Canadian Solar breaks into Mexico with 63MW project

Canadian Solar confirmed plans to build a 63MW solar plant in Aguascalientes, central Mexico, after emerging as a winning bidder in Mexico’s renewables tender last week.

Canadian Solar – which bid through its development arm, Recurrent Energy – won with an offer to sell power for $47.95/MWh over the course of 15 years.

Canadian Solar will develop and build the plant in the state of Aguascalientes, with commercial operation set for September 2018.

The win adds to Canadian Solar’s momentum in Latin America, having announced plans late last year to open a factory in Brazil after locking up contracts to build five PV projects in that country.

The Aguascaliente project “expands our late-stage solar project pipeline in OECD countries, and positions us well for further growth in this important emerging market”, says Canadian Solar chief executive Shawn Qu.

The Mexico project adds to the 2GW of late-stage projects that were in Ontario-based Canadian Solar’s pipeline at the end of 2015, and puts another country in play for the company.

Through Recurrent, Canadian Solar is one of the largest utility-scale developers in the US, and is a growing developer in a range of global solar markets, including both developed countries like Japan and the UK and developing ones like China and Brazil.

In addition to its 10GW of early- and later-stage projects in its pipeline, the company is also one of the world's largest PV manufacturers.

Canadian Solar spent much of 2015 contemplating the launch of a yieldco, which would act as a final buyer for many of its projects.

But with the yieldco market in a state of disarray – hampered by a range of factors, including low oil prices and SunEdison’s problems – the company has for now put those plans on the back burner, choosing instead to sell projects to buyers like Southern Company.