Profile: Canadian Solar Inc (CSIQ.O)
11 Mar 2014
Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI), incorporated on June 01, 2006, designs, develops, and manufactures solar wafers, cells and solar module products that convert sunlight into electricity for a variety of uses. The Company’s products include a range of solar modules built to general specifications for use in a range of residential, commercial and industrial solar power generation systems. The Company also designs and produces specialty solar modules and products based on its customers' requirements. Specialty solar modules and products consist of customized solar modules that its customers incorporate into their own products, such as building integrated photovoltaic modules (BIPV) modules, and complete specialty products, such as portable solar home systems and solar-powered car battery chargers. In June 2012, it completed the acquisition of a majority interest in 16 solar power plant projects in Ontario, Canada, representing approximately 190 MW direct current (DC) to 200 MW DC, from SkyPower Limited. In August 2012, the Company completed the sale to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners (Stonepeak) of a utility-scale solar power plant. In July 2013, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. closed the sale of Brockville 1, a 10 megawatt AC solar power plant. In October 2013, Canadian Solar Inc announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., completed the sale of two solar power plants, Brockville 2 and Burritts Rapids, totaling 16 megawatt AC to TransCanada Corporation. In October 2013, Canadian Solar Inc announced that BlackRock acquired from Canadian Solar two utility-scale solar power plants totaling 20MW (AC). In December 2013, the Company’s subsidiary, CSI Holdco LLC sold two utility-scale solar power plants totaling 4.4 mega watts DC to Public Service Enterprise Group Inc subsidiary, PSEG Solar Source.
The Company sells its products under its Canadian Solar brand name and to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers under their brand names. In addition, the Company also sells total solar power system kits for residential applications, and build-to-order solar systems for commercial and solar power plants for utility-scale applications. It sells its products to a diverse customer base in various markets worldwide, including Germany, Spain, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, the United States, Canada, China, Japan and India. The Company sells its standard solar modules to distributors and system integrators, as well as to solar project developers. The Company sells its solar power system kits to distributors and installers, and it sells its commercial system and utility-scale power plants to independent power producers and investors. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 2.4 gigawatts (GW) of total annual solar module manufacturing capacity, 330 megawatts (MW) of which is located in Ontario, Canada with the balance located in China; 1.6 GW of total annual solar cell manufacturing capacity in China; and 1.6 GW of total annual solar cell manufacturing capacity in China; and 216 MW of total annual ingot and wafer manufacturing capacity in China.
Standard Solar Modules
The Company’s standard solar modules are arrays of interconnected solar cells encapsulated in weatherproof frames. The Company provides a variety of standard solar modules, ranging from 0.2 watt to in excess of 300 watt in power and using multi-crystalline or mono-crystalline cells in several different formats, small modules for specialty products and larger formats for ground-mounted projects. The Company designs its standard solar modules to be durable under harsh weather conditions and easy to transport and install. The Company sells its standard solar modules under its brand name and to OEM customers under their brand names.
Specialty Solar Modules and Products
The Company is developing its building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV), product line. Its BIPV products have various advantages over standard solar modules, including improved aesthetics, direct integration into building structures and the ability to be used in a range of applications, including residential and commercial roofing and architectural glazing. The Company used its BIPV products and systems in its BIPV solar glass roofing system project in Luoyang and it supplied BIPV products and systems for facilities at the Beijing Olympic Games.
The Company has four solar cell production lines, and its total annual solar cell nameplate production capacity reached 1.6 gigawatts by December 31, 2012. The Company makes its solar cells from both mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline silicon wafers through multiple manufacturing steps, including surface texturization, diffusion, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition and surface metallization. A functional solar cell generates a flow of electricity when exposed to light. The metal on the cell surface collects and carries away the current to the external circuitry.
Solar System Kits
A solar system kit is a ready-to-install package consisting of solar modules produced by the Company and third party supplied components, such as inverters, racking system and other accessories. A typical residential rooftop solar system generates approximately three kilowatts alternating current (AC) output. A commercial rooftop solar system generates between 30 kilowatts to 500 kilowatts AC output. Both are mounted on the rooftop of buildings.
Solar Power Development Projects
The Company also develops, builds and sells solar power projects. The Company is also developing single-axis trackers and smaller trackers intended for smaller ground-mounted installations.
Solar System EPC Contracting and Subcontracting
The Company entered into a number of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracting arrangements with solar project development partners in Canada. Under these arrangements, the solar farm project developer owns the project and the Company is contracted to perform the engineering design, procurement and construction work for the project.
Operating and Maintenance Services
The Company provides Operating and Maintenance Services (O&M) services, for solar power plants in commercial operations. Depending on the terms of its O&M service contracts, its O&M services include inspections, repair and replacement of plant equipment, site management and administrative support services.
The Company competes with First Solar, Inc., Sharp Solar Corporation, Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd., Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited and Trina Solar Limited.
Canadian Solar Inc
WEST GUELPH, 545 SPEEDVALE AVENU
ONTARIO ON N1K 1E6