D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has acquired the 100MW Willow Springs Solar Project in Kern County, California, from First Solar, for an undisclosed amount.

First Solar

Image: DESRI acquires the fourth solar plant from First Solar. Photo: Courtesy of Ben Schonewille/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

The Willow Springs Solar Project was developed by First Solar and is currently being constructed. The solar plant is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Electricity generated from the project will be sold to Southern California Edison Company under a long-term power purchase and sale agreement.

DESRI CEO Bryan Martin said: “DESRI is thrilled to close on the acquisition of Willow Springs from First Solar.  This project is a testament to the strong partnership that our firms have built over many years.

“We are looking forward to using First Solar’s leading Series 6 module technology to deliver clean energy to the Kern County community for years to come.”

When the solar plant begins operations, it is expected to generate enough clean and sustainable electricity annually, to be supplied to about 41,000 average Californian homes, while displacing 77,000 metric tons of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. This is equivalent of taking away nearly 15,000 cars off the road.

First Solar chief commercial officer Georges Antoun said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to build on our strong relationship with DESRI as they grow their solar portfolio.

“We are also pleased to play a part in helping enable Southern California Edison deliver clean, renewable energy to their customers.”

Antoun highlighted the importance of the positive business environment provided by Kern County as a factor in realizing the benefits of solar as a fundamental power generation source of the future.

This solar plant is the fourth renewable energy project that was acquired by DESRI from First Solar. Last year, one of DESRI’s affiliates had acquired the 40MW Cuyama Solar Project in Santa Barbara County. In 2016, the 31MW Portal Ridge Solar Project in Los Angeles County and the 11MW Rancho Seco Solar Project in Sacramento County were acquired by DESRI’s affiliate.

With an aggregate capacity of 1.6GW, DESRI’s portfolio of renewable energy projects currently includes 31 wind and solar projects.