Tier 1 standards for solar power


Under the impact of the incentive policy, billions of dollars are being poured into the solar energy industry in Vietnam. On a wider scale, the total scale of solar power projects across the country has been reviewed and currently reviewed. up to about 19,000 MW. In particular, about 86 projects with a total capacity of 3,000 MW have been approved for investment.
It is possible to name the current solar power projects such as the project in Thuan Bac district, which is invested by Trung Nam Group (with capital up to VND 5,000 billion, at 204 MW scale). Or 168 MW project, worth VND 4,400 billion by CMX Renewable joint venture and Singapore partners …
Along with a vibrant investment in the solar industry, demand for panels is expected to increase. In the short term, Bac Giang is the province with the largest scale of solar panel production in the country, with 8 projects of licensed Tier 1 corporations, for a total capacity of 5200 MW / year.
However, according to the general record, only foreign enterprises such as Canadian Solar, Sharp, Trina Solar, First Solar, JA Solar … are able to get into this piece of cake. Vietnamese companies like SolarBK, Red Sun. .. still difficult to win bids in the bidding to supply batteries for large projects. The main reason lies in Tier 1 criteria.
Correct understanding of Tier 1 standards
Most solar power project owners take Tier 1 as the criteria for selecting battery panels. This is Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s highest credit rating standard (BNEF) for solar panels manufacturing businesses in the world.
To achieve this Tier 1 standard, within 2 years, enterprises must have at least 6 orders, get 6 guarantees from different banks. In particular, each order has a capacity of over 1.5 MWp and the product must be manufactured and traded under the owner’s name.
As can be seen, Tier 1 ranking criteria tend to be more commercial, considering the ranking based on factors such as orders, order value, brand, bank guarantee. Based on these criteria, according to BNEF, only about 2% of businesses in the world meet Tier 1 standards.
Notably, under the support of management agencies, such as attracting investment in solar energy, deploying open credit, many Chinese enterprises have easily achieved the requirements of guarantee, large orders. China is currently the country with the most businesses reaching Tier 1.
Vietnam, on the other hand, only paid attention to the solar industry in the past few years. Therefore, banks are still “hesitant” in the issue of guarantee and in a new market, asking for a value of 1.5 MWp orders is considered a challenge for domestic companies.
Until now, Vietnam has not yet had a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturing enterprise.
Meanwhile, representative of IREX Energy Joint Stock Company (a member of SolarBK) said that, in terms of quality, IREX solar panels meet all international certifications according to US standards (by CSA, UL level) and European standards (CE, TUV level), which is equivalent to the quality of Tier 1 companies’ batteries. Even before, IREX has outsourced many orders from companies. Tier 1.
It is a fact that Tier 1 companies are usually large-scale, MW-size, so they only meet large orders because of the high operating costs. As for small orders, they often take another party to “keep customers”.
For the Vietnamese market, it is still relatively new, using solar cells of domestic enterprises like IREX will be more advantageous in price, quality and take the initiative in deploying time.

Tier 1 objectives of Vietnamese businesses
IREX said that it is aiming to reach Tier 1 in 2020. With revenue up to 70% from selling batteries to markets, Tier 1 countries are required conditions for IREX to join the global game with “giants”, while expanding the influence of the “Made in Vietnam” solar cell brand in the world.
On the other hand, looking back at the Vietnamese market with the landing of “Tier 1”, Vietnamese enterprises like IREX are forced to raise their positions to maintain their position on the home field.
Currently, IREX has worked and convinced 3 banks to agree to guarantee orders. The IREX side believes this number will increase as the solar industry gets more and more attention.
For large orders (1.5 MWp), enterprises are actively opening more branches and representative offices in countries, such as offices in Nanjing (China) – considered as Solar battery, will soon open some more warehouses in Europe, and participate in exhibition activities in Germany, India, etc.
In terms of production scale, IREX has completed the first phase of the hi-tech renewable energy equipment manufacturing complex and reached 100% automated solar panel production line. Phase 2 will continue to improve to reach a total capacity of 500 MW.
“Gone are the days when Vietnamese businesses used ethnic images to increase domestic market share. This is the playground of the flat world, we talk to each other by quality through international certifications, and persuade customers with honesty and frankness, no matter how you speak, Tier 1 still has a great reputation in the industry, a milestone that IREX has to do in 2020 “, Director of Business Group of Nang Group Solar Technology (SolarBK Holdings), said.

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