Saturday, July 31, 2010

First Solar's Q2 2010 net sales up by $19.9 million over Q1

TEMPE, USA: First Solar Inc. has announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 26, 2010.

Quarterly net sales were $587.9 million, up 12 percent from $525.9 million in the second quarter of 2009, due to increased production volumes and systems revenue, partially offset by a decline in pricing and lower euro exchange rates. Second quarter 2010 net sales increased $19.9 million from the first quarter of 2010, primarily due to increased turnkey system sales.

Second quarter net income per fully diluted share was $1.84, down from $2.11 in the second quarter of 2009 and down from $2.00 in the first quarter of 2010. Year over year, the declines were primarily driven by lower module average selling prices, and higher operating expenses that were partially offset by increased module production and lower module cost per watt. Quarter over quarter, the declines were primarily driven by higher operating expenses.

PV module manufacturing cost was reduced to $0.76/watt, down $0.05 from the prior quarter and 13 percent year over year. Annual throughput per line was up 6 percent quarter over quarter to 59 MW. This increases announced or operating capacity from 2.1 GW to 2.2 GW by 2012.

For 2010, First Solar forecasts net sales of $2.5 to $2.6 billion, reflecting reallocation of module capacity from our systems business to meet stronger module demand by our European customers.

Earnings per fully diluted share are increased to a projected range of $7 to $7.40 which includes a $0.20-$0.23 reduction for a foreign exchange assumption change from $1.30/euro to $1.20/euro and $0.09-$0.10 per share dilution for the completed acquisition of NextLight Renewable Power, LLC. Total capital spending is projected to be $575 to $625 million. The company expects to generate $575 to $625 million of operating cash flow.

Friday, July 30, 2010

SOLARCON India 2010 concludes successfully

HYDERABAD, INDIA: SOLARCON India 2010, the second edition of India’s largest solar industry event, which was inaugurated by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and presided by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, K. Rosaiah on July 28, successfully concluded today.SEMI, the premier solar/PV industry trade body and organizer of SOLARCON India shared that it has received an overwhelming response from industry and the stakeholders including Government response in discussing key aspects of implementation of National Solar Mission. SEMI will build on this year’s success to have an expanded SOLARCON India 2011, to be conducted on Nov. 9-11, 2011.

SOLARCON India 2010 saw high quality business visitors with a substantial number from the senior CXO level professionals and Board level executives. This year’s conference saw visitors from over 30 countries, across manufacturing, technology, materials, sub-systems, component and part manufacturing segments reinforcing the growth of the Indian industry and actively discussing the implementation of the Indian government’s JN-NSM.

The conference highlight with high profile speakers like Dr Bharat Bhargava, MNRE, Government of India, Dr. Hans Ebliker, Oerliokon Solar, Ravi Raina, Astonfiled Renewables, Dr. R.R Sonde, Thermax, Dr. Madhusudan Atre, Applied Materials India, Dr. Winfried Hoffman, Dr. Hoffmann, President EPIA, Deepak Gupta, Secretary, MNRE, Dr. Richard Corkish, Head of School, School of Photovaltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, University of New South Wales, among others.

Today at SOLARCON India 2010, a workshop on PV Standards, Testing and Certification was held. Standards are a proven way of reducing cost in manufacturing process. The PV industry can greatly benefit from these experiences. The Global PV Standards Committee in SEMI’s International Standards Program is already active in many areas of the manufacturing supply chain since 2007.

It is important to align standardization efforts with other standards’ developing organization in order to accelerate cost reduction efforts, improve quality and get products to market faster.

Bettina Weiss, senior director, Photovoltaic, SEMI, said: "In module testing and certification, testing houses need to address the existing gaps and testing protocol and processes and develop clear mechanisms to ensure quality and reduce safety hazards. Cost reduction measures and quality concerns have to be addressed throughout the PV value chain from feedstock and starting materials all the way final installation."

Dan Martin, executive VP and head of the PVGroup Worldwide, said: "The second edition exceeded our expectations and am pleased with the response from all stakeholders to SOLARCON India 2010. The encouraging response provides us the confidence to work more closely with the Indian industry and Government towards the growth of the sector. Am personally excited about the role we can play in the Indian solar/PV market, which is witnessing a growth curve."

Speaking on a key focus area that needs attention in the Indian solar/PV industry, which SEMI India will take forward in the coming months, Sathya Prasad, president, SEMI India, said: “We have identified PV industry standards as a key area of focus as this can greatly help in reducing manufacturing cost. We organized an international workshop on industry standards at this year’s SOLARCON and will set up a working Committee.

