According to the latest PV System Integrators report from IMS Research, a German company held onto the top spot for the second year running. The report also demonstrated how Chinese integrators made the biggest gains in 2011, with three companies appearing in the top 10.

The report, which tracks the activities and pipelines of more than 550 global system integrators and EPCs, found that Belectric maintained its position as the world’s largest PV system integrator in 2011, with close to 400MW of new PV capacity developed. Belectric was followed by China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) which was responsible for 380MW of new PV capacity in China in 2011.

Ash Sharma, senior research director for PV at IMS Research, said, “Most European system integrators had another solid year in terms of project development, highlighted by Belectric’s top ranking again. But it was really the US and Chinese companies that shone in 2011 and far outpaced the rest of the pack – not surprising given their domestic markets’ huge utility-scale deployment in 2011.”

Though the biggest gains were made by Chinese integrators in 2011, a high level of project completion performance was also achieved by US-based companies First Solar, SunEdison and SunPower which were ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively. German-based companies dominated the rest of the rankings.

“Of the top 30 PV system integrators globally, 24 of these were European, showing that although Europe’ share of installations is dropping sharply, its system integrators are still able to maintain their stranglehold on the market – for now at least,” continued Sharma.

“Just four German integrators appeared in our top 10 ranking for 2011; however, they made up 14 of the top 30 and managed to grow their business by more than 50% to 2.2GW.

“The growing number of multi-MW, ground-mount PV projects last year did however go some way in reversing this trend; as many companies were able to climb high up the rankings on the back of just one or two projects. We expect this to continue in 2012, particularly as markets such as China, India and USA become more dominant and their preference for very large installations drives further concentration,” concluded Sharma.