Hanwha Q Cells, a solar panel unit of Hanwha Group, has signed a 1 trillion won ($923.7 million) deal with Florida-based light company NextEra Energy to supply 1.5 gigawatts of solar panels, a record for a single contract in the domestic industry.
The company will supply solar modules to NexEra’s solar plants under construction from the fourth quarter through the same period next year, the company said in a statement Monday. NextEra currently aims to build solar power plants with a capacity of 1.6 gigawatts by 2016.
Hanwha Q Cells’ CEO Nam Seong-woo said in an interview with Bloomberg that “the deal accounts for 30 to 40 percent of shipments going into 2016.”
“This will serve as an opportunity to expand Hanwha Q Cells’ presence in the U.S., a major solar energy player in the world,” Nam said in a statement Monday. “The deal is a stepping stone for us to pad our lead as the world’s No. 1 (photovoltaic cell manufacturer).”
Hanwha Group chairman Kim Seung-youn. Hanwha Group
Hanwha officials added that the contract allows the company to become a preferred bidder for solar plants to be built after 2017.
The development is part of Hanwha’s group-wide efforts to boost the solar energy business, with the company investing some 800 billion won in recent years as a core growth engine.
Hanwha Q Cells’ Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park, one of Hawaii’s largest solar power plants built in December 2013.
Kim Dong-kwan, the eldest son of the group’s chairman Kim Seung-youn, is leading the company’s marketing and strategy efforts. The move has been interpreted by market watchers as symbolic of the hopes the group is placing on solar energy business.
Hanwha Q Cells merged with Hanwha SolarOne in China in February to form Hanwha Q Cells Investment under Nam’s leadership. Nam was a former Samsung Electronics’ IT solution division vice president.
Global markets for solar panels are growing with the rapid adoption of solar panels, according to a report by WinterGreen Research.
According to the data, the global solar panels market is expected to grow to $180.7 billion by 2021.
By Suk Gee-hyun (email@example.com)