First Solar, Inc. announced today that it, working together with its financial and legal advisors, is reviewing alternatives for the sale of its interests in 8point3 Energy Partners. First Solar will coordinate this review with its partner SunPower.
In recent months, First Solar has taken actions to strategically align the company’s resources and capital in support of its transition to its new Series 6 product offering.
As a continuation of these efforts, First Solar is exploring options for the sale of its interests in 8point3 in order to refocus resources on Series 6 objectives and allow for faster recycling of systems business capital. This capital would support the planned transition to Series 6 production and provide additional funding for the expected deployment of multiple gigawatts of Series 6 capacity over the next several years. First Solar intends to accelerate the return of capital from its systems business by selling projects earlier in the construction phase. This includes the California Flats and Cuyama projects, which have been formally offered to 8point3. If 8point3 is unable to acquire these projects, First Solar expects to sell these projects to third parties.
“We remain committed to developing, constructing and selling utility-scale solar power plants,” said Mark Widmar, CEO of First Solar. “Series 6 has the potential to be a transformational product and provide attractive returns to our shareholders. As we accelerate the cash conversion cycle from our systems business, we will further enable this important transition in our business. We want to thank SunPower for their partnership in forming 8point3, which has a portfolio of high quality solar assets and proven operating performance. We look forward to working cooperatively with them through this process.”
The consideration of a potential sale of its interests in 8point3 by First Solar is at a preliminary stage and may not result in any transaction being proposed or, even if proposed, consummated. First Solar does not intend to disclose further developments with respect to this evaluation process except to the extent a specific course of action is approved, the process is concluded or it is required by law or otherwise deemed appropriate. The First Solar-appointed directors and officers of the general partner of 8point3 Energy Partners LP remain committed to prudently managing 8point3 throughout this evaluation process.
(Photo from: First Solar Shams Ma'an Solar Plant)