Asia-Pacific investment firm PAG has agreed to acquire module manufacturer First Solar‘s 293 MW utility-scale solar projects and a 665 MW solar project operations and maintenance (O&M) platform in Japan.
The projects for acquisition in Japan are under development and likely to commence operation in the next two years. With the addition of First Solar’s project development platform, the investment firm would increase its existing portfolio by operationalizing a capacity of 600 MW.
Upon closure of the acquisition, most of First Solar’s employees in the project development and O&M division in Japan will join PAG.
In 2021, PAG acquired two projects developed by First Solar in Japan totaling 50 MW, bringing the total acquisition capacity of PAG from the U.S. module maker to 343 MW.
Chief Executive Officer of First Solar Mark Widmar said, “The sale of these platforms marks the completion of First Solar’s strategic shift for focusing on developing, scaling, and selling our advanced module technology.”
While the two companies have not disclosed the agreement terms, the transaction for the project development platform is scheduled to close by the second quarter of the current year. The transaction for the O&M platform will be completed by the second half of 2022.
Earlier this month, First Solar posted net sales of $367.04 million in Q1 2022, down 60% from $907.31 million in Q4 2021. The company attributed the dip to a decrease in module sales volume and lower project revenue in Japan.
In January 2021, First Solar signed an agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy to sell its utility-scale solar project platform of around 10 GW. At that time, Mark Widmar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Solar, said that the sale resulted from the strategic review announced in 2020 to focus on scaling, developing, and selling module technology.
According to Mercom’s Q1 2022 solar funding and M&A report, 23 GW of large-scale solar projects were acquired in Q1 2022 compared to 13.1 GW in Q4 2021. Project developers and independent power producers were the most active acquirers in Q1 2022, with over 17 GW of projects being acquired.