First Solar Rises After Antelope Permit Issue Is Resolved

First Solar Inc. (FSLR), the biggest maker of thin-film solar panels, climbed the most in three weeks after resolving a Los Angeles County permitting issue for a $1.36 billion power project, paving the way for financing to resume.

First Solar rose 7.3 percent to $42.59 at the close in New York, the biggest gain since Jan. 27. Shares of the Tempe, Arizona-based company have gained 26 percent this year.

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 Feb. 9 filing.

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

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

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