Canadian Solar and GCL-Poly announce joint venture in China

Canadian-Chinese solar company Canadian Solar has announced today plans to collaborate with polysilicon and wafer giant GCL-Poly on the construction of a crystalline silicon solar cell manufacturing facility.

The factory will be located in Funing, Jiangsu Province, China, and will be the first project the two solar heavyweights have collaborated on, with Canadian Solar owning 80% and GCL-Poly the remaining 20%.

The first phase of the facility will have an annual production capacity of 300 MW, and Canadian Solar hopes to achieve multi-crystalline cell conversion efficiencies of 19% at the plant by the end of the year. Once fully built, the new site will be able to produce 1.2 GW of solar cells annually. However, Canadian Solar will not make a final decision on building out the plant’s full capacity potential until future market conditions are fully assessed.

In the first instance, the fab will have a 60 MW production capacity, while completion of the first 300 MW phase will increase the company’s annual cell manufacturing capacity to 1.56 GW.

"We are delighted to enter this joint venture agreement with GCL-Poly, the world’s largest wafer producer, on this solar cell factory in China," said Canadian Solar chairman and CEO, Shawn Qu. "We believe we are at the very early stages of solar energy adoption around the world, and we continue to see solid market demand for our products."

GCL-Poly chairman Gongshan Zhu added that by leveraging the competitive advantages of both companies, the overall goal to manufacture top quality solar cells at industry-leading costs structures was made more achievable.