Canadian Solar’s French Connection

Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) has supplied a total of 21,560 solar modules to EOSOL Energies Nouvelles’ new ground-mounted solar plant with an installed capacity of 5.1 megawatt (MW).

On an area of 89,300 square meter, EOSOL Energies Nouvelles’ new power plant known as “Le Petit Chataignier” has been built in La Genetouze in the south west of France. It was inaugurated on September 22, 2011.

EOSOL Energies Nouvelles is a major player in the development, investment and production of energy from natural resources and has specialization in solar, wind energy, biomass and solar thermal energy.

This new project in La Genetouze, in the department of Charente-Maritime, is an addition to the three other installations in France with a total installed capacity of more than 16 MW.

Of these three installations, the company announced in August that it will supply 39,500 modules to EOSOL Energies Nouvelles’ new ground-mounted solar power plant with a capacity of 8 MW. The plant will be located in Saint-Leger in the south west of France and is expected to be operational in October 2011. The other installations include a 230 kW project in the town of Le Barp in the region of Aquitaine, and an 8 MW project in Villeneuve de Marsan in the department Landes.

Canadian Solar is a vertically integrated manufacturer and its China based manufacturing assets provide a distinct cost advantage over its peers. The company also pursues a balanced and diversified supply channel mix by entering into long-term supply contracts and toll manufacturing arrangements. It is focused on R&D; evaluating new technologies at its cell efficiency research center in Suzhou, China to develop more efficient and cost effective cell structures.

However, of late, the company’s shipments were impacted by higher solar cell prices in the market, which eroded margins. The company is, therefore, ramping up its captive solar cell capacity. But it will take some time before the company becomes self-sufficient for its solar cell requirements. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

Canadian Solar is one of the world’s largest solar companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of ingot, wafer, solar cell, solar module and other solar applications, Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar system solutions for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide.

With operations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solar solutions to support global, sustainable development. The company mainly competes with Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (STP).

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