Chinese PV manufacturer JA Solar has announced intentions of expanding its manufacturing capacity with the construction of two new factories in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province.
A translation of the document announcing the expansion didn’t work out too well for me, but Bloomberg reports one facility will have an annual production capacity of 5 gigawatts of solar cells and the other factory 10 gigawatts of panels a year. Assuming this goes ahead, it’s expected the projects will be carried out in phases and it could take up to four years to complete both plants.
Currently the company has eleven or twelve manufacturing facilities (depending on what you read), most of which are in China with the exceptions of a plant in Malaysia and one in Vietnam.
JA Solar was founded in 2005 and listed on the NASDAQ in 2007. It exited the NASDAQ and ceased to be a publicly traded company in 2018, but last month announced it had listed its common stock on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
JA Solar In Australia
JA Solar entered the Australian market in 2013. What appears to be the biggest PV project locally featuring the company’s modules is Moree Solar Farm in New South Wales (56MWac / 70.1MWdc), which was the first large-scale solar project in Australia to use a single-axis tracking system. 220,000 JA Solar panels were installed at the facility, which commenced commercial operations in 2016.
On the residential PV front, JA Solar’s products have been popular for Australian home solar installations in part due to their price compared to other solar brands, plus the backing of an Australian office for warranty claims. The firm claimed a 15.3% share of the local PV market in 2017, but there doesn’t appear to have been an update on Australian market share since.
JA Solar isn’t the cheapest of reputable brands, but far from the most expensive. While more of a budget module, reviews from JA Solar panel owners in Australia published here on SQ have generally been quite favourable, with the firm’s products currently scoring an average rating of 4.5/5. JA Solar panels are currently listed on SQ’s trusted brands chart.