Where are the top solar manufacturing facilities in the world?
Solar PV technology has become something of a movement in the past few years. While a few years ago no top solar PV factory could hit the 1 GW mark with regard to total solar power production, no solar company can currently expect to feature in this elite category without producing well over this limit in pv solar power. Here is a look at the top 10 solar PV factories in the world. These top solar PV makers collectively produce about 25 GW of power, which is roughly half the share of the total solar PV power produced in the world. It is worth noting that most of the factories in this list are China.
Top 10 Solar PV Factories In The World
The following companies currently have the largest solar PV production capacities based on the aggregate solar PV power coming from their production lines as per the close of last year, 2014. Chinese factories reign supreme, partly because of a large local market and regulations against importation of PV modules into the country.
1. Trina Solar
Trina is currently the world leader in the production of solar PV power. The company operates out of Jiangsu, China, where it manufactures large quantities of solar PV modules. As of the close of last year, the company had manufactured and shipped 3.6 GW worth of solar PV power. In total, the company has shipped 11 GW of power in solar modules.
Yingli is a solar PV heavyweight based in China as well. The company has over 16,000 employees and is headquartered in Boading. For the year 2014, Yingli factories produced around 3.40 GW to earn it the second place in this list.
JinkoSolar is one of the top PV solar companies in the world at the moment. The company is headquartered in China, but it has branches around the world facilitating the sale of its products. The company has more than 13,000 employees and four production facilities in China, Portugal and South Africa. The company had a capacity of 3.2 GW in solar module power as of the end 2014.
The company, based in Qidong, China, manufactures solar panels, wafers, silicon ingots, as well as PV cells. The company employs over 12,000 people. For the year 2014, Hanwha had a module assembly capacity of 2.64 GW, securing it the fourth position in the world in terms of total megawatts produced by its manufacturing line.
Canadian Solar Inc. manufactures solar PV modules as well as solar power systems. The bulk of the company’s solar PV is made in China, although it also has a solar PV factory in Ontario, Canada, which began operating in 2011. The Canadian plant has a capacity of about 500 MW per year. Canadian Solar Inc. had an estimated module assembly capacity of 2.50 GW as of 2014, which means about 2.0 GW of solar module power is manufactured in China.
JA develops and sells solar module products around the world. Like most top PV companies in this category, JA is located in China, in Ningjin. The company’s products are shipped all over the world to places such as Germany, Sweden, Spain and so forth. JA was able to attain PV module shipments of 2.4 GW in 2014, which was a phenomenal 105% growth from the previous year.
First Solar Inc. is one of the few American companies that actually made it to the top ten list of top solar PV manufacturers. The company, based on Tempe, Arizona, makes PV solar panels and also provides utility-scale products for construction of PV power plants. The estimated capacity of solar PV for First Solar for the year 2014, according to an SPV market research report released this year, was 2.20 GW.
Hareon Solar is located in China’s Jiangsu Province. The company concentrates on the production of highly efficient silicon PV solar modules and solar cells. The company has also engaged in worldwide ventures in solar energy sector by being involved in construction of solar plants. At the moment, the company had a module production capacity of 2.0 GW as for the year 2014 from its China-based manufacturing concern.
ReneSola is a well-respected manufacturer of solar wafers and silicon material used in the manufacture of solar cells. The company’s client include JA Solar, a solar panel manufacturer that is also a force to reckon with when it comes to solar power manufacturing capacity. Module shipments from Renesola for the year 2014 totaled 1.97 GW, which represented a 14% production increase from the previous year.
Neo Solar Power, alternatively known by its acronym, NSP, is a headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan. The company is a manufacturer of solar cells and solar modules and is a top-ranked PV solar module maker in both Taiwan and across the globe. The company has employees in excess of 2,500 and average yearly revenues of about half a billion US dollars. Neo Solar managed to appear in the list of top 10 solar PV manufacturers by having a module assembly capacity of 1.8 GW for the year 2014.
The future of solar PV is quite exciting. For instance, an electric car entrepreneur, Elon Musk, is trying to set up a 1 gigawatt solar PV factory in the US. The enormous scale of this solar PV factory is expected to lower production costs and hence make alternative energy affordable. The city of New York has offered about $750 in tax breaks in relation to the project, which is what has made the decision to set up the mega-factory in the area more appealing. The plant is expected to require about $5 billion in funding over the next decade, and will obviously require large amounts of labor.
JinkoSolar also has plans to build a 500 MW solar PV production plant in Malaysia. The project will cost about $100 million. The company also entered into a financing deal with China Development Bank to develop 1 GW of solar PV capacity in the next five years. The facility will obviously be quite large, and will therefore create jobs for thousands of people.
Adani Entreprises, an Indian power giant also has plans to build India’s largest photovoltaic manufacturing plant worth $4 billion US dollars. The plant will employ about 20,000 people.