SunPower and First Solar to collectively sell yieldco

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
US-headquartered PV manufacturers SunPower and First Solar are expected to collectively sell their stakes in their joint venture yieldco, 8point3 Energy Partners. Image: SunPower

US-headquartered PV manufacturers SunPower and First Solar are expected to collectively sell their stakes in their joint venture yieldco, 8point3 Energy Partners.

Initially, First Solar had announced plans to sell its stake in the yieldco in May, 2017 as it sought to recoup its investment and boost its balance sheet during the time of heavy capital expenditure requirements with the manufacturing migration from its Series 4 CdTe thin-film modules to its large-area Series 6 module format. 

During SunPower’s second quarter earnings call, management noted that its own assessment of attracting a new investor to replace First Solar had led to the realization that the demand from potential investors centred on purchasing the yieldco in its entirety. 

Thomas H. Werner, CEO of SunPower said, “So the feedback from the market, and again, this is SunPower as a sponsor or an investor talking, not 8point3 talking. But the feedback from the market overwhelmingly was to buy out SunPower and First Solar or buy out the whole company, not to replace First Solar. And based on the feedback from the market, we've decided to take that option off the table and no longer seek a replacement partner for First Solar. And that's just simply based on the feedback that we've received.”

SunPower also highlighted its strategy to return to profitability in 2018 through becoming a more streamlined business and have less complex accounting with greater transparency would benefit by selling the yieldco. The sale of 8point3 would also mean the company could retire a convertible bond due in 2018, limiting shareholder dilution.

The company has a convertible bond of US$300.0 million, due June 1, 2018, which parent company Total holds US$200 million. SunPower noted in financial filings that it would find it difficult to retire the bond, due to lack of liquidity. 

The company also noted that it was looking at selling the majority of its residential rooftop solar leases (400MW) as part of that strategy. 

Read Next

June 9, 2021
First Solar has unveiled plans to more than double its US manufacturing capacity with a 3.3GWdc facility in Ohio that will produce thin film PV modules for the country’s utility-scale solar sector.
PV Tech Premium
April 30, 2021
‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member First Solar has hit a nameplate Series 6 CdTe thin film manufacturing capacity of 7.9GW in the first quarter of 2021, after ramping its second and last converted factory in Malaysia.
April 15, 2021
Israeli developer Solegreen has invested US$104 million in solar installer Kuubix to help it pursue an "aggressive" expansion strategy across its core markets in the US.
April 6, 2021
SunPower is to allow Maxeon Solar to the Performance Series (P Series) p-type mono-Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) shingled PV modules into the US market as part of a major change to initial manufacturing agreements.
April 1, 2021
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.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
July 29, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021