Top 10 global solar developers have 125GW of PV projects, LatAm accounting for nearly 40% of capacity

Lightsource bp was the largest developer in 2021 with more than 23.5GW of solar projects operational or in different phases of development. Image: Lightsource bp.

The top ten developers for utility-scale solar accounted for 125GW of operational, under construction and contracted projects between July 2020 and June 2021, according to a report from research firm Mercom Capital Group.

Almost 100GW of the total capacity is for projects either under construction or contracted with a power purchase agreement (PPA), with Canadian Solar sitting at the top of global developers with 22.2GW, followed by Lightsource bp with 20.9GW and Brookfield Renewable Partners with 17.3GW.

The ranking changes significantly when considering just operational projects, which total 26.89GW between the ten companies. Here, Enel Green Power came first with 4.95GW, followed by Indian developer Adani Green Energy with 4.91GW and Engie third with 3.47GW.

Adani’s second spot can be attributed to its acquisition of 1.75GW of operational assets during the timeframe covered, of which 1.4GW came from the acquisition of SB Energy in October 2021.

You can (de)select the categories by clicking on them in this interactive chart to see how the ranking changes depending on the phases projects are in. Data: Mercom Capital Group.

Moreover, several companies that made the top ten list in the past did not appear in this year’s list due to divestments. This was the case for renewable energy provider GCL New Energy who had ranked first in operational capacity last year.

Latin America was the favoured region for the top ten solar developers with 38% of capacity, followed by the Asia-Pacific (APAC) with 24%, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) accounted for 20%, while North America sat at around 18%.

The list has had significant changes compared to the previous year due to a significant increase in project acquisition, with over 64GW acquired globally during the time period, up from the 40GW recorded the year before, which already saw mergers and acquisitions soar.

“Despite lockdowns, labour shortages and supply chain issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, top solar developers overcame these challenges and continued to expand in mature and emerging markets at an unprecedented pace,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

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