UK PV sector buoyed by JA Solar and ET Solar projects


The U.K.’s solar industry received another timely boost today with the announcement that two leading global solar companies are to add a combined PV capacity of more than 16 MW to Britain’s solar footprint.

China’s JA Solar will supply 7.8 MW of its full square mono modules to British Solar Renewables (BSR), a U.K.-based developer of large-scale renewable energy projects, while ET Solar is set to commence construction shortly on a 8.4 MW PV plant in the county of Somerset, southwest England.

For JA Solar, this latest project adds to the company’s joint 30 MW PV portfolio in the U.K. with BSR, which the two companies jointly added in 2013. Shipment of this latest round of modules – JA Solar’s JAM6R 270W P-type modules – is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter this year.

"JA Solar’s ability to deliver high-efficiency solar products against tight deadlines was a key factor in us winning this project," said JA Solar CEO and chairman, Baofang Jin. "We have built a strong partner base in the U.K., both in the residential and utility scale segments, and have seen growing demand for our high-efficiency products. Going into 2014, we are positioned to perform strongly in the fast-growing U.K. market."

The CEO of BSR, Angus MacDonald, added: "BSR strives to be best in class in our PV build process and so demands premium products from the most reliable suppliers. We are delighted to once again be cooperating with JA Solar, who have consistently demonstrated their technology and product-quality leadership."

ET Solar’s involvement in the U.K. is the company’s first foray into the British PV market. Having acquired project rights for its 8.4 MW PV plant from a local developer, the solar company will act as the full EPC service provider for the project, which will be grid-connected in time to qualify for the U.K. governments Renewable Obligations Certificate (ROCs), and will be accredited under 1.6 ROCs.

"This U.K. market entry represents a significant achievement for our system business," said ET Solar CEO and president, Dennis She. "With our EPC execution and financing capabilities, we are well positioned to further grow our business in this new market."

The 8.4 MW plant will be located near to the town of Bridgwater, which is located approximately 30 miles from Bristol. Following the plant’s successful completion in March, ET Solar will begin talks on the acquisition of another 8.4 MW solar park in the U.K. as the company homes in on its target of adding 80 MW of PV capacity in the country before the end of 2014.