17 May 2022
First Solar selling Japan project development and O&M platforms to PAG
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA has entered into definitive agreements for funds managed by PAG Real Assets (PAG) of Tokyo, Japan, to acquire its 293MWDC utility-scale solar project development platform, and a solar operations and maintenance (O&M) platform with about 665MWDC under management, in Japan. The transaction is expected to close in second-quarter 2022 for the project development platform and the second-half 2022 for the O&M platform, in each case after obtaining regulatory approvals, the receipt of third-party consents, and satisfying other customary closing conditions.
PAG is an Asia Pacific-focused private investment manager with more than $50bn in assets under management. Subject to closing of the project development platform acquisition, PAG is expected to add First Solar’s project development platform to its existing portfolio of solar farms in Japan, creating one of Japan’s largest renewable operators with over 600MWDC of capacity. In 2021, PAG acquired two projects under development by First Solar in Japan with a total capacity of 50MWDC. Upon each respective closing, the majority of First Solar project development and O&M employees in Japan will join PAG.
“First Solar has an unmatched reputation in this region and we are pleased to have such an experienced, professional team join the PAG family,” comments PAG’s executive director & president Jon-Paul Toppino. “This transaction further positions PAG as a leading player in renewable energy in Japan and will serve as a key building block for our future investment in the sector,” he adds.
“PAG’s commitments to integrity, transparency and sustainability, and its experience managing and operating a wide range of assets, make it the ideal acquirer of our industry-leading platforms in Japan,” believes First Solar’s CEO Mark Widmar. “The sale of these platforms marks the completion of First Solar’s strategic shift to focus on developing, scaling and selling our advanced module technology.”
First Solar is the only US-headquartered company among the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers. The firm is building two new manufacturing facilities in the USA and India, which will double its nameplate manufacturing capacity to 16GWDC in 2024.