SANY plans USD7.7 BN investment in distributed PV

SANY group, China’s largest heavy machinery manufacturing company, took the PV industry by surprise on Wednesday, with an announcement that it plans to expand its solar PV-related projects with an investment of RMB50 BN (US$7.7 BN) over the course of five years.

SANY’s first PV project, with a capacity of only 3.82 MW, has only recently been connected to the grid of Beijing’s Changping District, and it appears that the company is already hungry for more. In light of the recent announcement, the project, which SANY had been silent about, looks to have acted as a pilot project for the company’s future PV strategy. It was a success, achieving operation efficiency 10% higher than the average.

A SANY official said that there are different branches to SANY’s PV strategy, which include investments in the construction and operation of PV projects, and the construction of smart micro-grids. The company wants to be primarily involved in investment, construction, operation and maintenance of distributed PV in both domestic and overseas markets, rather than large-scale applications.

SANY group has already made great strides into the wind power industry, with annual sales of approximately US$1.1BN generated from its wind energy business alone in 2015. The company wants to transfer this success over to the PV market, aiming to build boutique PV projects, which use the best produces to generate the best performance, such as their project in Changping District.

The heavy machinery manufacturing giant rose to prominence over a short time period, due to the rapid development of China’s construction market during the past few years. In less than 30 years, the company has developed into a diversified multinational group with an annual income over US$12 BN.

Since China’s construction market began to decline in 2013, SANY expanded into new business areas to enable continual growth, with a particular interest in renewable energy. SANY has a huge factory portfolio, totaling over 5 million square meters, and has already put in place big plans for distributed PV. In the first half of 2016 alone, it plans to have 100 MW connected to the grid.