First Solar Acquires OptiSolar’s Solar Project Pipeline for $400 Million

Earlier this week, solar company First Solar announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire all of OptiSolar's project development business in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $400 million. This transaction will enable First Solar to expand its business in the U.S. utility solar power market and includes the following:

  • A 550 megawatt (MW) AC solar development project under a power purchase agreement with PG&E
  • A project pipeline of additional 1,300MW AC which are in negotiation with Western region utilities for solar development projects
  • Strategic land rights of approximately 136,000 acres (approximately 210 square miles) with the potential to deploy up to 19 gigawatts (GW) AC of utility-scale solar power projects

First Solar expects to build solar power plants developed under the acquired solar power project pipeline over the next several years and sell them to a combination of regulated utilities, diversified energy companies, and other independent power producers.  First Solar also stated that the core development team responsible for assembling and executing on OptiSolar's solar project pipeline will join First Solar's development team.

"OptiSolar has created an impressive and well-designed development pipeline. Adding these resources, along with their development team, to First Solar is our next logical step to delivering multi-GW of solar power to U.S. utilities over the next several years," said Mike Ahearn, First Solar chief executive officer. "As First Solar continues to drive down its manufacturing and EPC costs, OptiSolar's project pipeline and the ability of our team to continually expand our existing pipeline, will enable us to bring solar energy on-line quickly and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the grid."

This transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2009.  For more information:

First Solar Invests $25 Million in SolarCity; Companies Announce 100 MW Module Supply Agreement

Today, thin-film solar company First Solar and residential solar installer SolarCity made two announcements:

  1. The two companies have entered into a five-year agreement in which First Solar will supply 100 MW (megawatts) of its thin film solar modules to SolarCity. First Solar will begin delivering modules to SolarCity in Q1 2009.  This agreement represents First Solar’s initial activity in the U.S. residential market.
  2. First Solar will make a $25 million equity investment in SolarCity.  This is part of a $30 million round of financing that will support SolarCity’s continued U.S. expansion.  SolarCity currently serves markets in California, Arizona and Oregon

“The combination of First Solar’s modules with SolarCity’s innovative approach to designing, financing and maintaining complete solar solutions enables homeowners and small business owners to lower their electricity costs while reducing air pollution and the effects of global warming,” said Mike Ahearn, First Solar’s chief executive officer.

“Our relationship with First Solar will enable us to deliver affordable solar power to a wider market of residential and small commercial customers,” said Lyndon Rive, chief executive officer of SolarCity. “We believe that together, SolarCity and First Solar are uniquely capable of making solar power competitive with the cost of electricity generated from fossil fuels across the U.S. – making solar a mainstream source of electricity in the next several years.”

For more information: