SunPower buys 1.5 GW US solar pipeline from Infigen

Vertically integrated U.S. solar company SunPower has acquired a 1.5 GW solar pipeline from Australia-based renewable energy developer Infigen Energy for an undisclosed sum.

The portfolio comprises a range of solar projects that are said to be at various stages of development, existing across 11 U.S. states.

Of this 1.5 GW total, three projects totaling 55 MW in capacity combined have already secured power purchase agreements (PPAs) in California with utility Southern California Edison (SCE). These three Kern County-based solar projects are currently under construction, with completions scheduled for 2016.

It is expected that a large portion of the acquired projects will be offered for sale to SunPower’s yieldco 8point3 Energy, which is a joint venture (JV) with First Solar.

"The magnitude of the acquisition speaks to SunPower’s financial strength as well as our expertise and leadership in global power plant development," said SunPower CEO and president Tom Werner. "It provides an expanded and geographically diverse portfolio of solar projects in the U.S. that may all be generating cost-effective, emission-free power by the end of this decade."

Infigen Energy U.S. CEO David Smith remarked that the developer was happy to be dealing with SunPower on this transaction, adding that the company brings "significant experience and proven technology" that Infigen believes will ensure these solar projects become long-term, "high-performing assets designed to reliably deliver value over the long term".

SunPower recently agreed a 20-year PPA with Nevada utility NV Energy to construct and operate a 100 MW solar PV plant in Nevada – a deal that has further cemented the company’s position as a solar power producer, manufacturer and EPC.

8point3 Energy, its recently formed yieldco with First Solar, is set to be valued at $1.49 billion and is to be used as a vehicle for the acquisition of further solar assets in the U.S.