Canadian Solar invests in 122 MW North American PV pipeline

In a statement released, Canadian Solar said the news represents its "acquisition of, or joint venture in" the utility-scale project pipeline. No financial details were disclosed. The company did say that a total of 11 plants, ranging from two to 29 MW in size, will be brought online in the U.S. by 2014. Construction on them is scheduled to begin this year.

The company said it expects the projects to represent the "first of many", as it adjusts its business strategy to include project development, in addition to module manufacturing. In March, a spokesperson for the company told pv magazine that due to falling costs, it is no longer profitable to just sell modules. Therefore, the company is pursuing the downstream strategy of installing projects.

Reconfirming this, the company said in today’s statement that this expansion will allow for continued growth "at a time when many other solar companies are being forced to cut back". It added that it expects its new project business to comprise 25 percent of its total revenue in 2012, compared to 10 percent in 2011.

The company’s U.S. Projects Team has spearheaded the latest project development. The team is also working in the Canadian market on a 340 MW photovoltaic pipeline. To date, it said, it has successfully delivered turnkey EPC services to three projects in this pipeline.

CEO Shawn Qu stated, "The investment we have made in starting the new U.S. Projects Team signifies our continued commitment to the U.S. market. The team’s extensive solar experience enabled us to hit the ground running, with 11 projects in less than six months and the ability to now further grow our business in the U.S. market."