Ambitious Shunfeng reaches 890MW

The recent completion of a 50MW PV plant in Gansu province brings Shunfeng’s total grid-connected capacity to 890MW, with plans for several more gigawatts to be added to the Chinese PV group’s books in 2014.

Hong Kong-listed Shunfeng, already one of the world’s largest generators of solar energy, provided the update just weeks before it hopes to finalise its acquisition of Wuxi Suntech, the manufacturing arm of bankrupted Suntech.

Some 60% of Shunfeng’s capacity is located in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, with another 200MW in Gansu province, and smaller amounts in Shaanxi, Qinghai and Ningxia Hui Autonomous provinces, the company says.

Shunfeng has previously claimed ambitions to install another 2GW-3GW in 2014, with Suntech’s former factories set to churn out modules to feed Shunfeng’s aggressive expansion plans.

Shunfeng was not included on a recent list of Chinese solar companies expected to receive policy backing from Beijing, a fact apparently at odds with chairman Zhang Yi's claim that “policy support from the central government” and “financial support from large-scale … financial institutions” will be critical to the company's near-term plans.

2014 is expected to be an epic year for PV installations in China, as Beijing continues to ratchet up domestic demand to support the country’s solar champions – even as it winnows the overall number of companies competing in the industry.

In November the government formally adopted a 12GW target for PV in 2014, which would be the largest single-country performance in history.

Some experts, however, predict China will fail to reach its target, let down by the inchoate state of its rooftop-installation sector.

Many Chinese PV manufacturers listed on foreign stock exchanges have seen their market valuations increase by magnitudes of scale over the past year – a reflection both of how low they had sunk to begin with as well as growing expectations for PV in the world's energy mix.