China CSP to blossom—1GW pilot projects to be confirmed by this Nov.


China National Energy Administration (NEA) released the “Notification on Organizing the Construction of 1GW CSP Pilot Projects” on Sept. 30 this year, and informed all project application materials should be submitted to the New Energy Division of NEA by Oct.30. The final list of confirmed pilot projects is expected to be announced by the end of November. And construction time of those CSP plants will be determined by the owners themselves who win the bid. Undoubtedly such exciting news brings China CSP into a real blossom stage, and is bound to witness the new era of this sparkling emerging CSP market.


Reacting to the Notification, almost one hundred projects with a total installed capacity of around 4GW joined the competition. The applicants are roughly divided into three groups:

1.       State-owned enterprises like CGN Solar, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), China Huadian Corporation, China Huaneng Group and China Guohua Group;

2.       Private Chinese enterprises like SUPCON, Rayspower, Royal Tech and TeraSolar Photothermal Technologies;

3.       Foreign companies like BrightSource and Abengoa.


The notification provides that the total installed capacity is 1GW and the single unit installed capacity of each project should be at least 50MW. As a result, the total number of all the approved pilot projects will be less than 20, which means over half of the applicants will fail in the bidding. What’s more, Notification specifies some limits to avoid redundant construction of projects with the same CSP technology. It says, “If one project owner has over one project in the same province, these projects should be different in terms of technical type; One company could declare in more than one province, but the total number should be limited by no more than 3 projects, and the number of projects with the same technology source or technical type should be no more than 2.”


The pilot projects in this Phase One are expected to complete by the end of 2017, and the Phase Two pilot projects will be probably announced after the construction of Phase One projects. Mr. Liang Zhipeng, Deputy Director of New Energy Division from NEA comments on the pilot projects planning from official perspective, “To promote China CSP industry in a healthy and fast way, two steps should be taken: First, realize industrialization; Second, realize industrialization and scale-up development. In details for future work, four points should be highlighted:

1.       Contribute to the confidence of industry players by deepening the research of CSP resources and completing the 13th Five-year Plan for CSP in a proper and soon way, launching development strategy and layout for their reference;

2.       Fasten the start-up and development of the 1GW pilot projects to establish stable base for the large-scale development of CSP industry;

3.       Moderate some supportive policies ASAP especially about FiT for the pilot projects and preferential policies like tax and land;

4.       Lead the deep R&D for the core CSP technologies by taking full use of national and cooperate resources, and try best to make China one of the leading markets for CSP technical development.


NEA will rank them and make the final decision after an integrated consideration of economical efficiency, localization rate of facilities, and technology advancement of those alternative projects. Afterwards, to ensure the smooth progress of the 1GW pilot projects, NEA will probably issue another Notification, which includes FiT, limited time of completion and punishment mechanism etc. All of these steps for the 1GW project are expected to complete by the end of this year.



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