Canadian Solar moves away from direct panel sales

14. December 2012 | Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Max Hall

The chief financial officer of Canadian Solar says the panel manufacturer expects to make half of its revenues next year from developing solar farms rather than selling panels.

Canadian Solar photovoltaic park in Germany.

Canadian Solar will move away from selling panels direct to focus on developing and selling photovoltaic farms like this one in Germany.

In an interview with news agency Bloomberg, Michael Potter said the company would follow a growing trend among photovoltaic panel manufacturers of developing and selling solar farms stocked with its panels and would eventually retain some of the farms for their long term revenues.

Canadian Solar, which is headquartered in Ontario but manufactures panels in China, is developing 260 MW of solar farms in the province which it expects to sell for around C$1.3 billion (US$1.3 billion) over the coming 18 months.

And on December 3, the company announced a $139 million loan from Deutsche Bank to build five photovoltaic farms totaling 49 MW, in the province, with TransCanada Corp agreeing to buy them and sell power to Ontario Power Authority under a 20-year PPA.

First Solar, one of the few module manufacturers to register profits in Q2 and Q3 2012, led the move into developing solar farms. It is a trend other panel makers are following after the price of panels slumped over the last two years and is expected to continue falling in the immediate future, according to analysts IHS iSuppli.


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