Furthering its efforts to outsource extra PV module production outside of China, ReneSola has signed a toll manufacturing agreement with Solairedirect SA, the South African-based subsidiary of French-owned integrated project developer, Solairedirect.
ReneSolar said that under the module tolling agreement, Solairedirect SA would assemble 120MW of ReneSola-branded modules for a period of three years at Solairedirect Technologies module assembly plant in South Africa.
Another aspect of the deal includes Solairedirect Technologies purchasing 20MW of the tolled modules for use in projects in the country as well as a further 34MW of the modules for use outside South Africa.
According to ReneSola, Solairedirect Technologies is in the process of doubling module assembly capacity, which stood at only 36MW but the facility had a nameplate capacity potential of 100MW, according to Solairedirect Technologies website.
Further potential capacity additions could lead to ReneSola increasing the tolling quantities, the company said.
Xianshou Li, ReneSola's chief executive officer, said, “We have partnered with Solairedirect to benefit from its module manufacturing capacity and strong market presence in South Africa, as well as to secure low costs through the tolling agreement.”
Solairedirect had received consent under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) Phase 2 to build two solar PV projects in the country. The power plants include the 9MW Aurora Solar Project and the 8.8MW Vredendal Solar Project.
Ryan Hammond , managing director of Solairedirect's South-African based Independent Power Producer (IPP) subsidiary said, “As one of the leading solar IPP's in South Africa, we are committed to helping the government deliver solar PV projects that are cost competitive and deliver significant local content. We believe our successful bidding of two projects in the second round of the IPP Procurement Programme proves that this is possible. Our agreement with ReneSola paves the way for delivering projects that are cost competitive and exceed the Economic Development Department's criteria. Furthermore, this agreement will likely lead to the expansion of production capacity at Solairedirect Technologies, creating more jobs in the process. This move demonstrates yet again our continued commitment to invest in the South African solar industry, to create jobs and play a leading role in the growth of the industry.”
Many of the PV projects selected under the REIPPP have since selected Chinese made modules.