First Solar Sells North American O&M Business to NovaSource

First Solar has announced that it has entered into an agreement under which NovaSource will acquire its North American O&M business.

American manufacturer of solar panels, and a provider of utility-scale PV power plants and supporting services – First Solar has announced that it has entered into a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement with NovaSource Power Services, a portfolio company of Toronto-based private equity firm Clairvest Group, pursuant to which NovaSource will acquire First Solar’s North American Operations and Maintenance (O&M) business.

Upon closing of the transaction, approximately 220 First Solar O&M associates are expected to be transferred with the acquired business. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Clairvest supported a management buy-out of SunPower Corporation’s O&M business in May of this year, which was subsequently renamed NovaSource. NovaSource oversees some of the most high profile solar projects in the United States and operates in nine countries today.

The completion of the transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions, including the receipt of third-party consents, 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 United States (CFIUS). If all conditions are met, the transaction is anticipated to close in the last quarter of 2020.

The firm has also announced that it has committed to power 100 percent of its global photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturing operations with renewable energy by 2028. As part of an interim goal, the company has pledged to transition its facilities in the United States to carbon-free electricity by 2026.

“Making a credible commitment to go 100 percent renewable is not a decision we take lightly. It was essential for us to ensure that the promise that we make today is one that we can keep,” said Mark Widmar, chief executive officer, First Solar. “With this pledge, we will further lower our embodied carbon footprint, already the lowest in the industry, and move towards realising the full promise of cleaner solar. We recognise that the solar manufacturing industry has a collective responsibility to set challenging decarbonisation goals for itself, and we hope that our decision encourages other PV manufacturers to make their own commitments.”

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