Hanwha Q Cells announces 78.6 MW solar deals in India, Philippines

South Korean solar cell producer and downstream company Hanwha Q Cells has signed deals with two renewable energy EPCs to create 78.6 MW of solar PV capacity in India and the Philippines.

The company confirmed that it will enter into a joint venture (JV) in India with local EPC Azure Power to create a company that will invest in and oversee the development of a 50 MW solar farm in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

This solar farm is scheduled to begin commercial operation in March 2015, and taps into the state’s growing thirst for solar power and India’s wider push to augment its solar industry. The Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India is targeting the installation of 100 GW of cumulative solar PV capacity by 2020.

The second agreement announced by Kim Ik-pyo, Hanwha Q Cells’ head of project business team, involves Belgium-based Enfinity, which is to work with Hanwha on the creation of a 28.6 MW solar PV plant on the southern Philippine island of Mindano.

"We are tapping into the overseas downstream market by having clinched two big deals in India and the Philippines, where we see plenty of growth potential," said Ik-pyo.

Solar’s role in the energy mix of the Philippines is growing, and the government recently came under pressure to increase support for the industry. The current feed-in tariff (FIT) has a capacity of 500 MW, but the Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA) has urged an increase to 2 GW to enable solar to grow to meet the rising energy demand in the country.

International players have begun eyeing the market, too, not least U.S. vertically integrated solar company First Solar, which recently announced a JV for large-scale PV development in the Philippines.