"We will now focus on working with all relevant regional organizations in paving the way for standards related to solar/PV manufacturing in India. I would like to thank all the stakeholders for making this a great success and look forward to bigger event in 2011."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

MAG India to construct on turnkey basis India’s first 5 MW solar power plant for GS Power

HYDERABAD, INDIA: MAG has recently formed a new Renewable Energy business unit providing automation solutions for solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing. The company shared that it will execute a turnkey contract to build India’s largest solar power plant for G S Power, construction for which will start this September and is scheduled to be completed in record time.

Dr. Siegfried Schmalzried, Head, Renewable Energy, MAG Europe, said: "The new renewable energy business is off to a strong start. We have already secured over 20 million Euros in contracts which represents an approximate 30 percent share of our targeted market.

"While our business unit is new, MAG is already firmly established in the renewable energy sector, having quietly built a worldwide leadership position in automated manufacturing systems for solar panels. We have supplied more than 30 automated production lines for solar panels in all regions of the world in the last five years and our systems have reduced manufacturing costs for solar panels to record lows."

Eswari Prasad, president, MAG India, added: "The Indian solar PV industry has grown to 300 MW capacity in the last two years and is expected to touch 1000 MW of in capacity by 2012. The targets set by National Solar Mission are really challenging and it would be good learning curve for each and every one of us.

"MAG’s experience spans the entire solar sector to include solutions for PV modules manufacturing (crystalline silicon or thin film) with ramp-up options and dedicated production support. We look forward to providing cost effective and efficient turnkey solutions from design to implementation of Solar power plants for Grid connected and roof top installations for off grid support."

The company has supplied solutions ranging from semiautomatic modules to complete turnkey factories in all corners of the world for panels that utilize the latest materials technology. MAG is one of the few worldwide companies with 360-degree automation expertise, building on a track record that spans more than 2,500 systems.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SOLARCON India 2010 starts in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD, INDIA: SOLARCON India 2010, the second edition of India’s largest solar-energy-focused event organized by SEMI India, the premier trade body of the Indian solar/PV industry, kicked off today. Honourable Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr Farooq Abdullah, inaugurated the three day exposition and conference.

Honourable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, K. Rosaiah presided over the event. Honourable Union Minister for Urban Development, Jaipal Reddy, was the Guest of Honour. The conference keynote was delivered by Dr Winfried Hoffmann, President, European Photovoltaic Industry Association. India’s first solar industry directory, published by SEMI India was released on the occasion.

SOLARCON India 2010 focuses on “Achieving 1000 MW of solar power generation capacity by 2012 followed by 20,000 MW by 2022”, as the key conference theme and will see more than 60 eminent global and Indian industry experts share trends, opportunities and challenges of India’s growing solar energy sector. Discussions and deliberations will focus on technology, manufacturing, markets, applications, finance and policy and a first-of-its-kind workshop on PV standards, testing and certification.

Top speakers at the event include Dr Bharat Bhargava, MNRE, Govt. of India, Dr Hans Ebinger, Oerlikon Solar, Ravi Raina, Astonfiled Renewables, Dr Madhusudan Atre, Applied Materials India, Frank Tinnefeld, Gebruder Schmid, Dr. Richard Corkish, University of New South Wales, and Dr. Simone Arizzi, DuPont PV Solutions.

At the opening of the event, Stanley Myers, president and CEO, SEMI, said: “India has set itself ambitious targets via the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission launched recently. The mission opens up enormous opportunities, as well as challenges across the board for manufacturers, power plant developers, entrepreneurs, technologists, and so on.

"Through SOLARCON India 2010, SEMI continues to bring its global exposure and expertise in the solar energy space in the form of business-to-business platform like SOLARCON India. I am happy to see the event emerging as the definitive platform for the PV industry in India."

K. Subramanya, CEO, Tata BP Solar, said: "SOLARCON India 2010 is perfectly timed. This is an international exposition which is stakeholder inclusive and in the service of National Solar Mission."

Dr. Madhusudan Atre, president and MD, Applied Materials India, added: "Solar energy is a very viable alternative to address the energy shortage and energy security of the country, as well as to promote ecologically sustainable energy growth. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission has created a platform for the growth of the solar industry.

"This is a very exciting time for the industry in India as we move out of the learning phase towards establishing the implementation phase. It is important to improve performance, reduce costs and promote widespread adoption of solar energy. This can be done via new materials, manufacturing technologies, balance of systems, scale, local markets, and more. Events like SOLARCON serve as a platform for the industry to jointly address the challenge of driving down the cost thereby facilitating affordable solar power for everyone, everywhere."

