North Coast Solar Stocks

September 15, 2009

Canadian Solar Signs Technology Agreement with Energy Research Center of the Netherlands

Filed under: CSIQ — Tags: , , , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Tuesday September 15, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

ONTARIO, Canada, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ — Canadian Solar Inc. (the “Company”, “Canadian Solar” or “we”) (CSIQ) announced today that it has signed a joint technology development and transfer agreement with Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (“ECN”) to apply the technology for metal wrap-through (“MWT”) cells to Canadian Solar’s production lines.

MWT cells eliminate the need for front side bus-bars and therefore increase effective surface and the conversion efficiency of a solar cell. A more advanced version of this technology, emitter wrap-through (“EWT”) structures, can further eliminate the front surface grid and therefore further increase the cell conversion efficiency. Both of these wrap-through technologies also increase module conversion efficiency by enabling back-side interconnection technology in module production. The specialized module assembly equipment will be developed and manufactured in co-operation with Eurotron, a Netherlands based manufacturer and supplier of handling equipment for module assembly. Higher conversion efficiency cells will allow the Company to produce more powerful solar modules, while potentially reducing manufacturing costs. The transfer of MWT cell technology is expected to take approximately 6 months.

This agreement is part of Canadian Solar’s comprehensive high-efficiency research program. In the fourth quarter of 2009, the Company expects to begin commercially introducing a new cell structure which combines a modified selective emitter process and, better texturization, precise state-of-art screen printing and several other improvements. The new structure is expected to raise the conversion efficiency of monocrystalline cells to 18.5% and multicrystalline cells with an estimated 16.8% conversion efficiency. Longer-term objectives for Canadian Solar’s research program include researching on hetero-junction intrinsic thin-layer cells and tandem junction cells. These activities are expected to take several years and could result in cells with conversion efficiencies in excess of 20% to as high as 25%.

Canadian Solar’s Chairman and CEO, Shawn Qu, said, “We are very pleased to have the Energy Research Center as a technology partner. ECN is a leading institute for high-efficiency cell and module technologies such as MWT. Working together will help us to improve the higher-powered modules currently preferred as a premium product by Canadian Solar’s customers. Producing high-efficiency cells is an important part of our commitment to producing premium branded products. In addition to the brand value of these products, higher power modules can reduce manufacturing and installation costs, both of which are critical to making PV systems more cost-effective for end customers.”

ECN’s chairman of the board, Ton Hoff, said, “Canadian Solar is an ideal partner for us. Its long-term commitment to leveraging R&D to provide higher quality, more cost-effective PV products has made it an industry leader. As a strong and independent research institute, ECN gives their partners a perfect opportunity to apply the latest technologies. By working with ECN, Canadian Solar now has created an opening to achieve a better competitive edge in the PV market. We are excited to be working together because Canadian Solar has the financial strength, global reach and scale needed to move our technology from a laboratory environment to real-world, commercial applications that can help increase the use of environmentally friendly, solar energy systems.”

Bram Verschoor, commercial director of Eurotron, said, “We are very eager to make this a successful project. We have collaborated with ECN for several years now and developed the technology to a level that it can be taken out of the research phase. We foresee that this project will be the launch of back-contact module technology into the PV market. We will support Canadian Solar in making this happen.”

About The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands

The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands is the largest research center in the field of energy in the Netherlands. ECN’s technology is used in solar energy conversion, as well as for other alternative energy sources, such as biomass, wind energy, hydrogen & clean fossil fuels. In cooperation with universities, ECN develops high-quality knowledge and technology for a sustainable energy system, and transfers these to the market. ECN is located near Petten, the Netherlands, and employs approximately 630 people. For more information please visit http://www.ecn.nl .

About Eurotron

Eurotron is a company, specialized in powerful handling equipment for module assembly. A team of dedicated employees invents and produces handling equipment in order to address tomorrows PV questions today. A pro-active attitude and a strong orientation on customer demands have been key factors for Eurotron’s success. For more information, visit http://www.eurotron.nl .

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