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Plutonic Power and GE Energy Financial Services have agreed to buy three of First Solar’s power plants in Ontario, Canada. Permitting for the projects, which have a combined capacity of 50MW, is expected to take place this spring and construction scheduled to start in June.
Despite selling the portfolio, First Solar has agreed to long-term contracts to supply engineering, procurement, construction and operation services for the 10MW Amherstburg, 20MW Belmont and 20MW Walpole facilities. The electricity generated by the three sites will be will be sold to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20-year energy-purchase agreement and connected to the province's distribution grid at five points.
"Expanding into both a new market and a new technology represents significant growth for Plutonic," said Donald McInnes, vice chairman and CEO of Plutonic Power. "Our solid relationship with GE Energy Financial Services enabled this expansion into our third joint near-term operating asset."
"This transaction is GE Energy Financial Services' first solar investment in Canada, broadening our US$6 billion renewable energy portfolio and supporting our strong partnership with Plutonic," said Mark Tonner, GE’s managing director. "We see significant growth potential for solar power worldwide, which continues to improve on technology costs and efficiencies."
Plutonic Power is expected to make an equity contribution of around CAN$6 million towards the project and will also take on the role of senior partner in the agreement; debt financing will be coordinated by First Solar and is expected to be in place at financial close.