|By Business Wire||
|June 3, 2014 03:06 AM EDT||
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire skytron-energy, a subsidiary of AEG Power Solutions, which provides utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) power plant management systems, Operations and Maintenance (O&M) services, data monitoring technology, and equipment to solar power plants throughout Europe. Currently, skytron has installed monitoring and control systems in more than 600 plants across Europe with a total peak capacity of 5 gigawatts (GWp), more than doubling First Solar’s global portfolio of monitored assets. The acquisition is subject to consent by the German merger control authorities (“Bundeskartellamt”). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition supports First Solar’s initiative to provide full, end-to-end energy solutions that vertically integrate solar services and solutions. It broadens First Solar’s portfolio of energy assets operated and maintained by the company and establishes a strategic opportunity to offer additional value-added services to both existing and new customers in Europe.
“skytron has a high quality, operations-based foundation and a strong portfolio of valued customers,” said Bob Callery, First Solar’s Vice President of Operations and Maintenance. “They bring considerable strategic value to our global O&M offering, as well as a pathway to expand our services across the entire solar value chain. Our combined expertise enables power plants to operate with the reliability of conventional generation resources, further establishing solar as a given part of the global energy mix.”
“This is a very positive move for skytron-energy,” said Jeffrey Casper, Chief Restructuring Officer of AEG Power Solutions and member of the board of directors. “Joining First Solar assures that skytron will continue to provide customers leading-edge monitoring, supervision and plant control solution systems. skytron benefits from the reach of First Solar’s powerful sales and service network, as well as its installed base. This deal opens a wealth of prospective growth and development for all parties.”
Citing a GTM Research report, Callery said the O&M market size in Europe was 25 gigawatts (GW) in 2013, and is projected to grow to 35GW by 2017. skytron grew its monitored fleet by 37 percent in 2013, and First Solar grew its global monitored fleet by 176 percent in that same period. “There is clearly an opportunity for skytron and First Solar to provide innovative, reliable solutions and expertise to power plant owners,” Callery added.
According to Callery, skytron will operate as a subsidiary of First Solar, and will maintain its own brand identity, which has recognized value in its various markets. “skytron-energy employees will remain with the organization,” he said, “and operations will continue without disruption.”
skytron-energy has been developing integrated monitoring, control and supervision systems since 1977. Now one of the leading suppliers in the industry, specializing in utility-scale and commercial power plants, it has installed monitoring and control systems in more than 600 plants with a total capacity of 5 GWp. The company’s core competencies are plant condition monitoring, power plant control, remote plant supervision, system migration of existing power plants, operation & maintenance, and PV asset management. Skytron energy is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. As a technology leader, Skytron energy has received a number of prestigious awards, such as the highly coveted InterSolar Award for the “PVGuard” Supervision Platform and for the “StringGuard” string current measurement system
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
For First Solar Investors
This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements, among other things, concerning: our business strategy, including anticipated trends and developments in and management plans for our business and the markets in which we operate; future financial results, operating results, revenues, gross margin, operating expenses, products, projected costs, warranties, solar module efficiency and balance of systems ("BoS") cost reduction roadmaps, restructuring, product reliability and capital expenditures; our ability to continue to reduce the cost per watt of our solar modules; our ability to reduce the costs to construct photovoltaic ("PV") solar power systems; research and development programs and our ability to improve the conversion efficiency of our solar modules; sales and marketing initiatives; and competition. These forward-looking statements are often characterized by the use of words such as "estimate," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "plan," "intend," "believe," "forecast," "foresee," "likely," "may," "should," "goal," "target," "might," "will," "could," "predict," "continue" and the negative or plural of these words and other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and our projections about future events. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements for any reason. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the matters discussed in Item 1A: "Risk Factors," of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and other reports filed with the SEC.
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