First Solar sells off its O&M business to NovaSource


Just before the company’s Q2 2020 earnings call, First Solar announced that it has sold its operations and maintenance (O&M) business for an undisclosed amount to Toronto-based mid-market private equity firm, Clairvest Group, with the business now falling under NovaSource Power Services.

If this news sounds familiar, that’s probably because SunPower did the exact same thing in May.

NovaSource is already an O&M provider in commercial, industrial and utility-scale solar markets. The transaction is part of Clairvest’s continued campaign to build a solar O&M business through a “buy and build” strategy. First Solar noted that Clairvest’s offer was unsolicited.

As far back as Q3 2019, First Solar had begun engaging in a review and evaluation of its O&M business, eventually coming to the conclusion that the business would require more investment, in order to maintain quality, than was deemed prudent.

According to First Solar, “With the transition to to a third-party EPC execution model, the increasing maturity of the U.S. solar O&M market, and our evaluation of strategic options for our U.S. project development business, the strategic thesis behind O&M has changed.”

As for those who worked for First Solar O&M, approximately 220 associates are expected to be transferred with the acquired business.

The closing of the transaction is expected to occur by the end of the year.

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