China’s PV cell manufacturer GS-Solar has signed a cooperation agreement with Shanxi Coal International Energy Group (here referred as Shanxi Coal) to build a 10GW production base for double-sided heterojunction (HDT) cells. GS-Solar has been a leader in the development of the heterojunction technologies that allow for PV cells with higher conversion efficiency rates.
Shanxi Coal is controlled by the government of Shanxi Province and listed on the main board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It is one of the few state-own enterprises in China’s coal industry and possesses exceptional strength in capital and financing. While coal mining has been an integral part of Shanxi’s economy, the Chinese government now wants to turn the province into a laboratory for testing out energy transition programs that can be then applied across the whole country. This latest deal indicates that Shanxi Coal will play a key role in driving the government’s efforts.
Likewise, GS-Solar is a unique player in the solar industry due to its focus on the R&D of heterojunction technologies. The company is known for holding numerous IPs pertaining to cell design, manufacturing process, and fabrication equipment. HDT cells, which are the main highlight of the cooperation agreement between GS-Solar and Shanxi Coal, represents a variation of the next-generation heterojunction solutions. Going forward, GS-Solar as a leading-edge solar technology company will continue to expand the production and sales of its heterojunction cells. In addition, the company will also be developing comprehensive services for the global solar market.
GS-Solar also announced this February that it will be building a 5GW production base for HDT cells in Jinjiang, a city in China’s Fujian Province. The company has reportedly committed around CNY 5 billion (USD 732 million) to the first-phase construction of the Jinjiang base. The first phase is expected to establish a manufacturing capacity of around 2GW.
As for the joint venture with Shanxi Coal, there is still no detail on how much will be injected into this project. Various reports on the potential scale of this joint venture indicate that GS-Solar and Shanxi Coal plan to invest around CNY 20 billion to set up an even larger production base with a manufacturing capacity reaching 10GW.
In related news, the Japanese technology conglomerate Panasonic revealed this May that it will be transferring a 90% stake of its solar energy unit in Malaysia to GS-Solar. The Malaysian unit includes a local factory that produces heterojunction cells and related components. Along with the transfer of the ownership of the Malaysian unit, Panasonic will also spin off its solar R&D unit and turn it into a joint venture with GS-Solar. The aim behind this move is to create an entity that will be totally dedicated to the R&D of the heterojunction technologies. GS-Solar is currently targeting a 25% conversion efficiency rate for its cells.
This article is an English translation of news content from SolarBe.com.