NextEra Energy places massive 1.5GW PV module supply order with Hanwha Q CELLS

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Major US electricity producer NextEra Energy Resources has signed a 1.5GW solar PV module supply agreement with Hanwha Q CELLS, using its high-efficiency Q.ANTUM cell (PERC) technology produced in Malaysia and South Korea.

The major module supply deal will include shipments starting in the fourth quarter of 2015 through the fourth quarter of 2016, ahead of expected US ITC reductions, which could severely undermine the economics of building utility-scale PV power plants in the country after the reduction in tax credits. 

Seong-woo Nam, Chief Executive Officer of Hanwha Q CELLS, said, “We are proud to become a strategic partner with NextEra Energy Resources, a worldwide renewable-energy leader. This agreement is a testament to the quality, value and competiveness of Hanwha Q CELLS' advanced solar cell and module technology,” Nam also added, “This supply deal will enable Hanwha Q CELLS to become the market share leader among global manufacturers in two of the three world's largest solar markets, the U.S. and Japan.”

The NextEra Energy supply deal is massive for Hanwha Q CELLS, especially considering its total shipments in 2014 were less than this supply deal with a single company. 

According to its 2014 annual report, former Hanwha SolarOne had annual production capacities of 2.07GW for PV modules and 1.75GW for solar cells in China, while Q CELLS, its recently merged sister company that had developed the high-efficiency PERC technology 1.53GW of solar cell capacity and only 130MW of module capacity. 

However, Hanwha SolarOne had previously announced the building of a 230MW module assembly plant in South Korea to avoid US anti-dumping duties, while former Q CELLS had announced the building of an 800MW module assembly plant in Malaysia in October 2014. The company is also relocating 170MW of PV cell production facilities from Germany to Malaysia in 2015. 

Although financial details were not disclosed, former Q CELLS average PV module prices in 2014 were US$0.719/W in 2014, down from US$0.746/W in 2013, while former Hanwha SolarOne, using lower efficiency modules as ASP’s of US$0.62/W in 2014.

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