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IQE

3 June 2014

First Solar to acquire technology provider skytron-energy from AEG

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA – which makes thin-film photovoltaic modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) services – has agreed to acquire skytron-energy GmbH of Berlin, Germany, 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. To date, skytron has installed monitoring and control systems in more than 600 plants across Europe with a total peak capacity of 5GWp, more than doubling First Solar's global portfolio of monitored assets. The acquisition is subject to consent by the German merger control authorities (Bundeskartellamt).

The acquisition supports First Solar’s initiative to provide full, end-to-end energy solutions that vertically integrate solar services and solutions. It broadens its 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,” comments Bob Callery, First Solar’s VP 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,” he adds.

“Joining First Solar assures that skytron will continue to provide customers leading-edge monitoring, supervision and plant control solution systems,” says Jeffrey Casper, chief restructuring officer of AEG Power Solutions and member of the board of directors. “skytron benefits from the reach of First Solar’s powerful sales and service network, as well as its installed base.”

The O&M market in Europe is projected to grow from 25GW in 2013 to 35GW by 2017, says Callery, citing a GTM Research report. skytron grew its monitored fleet by 37% in 2013 while First Solar grew its global monitored fleet by 176%. “There is clearly an opportunity for skytron and First Solar to provide innovative, reliable solutions and expertise to power plant owners,” Callery adds.

According to Callery, skytron will operate as a subsidiary of First Solar, and will maintain its own brand identity. “skytron-energy employees will remain with the organization, and operations will continue without disruption,” he adds.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.skytron-energy.com

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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