to help fund local non-profits to further their efforts to enhance and develop the community.

“This fund is part of First Solar’s commitment to being a good neighbor,” said Laura Abram, First Solar’s Director of Public Affairs. “I am pleased to see that the donations from previous years are making a real difference in this community. I look forward to seeing this year’s grants and future grants support additional deserving causes.”

In February of 2013, the First Solar Desert Sunlight Fund board awarded over $80,000 in grants to fund a new playground and Wii fitness stations, laptops for students and teachers, and upgrades to the library. In May of 2011, First Solar gave $5,000 checks to three local groups: Desert Center Unified School District, Friends of the Desert Center Library, and Lake Tamarisk Residents Association.

Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, owned by NextEra Energy Resources, GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corporation of America and being constructed, operated and maintained by First Solar, will support California’s requirement to provide one third of its electricity from renewable resources. The 550 MW utility-scale solar farm will provide enough clean, affordable, sustainable energy to power about 160,000 California homes and displace more than 300,000 metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions per year – the equivalent of taking almost 60,000 cars off the road.

About First Solar, Inc.First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit

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