Canadian Solar Projects KK




GUELPH, ON, March 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (“Canadian Solar” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ) today announced financial results for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020.


Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights

  • Solar module shipments of 3.0 GW at high-end of 2.9 GW to 3.0 GW guidance range.
  • 14% sequential growth in revenue to $1,041 million exceeds guidance range of $980 million to $1,015 million.
  • Gross margin of 13.6% exceeds guidance of 8% to 10%.
  • Net income attributable to Canadian Solar of $7 million, or $0.11 per diluted share.


Full Year 2020 Highlights

  • 32% annual growth in total module shipments to 11.3 GW, in line with guidance.
  • 9% annual growth in net revenue to $3.5 billion.
  • Net income attributable to Canadian Solar of $147 million or $2.38 per diluted share.
  • 1.4 GWp of projects sold globally in 2020 with 20 GWp solar project pipeline.
  • Won nearly 1 GWh of battery storage contracts. Expect to deliver and capture approximately 10% market share in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Nearly 9 GWh of total battery storage project pipeline.
  • Carve-out IPO of CSI Solar subsidiary, formerly mainly the Module and System Solutions (“MSS”) business, on track.


Fourth Quarter 2020 Results

Total module shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020 were 2,998 MW, an increase of 22% year-over-year (“yoy”) and decrease of 5% quarter-over-quarter (“qoq”). Of the total, 359 MW was shipped to the Company’s own utility-scale solar power projects.


Net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 grew by 9% yoy and 14% qoq to $1,041 million. The sequential increase was driven by higher project sales spanning the United States, Mexico, Japan, Canada and Italy, and a slightly higher module average selling price (“ASP”), which was partly offset by lower module shipments.


Gross profit in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $141 million, down 21% qoq. Gross margin in the fourth quarter of 2020 was 13.6%, compared to guidance of 8% to 10%, and 19.5% in the third quarter of 2020. The gross margin decline was mainly driven by the previously anticipated increase in manufacturing costs, which was partly offset by higher module ASP and a more favorable mix.


Total operating expenses in the fourth quarter of 2020 were $139 million compared to $119 million in the third quarter of 2020. The sequential increase was primarily driven by higher shipping expenses and an impairment charge related to certain manufacturing assets.


Non-cash depreciation and amortization charges in the fourth quarter of 2020 were $59 million, compared to $56 million in the third quarter of 2020, and $45 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.


Net foreign exchange gain in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $4 million, compared to a net loss of $13 million in the third quarter of 2020 and a net loss of $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.


Income tax benefit in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $2 million, compared to $21 million of income tax expense in the third quarter of 2020 and $25 million of income tax expense in the fourth quarter of 2019. The benefit was driven by higher expected utilization of tax losses carried forward due to expansion in manufacturing capacity and improvement in process efficiency at the Company’s factories.


Net income attributable to Canadian Solar in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $7 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9 million, or $0.15 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2020.


Net cash provided by operating activities in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $120 million, compared to $47 million provided by operating activities in the third quarter of 2020.


New Corporate Structure

In July 2020, the Company announced its plan to carve-out and publicly list its Module and System Solutions (“MSS”) subsidiary, CSI Solar Co., Ltd. (“CSI Solar”), in China. In preparation for the listing, the Company successfully completed the restructuring of its business segments during the fourth quarter of 2020. The table below is a summary comparison of the adjustments made in reporting structures. The main change being the transfer and inclusion of the China Energy business within the scope of CSI Solar.


As of December 31, 2020, Canadian Solar owned 80% of CSI Solar, with the remaining 20% owned by strategic investors who purchased CSI Solar shares during the pre-IPO transaction. An additional 5% of CSI Solar shares were purchased by CSI Solar’s employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”), for which the vesting condition is the successful completion of the IPO. Both the CSI Solar and Global Energy segments are fully consolidated within Canadian Solar.


