First Solar Inc., a global provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar solutions, has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy Development LLC pursuant to which Leeward will acquire from First Solar a utility-scale solar project platform of approximately 10 GW AC.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter after obtaining regulatory approvals and satisfying customary closing conditions.
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Leeward is a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure, an investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. Upon closing of the transaction, Leeward will acquire the U.S. project platform, which includes the Rabbitbrush, Madison, Oak Trail, Horizon and Ridgely projects that are expected to commence construction in the next two years, as well as the 30 MW AC Barilla Solar project, which is operational. First Solar will retain 1.1 GW AC of projects in the U.S. that are expected to be sold separately. Key members of the First Solar project development team are also expected to join Leeward upon closing.
Subject to closing of the acquisition, Leeward will purchase 650 MW DC of First Solar’s high-performance Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) solar modules for its additional development opportunities. Leeward’s acquisition of the project platform also includes purchase orders for 888 MW DC of Series 6 modules for the five development projects referenced above.
Leeward’s acquisition of the project platform will include 242 MW DC of Series 4 modules safe-harbored under the solar investment tax credit (ITC) program, 148 MW DC of which has previously been booked. In total, upon closing, Leeward’s acquisition of the project platform will comprise the acquisition of projects with module purchase orders, together with the entry into additional purchase orders, of approximately 1.8 GW DC of First Solar PV modules, of which 744 MW DC represent new bookings as of closing.
“This acquisition will support our aggressive growth strategy as an independent power producer and elevate Leeward’s prominent position in today’s energy market,” says Jason Allen, CEO of Leeward Renewable Energy. “Solar and renewable technologies continue to advance and now provide economically viable solutions in virtually every market in the U.S. 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.”
The completion of the transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).