NovaSource becomes world’s ‘largest’ O&M business with First Solar acquisition

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NovaSource has completed its acquisition of Firs Solar’s O&M business. Image: First Solar.

Solar specialist NovaSource, which is owned by Canadian investor Clairvest, has completed its acquisition of US manufacturer First Solar’s operations and maintenance (O&M) business.

Private equity group Clairvest has invested US$67 million in the acquisition of the subsidiary, called First Solar Energy Services, which positions NovaSource as a dominant force in the increasingly competitive O&M space. Clairvest said in a statement it is now the world’s largest O&M business through its acquisition and mergers with three companies within the past year.

The Canadian investor created NovaSource last year, when it acquired the asset management unit of module manufacturer Sunpower, and later announced a plan to buy First Solar’s US O&M business. The new company can work with utility-scale, commercial and industrial (C&I) and residential solar installations as part of its offering.

Ken Rotman, Clairvest’s managing director, said the acquisition would position NovaSource as a “clear market leader”.

First Solar’s O&M team brings “invaluable industry knowledge”, Rotman said, with NovaSource’s chief executive Jack Bennett adding that the purchase will “accelerate” the company’s investment in “new technologies, systems and business lines” to oversee clients’ power systems.

Bringing multiple segment leaders into one company will ensure the company’s profitability in the increasingly competitive O&M space, said Troy Lauterbach, senior vice president of Energy Services at First Solar Energy Services (FSES).

FSES, he said, shares Clairvest’s “enthusiasm and common goal to be the operations and maintenance provider of choice for players in the solar industry.”

It comes after the Clairvest subsidiary, then-called NovaSource Power Services, kicked off 2021 by merging with SunSystem Technology. The combined group became known as NovaSource and is operational in nine countries, and said in a statement the merger will decrease both technician’s drivetime and bring a larger strategic service coverage.

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