JinkoSolar ships 21.3GW modules in Q3 2023, dominated by TOPCon

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JinkoSolar’s TOPCon panels will be used at the Ar Rass 2 and Al Kahfah projects, for which it signed a supply deal with ACWA Power earlier this year. Image: Jinko Solar

Solar Module Super League (SMSL) member JinkoSolar shipped 21.3GW of solar modules and 1.2GW of cells and wafers in Q3 2023, an increase of 21.4% sequentially and 108.2% year-on-year (YoY).

Of the 21.3GW of shipped modules over 60% were high efficiency n-type products, predominantly tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) modules. These, Jinko said, maintained their premium over p-type products, and this premium exceeded the market average. The 60% n-type ratio has held more-or-less steady for the entire year so far, and Jinko said that it expects it to continue through Q4.

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As of the end of Q3, the company claimed that it is the first global module manufacturer to ship more than 190GW of modules cumulatively. Its TOPCon cell production capacity currently sits at 55GW, with the stated expectation to reach 70GW by year’s end.

The rest of the SMSL, without exception, have also set their stalls out for TOPCon: JA Solar, Trina Solar and Canadian Solar have all doubled down on their shifts to the tech in the last year.

In September, PV Tech head of research Finlay Colville forecast that JinkoSolar was poised to top the global module shipment lists this year, and that 2024 could see it tip 100GW of shipped capacity.

“Despite market volatility, we delivered strong results in the third quarter leveraging our advantages in n-type TOPCon technology, extensive global operation network and advanced integrated capacity structure,” said Xiande Li, JinkoSolar’s chairman and CEO.

The increase in shipments was in part due to falling prices across the PV supply chain which drove end demand; just this week, PV Price Watch recorded that the price of polysilicon wafers has fallen dramatically. This is just the most recent drop in a sequence of falling upstream and downstream prices.

Li continued: “We expect our annual production capacity for mono wafers, solar cells and solar modules to reach 85GW, 90GW and 110GW, respectively, by the end of 2023, with n-type capacity accounting for over 75%. We are confident that we will continue to lead the industry with our advanced technology and premium high-efficient products.”

N-type efficiency record

In addition to the falling prices, JinkoSolar said that the uptick in n-type interest was due to the lower Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) provided by the higher-efficiency products.

This week, the company released a claim that its 182 mm high-efficiency n-type monocrystalline silicon TOPCon cell posted a new efficiency record. The cell posted a 26.89% conversion efficiency rating, as confirmed by the National PV industry Measurement and Testing Center.

Jin Hao, CTO of Jinko Solar said: “We will continue to invest in R&D innovation and mass production capabilities, and to accelerate the pace of industry upgrading for advanced n-type product. We are confident to provide better returns to our customers with our cutting-edge technology and reliable supply chain.”

Q3 Financials

On the financial side, Q3 saw revenues rise alongside shipments. Total revenues were RMB31.83 billion (US$4.36 billion), up 3.7% sequentially and 63.1% YoY. Net income was RMB1.32 billion (US$181.4 million), relatively steady compared with Q2 2023 but up from RMB549.8 million (US$75.1 million) in Q3 2022.

As per the company’s preliminary results for Q1-3 2023, total net income so far this year is in the range of RMB6.14 billion (US$839 million) to RMB6.54 billion (US$893 million).

Jinko’s gross margin increased and total operating expenses decreased sequentially every quarter this year, both due to the falling price of raw materials and subsequent decline in shipment costs.

Outlook

Jinko said that it expects n-type demand to continue to grow from an increasing number of markets. As such, it plans to continue to invest in overseas integrated production capacity, aiming for 12GW of capacity outside of China by the end of the year, 75% of which will be n-type. For the fourth quarter of 2023, the company expects its module shipments to be around 23GW.

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