Ted Turner's Cleantech Exit: First Solar Buys Turner Renewable Energy

tedturner1.jpgFirst Solar, Inc. (FSLR) the thin film solar company coined by some as the “Google of solar” for its recent meteoric stock rise, announced on Friday that it has acquired Ted Turner’s investment Turner Renewable Energy, for $34.3 million, in a combination of common stock of First Solar and cash.

Damn, the ‘Mouth of the South’ gets a cleantech exit before the majority of other cleantech investors. Media mogul and environmentalist Turner invested “a few million,” (according to a comment he made at the Solar Power 2007 convention) into Branchburg, N.J.-based solar company DT Solar, which then went by DT Solar, a Turner Renewable Energy Company. The acquired company will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of First Solar, and be called First Solar Electric.

At the Solar Power 2007 convention Turner called the business opportunity of energy the greatest “in the history of humanity,” and said “[T]he entire world is going to have to redo its energy regime and solar is going to be a very big part of it.” Turner also suggested then that he’s interested in possibly investing in other solar companies, or at least expanding his current solar business.

Given Turner is often called the largest individual land owner in North America, Kleiner Perkin’s venture capitalist Ray Lane joked at the recent convention, that if Turner placed a few square miles of solar across his New Mexico ranches he could generate 4 GW of power. Or, he could just make more smart solar investments.


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