ROUND-UP: Solar leads digital era, Energix buying from First Solar, Canadian Solar financing

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Solar companies are putting a strong focus on blockchain technology to drive their digital transformation. Credit: DNV GL

Solar industry most advanced energy sector to drive digital transformation 

16 May: The solar industry is leading the way in its digital transformation compared to other energy industries, according to DNV GL’s report on Digitalization and the Future of the Solar Energy Industry, which surveyed nearly 2000 engineers and senior executives from start-ups to large corporations in the energy sector.

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Solar companies are putting a strong focus on blockchain technology to drive their digital transformation, with 12% of respondents stating that skillsets to implement blockchain applications are needed in their industry, which is 50% higher than in other energy industries. The use of this technology is still in its infancy, however blockchain applications provide the opportunity to make an impact on areas such as decentralized energy transactions, renewable energy provenance, metering and billing.

Other digital technologies that are more advanced are already an integral part of the solar industry. Drones for asset inspections, mapping using satellite data and automated resource assessment, for example, are widely used in the solar industry, with 33% of respondents saying these are making an impact on their business, which is 1/3 higher than for the rest of the energy industry.

The full report 'Digitalization and the future of energy', including a solar-specific segment, can be found here.

Canadian Solar secures US$50 million term loan from Credit Suisse

15 May: Chinese solar firm Canadian Solar has closed on a US$50 million term loan from Credit Suisse AG, Singapore Branch.

Canadian Solar intends to deploy the term loan to support the development of its international solar project pipeline and for general corporate purposes. The term loan is expected to mature in April 2021. Credit Suisse further provided Canadian Solar with a cross-currency interest rate swap to hedge its cross-currency interest rate liabilities relating to the term loan.

Energix plans US$120 million module deal with First Solar

16 May: Israel’s Energix Renewable Energies will purchase US$120 million worth of solar modules from US-based thin-film specialist First Solar, according to a Reuters report.

Energix plans to build PV projects in Israel and the US. It will pay a US$5 million downpayment followed by a further US$60 million in the second half of 2019. 

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