ReneSola sells 'non-Chinese' kit in US

China’s ReneSola on Wednesday welcomed the preliminary duties the US imposed yesterday on most PV cells and modules made in China and Taiwan, saying that it has nabbed a significant US order for modules it will manufacture overseas.

ReneSola says it has finalized an order to deliver “nearly 20,000” of its Virtus II modules to GeoPeak Energy for a ground-mount project in New Jersey, slated for commissioning by the end of the year.

The modules' 295W-300W nameplate capacity suggests the project is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5MW-6MW.

ReneSola did not offer details on where or how it would manufacture the modules, but said they will be “non-Chinese” and employ “non-Taiwanese cells”.

ReneSola – China’s fifth largest maker of PV modules – has been open about its strategy to shift production outside of China as a way to skirt the solar trade spats cropping up in many key markets around the world.

ReneSola’s OEM approach represents “a key differentiator” from Chinese competitors, says Kevin Chen, president of ReneSola America.

In the wake of yesterday’s countervailing duties announcement, “we are able to take an early initiative to keep our prices competitive by leveraging our global OEM network”, says Chen.

Should the US cement the duties later this year, other Chinese PV groups may follow ReneSola in outsourcing production. Some, like JA Solar, have already opened factories abroad.

Much of ReneSola’s overseas production is done via contract manufacturers, a common maneuver in the electronics industry, among others.