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: