Canadian Solar Inc. (“Canadian Solar”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, completed the sale of the Slate project to Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC (“GSRP”). Revenue from the transaction will be recognized in Q1 2021 and commercial operation is anticipated in late 2021.
The Slate project is a 300 MWac solar plus 140.25 MW / 561 MWh storage project located in Kings County, California, and has commenced construction. Canadian Solar’s majority-owned energy storage subsidiary, System Solutions and Energy Storage (“SSES”), will provide the battery storage integration solution for the project. Additionally, PNC Bank is providing a tax equity commitment to the project, which demonstrates its pledge to not only manage its own operations in an environmentally sustainable manner, but also to support clients with innovative financing options as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.
The project has signed PPAs with five different off-takers, four of which are solar and energy storage, and one that is solar-only.
Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar stated, “The Slate project is Recurrent Energy’s largest solar-plus-storage project and represents continued investment in a community where we have done business for nearly a decade. Given the huge market opportunity presented by battery storage, both standalone as well as paired with solar, we have focused significant resources in developing our own technological, servicing and financing solutions over the past few years. We are now starting to see our efforts come to fruition and are solidly positioning Canadian Solar as a market leader in this space. This transaction demonstrates that our SSES team is now a top bankable battery storage solutions provider with deep technical know-how in solar and battery integration technology. Likewise, the Recurrent Energy team has done an excellent job in growing our storage pipeline in the U.S. which is currently over 4 GWh.”
Dr. Qu added, “Having recently transacted with Goldman Sachs Renewable Power on our first large-scale storage integration and long term service agreement for the neighboring Mustang project, after the project sale in 2019, we are pleased to partner again with GSRP on the Slate project, expected to be one of the largest integrated solar-plus-storage projects in the U.S.”
Jon Yoder, Head of the Renewable Power Group of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said “We are very excited to partner with Canadian Solar once again on a landmark project that will provide a significant new source of clean, renewable energy to California and a battery storage system that will help facilitate California’s transition to a carbon free power grid.”
The Slate project will generate enough low-cost, clean energy to power approximately 126,000 California homes. The power plant will utilize approximately 962,000 of Canadian Solar’s high efficiency bifacial BiKu modules across approximately 2,400 acres in Kings County, California.
Dr. Qu added, “We applaud our Slate customers for their commitment to use solar generation coupled with expanded storage capacity to enable a cleaner energy economy and brighter future in California. As solar-plus-storage installations in the US are expected to nearly triple in 2020 and more than double in 2021, we are pleased to continue to offer flexible and reliable clean energy and grid reliability solutions for our customers and the communities they serve.”
The project is expected to employ 405 workers at peak construction, with at least 50% of those construction jobs expected to be filled by local skilled tradesmen from the Kings County area. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, the Slate project will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing significant tax revenues for Kings County.
“This is a landmark solar-with-storage transaction and an exciting opportunity to support our respected clients Canadian Solar and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power,” said Michael Ziemke, managing director of Renewable Energy Finance Group for PNC Bank. “At PNC, we are proud to do our part to help successfully transition to a low-carbon economy by continuing to support our clients’ strategies for more sustainable operations and providing them with the sustainable financing programs they need.”