Historical reporting structure New reporting structure
Module and System Solutions (“MSS”) Business

  • Solar modules
  • Solar system kits
  • Other materials, components and services
    (including EPC)


CSI Solar (entity to be listed in China)

  • Solar modules
  • Solar system kits
  • Battery energy storage solutions – new
  • China Energy (solar power projects, EPC
    services and electricity revenue) – formerly
    within the Energy Business
  • Other materials, components and services (including EPC)  
Energy Business

  • Solar power projects – includes China Energy
  • Operations and maintenance (O&M)
  • Electricity revenue – includes China Energy
  • Other development services
Global Energy

  • Solar and energy storage power projects –
    global excludes China 
  • O&M and asset management services
  • Other development services – includes
    electricity revenue for global, excludes China


Battery Storage Opportunities

The Company will start reporting revenues from its energy storage business in this quarter. Canadian Solar is one of the first movers in developing and supplying energy storage solutions and projects. Given the exponential market opportunities driven by rapid technology improvements, declining battery storage costs, rising penetration of renewable energy and accelerating retirements of fossil fuel capacity, the Company has strategically positioned itself in the battery storage market, both in solar plus battery storage as well as in stand-alone storage opportunities.


Canadian Solar has a unique advantage in tapping into the large energy storage market opportunities given its position as a global leader both in module manufacturing as well as a solar project development. Thus, both the CSI Solar and Global Energy segments have focused strategically on their respective energy storage businesses:


  • Under CSI Solar, the battery storage solutions team focuses on delivering bankable, end-to-end, integrated battery storage solutions for utility scale, commercial and industrial, as well as residential applications. These systems solutions will be complemented with long term service agreements, including future battery capacity augmentation services.
  • Under Global Energy, energy storage project development is now fully integrated within the main solar development teams. Given the segment’s large and growing pipeline, it is uniquely positioned to capture utility-scale energy storage projects, both co-located with solar PV as well as stand-alone opportunities.


CSI Solar Segment

The table below sets forth Canadian Solar’s 2021 capacity expansion targets along the solar module value chain. All new capacity will produce Canadian Solar’s next generation high-power, high-efficiency modules in the HiKu and BiHiKu product portfolios.


Manufacturing Capacity, GW (period-end)

FY20 Actual 1H21 FY21
Ingot 2.1 5.1 10.0
Wafer 6.3 11.3 11.3
Cell 9.6 13.4 18.2
Module 16.1 23.2 25.7

Note: The Company’s capacity expansion plans are subject to change without notice based on market conditions and capital allocation plans.


Operating Results 

The following table presents unaudited select results of operations data of the Company’s CSI Solar segment for the periods indicated.

CSI Solar Segment Financial Results* 

(In Thousands of U.S. Dollars, Except Percentages and Unless Otherwise Stated)

Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended
December 31, 2020 September 30,2020 December 31, 2019 December 31, 2020 December 31, 2019
Net revenues 784,588 921,529 772,140 3,105,044 2,591,154
Cost of revenues 678,410 738,352 574,687 2,496,153 1,977,502
Gross profit 106,178 183,177 197,453 608,891 613,652
Operating expenses 103,378 94,936 90,742 355,786 346,010
Income from operations 2,800 88,241 106,711 253,105 267,642
Gross margin 13.50% 19.90% 25.60% 19.60% 23.70%
Operating margin 0.40% 9.60% 13.80% 8.20% 10.30%

*Includes effects of both sales to third party customers and to the Company’s Global Energy Segment. Please refer to the attached financial tables for intercompany transaction elimination information. Income from operations reflects management’s allocation and estimate as some services are shared by the Company’s two business segments. Historical values have been revised to conform to current period presentation.


The table below provides the geographic distribution of the net revenue of CSI Solar.

CSI Solar Net Revenues Geographic Distribution*

(In Millions of U.S. Dollars, Except Percentages)

Q4 2020 % of Net Revenues Full year 2020 % of Net Revenues
Asia 414 62 1,295 47
Americas 149 22 860 31
Europe and others 105 16 595 22
Total 668 100 2,750 100


Canadian Solar shipped 3 GW of modules to more than 70 countries in the fourth quarter of 2020. The top five markets ranked by shipments were the Vietnam, China, the U.S., Brazil and Australia. For the full year of 2020, the top five markets ranked by shipments were the U.S., Vietnam, China, Brazil and Japan.*Excludes sales from CSI Solar to Global Energy.


Battery Storage Solutions

The Company is one of the early movers in developing system solutions and energy storage integration services. Within CSI Solar, the battery storage solutions team delivers competitive turnkey, integrated battery storage solutions, including bankable and fully wrapped capacity and performance guarantees. These guarantees are complemented with long term operations and maintenance agreements, which include future battery capacity augmentation services and bring in longer term stable income.


