Endowment to fund math, science and engineering scholarships and internships in perpetuity
El Centro, Calif., (Jan 22, 2014) – At an appreciation luncheon Thursday January 16, First Solar, Inc (NASDAQ: FSLR) announced a $375,000 gift to the Imperial Valley College Foundation. The donation was designed to create an endowment in perpetuity that will allow the college to grant local students studying engineering, science and math scholarships and funding for internships annually.
“We are committed to this community and appreciate the ongoing support we’ve received while developing, permitting, building and operating projects throughout the Imperial Valley,” said Roy Skinner, Director of Permitting for First Solar. “We’re proud to provide funding to support higher education in math, engineering and science for local students who will go on to enrich this community.”
First Solar constructed two utility-scale projects in El Centro that are both in operation, the 130-megawatt Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center South and Southern Power’s 139-megawatt Campo Verde Solar Project. First Solar is also currently building the 150-megawatt Solar Gen 2 Project in Calipatria, which is expected to be complete this summer. Together these projects have created about 1,500 jobs and will create enough energy to power about 150,000 homes.
“We’re grateful that First Solar has made a lasting commitment to our students,” said Dr. Victor M. Jaime, Superintendent/President of Imperial Valley College. “Renewable energy has become a pillar of our economy and community. Giving local students scholarship support will allow them to thrive in this industry.”
Each year, starting in 2014, ten students will receive $1,000 scholarships – enough to cover fulltime tuition for two semesters. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must have a 3.0 or higher GPA and also submit an essay noting their interest in electrical engineering, the power industry and renewable energy in Imperial Valley.
The endowment will also allow for five Imperial Valley residents each year to earn $1,000 towards their education after completing summer internships within the Imperial Valley power industry. Internships will provide 120 hours of hands-on training and will help the students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom.
The donation was presented at an appreciation luncheon held for over 100 people from Imperial County, Imperial Irrigation District, San Diego Gas & Electric, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, One Stop, Workforce Development and Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation employees. James Cook, Director of Development for First Solar, presented the check to IV College Foundation’s Board President and Executive Director. Several IV College student ambassadors were also present.
For more information about the scholarship and internships, please contact Imperial Valley College Foundation, 760-355-6113 or email Executive Director, Todd Evangelist.