Canadian Solar to Supply 268MW Modules to Dubai Solar Park

Canadian Solar Inc.CSIQ recently secured a module supply order from the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA). Per the terms, the company will be the sole supplier of double-glass modules for completing the first phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai.

Details of the Deal

The aforementioned Solar Park is a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant. This three-phased project, with a planned capacity of 5,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030, will be the largest single-site solar park in the world on completion. Phase 3 of this project, expected to be over by 2020, comes with a total capacity of 800MW.

According to the contract, Canadian Solar will supply more than 800,000 of its double-glass Dymond modules to complete the first stage of Phase 3. These modules have the capacity to generate 268MW of solar power. Production and delivery of the modules have already started this month.

Work on Phase 3 began this January. The construction is set to be completed in three stages, with the first 200MW expected to be operational by the first half of 2018. The remaining two 300 MW stages are likely to follow in the next two years.

Notably, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. Through this strategy, Dubai aims to reduce its reliance on imported natural gas and increase solar energy to 7% of the total by 2010 and 15% by 2030.

Our View

Throughout 2016, the solar industry grappled with challenges like declining solar panel prices, weaker power plant contracting activity, increasing regulatory stringency as well as a looming supply glut of solar panels. As solar players consistently ramped up production in an effort to seize a higher market share, panel supply outweighed the demand significantly.

Moreover, the unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the Presidential election did not bode well for the renewable energy space either. The President has not only vowed to revive the coal industry, but also called the climate change a "Chinese Hoax".

All these had a material impact on solar companies such as First Solar, Inc. FSLR , SunPower Corporation SPWR and Enphase Energy, Inc. ENPH .

On a brighter note, investors have been pouring money back into renewable firms, boosting net deposits in 22 'green' mutual funds to nearly $83 million in the first four months of 2017, according to data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper unit. This reflects that they have regained faith in renewable energy as well as believe that the president will not succeed in reviving the coal industry. Nevertheless, if the U.S. government continues to discourage growth of renewables or succeeds in repealing Clean Power Plan, solar stocks like Canadian Solar may not survive in the long run.

Price Movement

Shares of Canadian Solar lost 27.5% in the last 12 months, which compares favorably with the Zacks categorized Solar industry's decline of 34.9%. This outperformance may have been triggered by the company's strong pipeline of projects, apart from the fact that being a vertically integrated manufacturer, Canadian Solar has a distinct advantage over its peers.

Zacks Rank

Canadian Solar currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). This could be because the solar industry is expected to continue experiencing market dislocation in the near term, which will directly impact Canadian Solar's 2017 financial performance.

You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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