Bloomberg News

First Solar Climbs After Antelope Project Permit Issue Resolved

February 21, 2012

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- First Solar Inc., the biggest maker of thin-film solar panels, climbed the most in three weeks after it resolved a permitting issue with Los Angeles County for a $1.36 billion power project under construction, paving the way for financing to resume.

First Solar rose 9.7 percent to $43.55 at 9:31 a.m. in New York, the biggest intraday gain since Jan. 27. Shares of the Tempe, Arizona-based panel-maker had increased 18 percent this year through yesterday.

Construction of the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One plant is partially funded by a $646 million U.S. Energy Department loan guarantee. That financing was frozen after county regulators put the project’s permit on hold, the company said in a filing Feb. 9.

Dan Ries, an analyst at Collins Stewart LLC, expects funds from the loan guarantee to begin flowing in coming weeks, he said today in a note to clients.

First Solar sold the 230-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One plant to Exelon Corp. for $75 million in September. The Chicago-based power company said it would invest as much as $713 million into the project.

--Editors: Will Wade, Jasmina Kelemen

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.


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