Risen shines: Manufacturer starts work on 2.5 GW cell and module factory

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Chinese solar cell and module maker Risen Energy has started construction of its latest 2.5 GW factory.

The Ningbo-based manufacturer said its $465 million fab in Ninghai county, in Zhejiang province will produce 2.5 GW of cells annually on 13 heterojunction production lines. The cells will be assembled on eight module manufacturing lines into 2.5 GW of annual production at the site, announced Risen yesterday, with 1 GW of bifacial, half-cut module output and 1.5 GW of overlapping modules.

Risen – the seventh largest module producer in the world last year, according to Chinese analyst PV InfoLink – stated the new facility would be operating by the end of 2021.

Funding hurdle

The significant investment comes despite a decision by the China Securities Regulatory Commission in November to block Risen’s plans to raise up to $420 million by issuing convertible bonds. That exercise was intended to help fund the Ninghai fab as well as the 132 MW Merredin solar farm Risen is due to construct this year in Western Australia.

Risen shipped 5.2 GW of modules last year, according to PV InfoLink, and had 6.6 GW of annual module production capacity at the end of 2018, with 4 GW more under construction.

Like most of its peers, Risen was hit by the decision of the Chinese authorities to rein in solar subsidies last year, seeing its income fall 15% in 2018 as a result. However, with China expected to embark shortly on a solar gold rush following confirmation of the state’s new solar policy, and with demand booming outside the world’s biggest solar market, Risen is expecting to report a thumping first-half profit rebound of 279-301%.