7 July 2023
First Solar secures $1bn revolving credit facility
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module maker First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA says that on 30 June it entered into a five-year revolving credit and guarantee facility for $1bn. The facility includes up to $250m available for the issuance of letters of credit. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank acted as lead arranger and is administrative agent for the facility.
Additional banks participating in the facility include joint lead arrangers Bank of America, Citibank, Credit Agricole CIB and PNC Bank, as well as participating lenders BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank USA, MUFG Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Truist Bank.
“This agreement underscores First Solar’s bankability and is underpinned by the strong fundamentals that drive our business today,” says CEO Mark Widmar. “We are focused on exiting this decade in a stronger position than we entered it and liquidity is a crucial differentiator that we intend to maintain. This revolving credit facility provides us the financial headroom and flexibility we need, while also balancing our ability to grow in response to demand for our technology.”
First Solar, the only US-headquartered company among the world’s ten largest solar manufacturers, has embarked on a strategy of growth that will add about 8GWDC of new capacity between second-half 2023 and 2026, when it expects to have a global manufacturing footprint of over 20GWDC.
First Solar is scheduled to commission a new 3.4GWDC manufacturing facility in India in second-half 2023 while expecting to add a new 3.5GWDC factory in Alabama in late 2024 and expanding its existing footprint in Ohio by 0.9GWDC by 2026. It is also investing up to $370m in constructing a new R&D center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is expected to be commissioned in 2024.
“J.P. Morgan is proud to support First Solar’s efforts to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy,” saya Mike Lister, head of J.P. Morgan Energy Power & Renewables Corporate Banking. “We’re focused on helping clients meet the world’s need for secure, reliable and affordable energy, while advancing long-term clean energy solutions to reduce our global carbon footprint.”