Canadian Solar nails $149m loan for 53 MW in Japan

The Chinese Tier 1 solar supplier and developer started building the PV array in November on the island of Kyushu, in Hiji, Oita prefecture. The project will include roughly 160,000 of its CS6U MaxPower solar panels upon completion in May 2019. The group will sell the electricity to regional utility, Kyushu Electric Power at a feed-in-tariff of JPY 40/kWh over a period of 20 years, according to an online statement.

The non-recourse project finance loan from Shinsei Bank is the biggest such facility that Canadian Solar has secured in Japan. It has a tenor of 18.5 years and debt repayment flexibility in 2019, which will set the stage for the group to potentially sell the installation to Tokyo-listed Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund.

Canadian Solar has obtained a total of JPY 65 billion of project financing over the last three years, according to Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.

In January, group unit Canadian Solar Asset Management purchased an unspecified amount of utility-scale PV capacity at two sites in Japan for JPY 992 million. The installations — which are located in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture, and Tsuyama, Okayama prefecture — will be operated by the group’s O&M unit.

Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund, which invests in projects via Canadian Solar Asset Management, secured a JPY 900 million loan to finance the deal.

The group also bought a 51% stake in five large-scale PV projects from Photon Energy in Australia in January. The installations are all located in the state of New South Wales. And in February, it sold a 142 MWp solar portfolio spanning multiple sites in the U.K. to a subsidiary of Greencoat Capital LLP.

Canadian Solar recently lowered its revenue guidance for the fourth quarter of 2017 to between $1.04 billion and $1.08 billion, due to the delayed sale of 703 MWp of operational PV capacity in California. It had initially aimed to finalize the transaction by the end of 2017. It expects its full-year PV module shipments to range from 6.8 GW to 6.9 GW.