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First Solar Expansion Continues With NextLight Acquisition

The firm now has power purchase agreements for 2.2 GW of utility-scale solar projects in North America.

First Solar has completed the acquisition of NextLight Renewable Power. NextLight is 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, First Solar now has power purchase agreements for 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale solar projects in North America. The transaction represents another strategic step in First Solar's expansion in the U.S. utility-scale power market, which 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. NextLight's team of project developers and other staff have joined First Solar.

The first project developed by NextLight that is expected to start construction by First Solar is the 290 MW Agua Caliente Solar Project in Yuma County, Arizona. The California Public Utilities Commission on June 3 approved the project's power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the appeal period expired without challenge on July 7. Construction is expected to start this year.

First Solar acquired NextLight in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $297 million, subject to finalization of the estimated closing date adjustments.
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