Having acquired an extensive suit of clean energy companies and technologies in 2014, Chinas SFCE is in the process of deploying these technologies in a series of demonstration projects aimed at demonstrating how the various pieces of its cleantech puzzle can be employed to supply a comprehensive clean energy solution.
SFCE unveiled the first such project last week at the Hong Qiao International School that brings together its Suntech modules, meteocontrol monitoring system, Lattice Power LEDs and Nobao ground source heat pump to supply with the school with almost 70% of its energy needs, reducing costs by 50%. The initial plan was for the project to be completed by the end of June.
Over the last few years Shunfeng has changed a lot, SFCE CEO Eric Luo told pv magazine. We are moving from solar alone to a more integrated clean energy supply. Our goal is this area will be 24-hour clean energy production.
Hong Qiao International School principal Rebecca Zipprich said that the flagship project aligns well with the schools advocacy of clean energy and will provide its students with exposure to the field.
The BIPV system implemented generates solar power, the use of LED products greatly reduce electricity consumption for lighting, while the ground source heat pump system meets our heating, cooling and hot water needs, said Zipprich.
A second phase of the Hong Qiao school project could see the integration of electric buses, further reducing carbon emissions. The capacity of the BIPV system has not been revealed.
SFCEs Luo explained that the provision of integrated energy solutions is not only good for energy consumers like the Hong Qiao school, but it also provides Shunfeng with opportunities to reap higher margins than those seen in PV manufacturing.
We believe from an investment perspective to capture a reasonable return, this needs to happen beyond purely solar, Luo told pv magazine. A lot of [the] solar [business] still relies on government subsidies. When you get into solar you ultimately go for energy savings and energy management, but we think we are already there.
In recent years, SFCE has acquired a suite of companies across the clean energy spectrum. In solar PV, SFCE and its parent company APRD now controls former number one Chinese module manufacturer Suntech, U.S. high efficiency producer Suniva, inverter producer Sunways and Germanys SAG Solarstrom, which includes monitoring provider meteocontrol.
Beyond PV SFCE and APRD control storage companies including Boston Power and Powin Energy, heat pump developer Nobao and GreenWheel EV in the e-mobility space.