2012 utility-scale PV installations top 8.5 GW

Leading the way, says Wiki-Solar, which classes utility-scale projects at 10 MW or over, are U.S.- and European-based companies, with 7 of the top 10 EPC contractors based in Germany.

"German contractors have maintained a strong position, even as the focus has switched from Germany and other European markets," states Wiki-Solar’s Philip Wolfe, who adds, "Many have set up subsidiaries in the USA and other growing markets like India, South Africa and South America."

The top 10 EPC contractors in 2012, according to Wiki-Solar, are: Enerparc (607 MWp); Juwi Solar (296 MWp); First Solar (226 MWp); Sunselex (189 MWp); Hanwha Q.Cells (174 MWp); Saferay (160 MWp); GP Joule (131 MWp); Quanta Power Generation (116 MWp); Belectric (112 MWp); and Activ Solar 106 MWp).

Wiki-Solar goes on to say that independent and regional utilities appear to adopt solar generation before others. It lists San Diego Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric, NV Energy, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and Ontario Power as the top 5 power off-takers.

Meanwhile, the top 5 inverter suppliers to photovoltaic projects are said to be: SMA; Schneider Electric; PowerOne; Danfoss; and Refusol. Wiki-Solar acknowledges, however, that not all projects list their inverter suppliers, meaning it is difficult to obtain accurate information.