March 21 (Renewables Now) - Having hit record-high solar module shipments in 2016, Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ) expects 2017 to be even better in that regard.
The company expects to ship between 6.5 GW and 7 GW of solar modules this year, including some 6.17 GW recognised in revenue. This compares to the just-reported total solar module shipments for 2016 of 5.23 GW, of which 5.2 GW were recognised in revenue.
Full-year revenue is projected to be between USD 4 billion and USD 4.2 billion, with 50%-60% coming from the solar module and components business.
As per the company’s downstream business, it expects to hook to the grid between 1 GW and 1.2 GW of solar power plants globally this year. Its ongoing projects are located in the US, Japan, China, the UK, India, Brazil and Africa.
Canadian Solar noted that it expects the cost of production to decline throughout the year as new internal wafer, cell and module capacity comes online, both inside and outside China. A reduction of the percentage of external purchases and OEM will have a positive effect as well.
Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the full year was lower when compared to 2015 due to the industry-wide decline in average selling price. CEO Shawn Qu said the company is working to offset any negative impact of future declines in selling price with the introduction of new products and through its supply chain and manufacturing efficiency programmes.
Solely for the first quarter of 2017, the company forecasts total solar module shipments in the range of 1.15 GW to 1.2 GW, including some 120 MW of shipments to own projects. First-quarter revenue is seen ranging from USD 570 million to USD 590 million. Gross margin is expected at 13%-15%.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.925)