Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan1
Top Utility-Scale Solar Builder Is First Solar, But Big Boys Climbing The Ranks
US-based First Solar has led the utility-scale solar league for awhile now, but the latest statistics for utility-scale solar construction (EPC contracts) put it way out in the lead.
“More than half of the companies in the list are European solar specialist EPC contractors, many of which have successfully diversified internationally, as their home markets have been squeezed,” Wiki-Solar adds.
“Utility-scale installations in 2013 now exceed 6 GWp, so the market is worth well over $10bn. This is already a record, and the total is expected to top 8 GWp when the full year’s commissioning data is available, compared to 5.6 GWp in 2012 and 3.6 GWp the year before.”
“The entry of the big multi-nationals is a sign of this sector reaching maturity,” says Wiki-Solar founder Philip Wolfe. “A $10bn market with 50% year-on-year growth is enough to get anyone’s attention. The specialist solar contractors can’t rest on their laurels, and it’s good to see traditional leaders like Juwi and SunEdison actively pursuing new market opportunities to keep them high on the list.”
“The big multinationals have climbed the ranking tables fast, by focusing on the largest projects, like California Valley and Catalina (Bechtel), Mesquite (Zachry) and Arlington Valley (Fluor). They’re not all new entrants, though; Fluor built the first multi-megawatt solar power station for Arco back in 1984 in Carrisa Plain – coincidentally on part of the site where First Solar is now building the 550 MW Topaz solar farm.”
It’s amazing to see how fast this sector is growing.