Sathya Prasad, President, SEMI India, added: “Set against the backdrop of renewed vigor in the PV sector and numerous new entrants, this edition of SOLARCON India 2010 will act as a catalyst in bringing together various stakeholders of the supply chain from both within India and overseas. The deliberations are sure to enable the successful implementation of the ambitious targets set in JN-NSM."

Microsemi, Spelsberg in strategic alliance for disruptive solar bypass technology

IRVINE, USA: Microsemi Corp., a leading manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, and Spelsberg, in conjunction with its partner, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, announced the development of a disruptive new technology for photovoltaic (PV) solar modules.

The technology was demonstrated at InterSolar 2010, July 13-15, 2010, in San Francisco, California. Spelsberg ELS is a German based expert in connection systems for PV modules, and Fraunhofer ISE is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe.

Microsemi has worked with Spelsberg ELS and Fraunhofer ISE to develop a breakthrough solar bypass technology that significantly increases reliability while reducing power dissipation in the critical bypass diode by up to ninety percent as compared to today's typical solutions.

Microsemi products based on the technology will implement Microsemi's patented, ultra-low-power CoolRUN technology that enables increased power generation efficiency and significantly reduces operating temperatures while slashing the operational expense, reliability problems and associated warranty costs of traditional solutions using Schottky diodes.

"Microsemi is excited to bring this new, ground-breaking technology to the solar PV industry," said Paul Pickle, General Manager of Microsemi's Analog Mixed Signal Group.

"Our new solar bypass solution will be the first of its kind to address thermal reliability, operational cost and efficiency issues common in solar installations, which will enable improved profitability, a faster break-even time, and improved energy efficiency. Our successful demonstrations at the Photovoltaic Symposium in Bad Staffelstein, Germany, ASES National Solar Conference, and InterSolar shows in Munich and San Francisco are key steps toward deployment of this breakthrough technology."

"Spelsberg is pleased that our partnership with Microsemi has resulted in this breakthrough product offering," said Holger Spelsberg, MD. "We selected Microsemi for their expertise and experience developing solutions for the photovoltaic industry as well as high reliability, aerospace and satellite solutions. Our pooling of unique Microsemi and Spelsberg intellectual property enabled this groundbreaking development."

"We are pleased that Microsemi's new solar bypass solution leverages our system-level knowledge and intellectual property," said Dr. Heribert Schmidt of Fraunhofer ISE. "By combining Microsemi's IC design expertise with our knowledge of solar-energy scientific fundamentals, prototyping, and demonstration-system development, we have achieved a key milestone on the road to significantly more reliable and power-efficient PV modules."

Microsemi's newly developed technology will be used in solar modules for commercial, residential and industrial applications. The technology, in conjunction with Microsemi's high-reliability, 40-year design rule methodology will enable support for demanding industry warranty requirements and extreme environment survivability.

Microsemi and its partners believe that this breakthrough diode technology will have a particularly significant impact on the economic models of large-scale solar-energy providers in the power purchase agreement (PPA) market. The resulting reduction in thermal dissipation greatly improves reliability essential to solar powered systems' operational expenses and return on investment.

Emergence of new PV products enables widespread use of solar power

MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Propelled by aggressive R&D activities, third generation photovoltaics (PVs) are poised to take a huge leap forward. The exploratory mass production of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC)-powered consumer durables is likely to alter the future course of research in this segment.

Some of the first commercial third generation products are DSSC-powered backpacks and mobile phones. Several developers are working to take advantage of DSSCs' ability to power various non-grid-based lighting applications.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Third Generation Photovoltaics: Strategic R&D Portfolio Management, finds that consumer electronics appear to be a near-term market for third generation PV technologies, while the on-grid market offers a longer-term opportunity for third generation PV technologies.

"G24 Innovations, one of the DSSC manufacturers, has recently announced its mass scale production of DSSC modules to a Hong Kong-based consumer electronics bag manufacturer," notes Technical Insights Senior Research Analyst Avinash Iyer.

"The PV panels will be integrated with consumer durables such as backpacks; these panels harvest energy when used outdoors, and repower mobile electronic devices such as mobile phones, e-books, cameras, and portable light emitting diode (LED) lighting systems."

Sony has developed a DSSC-powered lantern, while Corus and Konarka are experimenting with their products in roof-integrated photovoltaics (RIPV) applications.

