China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) launched “Top Runner Program” in 2015 to prompt using high-efficiency PV products and to accelerate PV industry transformation. The first phase of the Program’s demonstration projects, totaling 1GW of installation, is nearly completed.
NEA planned to execute the project demonstrations by deploying three phases of constructions under the Program, arranging 1GW of capacity to be installed in one year for each phase. The first phase of demo projects are located in Datong, Shanxi province, and the construction began on June 25, 2015.
Among the 1GW of capacity, there are seven 100MW projects and six 50MW projects, cumulating 13 projects with an investment of approximately RMB9.67 billion. All the projects are required to be completed and connected to the grid by June 30, 2016. These projects are expected to generate around 1,380GWh of electricity per year.
A local media revealed that the construction completeness was 99.2% in the very early of June. In addition, local infrastructure needed for grid connection are already completed under an investment of approximately RMB 8,500 million.
Projects prompted by Top Runner Program are required to use mono-si PV modules with efficiency higher than 17% or multi-si modules with efficiency higher than 16.5%. Power out of utilized modules are required to be up from 270W.
The second phase of the demonstration projects are initially selected to be built in Baotou, Inner Mongolia. Baotou is categorized by the Chinese government as the Region II Area. As Baotou has been suffering from desertification, NEA may design the second phase of Top Runner Program demonstrations along with environmental governance plans.