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Canadian Solar reiterates guidance for 1.8 – 2GWh of BESS shipments in 2023


Canadian Solar has reiterated guidance that it expects to ship between 1.8GWh and 2GWh of battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment during 2023.

The vertically-integrated solar PV company announced its Q2 2023 financial results for the quarter ending 30 June 2023 last week, revealing net revenues of US$2.4 billion in the period, up 39% quarter-on-quarter.

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As reported by our colleagues over at PV Tech, Canadian Solar lowered its revenue guidance for the year from the US$9 – US$9.5 billion expectation offered in its Q1 results to US$8.5 – US$9 billion, which the company attributed to a rapid decline in the price of solar PV modules.

Meanwhile, in its energy storage business, the company reiterated its guidance, offered in Q1. It signed around US$630 million in new bookings during Q2 for e-Storage, the recently rebranded BESS division of Canadian Solar’s CSI Solar manufacturing subsidiary. 

Those including long-term service agreement (LTSA) contracts for BESS projects, and the company claimed its total e-Storage contracted backlog stood at US$2.4 billion as of the end of the quarter.

CSI Solar/e-Storage launched SolBank, a new 3MWh containerised BESS product towards the end of last year. Prior to that, the firm had been assembling and integrating BESS solutions from third-party providers. It began with 2.5GWh of annual production capacity, but is targeting getting to 10GWh annual capacity by the year’s end.

In 2022, prior to what CEO Dr Shawn Qu called “this year’s transition from white label to own manufactured product” in an earnings call, Canadian Solar shipped 1.79GWh, representing around 6% of total revenues with the solar module business accounting for the rest of CSI Solar’s shipped product volumes.

The company had the slow start to the year it had told the market to expect, owing to this strategy of transition, shipping just 18MWh during Q1 2023. However as the transition from white label completes, storage shipments “will ramp up significantly in the second half of 2023,” Qu said in the call.

Canadian Solar developer arm claims 51.7GWh development pipeline

The rebranding of the turnkey utility-scale storage arm “more clearly articulates our business,” CSI Solar president Yan Zhuang said.

CSI Solar also publicly listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange Power Board during the reported period, raising just under a billion dollars (US$975 million), above the company’s expectations. CEO Qu said the funds would be used to grow both its solar and storage businesses.

Meanwhile, the solar company’s developer arm Recurrent Energy has a claimed battery storage development pipeline of 51.7GWh, with 1.7GWh under construction and the rest in advanced or early-stage development.

Most of the pipeline is either in North America or EMEA, with about 4GWh in advanced development and about 14.7GWh of early-stage developments. As of the end of June, Recurrent Energy didn’t have much in the way of in-construction projects however, with just 24MWh in construction in the Asia-Pacific region excluding China and Japan, and none in construction in North America or EMEA.

Recurrent did deliver the US’ biggest standalone BESS project to be brought online in 2022 however, Crimson Energy Storage in California (350MW/1,400MWh).

About a fortnight ago, the Canadian Solar developer arm announced a tolling agreement with utility APS in Arizona for Papago Storage, a 1,200MWh standalone BESS in the state’s Maricopa County. CSI Solar has since said that it will – or rather that e-Storage will – supply the project’s SolBank BESS solution.

Read all of’ coverage of Canadian Solar.

Our publisher Solar Media is hosting the 10th Solar and Storage Finance USA conference, 7-8 November 2023 at the New Yorker Hotel, New York. Topics ranging from the Inflation Reduction Act to optimising asset revenues, the financing landscape in 2023 and much more will be discussed. See the official site for more details.

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