Chinese PV module-maker GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-SI) has announced that it plans to build a 60GW solar module facility in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province in China.

The company has signed an agreement with the local government of Feidong County and will invest a total of CNY18bn ($2.54bn) on the project.

The project will be built in four phases, each with a production capacity of 15GW, between this year and 2023. For the first phase, CNY5bn ($705.4m) will be invested and the facility is expected to begin operations this year.

As per the company, the new facility will focus on producing 210mm modules and will be capable of manufacturing 166mm and 158.75mm modules as well. Automated and intelligent production technologies will be implemented at the facility, using big data.

GCL System Integration Technology chairman Eric Luo said: “This is another solid step in the dual-main business operation strategy (namely, PV+ energy storage).

“GCL-SI welcomes upstream and downstream companies in the industrial chain to come to Feidong and build a super PV intelligent manufacturing base together.”

The cooperation between GCL-SI and Feidong County is based on their consensus on the development of semiconductor and PV industries.

Feidong County aims to create a PV manufacturing hub, where cells, backsheet, glass and other supporting supply chain companies can also be accommodated.

GCL-SI’s current solar module production capacity is 7.2GW

Currently, GCL-SI has a module production capacity of 7.2GW, with products covering both monocrystalline and polycrystalline.

The company aims to tap the opportunity that could arise in the PV market. According to a forecast made by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global cumulative installed capacity of PV could reach 1,721GW by 2030 and 4,670GW by 2050.

Last November, GCL-SI formed G-Powin Energy Solution, a joint venture with Powin Energy, to expand energy storage business in the Asia-Pacific region.