China electric utility attracts record low module price in 3 GW procurement

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China Power parent company State Power Investment Corp (SPIC) has received a price bid of RMB1.63/watt ($0.23) for the supply of multicrystalline solar panels as part of a 3.04 GW procurement exercise the state-owned utility is conducting. The electricity generation giant has also received a record low price bid for mono panels, of RMB1.777.

As part of its 58th centralized purchasing program, SPIC is soliciting bids to supply it with mono and multicrystalline panels. Some 18 manufacturers have submitted bids to supply mono products and 15 are competing for multicrystalline contracts.

The average price seen in the procurement round was below the market price of around RMB1.8-2/watt and may reflect a recent decline in solar cell prices, which have come down in value by as much as 20% in the last 10 weeks.

Cell price plunge

Mainstream mono PERC (passivated-emitter rear contact) cell prices have fallen to RMB0.90/W although an anticipated installation rush in China in the last four months of the year could see values rebound.

SPIC aims to buy 1.27 GW of monocrystalline panels in the latest procurement exercise, plus a further 950 MW for reserve capacity. The utility also plans to buy 510 MW of multicrystalline modules, plus a 310 MW reserve.

The Beijing-based group signaled plans to launch the tender several weeks ago.

The procurement exercise covers a range of PV products including bifacial mono PERC panels. SPIC is looking to procure two categories of mono products: one with a power output of more than 315 W and another with more than 370 W. The utility wants to buy multi products with ratings above 280 W and 330 W.