While Tesla and Elon Musk have become household names, China has an integrated solar, battery and electric vehicle maker that is bigger in all relevant metrics. It could be said that BYD is the Telsa of China, but this would be a dis-service to the Chinese company. BYD already had large-scale integrated solar, battery and EV production well before Musk realized his dream by acquiring SolarCity.
And while BYD has been quietly churning out PV modules, batteries and electric busses in China for years, it has also been expanding into the U.S. and global markets. This week at the Solar Power International (SPI) trade show in Las Vegas, BYD announced a mammoth 170 MW contract to supply modules to developer NextEra for utility-scale solar projects in the United States, as its largest single U.S. module order to date.
This is likely a welcome order for NextEra, given that GTM Research has reported that most Tier-1 PV makers had already sold out of product through the end of 2017, as developers hoard modules in an effort to avoid future tariffs or minimum prices that could be imposed by the Trump Administration.
But the company didn’t stop there. BYD also announced the first installation of its modular, high-voltage B-Box residential battery storage system in Germany, as well as its plans to launch the B-Box in the United States. The B-Box is designed to store electricity during the day for use in the evening, and BYD states that it is targeting East Coast and West Coast states as well as Hawaii.
BYD states that it has shipped roughly 1 GW of PV modules to the United States to date, as well as supplying its electric busses to more than 40 client fleets in more than 30 U.S. states.