SunPower acquires 1.5 GW U.S. solar pipeline from Infigen

SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) announced July 27 that it has acquired 1.5 GW of U.S. solar power plant development assets from Australia-based Infigen Energy.

With the acquisition, SunPower has assumed ownership of projects in varying stages of development across 11 states. Included in the development portfolio are three projects totaling 55 MW (ac) with power purchase agreements with Southern California Edison. All three are located in Kern County, Calif. SunPower said it expects to start construction on these projects later this year with commercial operation anticipated in 2016.

“The magnitude of this acquisition speaks to SunPower’s financial strength as well as our expertise and leadership in global power plant development,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and president. “It provides an expanded and geographically diverse portfolio of solar projects in the U.S. that may all be generating cost-effective, emission-free power by the end of this decade.”

“SunPower brings significant experience and proven technology to ultimately transform these development assets into high-performing solar power plant projects, designed to reliably deliver value over the long term,” said David Smith, CEO of Infigen Energy US. “Infigen is pleased to have completed this transaction with SunPower.” 

SunPower said it expects to offer some of the acquired projects for sale to 8point3 Energy Partners LP (Nasdaq: CAFD), the YieldCo joint venture formed by SunPower and First Solar. 

“We expect this acquisition to deliver additional value to our shareholders through long-term power purchase agreements with leading energy buyers, while providing further growth opportunities for SunPower,” said Werner.

Infigen Energy (ASX: IFN) announced July 28 that it has completed the sale of “substantially all” of its U.S. solar development pipeline to SunPower. The net proceeds to Infigen (after tax and transaction costs) will be approximately US$29.5 million. From an accounting perspective, Infigen said it will record a post tax profit on disposal of approximately US$15 million in its FY15 financial statements. The sale terms relating to the U.S. solar development pipeline include an earn-out structure and other conditional payments, pursuant to which Infigen may receive up to an additional US$30 million.

Infigen Energy had announced July 15 that it has agreed to sell its U.S. wind business to Primary Wind Power LLC, a newly-formed portfolio company affiliated with ArcLight Capital Partners LLC, for approximately US$272.5 million. That transaction is the result of a competitive sale process conducted by UBS Investment Bank on behalf of Infigen. Infigen’s U.S. wind business comprises Class B equity interests in 18 US wind farms with a total installed capacity of approximately 1,557 MW, of which Infigen’s Class B equity interests comprise 1,089 MW on an economic interest basis.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.