Project Will Provide Low Cost Solar Power to Austin Energy Customers.
Canadian Solar Inc. (“Canadian Solar”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Recurrent Energy, completed the sale of the 144 MWac Pflugerville Solar project to Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK). The project is under construction in Travis County, Texas and is expected to achieve commercial operation in mid-2021. The energy generated from the Pflugerville Solar project will be sold to Austin Energy under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
This is the fifth utility-scale project that Duke Energy Renewables has acquired from Recurrent Energy, including the Rambler Solar project in Texas, which reached commercial operation in 2020.
“This sale to Duke Energy Renewables is another milestone that demonstrates Recurrent Energy’s leadership position in the United States, where we currently have more than 5,700 MWac of solar projects under construction and in development,” said Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar. “The execution and sales process for this project was disrupted due to the COVID pandemic. However, we were nimble and quickly secured the financing to start construction and close the sale on time. To complete this transaction in 2020 is quite an achievement and I thank our teams and partners for their dedication and hard work.”
Dr. Qu added, “We have a long-standing relationship with Duke Energy Renewables and are pleased that they have become the new owners of Pflugerville Solar, as it is a landmark project that will power local homes in the Austin area, supporting the clean energy transition as the Lone Star State continues to diversify its energy mix.”
“We’re excited to add this terrific project to our growing Texas solar portfolio to meet the increasing demand for power in the state and support our longstanding relationship with Austin Energy,” said Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Renewables. “In addition to providing Austin Energy’s customers with low-cost clean energy, this project will also bring significant economic benefits to the state.”
Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, serves more than 500,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents in Greater Austin. This PPA supports Austin Energy’s renewable energy goals, which commit the utility to achieve at least 55 percent renewable energy by 2025, and 65 percent renewable energy by the end of 2027. The project also supports Duke Energy’s goals of doubling its renewable energy resources by the end of 2025.
“We currently meet 63 percent of our customers’ energy needs with carbon-free resources,” said Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent. “Adding the Pflugerville Solar project to our portfolio will bring us closer to meeting our affordability and climate protection goals adopted by the Austin City Council and championed by our customers.”
The 144 MWac Pflugerville Solar Project, will generate enough energy to power approximately 27,000 homes. The power plant will utilize approximately 489,600 pieces of Canadian Solar’s high efficiency bifacial BiKu modules across 932 acres in Travis County, Texas. The engineering and construction for the project is being performed by Signal Energy. To support the construction of the project, in August, Recurrent Energy closed debt and tax equity financing totaling over $234 million. The tax equity financing was provided by U.S. Bank and the debt financing was provided by a bank club led by CIT Bank, which included Norddeutsche Landesbank (“Nord/LB”), Rabobank, and Zions Bank. Duke Energy Renewables will provide the long-term operations and maintenance services to the project.
The project is expected to employ 350 workers at peak construction, with at least 50% of those construction jobs expected to be filled by local skilled tradesmen from the Travis County area. Along with indirect economic benefits that accompany solar project development, such as increased local spending in the service and construction industries, Pflugerville Solar will also have a positive economic impact on the local community by providing significant tax revenues for Travis County and the Elgin Independent School District.
As one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers, Duke Energy plans to double its enterprise-wide renewable portfolio from 8 GW to 16 GW by the end of 2025.
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 49 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 5.6 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 Recurrent Energy
Recurrent Energy is a leading utility-scale solar and storage project developer, delivering competitive, clean electricity to large energy buyers. Based in the U.S., Recurrent Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar Inc. and functions as Canadian Solar’s U.S. project development arm. Recurrent Energy has approximately 5 GW of solar and storage projects in development in the U.S. Additional details are available at www.recurrentenergy.com.
About Duke Energy Renewables
Duke Energy Renewables, a nonregulated unit of Duke Energy, operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., with a total electric capacity of 3,000 megawatts. Duke Energy is one of the
nation’s top renewable energy providers – on track to own or purchase 8,000 megawatts of wind, solar and biomass energy by 2020. The power is sold to electric utilities, electric cooperatives, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers. The unit also operates energy storage and microgrid projects. Visit Duke Energy Renewables for more information.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, in addition to Duke Energy Renewables’ capacity.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Centercontains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagramand Facebook.
About Austin Energy
Customer Driven. Community Focused.
Austin Energy, the City of Austin’s electric utility, lights a brighter future for more than 500,000 customer accounts and more than one million residents in Greater Austin. The utility’s commitment to providing value powers the community and the innovation and culture that has made Austin a destination city. Austin Energy has powered the community for 125 years, delivering safe, affordable, reliable energy and excellent customer service. The publicly owned utility will continue to shine a light into the future. For more information about Austin Energy, visit austinenergy.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., Indiaand 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.