Wiki-Solar bills itself as “the interactive information source on major global photovoltaic power projects” and it has just released a list of the top 20 photovoltaic project installers globally.
At the top of the list, with a total of 759 MW across 11 sites, is First Solar, which includes the largest plant currently operating — and still under construction — the Agua Caliente Solar Farm in the Southwest corner of Arizona. The farm, owned by NRG Energy and MidAmerican Energy, topped 250 MW last September and is expected to total over 300 MW upon final completion some time in 2014.
Wiki-Solar noted that as of publication of their list they had 12.4 GW of utility-scale plants in their database, of which the top 20 accounted for 49%.
From an international standpoint, Europe and US are still leading the utility-scale solar market, though China is making a move for the top. China accounts for 30% of the 6 GW of new capacity connected in the last 12 months, which brought the global total over 12 GW.
Active all across their home country, Chinese developers have not reached many offshore locations, while developers like First Solar, Juwi, and SunEdison — taking the first three spots respectively — are operating across a broad variety of countries.
“The geographic profile of the market is changing radically, with more countries joining and passing Germany and Spain at the top of the international league table”, says industry expert Philip Wolfe. “So the leading companies are responding by taking their expertise into these emerging markets.”
Similarly, while China is making huge moves at home, the table of top Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors shows nine German companies in the top 15.
“Chinese companies have yet to become prominent outside their home market, except of course in the supply of solar modules and inverters but that may change as China’s share of the global installed market continues to grow,” says Wolfe. “Having said that, the pipeline of known projects suggests that China could be overtaken at the top of the national league table – within a few months – by the USA.”
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