JA Solar playing major role in China’s Front Runner project

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JA Solar announced that it is providing 420 MW of its modules for the project during last week’s mammoth SNEC tradeshow in Shanghai, China, but now releases more details about the mega PV project. It comes at a time when the solar market in China is growing at unprecedented levels, which is facilitating the development of these huge projects to continue the upward trajectory.

The Front Runner project is a program devised by China’s National Energy Administration to promote the domestic development of advanced solar PV technology. As such, the modules of each domestic PV supplier that takes part in the project need to meet high standards of performance, with conversion efficiency of at least 16.5% for polycrystalline modules and 17% for monocrystalline modules.

“The ‘Front Runner’ program is helping the Chinese PV equipment industry achieve many desirable goals,” commented president of JA Solar, Jian Xie. “The program promotes ongoing technological innovation, improved manufacturing processes, new and useful applications, and high standard quality and testing.”

It is an ambitious program, with a number of GW-scale PV demonstrations planned for the project. The first of these demonstrations the 950 MW project in Datong, Shanxi province. The huge facility will include 13 PV power stations, with an annual energy generation capacity of about 1.5 billion kWh, which will go to the Chinese grid. The investment involved in this first demonstration has been estimated at 10 billion yuan (USD$1.6 billion), but it will generate an estimated 260 million yuan of tax revenue annually.

JA Solar was chosen as one of the main supplier for the first demonstration, accounting for 420 MW of modules for the facility, which is 44% of the total. It initially submitted four products that meet the standards set by the National Energy Administration, but then had its polycrystalline Riecium double-glass modules also certified by the China Quality Certification Centre earlier in 2016. In an ambitious mood, JA Solar said that it plans on increasing its annual production capacity of its Front Runner products to 4.1 GW within a year.

“JA Solar is proud to supply nearly half of the modules for this first demonstration project in Datong,” continued Xie. “We intend to pursue further technology innovations that will contribute to the healthy evolution of China’s PV and manufacturing sectors.”