ReneSola's new Bankability Book will facilitate financing on future solar power projects by giving lenders and operators full and transparent details on the company's operations.
One of the biggest hurdles in trying to get a solar power project off the ground is securing finance. As well as looking at yields, lifecycles, tariffs and running costs, lenders and operators will also pay close attention to the manufacturer of the solar panels at a given site. To help with this last aspect ReneSola has created a comprehensive guide to its PV operations, the Bankability Book, which the company says will help European and U.S. businesses in particular secure solar financing faster.
"In today's financial climate, particularly in the Eurozone and the U.S., banks need convincing that the money they lend will see a return," says Xianshou Li, CEO of ReneSola. "We want to lead the solar industry in terms of providing the information finance houses need, so that our customers can get on with making money from their ReneSola panels at the earliest opportunity. We want to be transparent about our work and this document will help investors, installation companies and banks get everything they need."
The Bankability Book is a novel financing tool that provides information on the company, which should satisfy the vast majority of financial houses' requirements in terms of due diligence. It was created to tackle the growing number of PV projects that require bankability in order to get off the ground.
The catalogue of information includes details on every aspect of ReneSola's business from product development and manufacturing to marketing and after sales service. It is a live directory, and ReneSola will constantly update it with the latest information, ensuring it meets even the most specific of information requests.
The Bankability Book will be particularly useful in supporting smaller businesses and banks, which generally have less experience of the solar industry. This lack of knowledge understandably raises an above-average number of questions at the planning stage that must be answered before finance is awarded.
Of course "bankability" itself varies from project to project and requirements differ, with larger projects in particular requiring a more detailed approvals process. Also, ground-mounted PV projects almost always require bankability. Looking at 2011 alone, installed ground-mounted PV capacity accounted for 29% of the worlds installed PV capacity.
A standard bankability analysis process looks at legal, technical and economic risks of a project, with the PV modules accounting for the majority of the technical assessment. For a PV module to be deemed bankable, it must prove its worth in several key areas. Firstly, market-specific certifications are essential. Modules must also have a proven track record of yield and long-term performance. Suitable guarantees and warranties are also checked and an assessment of cell and module technology is carried out. Finally, the manufacturer's own brand image is taken into consideration.
The Bankability Book from ReneSola addresses each of these areas and delivers all the necessary information to support the company's products.
Since ReneSola's PV manufacturing facility started producing solar PV modules in 2005, the company has continued exploring new ways to build better modules with globally recognised accreditation. The Bankability Book includes details on these efforts as well as the company's production processes, products, bank and insurance details, certifications, test and audit reports, as well as international project references.
The world of solar PV manufacturing is congested with little to choose between manufacturers in terms of technology. With increasing commoditization, customers are looking increasingly at other areas such as customer support, financing and availability when choosing a PV provider. With that in mind, the Bankability Book will help customers get their projects approved and also give ReneSola a competitive edge by clearly and swiftly demonstrating the value of its products.
ReneSola's Bankability Book was prepared following a comprehensive factory audit carried out by Accelios Solar GmbH, which visited ReneSola's 1.2GWp capacity plant in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China, on several occasions.