First Solar sells 10GW solar project business to Canadian pension fund

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First Solar has sold a large part of its PV project business to Leeward Renewable Energy totalling around 10GW. Image: First Solar

‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member First Solar has sold a large part of its PV project business to Leeward Renewable Energy totalling around 10GW.

Leeward Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of OMERS, a major Canadian pension fund. 

Jason Allen, chief executive officer at Leeward Renewable Energy said, “This acquisition will support our aggressive growth strategy as a leading independent power producer and elevate Leeward’s prominent position in today’s energy market. The public recognizes that renewable energy is a key driver in combating the global issue of climate change. Solar and renewable technologies continue to advance and now provide economically viable solutions in virtually every market in the US. We will continue to grow our wind, solar, and storage presence so we can continue to provide clean energy to our existing and future customers as they pursue their net-zero emission goals.”

First Solar said it would have 1.1GW (AC) of US projects remaining in its portfolio that it will sell separately, while key members of its project development team would be joining Leeward. First Solar had around 500 staff in its systems business at the end of 2019.

Leeward is buying some of the projects that already have solar module purchase orders attached to the projects, while 744MW (DC) of module orders were said to be new bookings out of a total of 1.8GW (DC).

First Solar is undergoing a rationalisation of its business that will focus on solar module sales in the future. The company has said that shipments in 2020 hit 5.9GW. 

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