Canadian Solar's new BlackRock deal

Canadian Solar has finalised the sale of its 10MW(AC) Westbrook array in Ontario to BlackRock, marking its third sale to the world’s largest asset manager.

Having developed Westbrook, Canadian Solar is currently building the project using its own modules, and will stay on to provide O&M services. The project is expected to be brought on line in the second quarter of 2014.

Last autumn Canadian Solar sold two arrays – Demorestville and Taylor Kidd – totalling 20MW to BlackRock.

“We look forward to strengthening our relationship with [Canadian Solar] further,” says Jim Barry, managing director of BlackRock Infrastructure Investment Group.

Separately, Canadian Solar revealed that it supplied modules to PV developer Belectric for four PV arrays totaling 7.8MW in southern California, which were completed at the end of 2013.

The quartet of arrays were built under Southern California Edison’s small feed-in tariff programme – known as CREST – for solar projects smaller than 10MW, meaning they had to be brought on line by the end of 2013.

The four projects collectively soaked up nearly 26,000 of Canadian Solar’s CS6X 300W MaxPower modules.

As the bulge of mega-solar projects underway in the US is completed over the next few years and states like California get closer to meeting their mid-term renewables targets, the market for utility-scale PV plants in the US is expected to shift towards more modest-sized projects.

“Smaller scale utility power plants represent a sizable opportunity for us,” says Canadian Solar chief executive Shawn Qu.