Morning brief: First Solar settles $350M suit, assembly begins on Assembly Solar

First Solar photovoltaic modules

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First Solar has agreed to pay $350M to settle a 2012 shareholder lawsuit accusing it of inflating its stock price by concealing design defects and reporting misleading financials for nearly four years. The class action settlement averts a scheduled Jan. 7 trial and requires approval by the U.S. District Judge in Phoenix. Shareholders led by U.K. pension funds Mineworkers Pension Scheme and British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme sued over six price declines in FSLR shares during 2008-12, a period in which the company’s stock price fell nearly 90%. First Solar said it did not admit liability or wrongdoing in agreeing to settle, and expects the settlement to be reflected in results for its fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2019.” Source: Reuters

Assembly begins on Assembly Solar Project: Ground has broken on Michigan’s largest solar project, the $250 million Assembly Solar Project in Hazelton and Venice townships. The project is reported to be in the 240 MW range and will generate a $3.2 million increase in household earnings through the creation of more than 300 jobs. “Electricity generated by the 1,200 acres of solar panels will go the power grid. The Lansing Board of Water & Light is participating in the project to provide its customers with 30 percent clean energy by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030.” Source: Ranger Power

SunPower appoints CFO to manufacturing spin-off Maxeon: “SunPower announced that Joanne Solomon has been named Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Maxeon Solar Technologies, the planned spin-off from SunPower… Solomon joined the company on Jan. 6, 2020 and in her role, she’ll lead Maxeon Solar’s global finance, planning, accounting and information technology organizations. She will work closely with SunPower CFO Manavendra Sial throughout the transition to Maxeon Solar splitting off. Solomon most recently served since 2017 as CFO for Katerra Inc. Prior to this, she worked for 16 years at Amkor Technology, Inc., one of the world’s largest providers of semiconductor packaging and test services, in various roles, including CFO. Solomon began her career at Price Waterhouse.” Source: SunPower

Canadian Solar increases board size, adds member: “Canadian Solar today announced that it has increased the size of its Board of Directors from five to six directors and appointed Lauren C. Templeton as an independent director, increasing the number of independent directors to five. The Company also announced that it has appointed Karl E. Olsoni as a strategic advisor to its Board of Directors. Both appointments are effective January 1, 2020. The appointments follow a search process conducted as part of Canadian Solar’s ongoing focus on shareholder value creation and Board composition and diversity.” Source: Canadian Solar

Lakehurst Solar Project moves from Starwood and Energy Management to Con Edison: The 14 MWdc Lakehurst Solar Project is under new management, as Starwood Energy Group Global and Energy Management, Inc. have closed on the sale of the project to Consolidated Edison Development, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison. The project is currently under construction at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst  in central New Jersey. Source: Starwood Energy