GUELPH, ON, April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar") (NASDAQ: CSIQ) announced today that it has commenced construction on four solar projects in Japan totaling 143 MWp. This portfolio includes Canadian Solar's flagship mega-project, the 100 MWp Azuma Kofuji project located in the Fukushima Prefecture, and other projects totaling 43 MWp in the Ibaraki and Hiroshima Prefectures.
Azuma Kofuji 100 MWp
The Azuma Kofuji project is Canadian Solar's largest project in Japan to date and is also expected to be among the largest in the country. The project will be powered with Canadian Solar high efficiency HiKu modules and is expected to reach commercial operation in Q1 2023. The energy generated will be purchased by the Tohoku Electric Power Company at the rate of ¥36 ($0.34) per kWh.
The project is financed by Nomura Capital Investment Co., Ltd. ("NCI") with construction debt of JPY 24.5 billion (approximately US$230 million), and will draw on Juwi Shizen Energy's experience as a global EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) company. Built on 460 acres, Azuma Kofuji is expected to produce enough clean energy to power approximately 31,000 households. The project is expected to participate in the Climate Bonds green certification process which is compatible with the new European Union Green Bond Standard (EU GBS).
"We are delighted to contribute our part to revitalize the Fukushima Prefecture. Up until recently, the Azuma Kofuji project site was an abandoned, non-productive farmland. Now, we are directly investing and creating local job opportunities during the construction of the project, reinvigorating the local economy in a region devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. We have worked closely with local communities to ensure that clean, renewable energy from our solar plant creates lasting societal benefits. We are proud to take part in rebuilding economic and energy resilience in the Fukushima hometowns while supporting Japan's 2050 carbon neutrality ambitions," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.
He added, "These projects continue to expand Canadian Solar's strong track record in Japan. We now have over 450 MWp of utility-scale projects that are operational or under construction, and two partnership platforms in Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund (TSE: 9284) and Japan Green Infrastructure Fund. We are also one of the strongest solar module brands in Japan driven by our differentiated technology and large manufacturing scale. Put together, we have further solidified Canadian Solar as the most integrated solar player in the Japanese market. We thank our financing partners who continue to support Canadian Solar with low-cost capital, which allow us to develop and expand our high-quality project portfolio in Japan."
"Nomura has extensive experience financing renewables in Japan and is excited to support Canadian Solar on this significant transaction," said Vinod Mukani, Head of Nomura's Infrastructure and Power Finance group. "Canadian Solar is attractively positioned as a tier-1 solar module manufacturer and as a leading global solar developer. Nomura is pleased to provide this financing and partner with strong sponsors contributing toward the transition to a low carbon economy."
Ibaraki and Hiroshima projects 43 MWp
These projects received JPY 8.1 billion (US$75 million) through the issuance of Green Project Bonds to Japanese bond investors. As a seasoned project bond issuer, Canadian Solar has partnered with Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd ("GS") as the sole arranger for the sixth time. Once again, the domestic bond investors provided Canadian Solar with innovative debt capital that is commercially different to that of the traditional bank facility market. These project bonds combine the unique aspects of having dual-tenor maturity of 2 years and 18 years within each tranche of bond, and blend total funding requirements throughout the construction and operational phase of multiple projects. The Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. ("JCR") has assigned these Multi-Asset Dual-Tenor Green Project Bonds with an investment grade rating of "BBB+" and certified the issuer with highest Green 1 rating under the Japanese Green Bond guidelines. Hitachi Capital Trust Corp. is appointed as the trustee.
"This will be yet another ground-breaking Green Project Bond transaction brought to the Japanese market by Canadian Solar," said Toru Inoue, Goldman Sachs' Head of Infrastructure & Structured Finance for Japan. "We are extremely honored to support Canadian Solar's deep-rooted growth in Japan. Ever since we took part in Canadian Solar's first green project bonds in 2016, we demonstrated our capability to provide differentiated and innovative transactions to achieve the sponsor's business objectives. The renewables industry is a dynamic sector where creativity and the ability to think outside of the box are extremely important. We look forward to continuing to partner with Canadian Solar in its quest to make solar a sustainable mainstream energy."
About Canadian Solar Inc.
Canadian Solar was founded in 2001 in Canada and is one of the world's largest solar technology and renewable energy companies. It is a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules, provider of solar energy and battery storage solutions, and developer of utility-scale solar power and battery storage projects with a geographically diversified pipeline in various stages of development. Over the past 19 years, Canadian Solar has successfully delivered over 52 GW of premium-quality, solar photovoltaic modules to customers in over 150 countries. Likewise, since entering the project development business in 2010, Canadian Solar has developed, built and connected over 5.7 GWp in over 20 countries across the world. Currently, the Company has over 500 MWp of projects in operation, over 5 GWp of projects under construction or in backlog (late-stage), and an additional 11 GWp of projects in pipeline (mid- to early- stage). Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable companies in the solar and renewable energy industry, having been publicly listed on the NASDAQ since 2006. For additional information about the Company, follow Canadian Solar on LinkedIn or visit www.canadiansolar.com.
About Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global financial institution that delivers a broad range of financial services across investment banking, securities, investment management and consumer banking to a large and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world. Goldman Sachs developed the first Green Project Bonds for the Japanese market in 2013. It has since arranged nineteen project bond transactions and one project equity securitization. Of the twenty transactions six is for Canadian Solar.
Nomura is a global financial services group with an integrated network spanning over 30 countries. By connecting markets East & West, Nomura services the needs of individuals, institutions, corporates and governments through its three business divisions: Retail, Wholesale (Global Markets and Investment Banking), and Investment Management. Founded in 1925, the firm is built on a tradition of disciplined entrepreneurship, serving clients with creative solutions and considered thought leadership. Nomura's Infrastructure and Power Finance business provides a diverse pool of financing solutions to project owners globally. For further information about Nomura, visit www.nomura.com.
Safe Harbor/Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These statements are made under the "Safe Harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by such terms as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimates," the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include general business and economic conditions and the state of the solar industry; governmental support for the deployment of solar power; future available supplies of high-purity silicon; demand for end-use products by consumers and inventory levels of such products in the supply chain; changes in demand from significant customers; changes in demand from major markets such as Japan, the U.S., India and China; changes in customer order patterns; changes in product mix; capacity utilization; level of competition; pricing pressure and declines in average selling prices; delays in new product introduction; delays in utility-scale project approval process; delays in utility-scale project construction; delays in the completion of project sales; delays in the process of qualifying to list the MSS subsidiary in the PRC; continued success in technological innovations and delivery of products with the features customers demand; shortage in supply of materials or capacity requirements; availability of financing; exchange rate fluctuations; litigation and other risks as described in the Company's SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 20-F filed on April 28, 2020. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results, level of activity, performance, or achievements. Investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All information provided in this press release is as of today's date, unless otherwise stated, and Canadian Solar undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.
SOURCE Canadian Solar Inc.