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China's Lowest Solar Bid Price Ever: RMB 3.05 per Watt

published: 2016-08-23 18:17

China's State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) held this year's second open tendering procedure for PV projects on August 11th in Beijing. One bidding price set a new record low: RMB 3.05 per watt. This broke the lowest record (RMB 3.19 per watt) set by China General Nuclear Power Group’s (CGN’s) auction for 500 MW of PV project held in the end of July.

According to Chinese media, NE21.com (PVMate.com) and solarbe.com, this open tendering procedure totaled 2.75GW, including mono-si, multi-si, and dual-glass PV modules. Bidders including Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI), Trina Solar, China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC), and China Energy Conservation Investment Corporation (CECIC). There were 10 small sub-bids in four categories: Hebei region bids, Jiangxi region bids, other regions (four bids) and Top Runner Program (four bids).

Based the documents revealed by the Chinese media, in the Hebei region bids, mono-si module bid price's lower end was RMB 3.08 per watt, and RMB 3.48 on the higher end. Multi-si module bid prices ranged from RMB 3.07 to 3.325 per watt. In Jiangxi region bid, the mono-si module's lower end was RMB 3.08 per watt, and multi-si module bid price's lowest price was RMB 3.05 per watt. Among "the other region" bids, mono-si module bid price ranged from RMB 3.08 to 3.48 per watt, and its average bid price was RMB 3.3 per watt. Multi-si module bid prices ranged from RMB 3.07 to 3.325 per watt, and average bid price was RMB 3.2 per watt.

The bid prices for the four Top Runner Program bids were worth noting. The Top Runner Program required conversion efficiency of a multi-si module to be at least 275W and a mono-si module to be up from 285W. Mono-si module's lowest bid price showed a historical record low: RMB 3.05 per watt, the highest was RMB 3.9 per watt, and the average bid price was RMB 3.3 per watt. Multi-si module price ranged from RMB 3.15 to 3.476 per watt, and the average bid price was RMB 3.2 per watt.

Price Downturn is the major trend

CGN's fifth bid for Top Runner Program in July showed RMB 3.19 per watt (was a historical low then). In this SPIC's bidding procedure, a new record low was set as RMB 3.05 per watt in the mono-si module, also to projects for the Top Runner Program. These two cases clearly showed that Chinese PV industry is using low-price strategy for the Top Runner projects. Top Runner projects’ bids held by SPIC reached a low price that was even lower than general bidding projects'. Apparently, Top Runner Program is not able to maintain highly efficient products' prices although it  is able to effectively stimulate highly efficient products' demand.

According to EnergyTrend's latest price survey, in the China market, standard 260W module's ASP ranged from RMB 3.1 to 3.3 per watt. This proved that two solar auctions held by CGN and SPIC posted prices below the market norm. China’s PV market prices were relatively chaotic after the installation rush came to the end on June 30th. However, after the results of the above two bids, the future price trend will be getting clearer -- though transaction prices will still have ups and downs according to the market status, the long-term price downtrend is hardly resistible. 

(Written by Rhea Tsao, chief editor of EnergyTrend; translated by Janet Chen, translator at TrendForce Corp.)

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