“We expect significant growth in the U.S., Uruguay and Chile and continue to build out our existing pipeline in Japan,” said Sanjay Shrestha, chief investment officer of Sky Solar and president of Sky Capital America.
Full-year revenue jumped 39.8% year on year to $65.9 million, as the company increasingly shifted its business model from sale of solar systems to sale of PV-generated electricity. Revenue from electricity sales soared 51.2% on the year to $53.6 million in 2016, with sales of PV systems contributing revenue of just $12.3 million, up 5.2% on the year.
By the end of December, Sky Solar had developed 292.3 MW of solar capacity at 307 sites throughout the world and owned and maintained 159.6 MW, up just 7.5 MW from the third quarter of 2016. It was building 84.5 MW by the end of the year, including a 63.6 MW installation in Uruguay and 20.9 MW array in Japan. It has an additional 172.2 MW of planned capacity immediately set for construction, on top of a 1 GW early-stage pipeline.
The Nasdaq-listed company recorded an operating loss of $7.1 million in the final three months of 2016, from $4.9 million a year earlier. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 13.4% year on year to $13.8 million, with revenue from sales of PV-generated electricity spiking 28.2% to $10.1 million.
Sky Solar primarily attributed the year-on-year jump in quarterly electricity sales to the expansion of its operational project portfolio. However, it said that sales fell 43.6% from $17.9 million in the third quarter of 2016 because it sold off undisclosed PV projects in Canada, in addition to lower solar irradiation in most of the company’s main markets.
Sales of PV systems and other equipment fell 13.9% on the year to $3.7 million in the October-December period, mainly because the company is increasingly shifting its core strategic focus to sales of electricity from its own solar arrays.
Throughout the year, the company ramped up its expansion into North and South American markets, acquiring 22 MW of operational PV assets in the U.S., along with permits to develop 25 MW of capacity. It also sold an undisclosed equity stake in projects in Canada to an unspecified strategic partner.
In the fourth quarter, Sky Solar moved forward on the construction of a 63.6 MW project in Uruguay, mainly by finalizing $82 million of project financing with the International Development Bank. And in Chile, it said it continued to focus on opportunities to build distributed-generation PV projects, but did not elaborate on its plans.
Last August, it signed a tentative deal with Solar Partnership Capital for the sale of 152 MW of operational and non-operational PV capacity in Japan.
In October, it signed a deal to provide up to $50 million of strategic financing to a venture under Capstone Turbine.
And in February of this year, its agreed to sell 23 MW in Greece for $41.9 million.