Electrical Business

Business News
GE-Alterra partnership buys First Solar power plants in Ontario


August 26, 2013
By Anthony Capkun

August 26, 2013 – First Solar Inc. says it has sold a collection of solar projects in Ontario totalling 50MWAC (megawatt AC) to ABW Partnership (an investment partnership led by GE Energy Financial Services). The company says this is the first project transaction between First Solar and GE since their solar technology and commercial partnership was announced August 6.

“Our Ontario investments deepen our longstanding relationship with First Solar and illustrate our interest in acquiring solar power projects at various stages of development and construction,” said Mark Tonner, managing director and Canada business leader at GE Energy Financial Services. “Through a variety of equity and lease arrangements, we help developers monetize their own investments.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The ABW Partnership consists of majority-owner GE Energy Financial Services and Alterra Power Corp., which made an equity contribution and will serve as the projects’ managing partner.

“In addition to providing clean electricity, the projects have provided meaningful employment and local economic benefits, as well as contribute to the safe and efficient operation of the local utility system,” said Tim Rebhorn, First Solar’s senior vice-president of business development-Americas.

First Solar completed construction of the power plants—10MWAC Amherstburg (Photo 1), 20MWAC Belmont (Photo 2) and 20MWAC Walpole (Photo 3)—and has commissioned and energized them. First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services under long-term contracts. Power plant output will be sold to Ontario Power Authority (OPA) under its Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP) with 20-year power purchase agreements.

GE Energy Financial Services said the Ontario projects contribute to its cumulative 1GW, $1.5-billion solar investment portfolio, comprising 50 installations (including several with First Solar in North America and Australia).