Hanwha SolarOne strikes 50 MW solar DG deal in China

Hanwha SolarOne – a China-based solar subsidiary of South Korea’s Hanwha Group – has signed a cooperation agreement that will see the company develop 50 MW of distributed generation (DG) solar projects in Guangxi, China.

The agreement has been struck with Guangxi-Asean Economic Development Zone (GAEDZ), which is an administrative committee dedicated to establishing long-term strategic investment partnerships in the region, which borders Vietnam in China’s southeast.

Hanwha SolarOne will develop, own and operate the projects, with GAEDZ working to secure rooftop space, facilitate project approval and grid connection, and assist in obtaining tax preferences for project financing.

"Hanwha SolarOne is pleased to partner with GAEDZ as we look to make 2015 a defining year for the company in terms of downstream business," said Hanwha SolarOne chairman and CEO Seong-woo Nam. "We believe that the government initiatives announced in September of last year will have a far greater impact on installations in China this year, and we hope that this agreement demonstrates our intent to be at the forefront of the DG market."

Mr. Nam was alluding to alluding to the policy of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) to "build first, worry about quotas later" in its pursuit of more DG installations. By the half-way point of 2014, China had added a mere 188 MW of DG solar capacity – way short of its stated 8 GW generation target for the entire year, which prompted officials to encourage developers to begin building their PV projects before applying for quotas.

The new policy incentivizes local authorities to add solar systems to affordable housing, railway stations, motorway services, airports and other transport hubs, as well as sports stadia, parking lots and agricultural land by streamlining interconnection and compelling utilities to ensure prompt payment of DG-sourced solar energy.

For Hanwha SolarOne the project represents a decisive step downstream and follows the company’s recent acquisition of Germany’s Hanwha Q Cells.

"Shipment growth of over 300% to the China market in the second half of 2014 compared with the first half exhibits our strong performance and we are committed to further expanding our presence in the most globally significant market in the world throughout 2015," concluded Nam.