Longroad Energy Acquires First Solar’s Little Bear Solar Portfolio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 2, 2020

MCE Press Contact:
Jenna Famular, Communications Manager
(925) 378-6747 | jfamular@mcecleanenergy.org

TEMPE, Ariz. and SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — US-headquartered First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced today that Longroad Energy is the acquirer of four solar projects with a combined capacity of 160-megawatts (MW)AC. Longroad Energy is a US-based renewable energy developer, owner, and operator, with a multi-gigawatt portfolio of wind and solar projects across the United States. First Solar had previously disclosed the transaction without identifying the acquirer.

Backed by a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) MCE, the Little Bear Solar portfolio of projects is located in Fresno County, California. The projects, which range from 20MWAC to 50MWAC and are expected to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, are designed to have a low impact on local land and water resources, and the environment.

“We are pleased to be working with First Solar to deliver reliable, cleaner solar electricity to communities across the Bay area. MCE’s customers have made the important choice to consume carbon-free electricity, and it is only fitting that these projects will be powered by lowest carbon solar modules available today,” said Michael Alvarez, COO of Longroad Energy. “Responsibly developed, backed by long-term PPAs and powered by innovative solar technology designed in America, these projects are welcome additions to our growing portfolio in the United States.”

The project will generate both direct and indirect benefits for Fresno County. It is expected to generate an estimated $2 million in sales taxes for the County, as well as over $800,000 in property taxes over the first decade of operation. In addition to creating approximately 500 union jobs during the construction of the facility, Little Bear Solar is also expected to benefit local businesses.

“MCE is excited to partner with Longroad Energy and First Solar to offer our customers 160 megawatts of new California solar energy built with union labor,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “Projects like the Little Bear Solar portfolio help MCE meet our mission of reducing energy related greenhouse gas emissions while bolstering the California economy.”

The projects will be powered by First Solar’s Series 6 module technology. Designed and developed at the Company’s research and development centers in California and Ohio, and produced in just 3.5 hours using sophisticated, fully-integrated manufacturing processes, each large-format Series 6 module leverages First Solar’s proprietary thin film technology. With a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than crystalline silicon PV panels that are manufactured using conventional, energy-intensive production methods, Series 6 delivers a superior environmental profile and cleaner solar electricity.

“CCAs are playing a growing role in the democratization and decarbonization of California’s electricity, and we could not have asked for a better partner than Longroad Energy to deliver on our first deal in this important segment,” said Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer, First Solar. “With demand being driven primarily by environmentally-conscious consumers, we see a tremendous opportunity to support the growth of this segment with our portfolio of responsibly developed projects, powered by the world’s lowest carbon solar module technology.”

Read First Solar’s press release here.

Photo courtesy of First Solar

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