Solar Chile has a portfolio of early-to-mid utility-scale PV power plants totaling about 1.5 GW in northern Chile, including the Atacama desert region. Under the terms of the agreement, the five-person Solar Chile team will join First Solar. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. A strategic working alliance between the two companies was formed in October 2011. Chilean think tank Fundación Chile will provide ongoing consultation services. Fundación Chile is a public-private partnership whose partners are the Chilean government and BHP Billiton – Escondida Mine. It sees itself as a "do-tank" which moved into renewable energy in the 2000s.
"We have been very impressed by the quality of the Solar Chile team and the projects they are developing, and we believe that together we will bring even more value to the Chilean market," said Jim Hughes, First Solar CEO. "Combining Solar Chile’s market knowledge and promising project portfolio with First Solar’s resources, technology and strong execution track record offers Chile a rapid and proven path to add significant solar generation capacity, helping to meet high energy demand and support economic growth."
"First Solar’s acquisition of Solar Chile is a milestone of enormous significance to our country," said Alvaro Fischer, President of Fundación Chile. "It highlights the tremendous potential that solar PV energy has to change the demography and the economy of northern Chile, opening it up to new opportunities beyond mining and fishing, into water desalinization, hydrogen production or large green data centers."