Canadian Solar’s project development arm has 27GWh pipeline of BESS

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Canadian Solar has said its project development arm has a pipeline of more than 27GWh of battery storage projects, while its system integrator business has a pipeline exceeding 4GWh.

The vertically integrated solar PV company announced its latest quarterly financial results last week. Our colleagues at PV Tech reported on 24 May that Canadian Solar unveiled a major new PV manufacturing strategy as it said revenues for Q1 2022 stood at US$1.25 billion, within the range of its guidance.

Meanwhile, Canadian Solar has been steadily increasing its involvement in the battery storage space over the past couple of years, through both its Global Energy project development division and CSI Solar, its manufacturing and system integration division.

The company has guided that it will ship 1.8GWh to 1.9GWh of battery storage this year and make combined solar and storage project sales worth 2.1GW to 2.6GW, alongside 20GW to 22GW of expected PV module shipments, to earn revenues within the range of US$7 billion to US$7.5 billion.

Almost all of the Global Energy business’ projects awarded to date and now in construction have been in North America, with 1,400MWh in the region and just 20MWh outside, in the Asia-Pacific region.

Of a total claimed pipeline of 24,655MWh of potential project opportunities, over 15,400MWh are in North America (see chart below).

RegionIn constructionBacklogPipelineTotal
North America1,40015,47916,879
Latin America1,0502,8603,910
Asia-Pacific (exc China, Japan)202,2802,300
Canadian Solar Global Energy’s storage project development pipeline as of 31 March 2022, in MWh.

CSI Solar’s battery storage system integration business meanwhile has a project pipeline totalling 7,172MWh globally, including 861MWh with long-term service agreements (LTSAs) in place, 1,572MWh in construction or contracted for, 340MWh of forecasted contract wins and 4,399MWh of prospective opportunities it is pursuing.

Forecasted opportunities are considered to be 75% likely to be won, the pipeline of prospective opportunities falls below that threshold, while projects in construction or contracted for are expected to be completed within a year or year-and-a-half.

CSI Solar earned US$82.5 million in the three months ending 31 March 2022, a massive leap from the first quarter of 2021 when it earned just US$2.358 million, although it was slightly down quarter-on-quarter from US$88.43 million.

Group CEO Dr Shawn Qu said Canadian Solar’s battery divisions are “winning contracts in new markets and segments, while continuing our development of proprietary battery storage technologies for both utility-scale and residential solutions”.

Canadian Solar entered the UK battery storage market during the quarter, winning an EPC contract for a 100MWh project.

The company’s US developer subsidiary Recurrent Energy featured in a recent article for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power. The article focuses on the rapid rise of solar-plus-storage in the US and Recurrent Energy’s head of energy storage Lucas Moller discussed how all of the company’s hybrid solar and storage projects to date are in California, but that in much of the southwest US, energy storage is increasingly key to the business case for solar PV.

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