First Solar Inc., a global provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar solutions, has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy Development LLC under which Leeward will acquire a utility-scale solar project platform of approximately 10 GW from First Solar AC.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter after regulatory approvals are obtained and customary closing conditions are met.
Leeward, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada's largest defined benefit plans. Upon completion of the transaction, Leeward will acquire the US project platform, which includes the Rabbitbrush, Madison, Oak Trail, Horizon and Ridgely projects, which construction is expected to start within the next two years, and the 30 MW AC Barilla Solar project, which is ready for use. First Solar will retain 1.1 GW AC from projects in the US that are expected to be sold separately. Key members of the First Solar project development team are also expected to join Leeward upon completion.
Subject to the completion of the acquisition, Leeward will acquire 650 MW DC of First Solar's high-performance photovoltaic solar modules for additional development opportunities. Leeward's takeover of the project platform also includes orders for 888 MW DC of Series 6 modules for the five development projects mentioned above.
Leeward's acquisition of the project platform includes 242 MW DC of Series 4 modules securely housed under the ITC (Solar Investment Tax Credit) program, of which 148 MW DC have already been booked. Overall, the takeover of the project platform by Leeward after completion includes the acquisition of projects with module orders as well as the completion of additional orders of approx. 1.8 GW DC for First Solar PV modules, of which 744 MW DC are new bookings at the time of completion.
“This acquisition will support our aggressive growth strategy as an independent power company and strengthen Leeward's preeminent position in today's energy market,” said Jason Allen, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. “Solar and renewable technologies continue to evolve and now offer economically viable solutions in almost all US markets. We will continue to expand our presence in the wind, solar and storage sectors so that we can continue to deliver clean energy to our existing and future customers with their net zero emissions targets. “
Completion of the Transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions, including obtaining regulatory approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).