GUELPH, Ontario, March 16, 2021 – Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, or “Canadian Solar”) (NASDAQ: CSIQ) and SolarWorX, a Berlin based off-grid solar pioneer, announced today that they entered into a strategic partnership in which Canadian Solar will invest in SolarWorX as part of the start-up’s series A investment round. Canadian Solar, as the lead investor, is joined by co-investors EIT InnoEnergy, one of the leading European investors in sustainable energy innovations, and DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft, the German development finance institution. DEG will use funds from the develoPPP.de program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The seven-digit funding will help SolarWorX expand its product portfolio and sales activities in its overall push to electrify some of the 1.2 billion people that are still living without a stable grid connection.
SolarWorX offers a modular off-grid solar solution called Solego to harness and distribute energy from solar panels. The modular systems with 80Wh or 160Wh battery capacity can be stacked on top of each other and provide flexibility to power individual households, small businesses and entire communities. The systems also offer voice support in local languages such as English, French, Swahili, Wolof and Fula, and are compatible with all major pay-as-you-go platforms. Significant upside potential lies in SolarWorX’s upcoming smart DC grid solution called MESH, a hardware-agnostic system that allows users of Solego and other 12V solar battery systems to easily share PV powered electricity between 2 to 100 households and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). MESH will be deployed in the field at a pre-commercial stage by the second quarter of 2021.
Felix Boldt, CEO and founder of SolarWorX, commented: “In sub-Saharan Africa alone, around 600 million people are detached from the opportunities that come with reliable access to power. Changing that requires more than just a well-engineered technical solar solution. In Africa, everything is defined by price. Our solution cuts out the need for technicians and can be customized to accommodate individual power demands and available budgets. This, combined with our approach to work with local distribution partners in those incredibly diverse markets is what sets us apart, and we are incredibly proud to have Canadian Solar, EIT InnoEnergy and DEG join us in our effort to bring clean energy to rural Africa.”
SolarWorX’s existing key markets are Cameroon, Zambia and Nigeria, with South Africa as its base for selling to the sub-Saharan region. New targeted countries have a high proportion of citizens living off the grid, and thus represent a massive addressable market, which can benefit greatly from a large-scale rollout of affordable off-grid power systems.
“The electrification of sub-Saharan Africa represents one of the most important global challenges of our time, as well as one of the greatest business opportunities,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar, “Bringing clean, reliable power to those currently living off the grid will have a profound positive effect on the world as a whole. This investment reflects Canadian Solar’s commitment to contribute to social development as part of its broader sustainability strategy. We are excited to partner with SolarWorX and believe that, with our support, they can position themselves as a leading facilitator of this rollout.”
Canadian Solar’s strong network of suppliers, sales channels, and logistics on the African continent will help SolarWorX further reduce costs and establish itself as a viable solution to bring renewable off grid power to where it is most needed.
SolarworX was founded in Dec. 2017 with the aim to develop and mass manufacture a set of new generation modular, solar powered off-grid products. The founder team is comprised of individuals with substantial expertise in the sub-Saharan off-grid markets, having lived in African countries for years and having experienced first-hand the challenges that come with last mile distribution in rural areas. Feeding the lessons-learned from the field into SolarWorX product designs makes them unique. SolarWorX’ strategy lies in finding local distribution partners and supporting them not only with the right technology but also fundraising and operational expertise. The team envisions a future of hardware agnostic solar systems that can be interconnected for decentralized energy sharing and productivity for a higher local value creation. For more info visit solarworx.io.
About EIT InnoEnergy
EIT InnoEnergy is the leading engine for innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable energy, across Europe and beyond. EIT InnoEnergy has invested in and provided added value services to some 380 sustainable energy related innovators; of those 40+ in renewable generation. EIT InnoEnergy supports and invests in innovation at every stage of the journey, leveraging its unique trusted specialised ecosystem of 500+ partners in sustainable energy. EIT InnoEnergy has invested more than 600M€ since 2010 and is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft is a Development Finance Institution (DFI) and a subsidiary of KfW Group. For almost 60 years, DEG has been a reliable partner to private-sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. DEG provides its customers with tailor-made solutions, including financing, promotional programs and advice tailored to individual needs. They can thus develop successfully and sustainably, while generating local added value and creating qualified jobs. With a portfolio of around EUR 9 billion in approximately 80 countries DEG is one of the world’s largest private-sector development financiers.
About Canadian Solar Inc.
Canadian Solar was founded in 2001 in Canada and is one of the world’s largest solar technology and renewable energy companies. It is a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules, provider of solar energy and battery storage solutions, and developer of utility-scale solar power and battery storage projects with a geographically diversified pipeline in various stages of development. Over the past 19 years, Canadian Solar has successfully delivered over 49 GW of premium-quality, solar photovoltaic modules to customers in over 150 countries. Likewise, since entering the project development business in 2010, Canadian Solar has developed, built and connected over 5.7 GWp in over 20 countries across the world. Currently, the Company has over 500 MWp of projects in operation, over 5 GWp of projects under construction or in backlog (late-stage), and an additional 11 GWp of projects in pipeline (mid- to early- stage). Canadian Solar is one of the most bankable companies in the solar and renewable energy industry, having been publicly listed on the NASDAQ since 2006. For additional information about the Company, follow Canadian Solar on LinkedIn or visit www.canadiansolar.com.
Safe Harbor/Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These statements are made under the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by such terms as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “estimates,” the negative of these terms, or other comparable terminology. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include general business and economic conditions and the state of the solar industry; governmental support for the deployment of solar power; future available supplies of high-purity silicon; demand for end-use products by consumers and inventory levels of such products in the supply chain; changes in demand from significant customers; changes in demand from major markets such as Japan, the U.S., India and China; changes in customer order patterns; changes in product mix; capacity utilization; level of competition; pricing pressure and declines in average selling prices; delays in new product introduction; delays in utility-scale project approval process; delays in utility-scale project construction; delays in the completion of project sales; delays in the process of qualifying to list the MSS subsidiary in the PRC; continued success in technological innovations and delivery of products with the features customers demand; shortage in supply of materials or capacity requirements; availability of financing; exchange rate fluctuations; litigation and other risks as described in the Company’s SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 20-F filed on April 28, 2020. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee future results, level of activity, performance, or achievements. Investors should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All information provided in this press release is as of today’s date, unless otherwise stated, and Canadian Solar undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.
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