Schaffhausen, Switzerland [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. has signed three long-term supply agreements, under which it will supply up to 490 megawatts (MW) of solar modules that will be delivered to customers in Europe over the next three years. Suntech’s strategic long-term partners in Europe including a value-added reseller, an EPC company and a project developer. The names of the companies were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the agreements, 115 MW is planned to be supplied in 2010, 155 MW in 2011 and 220 MW in 2012, with the option to increase volumes. Suntech anticipates concluding additional long-term supply agreements during the next few months reflecting a “flight to quality” solar companies that have bankable products, and the capability and credibility to support long-term growth.
“Customers choose to partner with Suntech because of our proven commitment to quality, reliability and performance, which is backed up by over 1.5 GW of installations,” said Jerry Stokes, Suntech’s VP of Strategy and Business Development. “With the solar market expected to resume strong annual growth in 2010 and beyond, it is essential for both our partners and Suntech to gain a clearer understanding of future market drivers and project pipelines. This will enable us to align product specifications, performance and market demand with capacity expansion and to differentiate our products and the solutions offered by our partners.”
This marks part of a shift in the global solar market. Until very recently, German solar panels were almost exclusively used in European installations. In the last year however, Chinese companies like Suntech have started to make high quality products that rival the efficiency and quality of their German counterparts. There have been accusations from German companies about the “dumping” of Chinese panels on the German and wider European markets through the subsidization of the Chinese solar industry by the country’s government.
At the same time American companies like Evergreen Solar have started to move production to China to lower costs while maintaining the consistency of their products.In the end, it marks the beginning of a shift toward a more global solar market, a good thing for those companies poised to move into new markets quickly.