Canadian Solar enters UK solar market with 46 MW acquisition


Canadian Solar, one of the world’s leading module manufacturers, has announced today it has acquired 46 MW of solar PV projects in its inaugural expansion into the growing U.K. solar market.

The Guelph, Ontario-headquartered solar company has acquired six power projects in total, four of which are currently under construction and will bring 40.5 MW to the U.K. grid once connected next month.

A further two solar projects with a combined capacity of 5.5 MW are scheduled to commence construction by the end of February, with connection due in the second quarter of this year.

"We are delighted to enter the U.K. solar energy market with the acquisition of this portfolio of projects," said Canadian Solar CEO and Chairman Shawn Qu.

"The U.K. is an important and rapidly growing solar market and these transactions provide us with an attractive opportunity to leverage our expertise and balance sheet to redeploy capital to support our growth and create value for our shareholders."

Qu added that the company will continue to evaluate "several opportunities" in the U.K., hinting that Canadian Solar will make further similar announcements in the coming weeks.

Many observers had feared that the U.K.’s soaring solar sector of 2014 could be severely diminished come April 1 when the current Renewable Obligation (RO) scheme for large-scale solar plants is replaced by the less-attractive Contracts for Difference (CfD) program.

However, the industry has been gaining confidence in recent weeks that the solar market in the U.K. is robust and mature enough to thrive without RO subsidies, with a growing emergence of sub-5 MW PV plants, added support for the commercial rooftop sector, and a steady rise in the number of residential rooftop installations and community-backed schemes.