National Energy Administration (NEA) of China has announced a preliminary target for the third phase “Top Runner Program” for 2017, setting to add 8~10GW of solar projects under new efficiency standards.
The new phase Top Runner Program will include two segments that will be eligible for different tender evaluations. One of the segments will be for Top Runner Sites, and the other will be for sites for cutting-edge technologies.
Each province (municipal, region) can apply for up to three Top Runner sites, total capacity up to 2GW. Provinces that exists sites under construction will be excluded from those that are qualified for applying new sites.
For each site, the installation capacity shall be between 500MW to 1GW.
For sites for cutting-edge technologies, each site shall be 500MW. The annual installations should be between 10~30% of the year’s annual installation capacity, yet the definition of “annual installation capacity” remains unclear.
The new efficiency threshold and standards are:
Both segments of Top Runner Program will allocate projects by tender with five criteria: capability of investment, results of interconnected PV projects, technologies and industrial advance, technological solutions, price. Scoring for the two tender programs will be different.
The new Top Runner Program will stimulate competition and tension between mono-si and multi-si PERC products, stated an analyst at EnergyTrend.