Canadian Solar Ends Year With Rush Of Financing & Sales

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Canadian Solar has finished the year with a run of financing acquisitions and the sale of the Illumination Solar Power Plant.

The Canadian-based solar PV manufacturer has announced four separate pieces of news which has, over the space of the last three days — and in combination with the Paris climate agreement and recent US policy movements —  seen its stock price climb 20% to hover around the $27 mark.

Canadian Solar-2Following the late-November announcement that Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy had signed a 157 MW agreement with Southern Company’s own subsidiary Southern Power for a Texas solar project, Canadian Solar followed up with four more announcements, the first being the finalization of a £19.2 million ($29 million) term loan from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for the construction of seven solar power projects with a total installed capacity of 38 MW in the UK.

“We are pleased to announce the term loan facility with RBS that will support the construction of seven solar systems and expand our fleet of solar plants in the UK by 38 MWp, to 78 MWp,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “We are also pleased with the execution of our Energy business plan across all of our key markets as we continue to successfully develop, finance and build high quality solar energy assets in low risk geographies.”

A day later, Canadian Solar secured another finance agreement, this time from Deutsche Bank AG, Tokyo Branch, for the amount of ¥12 billion ($97.2 million), in a senior non-recourse project finance credit facility for the construction of the 48 MW Kumamoto Mashiki solar power plant in Japan, which is expected to reach commercial operation some time in 2017, and provide electricity to the Kyushu Electric Power company under a 20-year feed-in tariff contract.

“We are pleased to announce another project construction credit facility with Deutsche Bank that allows us to continue the development of our pipeline of quality solar projects in low risk geographies that we expect will create lasting value for our shareholders,” said Dr. Shawn Qu. “We are also pleased that our efforts in Japan are gaining traction, our pipeline is maturing, and the construction of several valuable projects is ramping up, which positions us well to deliver solid results in the quarters ahead.”

Fast-forward a week and Canadian Solar secured an additional $80 million term loan under a previously-announced two-year senior secured term loan arranged by Credit Suisse AG, Singapore Branch, bringing the total facility up to $180 million.

“We are pleased with the positive outcome of this transaction and we appreciate the confidence of the lenders in our business,” said Dr. Shawn Qu. “The buildout of our high value solar project pipeline in the U.S. as well as other markets is proceeding according to plan, positioning us well to create lasting value for our shareholders in the quarters ahead.”

Finally, on the same day, Canadian Solar announced that it had completed the sale of the 10 MW Illumination solar power plant located in Scugog, Ontario, Canada. The project consists of approximately 47,448 Canadian Solar PV modules, and is valued at CAD$65.9 million ($48.4 million).

“We are pleased to announce the sale of Illumination LP to DIF. This marks the third transaction closed between Canadian Solar and DIF, and we thank them for their continued partnership,” said Dr. Shawn Qu.

The Illumination solar power plant will generate an estimated 17,892 MW per year, and 344,697 MWh over 20 years, while displacing approximately 237,686 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over the system’s 20 year lifespan.

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Joshua S Hill

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