First Solar sells solar project site to Buffett's MidAmerican
First Solar Inc. has found a buyer for the largest of its California solar projects for which it wasn’t able to secure a federal loan guarantee earlier this year.
Financial terms of First Solar’s deal with MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. were not disclosed, but the planned 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm in San Luis Obispo County is valued at more than $2 billion.
The Tempe-based solar manufacturer said MidAmerican, a holding company for energy projects, agreed to buy the project while First Solar (Nasdaq:FSLR) will continue with its design, construction and management.
MidAmerican, a Berkshire Hathaway unit, has focused primarily on wind energy for its renewable segment and is eager to add solar to its portfolio, said Greg Abel, chairman, president and CEO of the company.
“As energy needs continue to increase, the Topaz project will allow MidAmerican to produce renewable energy for thousands of Californians,” Abel said in a prepared statement. “This project also demonstrates that solar energy is a commercially viable technology without the support of governmental loan guarantees and reflects the type of solar and other renewable generation that MidAmerican will continue to seek to add to its unregulated portfolio.”
Construction began on Topaz in November, and it is expected be finished by the end of 2015.
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