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First Solar Donates Combined $50,000 to Three Cuyama Organizations

From left, Lynn Carlisle, executive director of the Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center; F. Paul Chounet, superintendent of the Cuyama Unified School District; and Angel Cannon, executive director of the Cuyama Valley Recreation District with donation checks from First Solar.
From left, Lynn Carlisle, executive director of the Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center; F. Paul Chounet, superintendent of the Cuyama Unified School District; and Angel Cannon, executive director of the Cuyama Valley Recreation District with donation checks from First Solar. (First Solar photo)

During a community barbecue on Friday, First Solar’s Cuyama Solar project team honored the rural Santa Barbara County community with a combined donation of $50,000 to fund three local organizations: the Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center, the Cuyama Valley Recreation District and the Cuyama Valley High School Associated Student Body Scholarship Fund.

The donation will provide support for various projects and services that directly benefit local residents.

“It is great to see that First Solar is already giving back to the community where they will be locating Santa Barbara County’s first large-scale solar project,” Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal said. “This donation is truly a ‘win-win-win’ for the people, economy and environment of the Cuyama Valley.”

First Solar Project development manager Koryn Kendall noted the company’s commitment to communities where First Solar projects are built and operated.

“First Solar has a tradition of supporting the communities in which we develop our projects and these donations are designated to help improve the lives of the citizens, families and organizations that make up the Cuyama Valley,” Kendall said.

The 40-megawatt Cuyama Solar project is expected to start construction later this year and be completed in 2016. During construction, the project is expected to create approximately 200 jobs.

The Cuyama Solar project supports California’s requirement to provide one-third of its electricity from renewable resources and will provide enough clean, affordable, sustainable energy to power about 16,000 California homes and displace more than 30,000 metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions each year — the equivalent of taking almost 6,000 cars off the road.

— Dawn Legg is a public affairs liaison for First Solar.

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