Arizona — First Solar announced that Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC (GSRP), a private company managed by the Renewable Power Group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM), acquired the 123-megawatt (MW)AC American Kings Solar project in a transaction that closed at the end of June 2020. Located in Kings County, California, the project is backed by a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Southern California Edison and is scheduled to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“We are excited to partner with First Solar and M&T Bank in acquiring the American Kings Solar project. This is a bankable power plant backed by a long-term PPA, that is responsibly developed, and will generate the lowest carbon electricity possible today,” said Greg Roer, vice president, GSAM Renewable Power Group. “We believe that this facility will have a positive impact on the environment and the community by directly displacing carbon emissions. We look forward to adding it to our growing portfolio in the United States.”
The facility will be powered by First Solar’s Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) modules, designed and developed at the Company’s research and development (R&D) centers in California and Ohio. The module sets industry benchmarks for quality, reliability, design, and environmental performance. With a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods, Series 6 delivers a superior environmental profile and the lowest carbon solar electricity available today.
“GSRP and First Solar share a common vision for a future powered by sustainable energy, and a commitment to achieving this by establishing and upholding some of the highest environmental stewardship standards in the industry. We thank GSRP for its trust and for recognizing the value of adding a First Solar-developed project to its portfolio,” said Richard Romero, vice president, Project Finance and Treasury, First Solar. “As America’s solar company, we’re proud that this project will support California’s efforts to decarbonize its electricity with technology developed in the state.”
“Partnering with GSRP on its acquisition of the American Kings solar project represents M&T’s ongoing commitment to the renewable energy sector,” said Eric Heintz, director of Energy Finance at M&T Bank, which will provide the tax equity financing for the project. “GSRP is a strong team well-positioned to move the American Kings initiative forward and bring us all closer to our shared goal of a clean energy future.”
Once operational, American Kings will displace 78,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent annually, which is equivalent to taking 15,000 cars off the road every year and saving 79 million liters of water annually, based on California averages. The air quality benefits of the project will amount to more than $12 million in avoided healthcare costs annually.
First Solar celebrated two decades since its founding in 1999, and has shipped over 25GWDC of PV modules to over 45 countries around the world, making it the only American solar module manufacturing company to achieve this milestone. With 1.9GWDC of annualized manufacturing capacity in Ohio, First Solar is the Western Hemisphere’s largest solar manufacturer. The Company also operates manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Malaysia, with a global annualized Series 6 manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWDC.