Solar Power Deals & Company News

Deals and company news from the global solar sector this week

Canadian Solar announced a long-term module supply agreement with Vivint Solar, without specifying the size or scope. Canadian Solar has in past years been a significant panel supplier to Vivint, the second largest installer of US rooftop PV. But last year Vivint obtained nearly all of its modules from Trina and Yingli, key rivals of Canadian Solar. Canadian Solar will once again become a “key” supplier to Vivint, which is in the process of being acquired by SunEdison. Vivint buys most of its inverters from Enphase.

PV group Conergy and solar tracking specialist NEXTracker have launched the Latin America and Caribbean Solar Alliance (LACSA). The partners claim the body will “spur initiatives among solar industry professionals doing business in Latin America and the Caribbean and present a unified voice to advance solar industry goals”.

A subsidiary of GCL-Poly Energy has obtained a loan of roughly 1.2bn yuan ($188m) from Ping An Trust. Nanjing GCL New Energy Development will invest the funds in PV projects under development by another group unit, Suzhou GCL New Energy, according to a statement on the Hong Kong stock exchange. GCL-Poly Energy, the world’s largest polysilicon producer, did not disclose any additional details about the projects. Nanjing GCL will pay an annual interest rate of 8.7% on the loan over a 36-month period.

Japan's Solar Frontier has completed the first PV plant in Turkey based on CIS thin-film technology, a 1MW project in Kayseri Province financed by Smart Energy Group.

PV cell and module manufacturer Suniva is expanding US manufacturing capacity to 400MW and creating up to 500 new jobs across it operations in the state of Georgia. The expansion will increase output of Optimus modules, with power ratings up to 290W (60-cell format) and 340W (72-cell format). Shunfeng International Clean Energy, the Hong Kong-based owner of Suntech, last month announced it will pay $57.8m for a 63.13% stake in privately owned Suniva, through a mixture of cash and shares.

California-based Energy Recovery won a $1.4m contract to supply its PX Pressure Exchanger technology for the world’s first large-scale solar-powered desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. The firm estimates the devices will reduce plant power consumption by 8.4MW, saving more than 73GWh of energy per year. The plant, due online in 2017, will supply 60,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day.

Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy closed a debt facility with Santander Bank NA and a tax equity investment commitment with US Bancorp Community Development Corp. for the 100MW (ac) PV project under construction in California. Santander will provide $165m in construction lending, a tax equity bridge loan, and a term loan option. Recurrent will own and operate the project.

State regulators have given the green light to Alabama Power to acquire up to 500MW of renewable energy through new build on its own or via procurement from facilities with 80MW nameplate capacity or less. They stipulated that the projects must be less expensive than the electric utility’s estimates of avoided cost during their useful operational life. Alabama Power is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company.

PV group Conergy has signed a deal to build an 8MW solar facility in Thailand. Germany-based Conergy will construct the plant in Sa Kaeo province for local power producer B.Grimm Power. The plant is due to be completed by the end of the year by Conergy, which has built more than 100MW of capacity in the Southeast Asian country.