China Renewable Energy Industry Report: Nov. 2

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Nov. 2 – This is a regular series of relevant industry news from around China.

Solectria Renewables to open plants in China, India
U.S. photovoltaic inverter maker Solectria Renewables LLC has announced plans to open plants in China and India with capacity of 300 megawatts and 200 megawatts, respectively.

The company said that the expansion of its manufacturing activities into the two countries had been prompted by the significant growth opportunities they offer for commercial and utility photovoltaic projects.

Solectria Renewables’ president Phil Vyhanek stressed that no jobs would be shifted out of North America as a result of the plans and that the company continued to expand its manufacturing operations in Massachusetts and Ontario.

Chief executive James Worden noted that the company had lifted its North American capacity to 1 gigawatt in the current year and said that the expansion into India and China was a strategic move designed to put the company “at the forefront of the three most dynamic solar economies in the world.”

China Solar to establish solar power joint venture
China Solar Energy Holdings Ltd said on October 14 it had agreed with Jiangyin City Gushan Investments Co Ltd to form a joint venture to combine solar power generation and various agricultural activities.

The partners target revenues of RMB150 million (US$23.5 million) for the first year of the joint company’s existence. The entity’s solar power capacity and plantation base is to grow until annual sales reach RMB1.2 billion (US$188 million), China Solar said.

Total investment in the new company is estimated at HK$14 million (US$2 million), while its registered capital is planned at HK$10 million (US$1.29 million). China Solar will provide 70 percent of the amount, while the balance of 30 percent will come from its joint venture partner.

Sunpreme bags US$50 million in funding round
Solar cell maker Sunpreme said on October 17 it had raised US$50 million in a financing round, seeking funds to support the construction of a solar cell factory in Jiaxing.

International Finance Corporation, a unit of the World Bank Group, led the financing round. It joins existing investors U.S. Capricorn Investment Group and China Environment Fund III.

Sunpreme has developed a solar cell that does not include toxic or rare materials. It has already secured three U.S. patents for its device structure and is looking to bolster production of the SmartSilicon solar cells.

The company has research and development and process integration facilities in California and manufacturing and final process development units in Jiaxing, near Shanghai.

China Ming Yang finds US$5 billion potential financing
China Ming Yang Wind Power Group Limited on October 17 said it had arranged US$5 billion in potential financing from government-owned lender China Development Bank Corp (CDB).

The Chinese wind turbine maker said that its subsidiary, Guangdong Ming Yang Wind Power Industry Group Co Ltd, had signed agreements with CDB, under which the bank was expected to aid Ming Yang’s strategic and financial planning by providing up to US$5 billion in potential financing between 2011 and 2015 and by taking an active part in its development planning.

Ming Yang would be able to use the potential financing for a range of activities at home and abroad, including its onshore and offshore wind power operations, supply chain integration and the management of working capital.

LDK Solar bags EPC deal for solar project in China
Chinese LDK Solar Co Ltd said on October 18 it had won an engineering, procurement and construction contract for a solar power project in China’s Gansu Province.

The project is being developed by Guodian Longyuan Zhangye New Energy, an affiliate of China Longyuan Power Group Corp. The plant is located in the city of Zhangye.

The first phase of the project has kicked off earlier this month and it is to be completed before year-end, LDK said.

Samba Energy orders 1.2 megawatts of BYD solar panels, inverters
U.S. Samba Energy announced on October 19 it has awarded Chinese battery and solar panel maker BYD Co Ltd an order for 1.2 megawatts of solar panels and inverters for projects in the United States.

The panels will be installed at schools and commercial buildings in the Northeast and Pacific regions, Samba said. It added that its partnership with BYD will grow to 10 megawatts by the first quarter of 2012.

BYD recently introduced the narrow bus bar, electroplate, selective-emitter technology at its solar cell production line, seeking to bring down the resistance and the shaded area on the front of solar cells. The Chinese company’s wafer and solar cell production capacity exceeds 1 gigawatt.

China spends US$17.48 billion on wind, hydropower capacity in first nine months of 2011
Investment in hydropower and wind power generation facilities in China for the first nine months of 2011 reached RMB63.5 billion (US$10 billion) and RMB47.7 billion (US$7.48 billion), respectively, the National Energy Administration said.

Spending on thermal power units stood at RMB74.2 million (US$11.64 million), while RMB53.2 million (US$8.34 million) were invested in nuclear energy.

China booked 12 percent year-on-year increase in nine-month power consumption to 3,515.7 TWh.

