Canadian Solar has said it is in the process of developing a pipeline of subsidy-free solar farms in the UK, joining a recent flurry of developers to return to the build-out phase.

Speaking last week after the sale of its last built asset in the UK, Canadian Solar chairman and CEO Shawn Qu said continued declines in cost had resulted in the module manufacturer returning to building throughout Europe, even without the fiscal aid of subsidies.

Canadian Solar will now look to build its first subsidy-free assets, starting in the middle of next year.

“We are excited about solar energy’s increasingly competitive prospects and are committed to expanding our presence and supporting the growth of solar markets in Europe,” Qu added.

Canadian Solar was among a number of solar module manufacturers to have launched asset development businesses in the UK and beyond, making the most of subsidy regimes that rewarded generating assets.

At one stage, a 150MW portfolio of built assets placed on the market by Canadian Solar in the summer of 2017 was among the most richly sought-after on the market, before Greencoat Capital acquired it for ~£190 million in February 2018.

Canadian Solar confirmed that it had last month closed the sale of its 3.3MW Milborne Port project to Elm Trading Group, representing the last subsidised solar asset on its books.

In pursuing a new pipeline, Canadian Solar joins a growing list of companies targeting the UK solar market as project economics swing in favour of merchant-based business models. NextEnergy Solar Fund has energised its first post-subsidy asset in the UK and is currently developing more, while fellow investor Bluefield Solar Income Fund has also signed its maiden post-subsidy pipeline agreements.

 

Subsidy-free economics will be a central theme of this year’s Solar Finance and Investment Europe confernece, held at London’s Victoria Park Plaza between 5 – 6 February 2020. More details on the event, including how to attend, can be found here

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