Recurrent Energy to build at least 1.2 GW of U.S. solar by the end of 2021


In Canadian Solar’s Q4 results released today, the company laid out its project development activity under subsidiary Recurrent Energy. This shows substantial activity over the next three years, but not a lot of steel in the ground at present and no big U.S. projects coming online in 2019.

Canadian’s accounting lumps various aspects of project development and construction under different business units, making it complicated to evaluate revenues and profit. The company’s construction, operations and maintenance, sale of solar projects, electricity sales from completed projects and the “other” in its Energy business made up 40% of the company’s Q4 revenues, but 44% of its total revenues during the full year 2018.

This was overwhelmingly from project sales, which on their own represented 41% of the 2018 total.

During the quarter Canadian Solar sold two U.S. plants totaling 260 MW, as well as the 134 Mustang 2 solar project, which was sold in a pre-NTP stage to Solar Frontier Americas. After the sale of Mustang 2 Canadian Solar will still have 206 MW of solar plants in operation in the United States.


1.2 GW of projects scheduled for 2020, 2021

The big news on the call was Recurrent’s development activities. The company signed two power contracts, one for an 88 MWdc project with Stanford University, and another for a 310 MW project in Texas.

These two projects are among six that the company is developing, totaling 1.2 GW in California and Texas. None of these have broken ground but the company plans to put all six online in 2020 and 2021.

This does not include the 100 MWac Sunflower project in Mississippi, which Entergy is buying under a build-own-transfer agreement for $138 million. This arrangement must still be approved by Mississippi regulators.

Among these seven comes just one that involves battery storage, but the battery will not be small: Recurrent is planning a 180 megawatt-hour battery to accompany its 200 MW Slate solar project in California.

Due to the timing of these sales Canadian expects revenues from its projects business to fall in 2019, but for these to rebound in 2020.

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