180MWAC deal approximately doubles DESRI’s portfolio of First Solar-developed PV projects to over 360MWAC
Tempe, AZ (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - US-headquartered First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced today that D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) is the acquirer of the Cove Mountain and Cove Mountain 2 projects in Iron County, Utah. The acquisition of the two projects, the sales of which were previously disclosed by First Solar and which total 180 megawatts (MW)AC in capacity, nearly doubles DESRI’s portfolio of First Solar-developed projects to over 360MWAC.
Cove Mountain and Cove Mountain 2, both under construction with completion expected in the second and fourth quarters of 2020, have long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with PacifiCorp on behalf of Facebook, providing Facebook’s data center operations with new solar resources. DESRI has previously acquired four First Solar-developed projects in California: the 100MWAC Willow Springs Solar Project in Kern County; the 40MWAC Cuyama Solar Project in Santa Barbara County; the 31MWAC Portal Ridge Solar Project in Los Angeles County; and the 11MWAC Rancho Seco Solar Project in Sacramento County.
“Cove Mountain 1 and 2 are powered by one of the most financeable and reliable photovoltaic technologies available today, and are underpinned by long-term PPAs to support the renewable energy and carbon reduction goals of one of the best-recognized names in technology,” said Bryan Martin, Chief Executive Officer of DESRI. “While these projects further solidify the longstanding partnership between our companies, they also demonstrate the value that First Solar is able to deliver by developing and operating world-class solar assets.”
Once commissioned, both projects will be operated by First Solar Energy Services, which, with over 10 gigawatts (GW) under management, is the solar industry’s most experienced Operations and Maintenance (O&M) service provider for large-scale solar power plants.
“DESRI’s decisions to invest in assets are always backed by rigorous research and analysis, and their acquisition of our projects validates the robustness of First Solar’s approach to project development,” said Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer, First Solar. “We are proud of the fact that DESRI continues to trust First Solar, the bankability of the projects we develop and operate, and our ability to deliver on our commitments.”
Both projects will be powered by First Solar’s Series 6 module technology. Produced in just 3.5 hours using sophisticated, fully-integrated manufacturing processes, each large-format Series 6 module leverages First Solar’s proprietary thin film technology, retaining the proven performance and reliability advantages of earlier generation modules. With a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels that are manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods, Series 6 delivers a superior environmental profile and cleaner solar electricity.
First Solar is expanding its manufacturing capacity to meet the demand for Series 6 modules, with its second facility in the United States - representing nearly $1 billion in cumulative investment - expected to start production in early-2020. Once operational, the new facility in Perrysburg, Ohio, will take the company’s aggregate Series 6 manufacturing capacity to 5.4GW per year, making First Solar America’s largest solar manufacturer.
First Solar is celebrating two decades since its founding in 1999 and 25 gigawatts (GW)DC of photovoltaic (PV) modules shipped, making it the only American solar manufacturing company to achieve this milestone.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems, which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
About D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments
D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and its affiliates acquire, own, and manage long-term contracted renewable energy assets in North America. DESRI's portfolio of renewable energy projects currently includes 35 wind and solar projects that represent more than 1,900 MW of aggregate capacity. DESRI is a member of the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm with more than $50 billion in investment and committed capital as of September 1, 2019, and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning First Solar’s sale, construction and operation of 180MWAC of PV projects. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as “estimate,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “forecast,” “foresee,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “goal,” “target,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “predict,” “continue” and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events and therefore speak only as of the date of this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and our subsequently filed Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as supplemented by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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