There are many formidable challenges for manufacturers of organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices to overcome. Topping the list is the power conversion efficiency (PCE). Though the performance shown under standard test conditions in laboratories is satisfying, it cannot be the sole parameter to consider large-scale production. Some of the fundamental issues that must be addressed are bandgap, interfaces, and charge transport.

If these bottlenecks are dealt with, the prospects of gaining a better share of the commercial market will be enhanced. The optimum PCE values are yet to be achieved because the methods to allow morphology control and the principles that underpin them are still being heavily researched upon.

Many researchers have traditionally avoided non-aqueous dispersions containing inorganic nanoparticles and hydrophobic polymers. Depletion aggregation is a barrier in optimizing morphologies for the nanocomposite photoactive layers.

"There are many methodologies followed in various R&D organizations in improving the performance of a third generation photovoltaic cell such as a hybrid polymer solar cell," says Iyer. "One of the possible ways of improvising could be to enable moderately large nanorods to be distributed within hole transporting polymer films without using methods that result in the nanoparticles being encapsulated by a non-conducting layer."

Studies show that zinc oxide (ZnO) dispersions reveal that co-solvent compositions could be used to control the interfacial structure and improve nanoparticle dispersion. Research on phase diagrams for the nanoparticle, polymers, and co-solvent dispersions for hybrid polymer solar cell systems could help improve solar cells.

As concerns over energy savings escalate, several initiatives have been undertaken to promote a greener environment. Solar PVs are receiving significant attention in terms of investments from government and private sectors. Numerous joint development programs have been launched to expand the capabilities of current generation PV technologies as well as next generation PV.

Higher efficiency, enhanced stability, extended lifetime, reduced cost, and material performance are some of the core areas of research for the joint ventures pursued by both government and private organizations.

Focus on optimization of the production process, prototype development, effective encapsulation, large-area, and large-scale manufacturing, as well as streamlining distribution will put the market on the fast track to progress.

SunPower completes 1 MW solar power system for Yolo County

WOODLAND, USA: Yolo County, SunPower Corp. and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) announced that SunPower has completed the design and construction of a 1-megawatt solar power system at the Yolo County Justice Campus in Woodland, Calif.

Yolo County, which owns the system and associated renewable energy credits, is financing the purchase using multiple funding sources, including clean renewable energy bonds and qualified energy conservation bonds available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

In addition to the subsidized bonds, which were financed by Bank of America, SunPower assisted Yolo County in securing a 15-year loan from the California Energy Commission.

"With the funding we secured as a result of the 2009 federal stimulus bill and the California Energy Commission loan, Yolo County has no out-of-pocket expenses to build this project, and will be net cash flow positive from the first day of the system's operation," said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Helen M. Thomson.

"Savings over the next 25 years are estimated to be about $8.8 million, directly benefiting Yolo County residents and businesses. State and federal funding has helped make solar power an easy, affordable means to reduce county operational costs as well as our dependence on fossil fuels."

"This may be the first solar project to make use of the federal stimulus legislation's clean energy renewable bonds, established last year, and among the first large-scale solar projects to be funded by a California Energy Commission loan.
Yolo County is using the federal and state funding to save money, create jobs and produce clean energy for years to come," said Bill Kelly, managing director at SunPower. "We are thrilled to be supporting the county with the implementation of SunPower's proven, high performing technology, ensuring impressive savings for years to come."

The solar power system, which was completed six weeks ahead of schedule, utilizes SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market, with the SunPower Tracker system. The Tracker follows the sun's movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

According to conversion formulas provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Yolo County's system is expected to avoid more than 2.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year, equivalent to the emissions displaced from removing over 5,700 cars from California's roads over the 30-year life of the system.

With this project, Bank of America adds Yolo County to its growing list of clients, especially California governmental and educational entities, who have benefited from various state and federal government solar tax incentives. Bank of America focuses on such projects as part of its $20 billion, 10-year initiative to address global climate change.

"We congratulate Yolo County for taking this step toward increasing its reliance on renewable energy while also improving its fiscal efficiency," said John Rudberg, Energy Services sales executive for Banc of America Public Capital Corp.

"This is a great example of the type of energy projects our national and state governments are encouraging through tax policies. Bank of America is pleased to be a leader in working with energy services providers such as SunPower to help local governments improve our environment while saving local tax dollars."

Growers reduce losses, maximize returns with Purshade solar protectant

FREMONT, USA: Purfresh, a provider of clean technologies that purify, protect, and preserve our food and water, announced that growers around the globe are reducing costly losses and in turn are maximizing returns using Purshade to protect their crops from solar damage.

