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Canadian Solar Gets $3.5M ARENA Fund for Solar Projects

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A leading solar service provider in the U.S.,Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ - Free Report) announced that it has received funding of $3.5 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the development of 47 megawatts (MW) of solar power projects in the country.

Details of the Deal

Canadian Solar will develop two solar projects in Australia with a total generation capacity of 47 MW.

One plant, located in Longreach, Queensland, has a capacity of 17 MWp. It will utilize 54,600 Canadian Solar MaxPower2 CS6U-320 (1500V) polycrystalline modules. In its first year of operation, the plant is expected to produce around 39.0-gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, enough to power about 8,500 homes in the region.

Located in Oakey, Queensland, the other project has a capacity of 30 MWp and it will use 93,600 MaxPower2 CS6U-320 polycrystalline modules. During the first year of operation, the project will generate about 59.9 GWh, enough to power about 14,100 homes in the area.

Construction of the two plants is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2017 and both are anticipated to commence operations in Jan 2018 or earlier.

Advantages of Funding

Canadian Solar caters to a geographically diverse customer base, spread across key markets in the U.S., Canada and Europe, as well as emerging markets like South Korea, Singapore and Brazil. The ARENA funding will provide support to solar projects in Australia, where the market is currently growing at a steady pace.

Support from the government of Australia and Canadian Solar’s project execution capability will help it to expand and implement solar projects in the country.

Alternative Sources of Energy – Solar

Solar energy has been gaining popularity mainly due to its environment-friendly nature. In addition, it is abundantly available and affordable. As per media sources, since 2008 use of solar power in U.S. has jumped 17 folds from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) to nearly 30 GW.

Affordability of solar has increased with the decline in the average cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels. In fact, since 2010, the average cost of PV panels has dropped more than 60%, with a simultaneous decline of 50% in the cost of solar electric systems.

Going forward, the rising investments in solar power in the U.S. will benefit domestic solar companies like Canadian Solar, First Solar, Inc. (FSLR - Free Report) , SolarCity Corporation and SunPower Corporation (SPWR - Free Report) among others.

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