SkyPower: from creditor protection to global force

Canadian solar developer SkyPower is set to secure contracts for two gigawatt-scale projects within the next two months, according to a report by the Indian Business Standard website.

Wednesday’s article quoted SkyPower CEO Kerry Adler’s claim deals in the Middle East and Africa were imminent with ‘each about as big as the Kenya contract’ recently secured by the Toronto-based developer to build 1 GW of PV projects in the east African country, in a deal reported to be worth $2.2 billion.

No further details of the forthcoming deals were outlined in the report which recounts a turnaround which has seen SkyPower – which reportedly sought protection from creditors in relation to debts of C$214 million ($164 million) in 2009 after the collapse of major shareholder Lehman Brothers a year earlier – put together a huge project pipeline in North America, Asia and Africa.

After being rescued by Los Angeles private equity group CIM, SkyPower sold off stakes in 16 projects – amounting to 200 MW of capacity – to Sino-Canadian rival Canadian Solar for a reported C$185 million ($141 million) before using the money to secure a string of gigawatt-scale development contracts.

A $5 billion, 3 GW, contract in Nigeria last year was followed by a 3 GW deal in Egypt and the Kenya contract, with SkyPower venturing into the mooted 100 GW Indian market with its first 350 MW of projects, including eye-catching cheap solar prices in Telangana and Madhya Pradesh states.

Adler told the Business Standard, SkyPower can develop 7 GW of PV projects by 2020 as part of a long-term 25 GW pipeline that is second only to the 53 GW ambitions of U.S. giant SunEdison.

Adler refused to divulge details of where the financial backing for his company’s mega-pipeline would come from, however, according to Wednesday’s article.