Canadian Solar Inc.’s subsidiary, Recurrent Energy recently won a regulatory nod from the Mississippi Public Service Commission for starting construction of the 100 megawatt (MW) Sunflower solar photovoltaic (PV) project. Post completion of the project by mid-2022, utility provider Entergy Corp. (ETR – Free Report) will assume ownership of the plant.
Notably the completion of the aforementioned project will enhance Canadian Solar’s footprint in the U.S. solar development space.
Details of the Project
Recurrent Energy has signed a build-transfer agreement (BTA) with Entergy’s Mississippi-based subsidiary, under which the latter will purchase the plant after construction bythe former for a base price of $138.4 million. Impressively, by virtue of this BTA, Entergy is going to operate the largest solar power plant in the state of Mississippi.
Apart from building the plant on behalf of Entergy, Canadian Solar will also supply its high efficiency solar modules to the plant. The project will be a single-axis tracking PV power generator.
Solar Prospects in Mississippi
Mississippi State’s main fuel for producing electricity is natural gas, which accounted for nearly four-fifths of the state’s net generation in 2018. Renewable resources provided only 3% of Mississippi’s utility-scale power generation in 2018, out of which solar energy provided about one-fifth (as per the latest data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration).
So there remains an immense growth opportunity for solar in Mississippi. In fact, in recent times, notable solar expansion has been witnessedin the state. Evidently, the state’s first solar utility-scale facilities came online in 2017 and solar generation has nearly quadrupled in 2018 since then.
Considering this, the Sunflower solar project is another indication ofthe booming solar market of Mississippi. We may expect Canadian Solar to be involved in more such solar project developments in this state, going ahead.
Global Solar Expansion
Per a report earlier published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), global electricity generation from solar energy is expected to increase to nearly 360 GW per year by 2050 from the current level of 109 GW. However, this prediction might get lowered considering the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Nevertheless, one cannot deny the immense growth opportunity that solar energy has globally and once the impacts of the pandemic wear out, solar companies like Canadian Solar will once again start operations at full capacity.
Canadian Solar currently caters to a geographically-diverse customer base spread across key markets in the United States, China, Japan, the U.K. and Canada as well as emerging markets in Italy, India, Mexico and Germany, among others.
Other solar players like SunPower Corp. (SPWR – Free Report) and First Solar (FSLR – Free Report) also boast a notable global presence. For instance, SunPower won awards worth more than $500 million in 2019 and acquired bookings worth 26 megawatts in the fourth quarter of 2019.
First Solar’s hefty investments have enabled it to end 2019 with net bookings of 6.1 gigawatt (GW) and the current contracted backlog of 12.4 GW. Such developments indicate solid revenue growth opportunities for these solar players, going ahead.