China Gogreen to install 20 megawatts of solar power in Henan’s Xuchang
Solar power firm China Gogreen Assets Investment said on October 21 its unit Beijing Jun Yang had agreed to build over 20 megawatts of rooftop solar power installations in Xuchang, in China’s eastern province of Henan.

Investment in the project is estimated at RMB321.5 million (US$50.4 million). China’s Ministry of Finance and the Department of Finance of Henan will provide subsidies of RMB180 million (US$28.23 million). The rest of the amount will come from Beijing Jun Yang’s own capital and bank borrowings, China Gogreen said.

The agreement with the Xuchang New District Administration Committee runs for 25 years. The company said that the solar power systems will be installed on the rooftops of industrial buildings in the city’s new district.

Vestas, CWEA propose evaluation criteria for Chinese wind power sector
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S and the Chinese Wind Energy Association last month unveiled proposed evaluation criteria for wind power development in China.

The wind power evaluation system aims to ensure a healthy and sustainable development of the domestic wind energy sector, Vestas said. It comes as a response to a series of problems, which occurred in the country, during the past few years of accelerated growth within the wind power industry.

The proposed standards includes criteria for wind turbines, wind turbine makers, wind farms and post-project evaluation, as well as evaluation criteria for onshore and offshore wind power tenders.

In 2010 China installed 18.9 gigawatts of new wind power capacity, out of 38.3 gigawatts of newly added capacity around the globe. The wind market in the Asian country doubled each year between 2005 and 2009, while in 2010 total installed capacity arrived at 44.7 gigawatts.

Ningxia Yinxing to build 300 megawatts of wind projects in Inner Mongolia
Chinese Ningxia Yinxing Energy Co said on October 24 it had agreed to build several wind farms in Inner Mongolia with a total capacity of 300 megawatts.

The company has signed an agreement with the government of Bayannaoer city, where it will construct the facilities.

Ningxia Yinxing is engaged in the making and maintenance wind power generation equipment. It also builds and operates wind power facilities. The Company operates mainly in northwest China.

Astronergy’s new solar cell technology exceeds 19 percent efficiency
Chinese photovoltaics maker Astronergy Solar said on October 24 it is now able to produce six-inch (15 centimeter) monocrystalline solar cells with an efficiency of above 19 percent without any increase in expenses.

The company achieved higher efficiency through improvements in design and manufacturing techniques, it said.

The enhanced solar cell technology corresponds to Astronergy’s core strategy of keeping costs down, while improving product specifications. The high-efficiency cells allow increased power output at no additional cost and at the same time cover less space, Astronergy added.

China Datang gets nod for wind farm in Gansu
Power generator China Datang Corp has received the green light from the Gansu Provincial Government for the construction of a 96-megawatt wind project in the northern Chinese province.

The wind farm, which will be worth RMB920 million (US$144 million), is expected to become operational in 2012, the company said in a statement. It will be located in the city of Jiuquan and construction will be handled by the group’s Datang Gansu Power subsidiary.

The farm will include 32 sets of 3-megawatt turbines, the company added.

Hanas breaks ground on 92.5-megawatt solar plant
China’s Hanas New Energy Group has earlier this month started construction of a 92.5-megawatt solar plant in the autonomous region of Ningxia in northern China.

The RMB2.25 billion (US$354 million) project is the first integrated solar combined cycle trough solar demonstration facility in Asia, the company said in a statement.

The plant, located in the town of Gaoshawo, is being constructed in cooperation with North China Power Engineering and Siemens, while the investment is provided by Hanas.

The power station is expected to start operation in October 2013.

UK SeaRoc, Korean CDS Wind launch offshore wind initiative in South Korea, China
Marine engineering firm SeaRoc, part of UK green energy consultancy Natural Power, said on October 24 it had agreed with South Korean sector firm CDS Wind Ltd to help expand the offshore wind industry in Korea and China.

SeaRoc provides marine, engineering, data management and other services to many offshore developments in Europe and North America. It will now combine its huge experience within the sector with CDS’s local knowledge in China and Korea. The partners intend to collaborate with the government, developers, turbine makers, utilities, investors and financial services providers to bolster offshore wind development in the two Asian countries.

Bangchak Petroleum affiliate bags US$79 million ethanol contract in China
Ubon Bio Ethanol Co, an affiliate of Thai state-run Bangchak Petroleum Public Co Ltd, has secured a THB2.4 billion (US$79 million) ethanol supply contract from China, the Bangkok Post reports.

As part of the seven-year contract, the company will ship to China 100 million liters (26.4 million gallons) of ethanol a year. The first shipment is planned for October 2012, the newspaper said.

