Canadian Solar purchases 200 MW of projects from SkyPower

In the current environment of intense photovoltaic module price competition, manufacturers continue to enter into deals to provide safe harbor for their modules through downstream integration. In the latest deal of this nature, Canadian Solar has purchased 16 solar projects, which have 20-year PPAs with the Ontario Power Authority. The projects, which were issued to SkyPower under Ontario’s FIT program and Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, are in the permitting stage and construction is set to begin in 2013. The plans are for the projects to be operational by 2014.

Canadian Solar has paid US$181 million for the projects, with a US$68 million partial payment having already been made. 9.9 percent of Canadian Solar’s stock will also go to SkyPower in the deal, at an exercise price of US$5 per share.

The JV formed between Canadian Solar and SkyPower will go by the name of CSI SkyPower and will develop projects in Africa, the Middle East and South America. In these markets, the companies believe, solar power is becoming a competitive power source.

In a statement announcing the purchase deal and JV, Canadian Solar’s Chairman and CEO Shawn Qu said that they deliver, "Margin stability and business visibility" for the manufacturer. "By aligning two of the solar industry’s most powerful companies we will be able to move projects forward faster and more efficiently, thereby directly helping the countries we have a presence in by providing cleaner, sustainable energy and through the creation of jobs."