First Solar to acquire Skytron-energy

First Solar has entered into an agreement to acquire Skytron-energy, a strategic move to increase its share of Europe’s utility-scale solar PV plant management and services sector.

Financial terms of the upcoming transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to consent by the German merger control authorities, or Bundeskartellamt.

Currently, Skytron has installed monitoring and control systems in more than 600 plants across Europe with a total peak capacity of 5GW, more than doubling First Solar’s global portfolio of monitored assets.

Citing a GTM Research report, First Solar’s vice president of Operations and Maintenance Bob Callery says the solar O&M market size in Europe was 25GW in 2013, and is projected to grow to 35GW by 2017.

Skytron grew its monitored fleet by 37% in 2013, while First Solar grew its global monitored fleet by 176% in that same period. “There is clearly an opportunity for skytron and First Solar to provide innovative, reliable solutions and expertise to power plant owners,” Callery says.

He adds that the proposed acquisition supports First Solar’s initiative to provide full, end-to-end energy solutions that vertically integrate solar services and solutions.

Skytron will operate as a subsidiary of First Solar, and will maintain its own brand identity, which has recognized value in its various markets. “Skytron-energy employees will remain with the organization,” says Callery, “and operations will continue without disruption.”

Skytron is a subsidiary of AEG Power Solutions and based in Berlin.

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