First Solar Secures $1 Billion Revolving Credit and Guarantee Facility
The funding will allow the module manufacturer to bankroll its expansion
U.S.-based solar modules manufacturer First Solar has secured a five-year revolving credit and guarantee facility worth $1 billion. The facility includes up to $250 million for issuing letters of credit.
The revolving credit facility is expected to provide the company with the necessary financial leeway and flexibility while balancing its ability to grow in response to the demand for its technology.
First Solar intends to add approximately 8 GW of new capacity between the second half of 2023 and 2026. By then, it expects a global manufacturing footprint exceeding 20 GW. The company is scheduled to commission a new 3.4 GW manufacturing facility in India in the latter half of this year, followed by a new 3.5 GW factory in Alabama in late 2024.
Additionally, they plan to expand their existing footprint in Ohio by 900 MW by 2026. First Solar is also investing up to $370 million in constructing a new research and development center in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is likely to be operational in 2024.
Mark Widmar, the CEO of First Solar, emphasized that this agreement demonstrates the company’s bankability and is supported by the strong fundamentals driving their business. He stated that First Solar aims to end the decade in a stronger position than it began, and maintaining liquidity is crucial in achieving that goal.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. acted as Lead Arranger and is the Administrative Agent for the facility. Other banks participating in this arrangement include Bank of America, Citibank, Credit Agricole CIB, and PNC Bank as Joint Lead Arrangers, along with BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank USA, MUFG Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Truist Bank as participating lenders.
In May 2023, First Solar acquired Evolar AB, a Sweden-based company focused on perovskite technology, for an initial payment of around $38 million. There is an agreement for potential additional payment of up to $42 million based on future technical milestones.
The company earlier announced an investment of $1.2 billion to scale the production of American-made, responsibly-produced solar modules totaling 4.4 GW to support the country’s transition to decarbonization until 2025.