‘World’s biggest TOPCon solar plant’ begins generating

Solar manufacturer Jolywood, which supplied almost 500 MW of its bifacial tunnel oxide passivated contact panels for Oman’s Ibri II facility, has claimed the power plant is the biggest to date to deploy the high-efficiency technology.

December 2, 2021

Chinese manufacturer Jolywood has announced the start of operations at a utility scale PV project in Oman it has described as the “largest TOPCon solar plant in the world.”

Some 490 MW of the total 607 MW generation capacity of the Ibri II project consists of TOPCon (tunnel oxide passivated contact) bifacial solar panels supplied by Jolywood, the company said today.

Oman’s largest solar project, near Ibri, the capital of Dhahirah governorate, covers around 1,154 acres, cost $400 million and began generating last month, according to Jolywood. It was developed by a consortium of Saudi Arabian, 50% state-owned developer ACWA Power, which will own half of the project; the Gulf Investment Corp owned by the governments of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi and the UAE, which will hold 40%; and clean energy developer Alternative Energy Projects Co (AEPC), in which the ruling family of Kuwait is the majority shareholder. The AEPC has a 10% stake. ACWA Power, on its website, describes the Ibri II project as costing $395 million and having a generation capacity of 500 MWac and Jolywood, in May last year, described the facility as having a total capacity of 575 MW. In January, the company told pv magazine the project would have a total capacity of 500 MW.

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The 1.3 TWh the facility is expected to generate annually will be bought by state entity the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company and should be able to power up to 33,000 homes in the sultanate.

Jolywood said it had been chosen to supply panels to the project because of its products’ ability to operate in harsh conditions including windy sand which can cause wind erosion, and huge temperature differences in desert areas.

The manufacturer said its J-TOPCon 2.0 Niwa solar module offers bifaciality of more than 80% and added, a third party which tested its equipment had certified the modules offered a 16% power output gain versus rival products operating in desert environments.

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With a low temperature coefficient of -0.32%/W, Jolywood said its Niwa bifacial panels reduce degradation and risk caused by high operating temperatures so the module can operate normally at 70 degrees Celsius.

The Chinese business said it had worked with German brand Munich Re to offer a 12-year warranty for materials and workmanship and a 30-year linear performance guarantee.

Jolywood VP Liu Zhifeng said: “Although the construction schedule of the project was seriously affected by Covid-19, [the] Jolywood team [overcame] many difficulties and completed the delivery of customer products as [per] the agreement, and [provided] professional technical services and support for the project, so that the project was successfully put into operation [on] schedule.”

The solar manufacturer claims to have delivered more than 5 GW of TOPCon cells and modules, with 1 GW of them shipped to the Middle East.

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