China's Yingli Green Energy (Yingli Solar) has announced a new partnership with an unnamed "leading French PV module manufacturer" with the aim of meeting the requirements of the French National Tender Program.
The mystery company, which Yingli says won large-volume tenders, will manufacture co-branded PV modules in France using Yingli's polycrystalline cells with optimized carbon footprint technology.
Responding to a pv magazine query, Yingli declined to provide any further details on the agreement or on the identity of its partner.
In the recent rounds of public tenders under the French National Tender Program, 17 out of 38 PV developers won projects with modules resulting from Yingli's French partnership, representing 185 MW out of 380 MW in total, all of which have been approved by the French government, according to Yingli.
The Chinese group expects the projects to be installed within the next 24 months.
"Roughly 50% of the projects in the recent rounds of public tenders under [the] French National Tender Program are expected to use locally made modules powered by cells supplied by Yingli," said Arnaud Catrice, managing director of Yingli France. "This clearly demonstrates that project developers trust this alliance will have a long-term positive impact on the French PV industry. The partnership will not only reinforce our leading positions in French market, but also contribute for a promising local solar industry in a long run."
Yingli Solar Chairman and CEO Liansheng Miao exressed delight at joining forces with the "distinguished"mystery partner, adding, "PV module manufacturing is part of the value chain, and it creates local jobs that bring value to the country in which the modules are installed."
The national tender system in France is applied for solar projects with installation capacity above 250 kW. The project developers or owners are required to enter the national solar tendering program, held by the Commission de Regulation de l'energie, or Energy Regulation Commission (CRE).
The program has resulted in the selection of a total of up to 400 MW of solar projects following a ranking method based on, among other criteria, the purchase price of electricity to be produced, the project's carbon footprint and its share of and contribution to innovative research and development. Following the CRE's project ranking, France's Ministry of Energy validates the winning projects to be built and connected to the grid within 24 months.
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