Canadian Solar wins largest public sector solar procurement bid in Canada this year

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Canadian Solar Inc. won three solar power contracts with Alberta’s Ministry of Infrastructure, for a total of 94 megawatts (MWp) of solar power system in southeast Alberta, with an average contracted PPA price of $48.05 (Canadian dollars) per megawatt-hour. When in operation, these solar plants will provide 55 percent of the electricity needs for Alberta provincial government. This is likely the largest public sector solar energy procurement contract in Canada in 2019.

“We see great potential in the Alberta solar market, and we’re pleased to supply subsidy-free solar power to meet Alberta’s clean energy needs. We hope these 94 MWp solar project contracts serve as a catalyst for solar industry growth in Canada, specifically in Alberta.” said Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “We are delighted to partner with Conklin Métis Local 193, the indigenous community, who owns a 50-percent equity stake in the Hays, Jenner and Tilley solar projects.”

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In the fall of 2018, Canadian Solar entered into a 50-percent equity partnership with Conklin Métis Local 193 on the three projects. The Conklin Métis are an indigenous community based in the rural hamlet of Conklin, part of the Athabasca Oil Sands region in eastern Alberta.

The three projects in the contracts are the Jenner, Tilley, and Hays solar projects. Once completed in early 2021, these solar plants are expected to generate enough power for more than 20,000 homes. During the construction of the three solar projects, an estimated 270 jobs will be created in Alberta.

All three projects are expected to use bifacial solar panels, which generate up to 20 percent more energy than standard solar modules due to their ability to produce electricity from both their front and back sides. These modules are particularly well-suited to snowy climates like Alberta in the winter, as snow will increase reflection of sunlight.

— Solar Builder magazine

Canadian Solar’s new BiHiKu module is a 400+ watt bifacial PV module

Canadian Solar BiHiKu

Canadian Solar is unveiling a new module at Solar Power International (booth 1604) that combines three innovative solar PV technologies in one new 400+ Watt module: the latest black silicon, poly PERC, and bifacial cell technologies. Called BiHiKu, this new poly solar module generates 400 Watts or more on the front, plus up to 30 percent additional power generation from the back side, increasing system yield and reducing the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE). The company believes that BiHiKu is the first poly bifacial module exceeding 400+ Watt nominal front side power.

BiHiKu is perfect for large commercial or utility-scale solar installations, particularly where a high reflection ground or surface under the module creates high albedo, contributing to high back side yield. The product will be available in 2019 and pre-production orders are being accepted now.

“As Canadian Solar continues on the forefront of solar module innovation, we are proud to introduce BiHiKu as the next step in maximizing the lifetime value of your solar assets.” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “Solar systems using BiHiKu will be able to break away from the pack and score high on low LCOE, making many seemingly impossible low PPA solar projects possible.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Canadian Solar sells three SoCal solar projects (235 MW) to Korean electric utility

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Canadian Solar’s wholly owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy finalized the sale of three Southern California solar projects totaling 235 MWac to The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), South Korea’s largest electric utility with an installed capacity of 79 GW. The acquired assets are located in the Astoria (100 MWac), Astoria 2 (75 MWac), and Barren Ridge (60 MWac) projects located in southern California.

This transaction marks KEPCO’s largest investment in the U.S. solar market. KEPCO partnered with the Corporate Partnership Fund, a Korean private equity fund also known as COPA Fund, to make the acquisition.

“These high-quality solar assets are a strategic addition to our renewable energy holdings and will allow us to further diversify our generation portfolio,” said Mr. Bong-soo Ha, executive vice president and chief global business officer, KEPCO. “We expect further cooperation with Canadian Solar and are also pleased to be working with an industry-leading developer like Recurrent Energy as we grow our presence in the attractive U.S. solar market.”

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Recurrent Energy developed the three projects, all of which reached commercial operation in 2016 and have long-term power purchase agreements. Recurrent Energy will continue to provide asset management services to support the projects as KEPCO transitions into its ownership role. Additional details on the three projects are available at recurrentenergy.com/portfolio.

“Traditional investors increasingly view utility-scale solar as a strategic investment, and this transaction with a global energy leader highlights that trend,” said Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “The Recurrent Energy team continues to create value through deals with world-class investors that monetize our quality U.S. solar project assets.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Southern Power acquires 20 MW Gaskell West 1 Solar Facility

Southern Power Company

Southern Power, the wholesale subsidiary of Southern Company, has acquired the 20 MWac/28 MWp Gaskell West 1 Solar Facility, located in southern California in Kern County, via Recurrent Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc.

“We are pleased to partner with an energy industry leader like Southern Power on this transaction,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “Recurrent Energy’s growing portfolio of U.S. solar assets continues to create value for our customers and shareholders.”

The Gaskell West 1 Solar Facility is expected to reach commercial operation in spring of 2018 and has a long-term power purchase agreement with Southern California Edison. The project represents Southern Power and Recurrent Energy’s fourth transaction.

This project uses Canadian Solar’s MaxPower 1500-volt polycrystalline CS6U-P modules, which deliver excellent module efficiency and performance in a variety of conditions. The project is currently under construction and is expected to create over 200 peak construction jobs.

— Solar Builder magazine

Fifth largest public transit system in the country signs 45-MW power purchase agreement

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Recurrent Energy LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, signed a 20-year power purchase agreement  for 45 MWac of solar power with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the fifth largest public transit network in the country and one of the largest consumers of electric power in Northern California. The BART Board of Directors approved the PPA on December 7, 2017.

This contract, BART’s first-ever PPA for utility-scale solar power, resulted from a renewable energy procurement process that BART launched in May 2017 as part of the organization’s Wholesale Electricity Portfolio Policy. The Policy requires 100 percent of BART’s power to come from renewable resources by 2045 while maintaining low and stable BART operating costs.

“Utility-scale solar power is a vital part of cost-effectively meeting our sustainability commitments,” said BART Sustainability Director Holly Gordon. “It is very important to us to work with an experienced development partner like Recurrent Energy who will help us achieve our goals.”

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Power will be supplied to BART from Recurrent Energy’s 45 MWac Gaskell West 2 solar photovoltaic project located in southern California. The project is scheduled to reach commercial operation in 2020.

“Solar power is a perfect match for BART’s commitment to using cost-effective and clean energy,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar. “We are proud to support BART’s progress towards 100 percent renewable energy while also diversifying Recurrent Energy’s customer base.”

BART is the first U.S. metro-rail entity to sign a utility-scale solar PPA this year.

 

— Solar Builder magazine