Canadian Solar continues to expand operations and maintenance fleet

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Canadian Solar today announced that it has signed agreements with the 60 MW single-axis tracking Gannawarra Solar Farm near Kerang in Victoria, as well as the Hayman and Daydream Solar Farms in Collinsville Northern Queensland which possess a combined capacity of 240 MW. The latter Queensland projects were developed by Sydney-based Edify Energy with the help of a financing provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

The O&M services Canadian Solar will assume for all three facilities include responsibility for plant monitoring, performance management and preventative and corrective maintenance.

“Edify’s position as a market leader in Australia provides the opportunity to work in partnership with other world class leaders in Renewable energy,” said John Cole, Founder and Chief Executive of Edify Energy, “we are excited to be working with Canadian Solar as our O&M contractor on five power stations – four solar farms and an energy storage system…working with Canadian Solar will ensure a continued source of efficient, innovative and reliable renewable energy.”

Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar spoke to the extensive operating experience the company has acquired in the past 18 years of operating and maintaining its own solar facilities. “We are delighted to be selected by Wirsol and Edify Energy to provide O&M services to the three solar farms to minimise downtime and increase site availability,” said Qu, “we will continue to add value to the Australian energy market by providing the best quality service, maximise production of renewable energy and enhance the value of solar assets through our O&M services.”

In a March interview with pv magazine Australia, Qu emphasised the “unique advantage” Canadian Solar enjoys from the breadth of its activities in the solar industry, from project development to selling modules and now O&M. Not only do Canadian Solar’s many-faceted businesses compliment each other, but as Qu noted, Canadian Solar’s broad balance sheet ensures “big bank facility.

“Canadian Solar, with the balance sheet provided by our manufacturing business,” argues Qu, “gives us a very strong bank relationship and also balance sheet. Many other developers don’t have this balance sheet. Sometimes they can complete the greenfield stage, and they work with us in JV for the mid and downstream stage.” Clearly the diversification of Canadian Solar’s offerings through the addition of services such as O&M is proving beneficial overall.

Canadian Solar only launched the O&M side of its business in March 2018, but already the company has over 2.9 GWp in its global O&M portfolio, 875 MW of which resides in Australia.