JA Solar orders equipment for Brazilian solar module factory

In a brief note in English on its website, Suzhou Horad New Energy Equipment Company reports that it signed a contract with JA Solar on February 2 for the supply of a turnkey solar PV module line, with the capacity to produce 300 MW annually.

This is the first notice that JA Solar will be building a module factory in Brazil, and the company’s Brazilian office did not respond to a pv magazine request for confirmation by press time. Suzhou Horad did not state where in Brazil the factory will be located.

The combination of around 3 GW of solar projects awarded in auctions and development bank funding dependent upon local content has driven a number of solar companies to invest in Brazil.

The first PV module plants were announced by small Brazilian companies, and Globo Brasil has the largest capacity to date at 180 MW. Tracker makers Soltec and NexTracker are also taking advantage of Brazilian manufacturing, as well as a number of inverter makers.

However, a weak macroeconomic environment has scared off some large PV makers, and last October JinkoSolar put plans for a PV module factory on hold. The Brazilian Real had fallen all summer, however in late September the currency began to stabilize.

JA Solar has transformed from a cell maker to one of the world’s largest integrated module makers over the last five years. The company reached 4 GW of annual cell and module capacity in 2015, and plans to reach 5 GW this year.

Like most large Chinese PV makers JA Solar’s operations had traditionally been confined to China. However, last October the company completed an integrated cell and module factory in Malaysia, and signed an MOU with Essel Infraprojects Limited to build a 500 MW PV factory in India last May.

A Brazilian factory fits into JA Solar’s plans for expansion in the Latin American market, where it has already had some success. The company supplied 85 MW to two projects in Guatemala last year, and JA Solar and Hareon are additionally supplying Acciona’s 247 MW-DC El Romero project in Chile. El Romero will be the largest PV plant in Latin America when complete.

pv magazine Latin America Editor Blanca Diaz Lopez supplied additional reporting for this article.