NEW YORK (
announced a Japanese joint venture covering 18MW of solar energy on Thursday. Canadian Solar will fork over 14% of shares in its Japanese subsidiary, Canadian Solar Japan, to
West Holding will distribute and sell solar residential rooftop systems designed by Canadian Solar Japan. The deal makes sense based on the existing business of West Holding -- it is already a big distributor of residential solar systems in Japan, and as a residential housing development company, has a business segment devoted to rooftop design and construction.
The heat is on solar companies to increase their geographic mix of solar business as the opportunities shift slightly away from Europe. Germany is expected to announce a reduction in its solar feed-in tariff incentives in the coming days, while
France reduced its rooftop solar feed-in tariffs on Wednesday by 24%. The French move was significant, but not seen as a threat to the development of its solar market, and Germany will remain by far the largest market for solar.
Nonetheless, Canadian Solar has planted its footprint in the Canadian market of Ontario, and
Asian markets are also expected to be a bigger part of the geographic mix in the future -- notably Japan, Korea and, of course, China, which has yet to release details of its feed-in tariff plan.
Shares of Canadian Solar were up close to 4% in early Thursday trading, and had slide back to a gain of 2.2% by midday; those gains, however, were in the middle of the pack among Chinese solar stocks early in the day, with
trading up even more -- China Sunergy, for one, was up close to 9% in midday trading.
-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.
>>France Cuts Solar Incentives by 24%
Follow TheStreet.com on
and become a fan on
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.