First Solar To Acquire NextLight’s 1.1-GW PV Pipeline

First Solar Inc. and NextLight Renewable Power LLC have entered into a definitive agreement for First Solar to acquire NextLight. The acquisition includes a 1,100 megawatt (MW) solar project pipeline, bringing First Solar’s total number of megawatts in development to more than 2000.

The acquisition of NextLight includes 570-MW of projects that are under signed power purchase agreements with western utilities, as well as 530 MW of additional PV projects in various stages of development. NextLight’s projects, ranging in size from 30MW to 290MW and are largely located on private land.

“NextLight has assembled a project pipeline that very much complements First Solar’s project portfolio. We are looking forward to having the highly experienced NextLight team join First Solar,” said Rob Gillette, First Solar’s CEO.

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.

First Solar will acquire NextLight in an all-cash transaction that is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2010, pending the satisfaction of certain closing conditions specified in the merger agreement. Total consideration for the transaction is approximately US $285 million, subject to certain closing adjustments as provided in the merger agreement.

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