Chinese PV Industry Brief: Work begins on 3.3 GW solar-CSP project linked to 500 MW of storage, in Qinghai


The government of Golmud City, in Qinghai province, has announced state-owned China Green Development Group has begun construction of a 3.3 GW hybrid photovoltaic-concentrating solar power (CSP) project in its industrial district. The RMB19.6 billion (US$3.04 billion) scheme includes 3 GW of photovoltaic generation capacity and 300 MW of CSP plus 520 MW of energy storage. No megawatt-hours storage figure was provided by the Golmud City announcement for the storage element of the project. The renewables field is scheduled for completion in 2025 and is part of China's 14th five-year plan.

The National Energy Administration today said it had registered 1.85 GW of new distributed generation PV systems last month, to bring this year's eight-month total to 9.52 GW. Shandong, Hebei, and Henan provinces took the top three positions, with figures of 678 MW, 432 MW, and 237 MW, respectively, in August.

The chilling effect of rising polysilicon and solar panel costs on project development in China was spelled out today in first-half figures published by state-owned PV manufacturer and renewables developer China Shuifa Singyes Energy. ‘SFSY’ said it added only 8.2 MW of grid-connected solar generation capacity in the first six months of the year and blamed the polysilicon price. The project development business of the company generated revenue of just RMB59.4 million (US$9.21 million), down from RMB481 million (US$74.6 million) a year earlier, for gross profit of RMB15.2 million (US$2.36 million), down from RMB48 million. Sales of PV and solar thermal products rose 111% to book revenue of RMB34.2 million in the first half, up from 16.2 million year on year, but still posted a loss of RMB4.9 million, because of material costs, after recording a RMB300,000 (US$46,500) profit 12 months earlier. That meant the group – which must repay state-owned construction business parent Shuifa RMB1.21 billion (US$188 million) this year – was again reliant on the fossil fuel-fired steam business it acquired from Shuifa last year, which generated six-month revenue of RMB139 million (US$21.6 million) for a gross profit of RMB37.7 million (US$5.85 million), up from RMB31.4 million (US$4.87 million) a year earlier. Total profit came in at RMB104 million (US$16.1 million), down from RMB241 million, and SFSY has RMB10 million (US$1.55 million) of its cash tied up by a court owing to a product quality dispute with a customer which is pending appeals lodged by both parties in July.

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Inverter maker Sungrow reported revenue of RMB8.21 billion (US$1.26 billion) in the first half, to book year-on-year growth of 18.27%. Net profit was RMB757 million (US$117 million), up 69.68% from the same period a year earlier. Sungrow added, its January-to-June inverter shipments totaled 182 GW.

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