Ubon Bio is building a cassava-based facility which will be capable of producing 400,000 liters of ethanol a day when fully operational. The project will cost some THB3.2 billion. It will use a technology developed by Chinese state-owned Guangdong Zhongke Tianyuan New Energy Science and Technology, according to the report.

Chinese solar company warns over potential retaliatory action by United States
Any decision by the United States to introduce high tariffs on Chinese solar imports would harm renewable energy progress, the chairman of Chinese solar panel manufacturer Chint Group told the International Herald Tribune in an interview published on October 28.

Cunhui Nan spoke after a group of seven U.S. firms last week filed a complaint against China for breaching trade regulations.

He said that the U.S. accusations probably reflected “ignorance” about China’s market and that a question for the U.S. authorities to answer was whether any potential retaliatory action would be designed to protect the failing firms behind the complaint, or to improve renewable energy competitiveness.

Nan told the newspaper that instead of getting involved in trade conflicts, the renewable industries of China and the United States should collaborate to benefit from their strengths – lower costs and advanced technologies, respectively.

Yet he said that Chint Group intended to start producing thin-film solar cells in the United States and added that should Washington decide to impose tariffs, Chint would relocate more manufacturing operations to the United States to escape import limitations.

First generator starts work at Sinohydro’s 420-megawatt Maoergai hydro plant
Sinohydro Group Ltd, China’s biggest dam builder, said October 27 that the first generator at its 420-megawatt Maoergai hydropower plant in the province of Sichuan had come on stream.

The generator has a capacity of 140 megawatts. The other two units, with a similar capacity, are expected to start operations by the end of the year.

Sinohydro commenced work on the RMB6.8 billion (US$1.07 billion) hydropower project in 2008. When up and running, the facility is estimated to produce 1.7 TWh of power a year, most of which will be transmitted to the cities of Mianyang and Chengdu in Sichuan.

Sinohydro listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in September. It raised RMB13.5 billion (US$2.12 billion) in its initial public offering.

ET Solar to sell anti-reflective modules worldwide
Chinese photovoltaic systems maker ET Solar Group last week said it was launching anti-reflective modules on the global market.

The company said its anti-reflective modules had higher energy output, greater stability of performance and smaller unit costs compared to standard glass-based modules.

ET Solar is offering the modules with a linear power performance warranty of 25 years and a workmanship warranty of 10 years.

The company sells modules and other solar products in over 50 countries and regions and has branches in Germany, France, Italy, the United States and South Korea.

Air China makes biofuel demonstration flight
Air China on October 28 conducted a demonstration flight using biofuel generated from China-grown biomass.

The test flight took about an hour and was performed with a Boeing 747 aircraft, powered by engines of Pratt & Whitney, a U.S. company, part of United Technologies Corp., it was announced in a press release. There was no need for adjustments to be made to either the aircraft or the engine.

The flight came under the Sustainable Biofuel Program of the Energy Cooperation Program, announced by Beijing and Washington in 2009. The Sustainable Biofuel Program was launched by Boeing, PetroChina and members of the Chinese energy industry and the world’s aviation sector in 2010 to assess China’s potential for aviation biofuels.

Renewable Energy Asia forms renewable energy unit in China
Hong Kong-based Renewable Energy Asia Group Ltd., or REA, said on October 28 it had set up a Chinese subsidiary to make and sell renewable energy products and provide management and other services to green energy projects.

The unit, REA TEC Co Ltd, has a paid up capital of RMB20 million (US$3.2 millin). It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of REA’s unit Renewable Energy Asia (China) Co Ltd.

REA said it would finance investment in the new subsidiary through internal resources. The establishment of the unit is not seen to have any effect on the company’s consolidated net tangible assets and earnings per share for the year through March 2012, REA added.

China’s Three Gorges hydropower plant runs at full capacity
China’s Three Gorges hydropower project reached full capacity on October 30, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, citing an official of the plant’s operator China Three Gorges Project Corp.

The water level of the dam reached its designed capacity of 175 meters (574.1 feet) and the plant started operating at full capacity, producing 8.2 million kilowatts of electricity, according to the official.

The Three Gorges project in China’s Hubei province, which is the world’s largest hydropower project, runs at full capacity for the second time. Its first full capacity test completed in October 2010, the agency said.

This industry report brief is courtesy of AII Data Processing.

Related Reading

Foreign Investment in China’s Green Sector
The June issue of China Briefing magazine offering an overview of the country’s renewable energy sector and discussing environment-related tax incentives before concluding with a look at foreign involvement in China’s green building industry.

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