Widely recognized as a leading cause of cullage, sunburn and heat stress are responsible for losses ranging from 15 to 50 percent, depending on the crop and seasonal conditions.

Results from research studies and field trials conducted in the United States, Australia, Chile, and Thailand have shown that using Purshade solar protectants significantly decreased sunburn-related losses, enhanced crop quality and value, and in many cases increased overall yield due to improved plant health and water use efficiency.

Designed to protect crops from solar and water stress, calcium-based Purshade— engineered with patent-pending Advanced Reflectance Technology (ART) — reflects harmful wavelengths of solar radiation such as ultraviolet and infrared, while allowing transmission of sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis.

Offering superior solar protection and preferred by growers for its easy application and post-harvest removal, Purshade is now being used around the world—on a wide variety of crops, including field and tree fruit, vegetables, vines, and nuts— to reduce transplant shock, enhance color and size, minimize physical damage, and improve pack-out.

“Solar damage can cut deep into a grower’s profit, so prevention is critical. But to be used, the product has to offer an ROI and be easy to incorporate into an existing crop management program,” said Dave Cheetham, R&D and Technical Marketing Manager for Helena Chemical Company.

“In the trials we’ve performed using Purshade, we’ve seen significant reductions in sun damage which translates directly into improved returns, and we’ve also been impressed with the product’s ease of use. Purshade offers excellent coverage, is easy to handle, mix, apply and remove, and can be sprayed with other crop protectants, which saves growers time and money.”

According to research studies and trials, reductions in solar stress were an important factor in increasing the productivity of a broad range of crops grown around the globe.

Citrus: A broad variety of citrus crops, such as mandarins, tangelos, lemons, limes, and oranges, are susceptible to heat stress and sunburn. Purshade treated orange and lemon trees in Chile showed an 11 and 8 percent decrease in sunburn, respectively, compared to the untreated trees, and only 10 percent of Satsuma Mandarins in California treated with Purshade experienced sunburn damage compared to 20 percent sun damage on the untreated control.

Onions: As a shallow rooted crop, onions require special production considerations to minimize sunscald damage that occurs from high temperatures and direct sunlight. In the United States, an onion grower experienced a 13 to 1 return on investment with Purshade. Only 1.5 percent of the Purshade treated crop showed signs of sun damage compared to 10 percent of the untreated control.

Pineapples: The negative effects of solar stress can limit plant production and damage growing pineapples externally and internally. In Thailand, using Purshade on pineapples produced healthier crops resulting in a 207 percent increase in yield compared to the untreated control.

Tomatoes: Even though tomato plants thrive in hot climates, tomatoes can suffer from sunscald and heat stress when temperatures rise above 86 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celsius. In Australia, treatments of Purshade on processing tomatoes increased yield by 8 percent, reduced cullage by 50 percent, and improved fruit solids compared to the untreated plants.

In other parts of the world such as Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Mexico, similar results on a variety of crops including apples, avocados, melons, pears, walnuts, and wine grapes have been recorded.

“Producers around the globe are faced with increased pressure to maximize production of every acre they plant, so it is not surprising to report that demand for our Purshade solar protectants continues to increase exponentially,” said Tom Justmann, general manager, plant health group for Purfresh.

“Commercially available in more than 12 countries and proven effective by researchers and growers alike, Purshade is now recognized around the world as a key contributor to optimizing the value of a crop.”

The Purshade family of products includes a formulation for use on conventional crops as well as a formulation that is approved for organic production by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), and has been reviewed by the Institute for Marketecology (IMO) and BCS Chile. The liquid formulations are easy to mix, can be applied with standard spray equipment, and provide for easy wash-off.

Solarfun awarded two PV module contracts totaling 12MW in Italy

SHANGHAI, CHINA: Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd, a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, wafers and photovoltaic cells and modules in China, today announced it has entered into two contracts to supply 12MW PV modules to projects in Italy.

The first contract was signed with GranSolarGhella, SrL to supply 6MW PV modules to southern Italy, to be delivered in the second half of 2010. The second contract was signed with T.R.Z. Tozzi Renewable Energy S.p.A. to supply 6MW PV modules to central Italy, to be delivered during the third quarter of 2010.

Dr. Peter Xie, President of Solarfun, commented: "We are pleased to have expanded our business in many major solar markets and have become one of the leading module suppliers in the industry. Our products are known for their high quality and reliability, and our customer service is first-class. In 2010, we have further diversified our customer base by successfully penetrating into Italy, France and the United States markets through winning projects."

