Suntech Power Holdings could be a key winner in the bids for business with China’s Qinghai provincial government, which has plans for a 500MW solar plant over the next 2-3 years. Although Suntech was said by Barclays Capital solar analyst Vishal Shah to be in early discussions with the provincial government, its ability to tap low-cost polysilicon and deliver the project for less than US$3/W and sell power for less than US$0.15/kWh could be the key for Suntech gaining the contract win. This would also improve Suntech’s chances of capturing other major projects in emerging markets such as the U.S. in the future.
Shah cautioned that the Qinghai government plans have yet to receive central government approval, but such programs are expected to win support due to the solid project economics and job creation.
Barclays Capital’s forecast for the China market currently assumes 60MW of installations in 2009, 100MW in 2010, and 170MW installed in 2011.