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CSIQ Breaks Ground on Solar Project

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A Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ - Free Report) unit – Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. – has commenced the construction of the 100 megawatt (MW) Grand Renewable solar project in Ontario.

The Grand Renewable Solar Project developed by Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. will feature Canadian Solar’s CS6X modules. It will be the largest photovoltaic (PV) plant in Canada and is expected to be operational in 2015.

In June, Canadian Solar entered into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) agreement with Grand Renewable Solar LP for the construction of a solar power plant in Ontario. This is the biggest EPC contract in the company’s history and will bring in C$310 million ($301.1 million) for the company.

Located in Haldimand County, this project will generate approximately 165,000 MWh of electricity per year. The facility will power approximately 13,750 homes. Over a 20-year period, the plant is capable of eradicating 162,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

These environmental advantages will be achieved with the help of approximately 440,000 CS6X high-performance Canadian Solar modules that will be installed on the plant. The high performance CS6X modules carry a warranty period of 10 years on materials and workmanship and a 25-year warranty on linear power output performance. With respect to quality control inspections and testing, these modules have received key international certifications.

Canadian Solar is a low-cost, vertically-integrated solar module producer with predominantly China-based manufacturing assets. The prospects for Canadian Solar look favorable based on a geographically-diverse customer base and improving operating efficiencies through its vertically-integrated manufacturing operation.

Recently, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc. also signed a contract with a fund managed by BlackRock, Inc. (BLK - Free Report) to sell two utility-scale solar power plants. These projects have a total electric generation capacity of 20 MW AC. The plants are located at Demorestville and Odessa in Ontario, Canada.

Globally, utilization of renewable energy is rising primarily due to its clean nature and a growing awareness among the masses regarding its benefits. Utility providers are thus influenced to shift their mode of power generation to solar, wind and water from traditional fuel sources.

We believe the rising demand for solar powered energy will act as a catalyst for Canadian Solar’s forthcoming operating as well as financial performance.

Canadian Solar currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, better performing solar stocks include Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) SunPower Corp. (SPWR - Free Report) and Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy) JA Solar Holdings Company Ltd. (JASO - Free Report) .

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