Canadian Solar Q4 module shipments could drop by over 8% quarterly

A solar project from Canadian Solar in Brazil. Image: Canadian Solar via Twitter.

Solar Module Super League (SMSL) member and manufacturer Canadian Solar has posted an increase in module shipments in the third quarter of 2023 to 8.3GW, but the company said Q4 module shipments will be in the range of 7.6GW-8.1GW, according to its latest financial result announcement.

Total module shipments in Q3 this year increased by 39% to 8.3GW year-on-year, and 1% quarter-on-quarter. Of the total shipments, 82MW were shipped to Canadian Solar’s own utility-scale solar power projects. The number of shipments in 2023 was already higher than that of 2022. As of the end of Q3 2023, Canadian Solar shipped 22.6GW of modules. In 2022, the total shipments was only 21.1GW.

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However, the company’s net income decreased significantly from US$170 million in Q2 2023 to only US$22 million in Q3 2023. Net revenues in Q3 2023 decreased by 22% quarter-on-quarter from US$2.36 billion in Q2 2023 to US$1.8 billion. Yearly, net revenues decreased by 4% from US$1.93 billion. The decrease reflected lower project sales during the quarter and a decline in module average selling price (ASP), partially offset by higher solar module shipment volumes.

Canadian Solar’s total operating expenses remained stable. Last quarter, such expenses were US$225 million, up from US$216 million or 4.2% quarter-on-quarter. Canadian Solar said the increase was driven by higher transportation, tunnel oxide passivated contact cell (TOPCon) production ramp up and research and development (R&D) capital expenditure.

“We significantly ramped up our capacity in the latest n-type TOPCon cell technology, which now accounts for half of our total cell capacity and is expected to reach 60% by the end of 2023,” said Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.

The company also disclosed the business of subsidiaries Recurrent Energy and CSI Solar. As of the end of Q3 2023, Recurrent Energy boasted a total global solar development pipeline of 26GWp, including 1.8GWp under construction, 6GWp of backlog, and 18.7GWp of projects in advanced and early-stage pipelines.

 Recurrent Energy’s solar power plants in operation totalled 847MWp as of the end of Q3 2023. 

In October, Canadian Solar issued a ¥18.5 billion (US$123.6 million) private placement in Japan, providing the company with enhanced liquidity and flexible funds to grow its project development subsidiary Recurrent Energy’s global business.

Canadian Solar’s solar module and battery storage manufacturing division CSI Energy shipped 8.3GW of solar modules to more than 70 countries in Q3 2023. In that quarter, the top five markets ranked by shipments were China, the US, Brazil, Spain, and Germany.

Looking ahead, the total revenues of the company in Q4 2023 are expected to be in the range of US$1.6 billion-US$1.8 billion. Total module shipments will drop to the range between 7.6GW and 8.1GW, including approximately 95MW to the company’s own projects.

For the entire year of 2024, Canadian Solar expects total module shipments to be in the range of 42GW-47GW.

Prior to the announcement of its Q3 financial results, Canadian Solar unveiled its plan to build a 5GW n-type wafer production facility in Chonburi, Thailand. Production is expected to start in March 2024 with an annual nameplate capacity of 5GW and be initially used to supply the existing TOPCon cell manufacturing plant in the same location.

The company also announced the plan to build a 5GW solar cell production facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The factory will supply Canadian Solar’s previously announced 5GW module assembly facility in Mesquite, Texas, the US.

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