TEMPE, USA: First Solar Inc. and NextLight Renewable Power, LLC have entered into a definitive agreement for First Solar to acquire NextLight, a leading developer of utility-scale solar projects in the southwestern United States.
The acquisition includes a 1,100 megawatt (MW) solar project pipeline, further solidifying First Solar’s position as a leader in the U.S. utility renewable power market.
The acquisition of NextLight includes:
* 570MW (AC) under signed power purchase agreements with western utilities, increasing First Solar’s contracted photovoltaic (PV) solar project pipeline to 2,200MW.
* 530MW (AC) of additional PV projects in various stages of development.
NextLight’s projects, ranging in size from 30MW to 290MW, expand the scope and diversity of First Solar’s pipeline. The projects are largely located on private land.
“NextLight has assembled a project pipeline that very much complements First Solar’s project portfolio. We are looking forward to having the highly experienced NextLight team join First Solar,” said Rob Gillette, First Solar chief executive officer.
“The combination of NextLight and First Solar brings best-in-class power development experience and discipline to the emerging utility-scale solar industry. We look forward to joining the First Solar organization and leveraging their expertise to deliver high-quality solar generation to our customers,” said Frank De Rosa, NextLight chief executive officer.
The transaction represents another strategic step in First Solar’s expansion in the US utility-scale power market, which began in 2007 with the acquisition of Turner Renewable Energy and continued with the acquisitions of solar project pipelines from OptiSolar in 2009 and Edison Mission Group in 2010.
“Success in today’s competitive solar market requires a complete solution for our customers’ renewable energy needs,” said Gillette. “First Solar is uniquely positioned to deliver utility scale solar power plants including project development, module manufacturing, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), project finance expertise and operations and maintenance.”
First Solar will acquire NextLight in an all-cash transaction that is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2010, pending the satisfaction of certain closing conditions specified in the merger agreement. Total consideration for the transaction is approximately $285 million, subject to certain closing adjustments as provided in the merger agreement.