First Solar acquires 150 MW Imperial County Solar Plant


As First Solar continues to focus on being a developer of photovoltaic power plants, it has continued to expand its project pipeline by acquisition. The latest is the purchase of the Imperial County Solar Plant in California.

The project will supply the San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E). First Solar acquired it from Goldman Sachs Group subsidiary, Energy Power Partners. The U.S.-based thin film company is already supplying SDG&E under PPAs from utility-scale projects, including the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One, which saw its first 100 MW completed in February of this year.

In a quirk of the pipeline-growth-by-acquisition strategy, the deal will see First Solar acquire 40 MW of modules previously purchased by the initial developer. This would presumably present the First Solar team with some challenges in integrating them into the project design.

The financial terms of the deal have not been announced. Both Energy Power Partners and First Solar chose to highlight the 800 construction jobs created during the project’s build phase, in what is said to be an area suffering from high unemployment.