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Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ - Analyst Report) has introduced a new ELPS solar cell technology that will provide monocrystalline solar cells efficiency of up to 19.5% and polycrystalline cell efficiency of up to 18%.

The new ELPS solar cells are expected to be in production process. Canadian Solar expects to start shipping solar modules while incorporating the new technology in the fourth quarter of 2011. The ELPS solar cells and a CS6P module with these cells will be introduced during INTERSOLAR Europe 2011 in Munich, Germany.

The new ELPS Cell technology will significantly lower the production cost per watt and will also increase its energy efficiency. Additionally, the new solar cells have the capacity to easily integrate with the existing production lines.

Canadian Solar caters to a geographically-diverse customer base spread across its key markets in Germany, Spain and the U.S. The company also pursues a balanced and diversified supply channel mix. Its major source of revenue is the implementation of solar power development projects in the rural areas of China, primarily in conjunction with government organizations. To stay ahead of competition, the company focuses on technologies such as high-output UMG silicon products and other cell and module technologies, which are expected to be commercialized in the near future.

However, off-late, its shipments were impacted by higher solar cell prices in the market, which eroded margins. The company is, therefore, ramping up its captive solar cell capacity. However, it will take some time before the company becomes self-sufficient for its solar cell requirements. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #4 Rank (Sell). We have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. The company’s peers STR Holdings Inc. (STRI - Snapshot Report) holds a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy rating).

Canadian Solar Inc. is one of the world's largest solar companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar modules and other solar applications, Canadian Solar designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar system solutions for on-grid and off-grid use for customers worldwide. With operations in North America, Europe and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solar solutions to support global and sustainable development.

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