TBEA SunOasis Set to Overtake First Solar as World’s Largest Solar EPC Company in 2014
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Barcelona, Spain (May 15, 2014)—U.S.-based First Solar delivered on expectations in 2013 to become the leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company in the global photovoltaic (PV) industry, even though it is likely to be surpassed in 2014 by Chinese EPC TBEA SunOasis, according to a new report from IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS).
First Solar installed a total of 1.1 gigawatts of solar capacity last year, up from 516 megawatts (MW). In comparison, runner-up TBEA SunOasis installed 1.0 GW, up from 250 MW, as shown in the attached table. But with SunOasis projected to attain1.5 GW of installations this year compared to First Solar’s 1.3 GW, TBEA SunOasis has the potential to sail to the top among global PV integrators.
These findings are contained in the report, “IHS PV EPC and Project Market Tracker,” from the Power & Energy service of IHS.
“After a strong year of installing 22 percent of the non-residential PV capacity in the U.S. and Canada, First Solar remains focused on North America,” said Josefin Berg, senior analyst for solar demand at IHS. “Large-scale projects in the U.S. will make up around 93 percent of the 1.3 GW worth of additions in 2014.”
These projects, Berg said, were acquired in early-stage development and are now being constructed and sold primarily under U.S. investment tax-credit policies. To mitigate the risks that arise from dependence on one market, First Solar is building up a global project pipeline through acquisitions and joint ventures, with the company now also claiming 1-GW pipelines each in Latin America and the Middle East.
“After 2015, depending on the evolution of solar support in the United States, First Solar risks slower growth in PV system integration,” Berg noted. “And while the development pipeline in emerging countries has given the company a good start, it will be much more challenging to pursue than home-based projects in the U.S.”
Meanwhile, TBEA SunOasis is thriving on China’s rapidly growing domestic market, and its installations of 1.0 GW in 2013 accounted for 10 percent of that country’s non-residential PV additions. This year, the power equipment manufacturing group will continue growing its PV systems business, with expected additions to reach as high as 1.5 GW. While focusing on utility-scale opportunities in China, TBEA is also involved in power projects in markets such as Pakistan, where it is undertaking the construction of a 100-MW PV plant in 2014 and 2015.
“TBEA’s global reach as a power equipment provider opens up possibilities for EPC contracts in new PV markets,” Berg remarked. “But because the Chinese domestic market will grow by 31 percent this year, TBEA is also set to keep its systems business growth focused on China.”