JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: JASO) ("JA Solar"), one of the world's largest manufacturers of high-performance solar power products, announced that it is providing 420MV of modules for a national advanced PV technology demonstration project in Datong, Shanxi province. The first phase of the "Front Runner" project has a total installed capacity of 950MW. JA Solar is providing 44% of the modules for this first phase.
The National Energy Administration established the "Front Runner" program in order to promote the development of advanced solar PV technology by domestic suppliers. The Datong demonstration project is the first of several planned GW-scale "Front Runner" projects. Investment in the first phase of the facility is estimated at 10 billion yuan (approximately US$1.6 billion) and will consist of 13 PV power stations. Upon completion, the facility is expected to generate 1.5 billion kWh of on-grid energy per year, which will contribute 260 million yuan of tax revenue and eliminate the burning of 480,000 tons of standard coal annually.
As a result of its advanced core technologies, in July 2015 JA Solar was selected by the municipal government of Datong as investor in one of the demonstration projects, providing products for the 50MW "Leader + New Technology + New Model Demonstration" project. JA Solar also furnished 370MW of modules to six companies who are also investors in the demonstration projects: China Three Gorges Corporation, China Huadian Corporation, China Power Investment Corporation, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group, Beijing Energy Investment Holding and Sungrow Power Supply.
In order to participate in the "Front Runner" project, equipment suppliers must meet high standards of performance and quality established by the National Energy Administration. The conversion efficiency of polycrystalline and monocrystalline modules must exceed 16.5% and 17%, respectively. The attenuation rate of ordinary PV products in the first year after commissioning is required to not exceed 2.5% and 3% respectively, while the same rate in subsequent years is to be no higher than 0.7% per year. The overall attenuation rate over the useful life of the modules must not exceed 20%.
JA Solar demonstrated its global technology leadership by submitting four products that meet or exceed the "Front Runner" standard: its conventional monocrystalline Cypress modules, conventional polycrystalline Cypress modules, high-efficiency monocrystalline Percium modules and high-efficiency polycrystalline Riecium modules. Furthermore, in early 2016 JA Solar's high-efficiency polycrystalline Riecium double-glass modules also received an authentication certificate from the China Quality Certification Centre, validating compliance with China's "Front Runner" standard of technology and quality.
Customer demand for high-efficiency products is growing. High conversion efficiency translates into greater installed capacity per unit area, resulting in more electricity generation, reduced land cost per watt, reduced transportation and installation costs, and better project income. To fulfill rapidly growing customer demand, within a year JA Solar intends to increase annual production capacity of its "Front Runner" products to 1.8GW for monocrystalline products and 2.3GW for polycrystalline products.
Mr. Jian Xie, President of JA Solar, commented, "The 'Front Runner' program is helping the Chinese PV equipment industry achieve many desirable goals. The program promotes ongoing technological innovation, improved manufacturing processes, new and useful applications, and high standard for quality and testing. JA Solar is proud to supply nearly half of the modules for this first demonstration project in Datong. We intend to pursue further technology innovations that will contribute to the healthy evolution of China's PV and manufacturing sectors."