Chinese government initiatives for distributed generation will have “a far greater impact on installations in China this year”, according to the chairman and chief executive officer of Hanwha SolarOne.
Hanwha SolarOne has signed a fresh deal to develop, own and operate 50MW of distributed generation projects of rooftops in one of China’s autonomous economic development zones. The company, which merged with Hanwha QCELLS in December, appears to have signalled its intent to continue expanding its downstream offering, signing an agreement with relevant authorities in Guangxi ASEAN Economic Development Zone (GAEDZ) in southern China.
Both Hanwha companies are traditionally better known for their manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) modules. With the latest deal, SolarOne and the region’s Administrative Committee have made a “long term strategic partnership with the aim to develop distributed generation (DG) PV projects”.
GAEDZ Administrative Committee will assist with securing rooftops for installations, gaining project approval and connection to the grid. The committee will also help Hanwha SolarOne with tax and project finance arrangements. Hanwha SolarOne will develop, own and ultimately operate the 50MW of plants – although either party can cancel the terms of the agreement following a 90 day notification period. China’s government set some ambitious targets for distributed generation during 2014. In November, Hanwha SolarOne signed a 100MW deal to develop DG projects in Yantai, northern China.
Hanwha SolarOne chief executive officer and chairman Seong-woo Nam said the company wanted to be at “the forefront” of DG in China.
China had hoped to install close to 8GW of DG projects in 2014. After a sluggish start, it announced a number of policy changes to encourage greater take-up.
“Hanwha SolarOne is pleased to partner with GAEDZ as we look to make 2015 a defining year for the company in terms of downstream business. We believe that the government initiatives announced in September of last year will have a far greater impact on installations in China this year and we hope that this agreement demonstrates our intent to be at the forefront of the DG market.”
Nam went on to hail SolarOne’s performance in the second half of 2014 and said the company was keen to expand its share of the Chinese DG market during 2015.
In addition to expanding its downstream offering, Hanwha SolarOne also appears to be putting plans to expand to other regions into action, announcing an 80MW module supply deal to projects in Chile in the first few days of the year. Additionally, the company’s merger with Hanwha QCELLS could also mean that the company will be able to circumvent duties payable on Chinese solar products, holding a significant production capacity in Malaysia and elsewhere that could allow the company to deliver 600MW of tariff-free modules to the US market.