Solar M&A Today

Lots of news on the solar beat today.

OptiSolar of Hayward was last in the news when it laid off half of its 600-person staff in January. Today, the company’s portfolio of solar projects, including a 550MW deal with PG&E, was scooped up by First Solar, the aggressive thin-film PV company based in Arizona.

That $400-million deal could mean 400 new green-collar jobs.

Gov. Schwarzenegger, who like other politicians is watching many things fall apart, economic-wise, was happy with the news.

“The Governor is pleased that First Solar has committed to making such a huge investment in California’s renewable energy projects. This type of utility-scale solar electric power is an example of the kinds of technologies that we need to meet our long-term energy and climate change goals while creating new jobs,” said Lisa Page, his chief deputy press secretary.

Meanwhile, a few hours earlier, San Francisco’s MMA Renewable Ventures, the financing firm that put together SunPower’s huge solar array at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, was acquired by Fotowatio, a Spanish solar developer.  That value of that deal — which includes 35MW worth of projects plus several hundred more in the pipeline —  was just under $20 million.


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