ECP formed NextLight Renewable Power, LLC in December 2007 to develop, acquire, own, manage and operate utility-scale solar power plants in the western U.S. By the time the company was sold to First Solar, Inc. in July 2010, it had grown to become the largest pure-play utility-scale developer of solar power plants in the U.S.

NextLight was formed in response to the growing demand for utility-scale solar power in California and southwestern U.S. ECP identified a market need for a power development firm that was not pursuing a specific agenda of deploying its own solar technology. NextLight’s development pipeline grew to $5 billion of solar projects, including: three shovel-ready projects with long-term sales agreements totaling 570 MW, five projects in advanced development totaling 750 MW, and site control for another 3,257 MW in early stage development.