The San Fernando Valley Business Journal has indicated that First Solar Inc. recently acquired a current project undertaken by Nextlight Renewable Power LLC (a solar module company). First Solar is reported to have acquired the project in a deal worth $285 million. The purchase of NextLight Renewable Power project at 170th West at Ave D near Lancaster, Ca. is the latest by First Solar as part of its strategy to acquire companies with projects already in development.
NextLight’s project AV Solar Ranch One is a 230-megawatt photovoltaic solar panel facility west of Lancaster, which they only recently started in late 2009. This project compliments some existing solar facilities that First Solar has in Riverside County and in Blythe. According to First Solar’s press release the Riverside County project will produce enough power for 160,000 homes.
The Antelope Valley Press reported earlier this year that First Solar Inc. had acquired a couple of solar power projects in their early development by Edison Mission Energy, which is the power generation division of Edison International. These two projects acquired by First Solar are photovoltaic projects one near Lake Los Angeles at 240th East at Ave S and the other near Mojave in Kern County.
According to AVPress, Allison Gatlin’s report "They purchased the entire development pipeline," said Bob Steins, public affairs manager for Edison International. The 150-megawatt Gray Butte plant (240th East at S) is in the permitting process with Los Angeles County. These latest acquisitions are private land purchases on previously farmed land. The company has previously purchased public land under the Bureau of Land Management which has fast tracked the permit process. These two projects in Antelope Valley are only in the planning and permitting stages, so the plants can be built to suit First Solar’ project needs. These solar projects should compliment the landscape of Antelope Valley as they will be situated on Los Angeles County Land outside the city limits of Lancaster and Palmdale, Ca. and primarily be invisible to residents.
These solar companies have bought low priced land at the low end of the market paving the way for reduced prices for other land investors. Land investment has been a great hedge against inflation and over the years has proven to be a fantastic long term investment. Ideal developable parcels have been bought by housing and solar companies leaving great opportunities for IRA investments to buy land near these developments.