The 1.36 GW of solar capacity installed by Shanghai Electric across just three projects in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 helped it enter an annual ranking of the global solar industry’s biggest engineering, procurement, and construction contractors.

The three big solar projects constructed by Shanghai Electric since the start of 2021 ensured that its parent, State Power Investment Corp. (SPIC), gatecrashed the latest ranking of the world’s biggest solar project companies, compiled by British analyst Wiki-Solar.

State-owned SPIC entered the 30-strong list of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) service companies to have built more than a gigawatt of solar generation capacity, at No. 23 and from a standing start.

Shanghai Electric constructed three grand projects with a total generation capacity of 1.36 GWac between the start of 2021 and April 19, 2022, when Wiki-Solar released its latest ranking.

US top dogs

Two US companies top the table, with the caveat that a lack of publicly available information about projects in China ensures companies in the world’s solar capital are under-represented in the Wiki-Solar figures.

The 22 projects built by Solv Energy, with a total generation capacity of 3.1 GW since Jan. 1, 2021, kept that business top of the pile, ahead of compatriot First Solar. The latter is winding down its EPC activity, as evidenced by the fact it constructed only one 200 MW solar field during the same period. Solv has built 9.45 GW of solar capacity to date, and First Solar 4.72 GW, according to Wiki-Solar.

India’s Sterling & Wilson added five projects with a total generation capacity of 756 MW over the 15.5-month period, to bring its cumulative total to 3.76 GW and sit third in the list.

There was plenty of activity at US business McCarthy Building, which doubled its historic total by building a dozen plants with an aggregate 1.65 GW of capacity, to reach 3.08 GW; and at Greek outfit Metka EGN, which added a dozen sites with 1.05 GW of panels to hit 1.73 GW.

In terms of project numbers, French concerns Bouygues and Eiffage had a busy period, the former installing 32 farms with a total capacity of 437 MW, to reach 2.09 GW, and the latter 26 projects with 1.5 GW of its cumulative 3.43 GW total. Solv and German peer Baywa Re each worked on 22 sites, with Baywa adding 922 MW over the reporting period to reach 2.18 GW to date.

No new projects

At the other end of the scale, US business SunEdison – which is in insolvency, according to Wiki-Solar – not surprisingly failed to add any projects during the period concerned. US peer Cypress Creek and Spanish EPC Sener were also inactive, according to the analyst.

German company Enerparc, which is the business on the Wiki-Solar ranking with the highest number of developed projects – 259 – added just one of those during the period in question, a 4 MW installation, to take its cumulative total to 2.34 GW.