"Italy is the third largest solar power generation market in Europe and we're excited to have already begun a number of installations in the country," said Andreas Liebheit, VP and Managing Director Europe, Middle East and Africa, Solarfun. "We continue winning new customers outside of Germany, entering into new markets through satisfied customer service, innovative technology and reliable quality."

Solarmer Energy breaks psychological barrier with 8.13 percent OPV efficiency

EL MONTE, USA: Solarmer Energy, Inc. has recently achieved a new world record of 8.13% for their organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell efficiency, certified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Solarmer, a leading developer of polymer based OPV technology, has now broken the efficiency record for the 4th consecutive time, all in last two years. In 2009 alone, Solarmer produced three certified world records – 6.8 percent, 7.6 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.

This new world record is made possible through the efforts of the R&D team, led by Dr. Jianhui Hou, Director of Research, who developed new polymers for higher efficiency. Dr. Yue Wu, MD, said: “The team has done it again. This is an important milestone for our company, and it gives us confidence that we are on the right path to OPV commercialization.”

OPV panels are flexible and light weight, and are able to generate low cost clean energy from the sun. Attractive and colorful, customizable shapes and sizes, and better low light performance are just a few in a long list of unique characteristics of OPV panels. This cutting-edge technology has the potential to drive energy production cost down to 12-15 cents/kWh and much less than $1/W.

“Going beyond 8 percent - a psychological barrier for the OPV industry, is an important step forward for both Solarmer and the solar energy industry,” said Woolas Hsieh, president of the company.

“This confirms OPV technology is on the right course to become a cost effective and competitive technology. We are very proud to be the first company to surpass this 8 percent barrier. We would like to expand our partnership with other companies, who have expertise in production technology, packaging, and other areas, to bring OPVs to the market. Our next target is to reach 10 percent efficiency by the end of 2011.”

Dr. Gang Li, Vice President of Engineering, will be attending this year’s SPIE Conference on August 1st in San Diego, California, to announce this recent achievement.

Market value of biomass-generated electricity to reach $53 billion by 2020

BOULDER, USA: Biomass, already a large percentage of total renewable energy sources, is poised for continued growth in the years to come within three key sectors: biopower, biofuels, and bioproducts. Significant investments continue to be made in biomass research and development, and the pace of commercializing new technologies will increase during the next decade.

According to a new report from Pike Research, the market value of electricity generated from biomass in the United States will increase steadily to $53 billion by 2020, up from approximately $45 billion in 2010.

“Biomass will continue to be the leading source of renewable energy,” says managing director Clint Wheelock. “While it does not have the celebrity appeal of solar, wind or other emerging technologies, biomass is an affordable and reliable form of power generation. In addition, we expect continued growth in the adoption of biofuels during the next decade, as well as a proliferation of bioproducts such as plastics and chemicals.”

Wheelock adds that many different feedstocks can be classified as “biomass” including corn and grains, plants and forest resources, construction/industry waste, agricultural and food industry wastes, terrestrial and aquatic energy crops, municipal waste and manure. Applications for biomass range widely, from power generation to heating, transportation fuels, chemicals, and plastics.

The development of the biomass industry is in large part driven by government policies and mandates and, while world governments are likely to back away from some of the aggressive targets set a few years ago, Pike Research anticipates that biomass will continue to be a significant focus for energy policymakers.

Hitachi Cable announces new production equipment for NoWarp PV wire for solar cell use introduced in Malaysia

TOKYO, JAPAN: In response to growing demand for the NoWarp photovoltaic wire (solder-plated rectangular wire) used in solar cell module conductors, Hitachi Cable Ltd will introduce new production equipment at Hitachi Cable (Johor) Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia, a new production facility to take its place alongside Hitachi Cable Fine-Tech, Ltd. and Hitachi Cable (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. Full-scale operation of the new equipment is slated to get underway in August 2010.

In solar cell modules, photovoltaic wire connects the individual cells that make up a solar cell, serving as a conductor that collects the electric power generated. Wire-rolling, wiredrawing, and plating technologies accumulated during years of producing a wide range of wires and cables, Hitachi Cable launched production of photovoltaic wire in 2000. Today, it sells photovoltaic wire under the NoWarp brand name.

Representing the mainstream in solar cell modules, crystalline silicon solar cells have been made slimmer in recent years for increased production efficiency. In thinner cells, however, the individual cells are more susceptible to the thermal stress generated when connected to photovoltaic wires, which sometimes results in warp. Photovoltaic wires must be flexible enough to absorb this thermal stress and to resist cell warp.

