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Look to the World on the Shoulders of a Giant — SMA Carves a New Path for the PV industry

published: 2019-07-11 15:02

As the installed capacity of the global PV market increases, the construction cost of power station projects continues to decline. Renewable energy, represented by solar power, is accelerating the global energy structure reform. Michael Rutt, General Manager of SMA Australia, said SMA Solar Technology AG, which has been cultivating the inverter industry for 38 years, is the leader of the global PV inverter market. In response to the energy reform and shifts in the market, SMA focuses on core competency, optimization of business management structure, and reduction of fixed costs to lay out the strategy in advance for key areas such as energy management, storage integration, renewable energy, and digital business model.

At present, the global cumulative installed capacity of SMA PV inverters has already exceeded 75GW. The service system spans more than 190 countries and takes on more than 3.5GW of power plants operations and maintenance services. SMA has a complete product line suitable for different solar energy applications and total solutions. The energy storage inverters have always been at the forefront of the world as well. In 2018, as China’s PV industry gradually branches out to markets overseas, the Managing Board of SMA Solar Technology AG officially announced the restructure of its business in China and sold three of its companies in China to the management there. (now known as AISWEI New Energy Technology Co. Ltd.) The existing SMA China branch has been repositioned, retaining the A-list sales team and fully committing to the global strategy of propelling China’s solar energy investment companies and EPC customers to markets overseas.  

Ms. Wang Ting, Vice President of Sales, SMA Great China, said: “The global PV market is growing rapidly. In particular, the jointly established “Belt and Road” Clean Energy Initiative has brought new development opportunities to China’s PV industry. SMA China is directing its business development and growth point to business overseas, which will play an even bigger role in SMA’s global strategy. We will look to the future while staying grounded in the present. With SMA’s mastery of technology and ample experience, we will expand the markets overseas and gradually penetrate the global market. SMA will remain the world’s leader in PV inverter system integrated solutions.”

Ms Wang added: “The SMA Group will reposition itself as a provider of energy systems and solutions. SMA will provide modularized and expandable solar energy, energy storage, and digital energy solutions for PV application systems, thereby unlocking the potential of renewable energy in the global market.

Seize the trend — providing customers with three major PV solutions

Due to the trends of PV markets overseas, the functionality of solar power station projects is transitioning to energy exchange, power integration, and energy storage applications. During the 2019 SNEC, SMA China held the onsite technical seminar to share systems solutions for large scale solar& storage with customers.

In response to the growing demands of EPC project developers for formulating convenient and easily expandable inverter solutions, with its global strategy, SMA introduced the Sunny Central UP inverter solution and Highpower Peak3 string inverter to help companies intellectualize the construction and operation of PV projects while maximizing revenue.

The new Sunny Central UP is a central PV inverter designed by SMA for large scale power plants. It has a power output of up to 4.6MW and is compatible with 1500V DC voltage. It can greatly reduce the number of inverters in large-scale PV projects, which results in a significant reduction in operating costs as well as optimal storage integration.

With the flexible and easily scalable plant design, Highpower Peak3 string inverter has a power output of 150KW and combines the advantages of a decentralized system layout with those of the central inverter concept.  The DC Combiner Boxes enable efficient planning and easy expansion of large-scale solar plants even on heterogeneous terrain. Thanks to the modular approach, EPCs’ projects can be scaled both in terms of power and function. This means maximum flexibility in the plant design. As while, the long-term safety and best cost-effectiveness of the product are guaranteed throughout its entire life cycle.

At the seminar, regarding the current demand for storage in the energy market, SMA introduced the PCS products solutions and project cases. By the end of Year 2018, SMA’s global PCS energy storage installed capacity was 1.4GW, and its energy storage products span across home, commercial and large-scale storage settings. It is currently the PCS energy storage manufacturer with the largest shipments and installed capacity in the world. Due to the complex design and difficulty in simulation and construction of energy storage and multi-energy composite projects, SMA provides customers with a variety of services including engineering consulting, project design and construction, in addition to PCS and EMS, fulfilling a wide range of demands.

Seize the future — moving forward with EPC project developers

In recent years, there have been increasing demands in the PV markets overseas. A new wave of “branching out” has been sweeping across the PV industry in China. Dozens of Chinese PV companies have already established capacity overseas through joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and investment. As a leader of PV inverters, large-scale storage solution, operations and maintenance who has a deep-seated position in the global PV market and has an impressive operations and maintenance team, SMA is also strengthening its cooperation with China’s EPC project developers to explore the markets overseas.

As an important player in the global PV market, Australia has always been the focus of attention for all major PV companies. It is worth noting that of the PV projects in Australia, if PV companies only make profit through component sales, then the prices will be relatively lower. Therefore, the development of solar power plants through EPC general contracting is particularly important. SMA, who has copious experience in development, currently has over 2GW installed in Australia. With the deep-rooted foundations in the Australian PV market as well as a strong operations and maintenance team, SMA can provide effective and optimized services for EPC developers in project assessment, government relations, and grid-tie configurations.

In May of this year, SMA China had collaborated with the Chinese EPC customer SUMEC to supply system technology to a 54MW PV power plant located in Dak Nong Province in Vietnam. SMA provided a turnkey solution equipped with Sunny Central inverters and a medium voltage solution for the grid connection, that minimized construction period and maximized efficiency, so that the customer received a solar subsidy of 0.0953 USD/kWh before June 30th.

In the future, as demands for solar power in the global market grows and EPC project developers deepen their cultivation of emerging PV markets in Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia. SMA, as the inverter giant in the global PV market, especially SMA China, will sustain its brand influence in markets overseas. SMA will provide custom and expandable PV, energy storage and digital energy solutions for large scale PV station and energy storage power plants, guiding China’s PV industry on a new voyage.

About SMA

As a leading global specialist in photovoltaic system technology, the SMA Group is setting the standards today for the decentralized and renewable energy supply of tomorrow. SMA’s portfolio contains a wide range of efficient PV inverters, holistic system solutions for PV systems of all power classes, intelligent energy management systems and battery-storage solutions as well as complete solutions for PV diesel hybrid applications. Digital energy services as well as extensive services up to and including operation and maintenance services for PV power plants round off SMA’s range. SMA inverters with a total output of around 75 gigawatts have been installed in more than 190 countries worldwide. SMA’s multi-award-winning technology is protected by more than 1,300 patents and utility models. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and is listed in the SDAX index.

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