In the fast-track to become integrated PV manufacturer’s, major U.S.-based firms such as First Solar, Sunpower, and SunEdison are rapidly closing on major PV project developers from Germany, according to a recent survey from market research firm IMS Research. Major, recent large-scale projects in Canada and Italy for example are pushing such companies into the top 10 list of global PV project developers. According to IMS Research, these three U.S.-based firms are now amongst the ten largest integrators in 2010.
“2010 was an incredible year for utility-scale PV and a record capacity from such systems was installed worldwide during the year,” commented PV Research analyst, Sam Wilkinson. “Several very large plants were completed during the year, such as First Solar’s Sarnia project in Canada and SunEdison’s Rovigo plant in Italy. These plants have set new standards for the size of PV systems. They have also enabled these suppliers to become some of the largest integrators in the world.”
Previously in 2009, Q-Cells had been the largest PV integrator in the market, primarily due to several huge projects being completed in Germany that year.
According to the market research firm the number of U.S.-based system integrators is growing fast. Of the 400 most active system integrators identified worldwide, nearly 30% of them are headquartered in the U.S. and this despite it accounting for less than 10% of installations completed worldwide.
However, IMS Research noted that German firms continue to do well such as juwi and that many are expected to follow that trend.