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GCL-Poly joins push to develop 500MW of rooftop solar in China

GCL-Poly joins push to develop 500MW of rooftop solar in China

GCL-Poly has agreed to invest in a company that plans to develop 500MW of rooftop solar projects in China over the next five years.

China’s biggest polysilicon-maker will take a 20% stake in Sinofield, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based China Technology Development Group Corporation (CTDGG), according to a framework agreement.

State-owned conglomerate China Merchant Group (CMG) will hold 55% of the equity, while CTDGC will own the rest.

The move – aimed at turning Sinofield into the country’s “most professional rooftop solar power system operator” – comes as China’s vast warehouse rooftop space is recognised as a new opportunity for solar developers.

GCL-Poly and CTDGC will also jointly develop and invest in solar parks in the US. The partners say the two nations have the best prospects for the development of solar applications.

Most growth in China’s solar market currently comes from ground-mounted projects and utility-scale PV power plants.

However, Beijing is reported to be considering a target of 3GW of commercial and industrial rooftop installations under the country’s 12th five-year plan (2011-2015). That would mean the smaller systems could make up a third of the total 15GW of targeted solar capacity.

GCL-Poly has already built a 20MW solar farm in China and a 10MW project in Tibet. It operates 16MW of solar power in the US and has a further 84MW under construction there.

Under the new agreement “GCL-Poly will be able to further increase the market demand for its polysilicon and wafers,” says Zhu Gongshan, GCL’s chairman.

GCL-Poly will provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to Sinofield, which will be re-named China Merchants New Energy Holdings after restructuring. It will use at least 100MW of CTDGC’s solar panels per year, according to a statement from CTDGC.

GCL-Poly says specific terms of the agreement have not yet been concluded.

CMG, the major shareholder in CTDGC, claims to have more than three million square metres of existing and planned warehouse rooftop area available in China via its logistics and other subsidiaries.

It will contribute exclusive rooftop solar development rights of at least 180MW to the new company.

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