Hitachi Cable's efforts to optimize thermal processing conditions have won NoWarp photovoltaic wire high marks for achieving flexibility while maintaining high electrical conductivity. This wire currently holds a roughly 20 percent share of the world's photovoltaic wire market.

Growing interest in energy conservation and efforts to prevent global warming have led to anticipated annual growth rates for solar cell module output capacity averaging 22 percent. By 2015, the corresponding market is projected to grow to roughly 3.3 times in its size in 2009.

This anticipated demand has energized the production of solar cell modules around the world, as existing module makers seek to expand production and a succession of new parties venture into the market. This trend has been accompanied by growing demand for photovoltaic wire, creating a need to develop supply structures across a broad regional basis.

Investing roughly 500 million yen, Hitachi Cable has decided to introduce production equipment at Hitachi Cable (Johor) of Malaysia, making it a new production facility for photovoltaic wire. Full-scale operations are slated to get underway in August 2010.

By establishing this new production facility in addition to existing facilities in Japan and China, the Hitachi Cable Group is seeking to expand net sales of wiring materials for solar cell use--primarily NoWarp products--from approximately 4 billion yen in fiscal 2009 to 9 billion yen in fiscal 2012. Plans call for regionally optimized production as well as future enhancements in new product development and production capabilities.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TERI unveils new generation cost effective off-grid lighting solutions for rural electrification under 'Lighting a Billion Lives' campaign

NEW DELHI, INDIA: In continuation of its efforts and commitment towards providing clean lighting solutions in rural regions of the country and beyond, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) under its flagship project “Lighting a Billion Lives” (LaBL), unveiled new models of solar lanterns jointly designed and developed by TERI along with its technology partners. These new solar lanterns will provide cutting edge, affordable lighting solutions, ensuring high quality illumination.Present on the occasion to unveil the lanterns were Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, along with Deepak Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Dr RK Pachauri, Director General TERI , Ms Akanksha Chaurey, Director Decentralized Energy Solutions as well as LaBL’s solar technology partners from India and overseas.

In his address Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas said: “It is a matter of personal gratification for me to be associated with unveiling of these new generation cost effective solar lanterns under TERI’s “Lighting a Billion Lives” initiative. Since I myself represent a rural constituency I can appreciate the importance of such projects to the vast majority of our rural brothers and sisters. This fact reflects that this vast majority is not only unable to join the mainstream of development, but also suffers on account of adverse implications on human health.

"We cannot expect our fellow citizens to wait for the last mile of electrification grid. It is, therefore, important that we seek solutions like LaBL, which definitely has the potential of fulfilling the gap between effective supply demand in rural lighting. This initiative provides as excellent opportunity for the public and private sector to synergize their efforts and maximize the benefits.”

Lauding TERI and its technology partner’s initiative in developing these state-of-the art solar lanterns, Deepak Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said: “Organizations such as TERI, along with its partners compliment and supplement MNRE’s efforts in achieving the targets of the National Solar Mission. This is a shining example of how innovation can work wonders to bring state-of-the-art technology to homes without electricity. Your interest and commitment will certainly facilitate a paradigm shift needed for commoditization of solar off-grid applications.”

Elaborating on LaBL and the requirement for such partnerships, Dr. R.K. Pachauri Director General TERI said: “Lighting of homes without access to grid electricity is a challenge addressed in a unique way by the Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) campaign. We have taken a significant step towards using modern photovoltaic technology for the benefit of the 1.6 billion people globally who lack electricity. TERI has worked with several partner organizations in bringing about major improvements in the design of solar lanterns to make these affordable and reliable so that we can light up the homes of those deprived of regular electricity supply.”

Ms Akanksha Chaurey, Director Decentralized Energy Solutions and Head of TERI’s Lighting a Billion Lives program added: “This initiative has tremendous business opportunity not only for India but also in other parts of the Subcontinent, as well as Latin America and Africa. The capability that India develops in this area would also have huge export potential.

"I am glad to see the overwhelming response of the industry who have come forward and accepted the challenge of rural energy access of which lighting is a critical component. Rural lighting markets offer immense opportunities for start-ups including established industries in solar, lighting, storage and allied fields. LaBL not only has business potential but is a great medium to bring about social change.”

Solar lanterns for rural households
Solar lanterns have proved to be a clean, reliable and versatile source of lighting that benefit thousands of rural households who despite the aggressive grid expansion plans are still living in the dark. TERI’s Lighting a Billion Lives team has been working hard along with its existing and new technology partners to further the mission’s objectives in bringing down the cost of lanterns while simultaneously enhancing technical performance.