The table below sets forth CSI Solar’s battery storage system integration’s contracted projects and/or under construction, those in high probability forecast, and pipeline as of January 31, 2021.


In Construction

Forecast Pipeline Total
Storage (MWh) 861 1,400 3,646 5,907


Contracted/in construction projects are expected to be delivered within the next 12 to 18 months. Forecast projects include those that have more than 75% probability of being contracted within the next 12 months, and the remaining pipeline includes projects that have been identified but have a below 75% probability of being contracted.



Total Solar Project Pipeline

As January 31, 2021, the Company’s total project pipeline was 20.2 GWp, including, 1.6 GWp under construction, 3.8 GWp of backlog, and 14.8 GWp of earlier stage pipeline. The backlog includes projects that have passed their Risk Cliff Date and are expected to be built in the next one to four years. A project’s Risk Cliff Date depends on the country where the project is located and is defined as the date on which the project passes the last high-risk development stage. This is usually after the projects have received all the required environmental and regulatory approvals, interconnection agreements, feed-in tariff (“FIT”) arrangements and power purchase agreements (“PPAs”). Over 90% of projects in backlog are contracted (i.e., have secured a PPA or FIT), and the remaining are reasonably assured of securing PPAs.


The Company’s pipeline includes early- to mid-stage project opportunities currently under development but that are yet to be de-risked.


The following table presents the Company’s full pipeline as of January 31, 2021.

Total Project Pipeline (as of January 31, 2021) – MWp
Region In Construction Backlog Pipeline Total
North America 328 728 5,030 6,086
Latin America 731* 2,229* 3,495 6,455
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”) 429* 2,912 3,341
Japan 159 121 24 304
Asia Pacific excluding Japan and China 345 191 1,810 2,346
China (part of CSI Solar) 125 1,500 1,625
Total 1,563 3,823 14,771 20,157
Note: Gross MWp size of projects includes 510 MWp and 63 MWp of projects in construction and backlog, respectively, in Latin America, and 129 MWp in backlog in EMEA, that are not owned by Canadian Solar or have been sold to third parties.


The Company has a sizable amount of premium, high FIT projects in Japan. The table below sets forth the expected COD schedule of the Company’s project backlog in development and construction in Japan, as of January 31, 2021:


Expected COD Schedule – MWp 

2021 2022 2023 and Thereafter Total
63 167 50 280


Solar Power Plants in Operation

As of January 31, 2021, the Company’s power plants in operation totaled 493 MWp, with a combined estimated net resale value of approximately $620 million to Canadian Solar. The estimated resale value is based on selling prices that Canadian Solar is currently negotiating or transaction prices of similar assets in the relevant markets.


Latin America Japan Asia Pacific 

ex. Japan & China

China Total
100 75 61 257 493

Note: Gross MWp size of projects, includes 26 MWp in Asia Pacific ex. Japan already sold to third parties. Also includes 61 MWp of projects in Japan which were sold in March 2021. China portfolio is part of CSI Solar.


Total Battery Storage Project Pipeline

The Global Energy segment has been actively developing utility-scale solar plus energy storage projects, as well as stand-alone battery storage projects. Over the past year, Canadian Solar has signed several new storage tolling agreements with a variety of power purchasers, including community choice aggregators, investor-owned utilities, universities, and public utility districts. The Company has also signed development services agreements to retrofit operational solar projects with battery storage, many of which were previously developed by the Company. Canadian Solar is uniquely positioned to deliver energy storage solutions to its customers, especially in solar plus storage solutions, given its proprietary integrated technologies and expertise in battery storage system integration and its unique positioning as both a top-tier module manufacturer and global project developer.


The table below sets forth Global Energy’s storage project development backlog and pipeline as of January 31, 2021.

In Operation In Construction Backlog Pipeline Total
Storage (MWh) 3 913 1,388 6,467 8,771


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SOURCE Canadian Solar Inc.

Investor Relations Contacts: Isabel Zhang, Investor Relations, Canadian Solar Inc.,; David Pasquale, Global IR Partners, Tel: +1-914-337-8801,

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