Wuxi municipality snubs Suntech panels

The Wuxi municipal government may have offered its support in helping Jiangsu Shunfeng settle Wuxi Suntech’s huge liabilities – as revealed in today’s acquisition agreement – but when it came to long-term solar rooftop development, local politicians ignored the 4 GW of cell and module capacity on their doorstep.

As details emerged of the local authority’s support for Shunfeng’s planned acquisition of the underutilized production lines that powered Suntech to the world number one spot before its spectacular fall from grace, it also emerged the Wuxi New District Administrative Committee has signed a 100 MW memorandum of understanding with rival Korean-Chinese manufacturer Hanwha SolarOne.

Hanwha announced in a press release this morning it has reached agreement with the authority to develop and operate 100 MW of solar rooftop distributed generation in the district under a ‘long-term’ agreement.

With the local authority providing rooftop space, permitting approvals, grid connection and – crucially – help with preferential tax treatment and project financing, questions will be asked as to why Wuxi councillors did not put faith in the cells and modules being manufactured under their noses.

Shunfeng’s takeover documents, released to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today, stated the purchaser is aiming to get Wuxi Suntech cell production back up to 900 MW this year with a 2.1 GW target for module output.