Enel leaps up solar developer global ranking after project spree

The Italian fossil fuel company is not hanging around when it comes to diversifying into PV, with almost 1.5 GW of generation capacity plugged in since the start of last year.

The latest numbers crunched by the PV analysts at Wiki-Solar relate to a global league table of solar project developers and indicate the strong advances made by Italian energy giant Enel since the start of last year.

The Enel Green Power renewables arm of the electricity and natural gas company has developed nine solar projects with a total generation capacity of 1,486 MW during that period, well over half the total solar capacity of 2,661 MW it has installed to date. Wiki-Solar noted a significant chunk of that new project capacity came in Latin America.

As ever, it should be noted the figures compiled by Wiki-Solar relate only to publicly announced projects so companies such as Chinese entities, operating in jurisdictions where public announcements are less common, are typically under-represented in the statistics.

The flurry of solar development activity by Enel helped hoist it to fifth overall in Wiki-Solar’s latest world project developer ranking.

First by capacity

U.S. solar manufacturer First Solar still leads the list, with its 4,637 MW of cumulative project capacity ahead of second-placed Canadian Solar (3,252 MW) by some distance. Despite the fact First Solar is slackening its project development activity to focus on manufacturing, it still developed 70 new facilities since the start of last year, according to Wiki-Solar.

Canadian Solar is likely to be gaining ground as project development provides both a steady demand for its solar modules and a central plank of its revenue, from the sales of the resulting generation portfolio. Canadian Solar has developed 108 PV projects according to the Wiki-Solar figures.

Insolvent U.S. developer SunEdison retains third place in the ranking thanks to the 2,954 MW of capacity developed before its collapse – and with rivals completing projects it broke ground on to help deliver 122 developments since the start of 2018.

Singyes and Greenko go big

The list offers an insight into the scale of operations among developers, with India’s Greenko Energy Holdings and troubled Chinese developer Singyes Solar each having only three PV projects under their belt. However, respective cumulative installed capacity figures of 1,082 MW and 1,040 MW from those six projects see both companies ranked higher than German operator Enerparc, which has amassed 999 MW of capacity to date – from 145 projects.

In terms of the most active recent players, U.S.-based NextEra Energy added 21 of its 47 projects to date since the start of last year, with a cumulative generation capacity of 1,202 MW of its overall figure of 2,531 MW.

China Three Gorges New Energy added three of its ten projects during the same period, adding 934 MW of new capacity to take its cumulative total to 1,199 MW.

In terms of the number of projects undertaken, American outfit Cypress Creek Renewables has completed 31 projects since January 2018. Those facilities added 346 MW to take the developer to 1,401 MW to date.

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