First Solar acquires Nextlight in £200m deal

Thin-film solar module maker First Solar has acquired Nextlight Renewable Power, a solar-development firm formed by the inaugural fund of Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in North America’s energy infrastructure.

With the Nextlight acquisition, Temple, Arizona-based First Solar now has power-purchase agreements for 2.2GW of utility-scale solar projects in North America.

The all-cash transaction, valued at approximately $297m (£198m), represents another step in First Solar’s expansion in the US utility-scale power market.

This began in 2007 with the acquisition of Turner Renewable Energy and continued with the acquisitions of solar project pipelines from Optisolar in 2009 and Edison Mission Group in 2010.

The first project developed by Nextlight that is expected to be constructed by First Solar is the 290MW Agua Caliente Solar Project in Yuma County, Arizona. On 3 June this year, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the project’s power-purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric.

Nextlight’s team of project developers and other staff have joined First Solar.