US-based PV manufacturer and plant developer, First Solar, has comfortably held on to the top position of solar project tracker website Wiki-Solar's table of leading utility-scale solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies.
According to Wiki-Solar's latest EPC ranking, First Solar led the pack with 1,147MW of cumulative utility-scale deployment across 22 solar plants. Coming in second was Germany-based renewable energy developer, Juwi, with 516MW of projects, and third was international EPC company Betchel with 498MW.
The list published by Wiki-Solar today comprises 21 contractors each with over 100MW installed. More than half of the entrants are European EPC companies. Wiki-Solar defines utility scale as projects of 10MW and over in size.
Overall, in 2013 utility-scale installations reached more than 6GW, and are expected to be 8GW by the end of the year. This is in comparison to 5.6GW in 2012 and 3.6GW in 2011.
The utility-scale market is now worth more than an estimated US$10 billion, according to Wiki-Solar.
Wiki-Solar founder Philip Wolfe said high number of multinationals on the list was a good sign of the industry’s “maturity”, noting that the big multinationals have “climbed the ranking tables fast, by focusing on the largest projects”.
“A US$10 billion market with 50% year-on-year growth is enough to get anyone’s attention. The specialist solar contractors can’t rest on their laurels, and it’s good to see traditional leaders like Juwi and SunEdison actively pursuing new market opportunities to keep them high on the list.”
However the site also notes that China-based EPC companies are unrepresented, due to both a lack of EPC announcements and developers having in-house EPC expertise.