Driven by high electricity prices and falling costs of solar, Australia’s rooftop solar sector keeps on growing at an unprecedented pace. As many module manufacturers try to secure a slice of the market, Chinese PV panel maker Risen Energy has emerged as one of the leading players on the back of unprecedented sales volumes.
Risen Energy Australia has revealed that it sold 120 MW of rooftop panels sales in the last 12 months, which translates into the highest sales jump the company has recorded in a one-year period. It only sold 1 MW of modules in 2014 and 20 MW over the same period last year, from August 2017 to August 2018.
Risen Energy Australia says it currently ranks third in Australia’s rooftop PV distribution segment, accounting for approximately 10% of the country’s total rooftop market. “There is an expectation that this number will grow at a rapid rate in the following years,” Risen said in a release.
“Given our huge sales growth the past year, we are confident that we will continue to grow not just in the upcoming years, but in the long run as well,” said Eric Lee, general manager of Risen Australia.
Indeed, as Australians continue to install solar panels in droves, higher penetration is expected in the years ahead. According to AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, the National Electricity Market (NEM) – Australia’s main grid covering the eastern and southeastern states – will host between 21 GW and 56 GW of rooftop PV capacity by 2040. This will result in annual output of 31-50 TWh, making rooftop solar the biggest source of generation capacity on the NEM.
Lee says Risen Energy also plans to invest in 2 GW of renewable energy projects in Australia, while continuing to expand in the energy storage sector. Last year, the company increased its target in Australia from 1 GW to more than 2 GW of solar projects that it will aim to acquire in stages. “We will be acquiring projects that are shovel ready, projects that are looking for financial and/or EPC partner, projects that are looking for a co-developer,” said John Zhong, project development and investment director for Risen Energy Australia.
Risen has been bullish on going merchant on its large-scale solar projects in Australia. The company decided to go fully merchant on the 121 MW Yarranlea Solar Farm in Queensland, which will be completed later this year. Risen’s second project in Australia, the 132 MW Merredin Solar Farm, is now under construction. Risen will also initially go merchant on Merredin, which will be the biggest solar project in Western Australia once constructed.