First Photo voltaic will cross 10 gigawatts of in-development initiatives to wind developer Leeward Renewable Vitality, the businesses introduced Monday, because the photo voltaic producer continues to overtake its enterprise.
The sale accounts for a majority of First Photo voltaic’s venture belongings, in an anticipated transfer underscoring the corporate’s plans to focus on manufacturing. First Photo voltaic is the biggest photo voltaic panel maker within the U.S. and likewise produces panels in Vietnam and Malaysia. It has mentioned streamlining its enterprise for a while, saying a “strategic evaluation” final yr.
“At our core, we’re a know-how and manufacturing firm,” CEO Mark Widmar mentioned throughout the firm’s This fall earnings name in February of final yr. “Over time, we’ve added to this core competency with the intention to handle unmet wants throughout the market, optimizing round and enabling supply of our merchandise and capturing an incremental revenue pool.”
Now that the event panorama is extra aggressive, rising that enterprise comes on the expense of innovating in manufacturing, compelling First Photo voltaic to refocus. In service of that purpose, First Photo voltaic has been shedding enterprise operations exterior of its manufacturing arm for a while. The corporate offloaded its operations and administration arm in August, promoting the enterprise to Novasource. In 2019 it additionally removed its in-house engineering, procurement and building enterprise in favor of a third-party mannequin.
The coronavirus pandemic delayed the corporate’s timeline on deciding the destiny of its growth enterprise, however First Photo voltaic started investigating subsequent steps in June when it made a “dedication that the market is now in a greater place to guage potential partnerships, gross sales, or different transactions,” Widmar mentioned throughout the corporate’s Q2 2020 earnings name. The take care of Leeward is predicted to shut in Q1 2021.
In an announcement on the sale, Widmar mentioned it’s “a part of a transition that permits [First Solar] to focus” on deploying its thin-film module know-how. First Photo voltaic will dangle onto just one.1 gigawatts of initiatives in Virginia, California and Arizona, which it additionally plans to ultimately promote.
Texas-based Leeward, a subsidiary of Canadian pension fund OMERS, now owns greater than 20 wind farms in 9 U.S. states, amounting to about 2 gigawatts, based on the corporate. The sale will mark its first important foray into photo voltaic, boosting its growth pipeline to 14 gigawatts.
The First Photo voltaic initiatives Leeward is including to its portfolio are positioned within the Southwest, Southeast and California. Leeward’s current wind initiatives are unfold throughout the West, Midwest and Northeast. Shopping for the numerous chunk of initiatives from First Photo voltaic, Leeward CEO Jason Allen mentioned, will assist buttress the developer’s “aggressive progress technique.”
“Key members” of First Photo voltaic’s growth crew may even be transferring over to Leeward after the deal closes.