First Solar Sells Canadian Power Plants to GE-Alterra Partnership
Amherstburg, Belmont and Walpole projects total 50 megawatts AC
First Solar will provide operations and maintenance
BELMONT, Ontario & TEMPE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced today that it has sold a
collection of solar projects in Ontario, Canada, totaling 50 megawatts
(MW) AC to an investment partnership led by GE (NYSE: GE) unit GE Energy
Financial Services. Terms were not disclosed.
The 20MWAC Walpole Solar Power Plant is one of three solar projects in Ontario, Canada acquired by partners GE Energy Financial Services and Alterra Power Corporation from First Solar, Inc. Electricity from the 50MWAC collection of projects will be sold to Ontario Power Authority under its Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP) with 20-year power purchase agreements. Photo courtesy of First Solar, Inc.
It is the first project transaction between First Solar and GE since
their solar technology and commercial partnership was announced Aug. 6.
The ABW Partnership, originally announced in 2011, consists of majority
owner GE Energy Financial Services and Alterra Power Corporation, which
made an equity contribution and will serve as the projects' managing
partner. The ABW Partnership raised debt for the acquisition, with The
Manufacturers Life Insurance Company serving as agent and lead arranger.
The debt syndicate consists of The Great-West Life Assurance Company,
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada and Caisse de dépôt et placement du
First Solar has completed construction of the power plants — Amherstburg
(10MWAC), Belmont (20MWAC) and Walpole (20MWAC)
— and has commissioned and energized them so they are providing power to
the grid. First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services
under long-term contracts. Output of the power plants will be sold to
Ontario Power Authority under its Renewable Energy Standard Offer
Program (RESOP), with 20-year power purchase agreements.
"First Solar is proud to contribute to Ontario's renewable energy
objectives," said Tim Rebhorn, First Solar's Senior Vice President of
Business Development — Americas. "In addition to providing clean
electricity, the projects have provided meaningful employment and local
economic benefits, as well as contribute to the safe and efficient
operation of the local utility system."
For its part, GE Energy Financial Services said the Ontario projects
contribute to its cumulative one-gigawatt, $1.5-billion solar investment
portfolio, comprising 50 installations, including several with First
Solar in North America and Australia.
"Our Ontario investments deepen our longstanding relationship with First
Solar and illustrate our interest in acquiring solar power projects at
various stages of development and construction," said Mark Tonner,
managing director and Canada business leader at GE Energy Financial
Services. "Through a variety of equity and lease arrangements, we help
developers monetize their own investments."
Combined, the Ontario facilities are expected to produce enough clean,
sustainable electricity to power approximately 6,300 local homes and
avoid 14,600 tons of carbon dioxide a year — the equivalent of taking
3,700 cars off the road.
Earlier this month, First Solar and GE announced that First Solar had
acquired GE's solar technology intellectual property and that the two
companies had entered into a collaborative commercial partnership.
Note to Editor: First Solar's collection of solar projects in
Ontario, Canada, totaling 50 megawatts, were sold to an investment
partnership led by GE Energy Financial Services. See photos:
About GE Energy Financial Services
GE Energy Financial Services—GE's energy investing business—works as a
builder, not just a banker, to help meet the world's power and fuel
needs. We offer more than money—expertise—for essential, long-lived and
capital-intensive power, oil and gas infrastructure—GE's core business.
Drawing on GE's energy technical know-how, financial strength and risk
management, we see value where others don't and take on our customers'
toughest challenges with flexible equity and debt transaction
structures. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, GE Energy Financial Services
holds approximately $18 billion in assets. More information: www.geenergyfinancialservices.com.
Follow GE Energy Financial Services on Twitter: @GEEnergyFinServ
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best
technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in
energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering,
moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For
more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
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.
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 statements, among
other things, concerning: our business strategy, including anticipated
trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the
markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating
results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected
costs, warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems
("BoS") cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability and
capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per
watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs to construct
photovoltaic ("PV") solar power systems; research and development
programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our
solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and competition. These
forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words
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"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. 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. 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 in Item
1A: "Risk Factors," of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
December 31, 2012, as updated and supplemented by risk factors included
in our Prospectus dated June 12, 2013 filed with the SEC pursuant to
Rule 424(b)(5) (the "Prospectus"), Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q,
Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.
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Source: First Solar, Inc.
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