Canadian Solar Taps Mesquite for New $250M Solar Module Production Facility

The Mesquite plant, to be located in a 91-acre industrial park at 3000 Skyline Drive, will be Canadian Solar's first U.S. manufacturing facility, adding to its other plants in Canada, China, Brazil, Thailand, and Vietnam. The project is expected to bring 1,500 jobs to the city, the company said.

A Canadian solar company announced that it’s creating a solar PV module production facility in Mesquite that will lead to 1,500 skilled jobs and a $250 million investment.

Canadian Solar Inc. of Guelph, Ontario, said production is expected to begin around the end of the year at the state-of-the-art solar photovoltaic module manufacturing plant. Its expected annual output of 5 GW will be equivalent to roughly 20,000 high-power modules per day.

According to the Mesquite EDC, the project will be located in a 91-acre industrial park at 3000 Skyline Drive. It will be Canadian Solar’s first U.S. manufacturing facility, adding to its other plants in Canada, China, Brazil, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In 2021, Canadian Solar relocated Recurrent Energy, its 17-year-old U.S. subsidiary, to Austin, spearheading the rapid growth of renewable energy in Texas as a solar and battery storage project developer.

Governor, mayor celebrate the news

3000 Skyline Drive in Mesquite, the site of the planned Canadian Solar plant. [Photo: CallisonRTKL]

“Canadian Solar’s new $250 million manufacturing plant in Mesquite will bolster Texas’ status as the energy capital of the world and secure our leadership as a global tech hub,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.

Mesquite Mayor Daniel Aleman Jr. said the city is looking forward to Canadian Solar’s investment.

“We’re very proud to have a company like Canadian Solar in Mesquite and appreciate their investment in our city. We look forward to a great partnership with them and the impact they will make on our community,” Aleman said in a statement.

Canadian Solar founder and CEO Dr. Shawn Qu said that the new facility is an important addition for the company.

“Establishing this factory is a key milestone that will enable us to better serve our U.S. customers with the most advanced technology in the industry,” Qu said in a statement. “We hope that this is the first of many long-term investments we expect to make in the U.S. as we think strategically about a sustainable and resilient clean energy supply chain. We thank the State of Texas, Dallas County, and the City of Mesquite for their critical support and we look forward to working with them as we grow.”

Addressing need for solar and battery storage

Canadian Solar is a leader in the development and commercialization of the novel Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact (TOPCon) solar cell technology, which will be deployed in the modules produced at the Mesquite facility, the company said.

TOPCon cells have the highest efficiency in commercial solar PV technology and are highly optimized in bifacial modules, generating energy from both the front and the rear of the solar cell. Canadian Solar said the deployment of the latest TOPCon technology in the U.S. will help reduce consumers’ electricity bills and further contribute towards decarbonizing the energy grid.

One of world’s largest solar tech companies

Founded in 2001, Canadian Solar 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.

In a Q1 investor presentation, Canadian Solar noted “long-term growth driven by competitive economics and ESG/decarbonization efforts” for both solar and battery storage.

Canadian Solar anticipates that by the year 2030, the total worldwide capacity will increase to 4.7 TW. The company also notes that to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, a total of 5.5 TW of solar PV installations will be needed by 2030.

Regarding battery energy storage, Canadian Solar projects that the total worldwide installed capacity of such storage systems will exceed 260 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in 2024, with this figure rising to 1.2 terawatt-hours by 2030. A gigawatt-hour is a unit of energy that represents 1 billion watt-hours. A terawatt-hour represents 1 trillion watt-hours.

Mission to power the world

The company said that the industry has “massive growth potential as solar remains underpenetrated.”

Canadian Solar calls Solar PV the “most environmentally and economically attractive source of electricity, critical to any global decarbonization scenario.”

The company said its mission is to power the world with solar energy and create a better and cleaner Earth for future generations.

Canadian Solar’s CSI Solar subsidiary’s IPO was completed on June 9.

In the U.S., Canadian Solar has offices in Austin (its North America HQ), Walnut Creek, and New York City. It has a global presence in 25 countries and territories, focusing on premium markets.

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