UK key to Q Cells EPC ambition

The UK is key to Germany-based Hanwha Q Cells' strategy to rapidly expand its EPC business, Frank Danielzik, the company's vice president for global EPC, told Recharge in an interview during the Intersolar fair that started yesterday.

"The UK market for the next 12 months will definitely be the hottest market within Europe," Danielzik said.

"We will construct a lot of megawatts in the UK. We have a huge pipeline."

While the company declined to give exact details on its UK pipeline, it said that it has an 80MW EPC pipeline "ready to be built" in Europe right now, with projects expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.

Hanwha Q Cells' move toward an increasing EPC business comes amid a wider trend among solar producers to diversify into services, as profit margins from cell and module production have plummeted.

Many of the UK projects are co-developed with local partners, similar to a 24MW plant which Hanwha Q Cells completed before the end of March within seven weeks jointly with UK developer AG Renewables.

The speed of the construction was made possible by a standardisation of project engineering and management into blocks of solar arrays of between 1MW and 3MW.

The company has "blocked" part of its total global cell and module capacity exclusively for its growing EPC business, Danielzik said.

While the UK currently is the biggest EPC market for Hanwha Q Cells, the company also has high hopes for the Turkish and Polish markets in Europe, and in the Americas for the Chilean sector.