Shunfeng, Greenfield to establish major beachhead in UK

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China’s Shunfeng Photovoltaic International Limited is partnering with German PV developer Greenfield Solar International GmbH & Co. KG to jointly develop solar farm projects in the United Kingdom.

The companies will use PV panels from Shunfeng’s recently acquired Wuxi Suntech for projects in the range of 10 MW to 40 MW. Shunfeng and Greenfield are aiming to achieve a combined capacity of up to 400 MW this year and 500 MW in 2015.

"This partnership highlights Shunfeng’s strategy to become the largest integrated clean energy supplier globally – integrated not only in terms of manufacturing but also in terms of developing and owning clean energy producing assets," said Shunfeng Chairman Zhang Yi. "Based on Suntech’s strong market presence in the solar cell and solar module market in Europe, the cooperation with Greenfield can strengthen the sales channel and secure orders for our solar products and entrench our market position in the global PV market."

Yi called the company’s plan to develop solar farms in Europe "a new milestone for the group" that he predicted would lead the Shunfeng "to become the leading clean energy enterprise in the world."

Shunfeng will also supply PV inverters for the projects, while Greenfield is set to provide EPC services. The companies will employ Suntech’s 60 Cell polycrystalline modules for the utility-scale projects, which Shunfeng describes as "excellent for weak light performance markets such as the U.K."

Suntech CEO Eric Luo said, "The United Kingdom has a goal to generate at least 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, but we cannot wait until 2020. Record pollution levels are hitting London and the south of England today. We are teaming with Greenfield to help the U.K. end its dependence on polluting fossil energy sources and are eager to help turn the U.K.’s aggressive renewable energy targets into a near-term reality. Solar is one of the fastest generation assets that you can build, which is why the U.K. is a prime market for Suntech products."

Fueled by the rapid growth in ground-mounted solar PV farms and an expected increase in rooftop installations, Britain is in line to become the largest solar market in Europe this year.

Greenfield Managing Director Helmut Kube said he was convinced that the strategic partnership with Shunfeng would be successful and lead the way for the industry.

"With Shunfeng and Greenfield, two partners have agreed on a common strategy and common operational objectives for which it has been possible to bring together the collective strengths to achieve the set goals quickly and effectively. The market-recognized competence and the excellent reputation of Greenfield in connection with the high standard of quality ‘made in Germany’ was an important factor for Shunfeng in selecting the suitable partner for this strategic and operational cooperation."

Greenfield is a joint venture between four established companies, Kube Timber Construction and Photovoltaic, the Freitag Group, Schmelmer Electrical Engineering and Terrafix.