Published on October 28th, 2014 | by James Ayre0
SunEdison Expanding Into UK, Australia, & China
October 28th, 2014 by James Ayre
One of the world’s leading solar energy companies, SunEdison, is from the looks of it aiming to expand beyond its already quite notable position, to one of perhaps global dominance — based on recent announcements.
The recent announcements in question refer to the company’s stated intent to continue growing in the UK market; its recent expansion into the Australian market; and the signing of a joint venture agreement to facilitate the development of new utility-scale projects in China.
With regard to the UK market — the company has had a presence in the country for awhile now, one that’s led to the market becoming a key one for the company, based on recent comments from SunEdison’s Vice President, Mark Babcock. While the company has had good success with regard to utility-scale projects, the real growth has been — and will be, into the future, based on recent statements — in the residential rooftop market (via installers).
“The UK is the first place outside the US we have focused on and being primarily a distributed generation company the UK is an important market,” Babcock recently stated.
As far as what comes next in the UK market, the company has hinted that it will possibly be moving into supplying energy storage solutions to installers, in addition to PV systems.
The company also has a pretty substantial solar PV utility-scale project pipeline in the UK, in addition to the rooftop one — it currently stands at around 100 MW of planned capacity.
With regard to Australia — SunEdison recently announced its purchase of the Australian solar installer Energy Matters, with the intent of using said purchase to make headway into the market there.
Coinciding with the purchase is the company’s preparation for the launch of a major initiative on solar leasing — following a recent deal securing about $70 million of finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
According to the CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates, SunEdison’s newly created Australian businesses will “originate, design, install, own, operate and maintain the solar PV systems and lease them, or sell the power (depending on the contract) to customers, working with local partners.”
With regard to China, SunEdison recently announced the signing of a joint venture agreement with JIC Capital, one intended to facilitate financing, development, and construction, of up to 1 GW of utility-scale solar PV projects during the next three years in the eastern powerhouse.
SunEdison may directly or indirectly through an affiliate purchase the projects developed by the joint venture at some point.
“This historic joint venture is a great step forward for SunEdison,” stated Ahmad Chatila, President and CEO of SunEdison. “It is a great honor to partner with a leader like JIC Capital, and we are committed to harnessing our world leading technology and deployment capabilities to deliver clean, cost effective solar energy to the people of China.”
“Capital contributions will accelerate the growth of the solar market in China, and China’s solar PV industry requires international know-how to improve. We see this collaboration brings opportunities to combine capital and industry, to form a focused industrial investment platform for long-term operations,” stated Mr Jian Ping Zhang, Chairman, JIC Capital.
It’s currently expected that projects being developed by the joint venture will begin construction sometime in early 2015. Once completed, their operation and maintenance services will be taken care of by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC).