JA Solar – Company History
JA Solar was originally founded in 2005 and is based in Beijing, China. The company was listed on the US NASDAQ exchange back in 2007 during an early growth phase and has recently been acquired by JASO Acquisition Limited which effectively has taken the company private again.
The company has 9 manufacturing facilities in China and one in Malaysia and Vietnam with a total annual production capacity of 13.5 GW (reported by Bloomberg NEF). This makes JA Solar the third largest producer of Solar Panels as of September 2020.
JA Solar has 22,000 employees as of 2019 working across 32 factories and branches around the world.
|JA Solar Panels|
|Bloomberg Tier 1 Ranking||Yes|
|PV Evolution Labs Top Performer||Yes (3/6)|
|Office location in Australia||No|
What is a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panel?
Bloomberg’s infamous tier 1 ranking is NOT a measure of Solar Panel quality in any way. It is simply an indication of the bankability of the manufacturer based on publicly released information on the financial health the company. This should give you an idea if the company is a large, well-known manufacturer.
JA Solar is listed as a tier 1 manufacturer in Bloomberg’s Q2 2020 report.
What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?
PV Evolution Labs with support from DNV GL independently test solar panel reliability. The tests are voluntary, with solar panel manufacturers paying to participate in the testing. This testing process is internationally renowned and is an accurate reflection of the solar panel’s performance.
JA Solar are named as a top performer in the test of damp heat, potential-induced degradation and LID+LETID in the latest report.
Why is office location in Australia Important?
Most solar panel manufacturers entering the Australian market first set up their distribution channels and worry about customer service later. This has led to many unhappy customers who are left trying to contact Chinese head offices to claim on their 10-year product warranty.
Relying on your solar installer is not always an option as we’ve seen many residential solar installers (including the large ones) go out of business well within the lifetime of the systems they are installing.
JA Solar list an office in Newcastle, however this is for an accounting firm called PKF Newcastle. This will not be helpful to JA Solar customers in claiming warranty.
How much do JA Solar Panels cost?
Based on Solar Choice’s database we have provided the below-average costs as an indicative guide. These prices include:
- Full turnkey Solar System with JA Solar Panels
- Installation from a pre-vetted reputable installer from Solar Choice’s network
- The STC rebate and GST
|System Size||Average Fully Installed Cost – JA Solar Panels|
Important Note: Prices will vary depending on location, inverter brand and which installer is used
Compare quotes from up to 7 installers in your area now.
Full Range of JA Solar Panels Available in Australia
The majority of JA Solar’s solar panels are approved by the Clean Energy Council (listed under the parent company Shanghai JA Solar Technology Co Ltd) for the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme – Australia’s home solar rebate program.
So, are JA Solar Panels worth buying?
JA Solar Panels stack up well for as an affordable mid-range option from a company with a solid financial backing and reputation. However the main issue we have with JA Solar is that they do not have an office here in Australia. If your installer goes belly up, you will have a nightmare of a process in claiming warranty from their Chinese head office.
Until they can provide an easy way for Australian consumers to claim warranty we recommend looking for a different solar panel solution.
Example of a JA Solar Commercial Solar Project – South Australian Water Corporation
- Completed in 2018/2019
- Type of Application: Commercial Ground-mount Solar PV System
- System Size: 4.14 MWp across multiple sites
JA Solar provided all the solar panels to three ground-mounted Solar PV projects at Hope Valley Water Treatment Plant (1.5 MW), Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant (1.32 MW), and Christies Beach Waste Water Treatment Plant (1.32 MW).
Mr. Baofang Jin, President and CEO of JA Solar, said “JA Solar is committed to the research and development of high-efficiency PV modules… We look forward to promoting the application of renewable energy around the world.”