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CSIQ Project Wins POWER-GEN Award

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Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) announced that its 148 MW solar park PV project in southern Brandenburg, Germany was conferred the Solar Project of the Year Award for 2012 by POWER-GEN International. The award was announced at POWER-GEN International's Projects of the Year awards gala in Orlando.

The solar complex in Brandenburg beat 43 other entrants from around the world to take top honors in the Best Solar Project category. Finalists were chosen by a team of eight editors from Power Engineering and Renewable Energy World.

The solar complex in southern Brandenburg, one of the world's largest PV projects covering 352 hectares (870 acres), was constructed on a former lignite mining strip in the East German community of Meuro, near Senftenberg. Canadian Solar provided 636,000 CS6P-P modules, powering nearly 90%, 148 MW, of the project's 166 MW total output. 

By utilizing a former surface mine for the installation, the PV solar project converted a brownfield into an energy-producing solar farm. This project created hundreds of local construction and operation jobs and generated enough clean, renewable solar energy to power 67,500 households in the region.

In recent times, Canadian Solar booked positive growth in Europe, most notably in Germany, offsetting the weakness in the U.S. market.  However, higher volumes were more than offset by persistently falling average selling prices. Average selling prices continued to decline as the Euro weakened and Germany transformed into a new, lower feed-in-tariff regime.

Looking forward, the company is actively branching out to capture new opportunities in key solar markets worldwide.  The company continues to see attractive opportunities for growth in China, Japan and India, as well as other emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Moreover, its specialization at the downstream total solutions business makes it a higher margin business.

However, in the near term, the fortunes of Canadian Solar could be impacted by the industry-wide supply glut, leading to sharply falling average selling prices, tepid module demand in Europe and rising competition in the market. Given the industry-wide high inventory level, we do not foresee any short-term margin improvement of the company.

Canadian Solar Inc. is one of the world's largest solar companies. As a leading vertically integrated provider of ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar modules and other solar applications, the company designs, manufactures and delivers solar products and solar system solutions for on-grid and off-grid use to customers worldwide.

With operations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, Canadian Solar provides premium quality, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar solutions to support global, sustainable development. Over the longer run, we thus maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock. The company holds a Zacks Rank #3, which translates into a short-term Hold rating, and correlates with our long-term recommendation. One of the peers of the company is SunPower Corporation (SPWR).

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