Canadian Solar sells controlling stake in Tranquility Solar Project to Southern Company
Canadian Solar Inc. is one of the largest solar power energy providers, not just in Canada but in the world—the Guelph-based business boasts subsidiaries in 18 countries across six continents, from Australia and Singapore to the USA and the UAE. This week the company solidified a partnership with one of the largest energy providers in the United States, selling a controlling interest in its Tranquility Solar Power Project to Atlanta-based Southern Company.
Canadian Solar issued a press release this week explaining the deal, which involves the 200-megawatt Tranquility Solar Power Project under construction in Fresno, California. The project is being constructed by Recurrent Energy, a US-based wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, with further engineering, construction and procurement services provided by Signal Energy Constructors. The Tranquility project will cover 1,900 acres of land in Fresno County and will ultimately generate enough solar energy to power 55,000 homes—the project’s owners will sell this electricity along with renewable energy credits to Southern California Edison as part of a 15-year power purchase agreement.
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This new deal sees Southern Company acquiring a 51 percent controlling interest in the project, while Canadian Solar will retain the remaining 49 percent. Southern Company has showed a markedly increased interest in alternative fuel and energy sources recently—just last week the company acquired US-based natural gas company AGL Resources Inc. in a $12 billion deal. This new deal will solidify the company’s standing in the renewable energy field.
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"The Tranquillity project is an attractive opportunity for investors, providing long term stable cash flows," said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, in the press release announcing Southern Company’s investment. "This transaction is another example of solar power's move into the mainstream energy mix, and it shows our broader team's ability to attract top notch investors to finance our high-quality projects."
CB Insights: US Insurtechs Compete In A Now Global Market
In the first half of the year, insurtech companies around the world have raised US$7.4bn, nearly doubling their funding in Q2. According to Digital Insurance, insurtechs have raised US$4.8bn in Q2—an 89% increase in funding from Q1. But US firms are no longer the sole beneficiaries.
What Are the Stats?
Out of the 15 Q2 mega-rounds—those that top US$100mn—only eight included American firms. Pretty good, you might say. That’s over half! But US companies only made up 38% of the deals, which marks a 10% drop from Q1 and a 12% drop from 2020. Technically, therefore, US insurtechs are less influential than they’ve been in the past. But who says this is a bad development?
Despite my American citizenship, I’d argue that a more globally diverse insurance market is only for the best. Many of the world’s citizens who could most benefit from improved insurance services live outside of the States—and deserve local, tech-savvy services.
Why Does This Matter?
You’re always going to see the typical insurtech contenders from Western countries. For instance:
- German-based wefox: US$650mn Series C
- UK-based Bought By Many: US$350mn Series D
- US-based Collective Health: US$280mn Series F
But it’s critical that we address risk across the world. American insurtechs might be some of the most technologically skilled firms in the industry, but it’s not their first goal to address floods in Southeast Asia, crop destruction in China, and COVID complications in South Africa. That’s why we should celebrate that the recent Q2 round included insurtechs from 35 different countries.
According to CB Insights’ Q2 2021 Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, this was the first time that they’d observed insurtech activity in Botswana, Mali, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. And ‘from a product, service, distribution, and underlying risk perspective, we—as a society and as an industry—are moving at an unprecedented speed’, says Dr. Andrew Johnston, Global Head of Willis Re InsurTech.
Just ask CB Insights. InsurTech value propositions have resonated with the world.