This launch has unveiled five categories of LED based lanterns that are tested in-house and are ready to be used in rural lighting initiatives not only in India, but in other developing countries as well. Technology partners Nichia, Japan; Texas Instruments, USA; Amara Raja and Regnant Lighting, have been instrumental in this breakthrough. They have worked closely manufacturers Sujana Energy, Kripa Lights, Avni Energy, BNK Energy Alternatives, Agni Power and are living proof of the wonders of public-private-people-partnerships.

The new lanterns have enhanced features such as super bright white LED light, low power consumption, 6V/4.5Ah SMF Lead acid battery, three modes of brightness – high, medium and dim, Light output at one foot – horizontal-min.60 lux, Vertical –min.128 lux (in regular LED lantern) and horizontal-min.120 lux, Vertical –min.250 lux (in ultra bright LED lantern), upto 7 hours of run time with 50,000 hours of LED life, and a solar charger capacity of 5Wp and 3Wp.

Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL)
The initiative Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) was launched in February 2008 with the aim to illuminate rural households which have no access to electricity. Since its launch, LaBL has illuminated around 30,000 households spread over 550 villages across 15 Indian states.

Solar lanterns are recharged at a village solar charging station and rented out to the villagers at a daily nominal cost. These charging stations, while ensuring quality services at affordable rate, also provide green jobs to local people who manage these stations; besides helping reduce consumption of subsidized kerosene substantially.

Last year LaBL established a forum of like minded technology providers called LaBL-PaT, to develop efficient, low cost and reliable solar lanterns using state-of-the-art technical and scientific knowledge. New designs of solar lanterns were introduced that are currently being used in the LaBL initiative.

President's Estate receives ISO 14001:2004 certification

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The President's Estate has added a feather to its cap by becoming the first urban habitat in the country to be ISO 14001:2004 Certified. The ISO 14001:2004 certification means that standards set by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) for Environmental Management Systems are now in place in the President's Estate.

The certificate was formally received by Dr. Christy Fernandez, Secretary to the President from the Director, Bureau Veritas Certification India. All residents of the President's Estate have given their whole hearted support and contribution during the past two years in making the township ISO compliant. The Union Minister of Urban Development, Jaipal Reddy and the Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit were also present amongst others.

The Certification was one of the goals of the Roshini Project, inaugurated by the President of India in 2008. The Roshini Project is envisaged as a catalyst for change to build sustainable habitats. At the inauguration, the President had said that the Project would add another dimension to the President's Estate and urged the residents to take part in it to make it a success. The President had stressed during the inauguration that every individual has the responsibility to pass on a better world to the next generation.

The Roshini Project is an initiative that aims at making the President's Estate a green and an environmental friendly habitat in which good practices of conservation and efficient use of resources are encouraged, and which can be an ideal for other townships in the country. All components of the Project strive at not only making the quality of life for the resident's of the President's Estate, more meaningful and better, but also to showcase these to visitors.

The major components of the Roshini Project are:-

1. Waste Management

A. Solid Waste Management - a new Waste Segregation and Recycling Programme - RRR (Recycling, Reuse and Reduce) has been introduced with the active support of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).

Residents have been trained in segregating bio-degradable and non-biodegradable waste generated in each house and a system of door to door collection of this waste has been put in place. A Self Help Group (SHG) of women has been trained in composting the biodegradable waste, which on an average is between 300 - 400 kgs. per day. The organic manure generated, is being used in the President's Gardens. So far about 320 quintals of vermi-compost has been prepared by the SHG since October 2009.

B. Rain Water Harvesting - The focus is a concept of zero wastage of water. All waste water will be recycled and the rain water will be harvested in the President's Estate. Rain Water Harvesting in the Rashtrapati Bhavan has been taken up in the past. Till 1991-92 it covered 42 percent of the area of the Estate.

This process has been further augmented in collaboration with the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) by collecting the run off from the areas which were earlier not covered, by diverting rain water from these new areas into specially constructed recharge structures. As a result, now 100 percent of the areas have been covered.

2. Environment Protection and Pollution Control

A. Increase in green cover, tree census, protection of flora and fauna in the President's Estate - efforts are being made not only to increase green cover but also to protect the ridge area in the President's Estate and to mend and replace dry and dead trees. More than 11,000 trees have been planted in the President's Estate, Rashtrapati Nilayam, Hyderabad and the Presidential Retreat at Shimla.

The survival rate of these plantations is 90 percent. A Tree Census and report was taken up with the help of the Horticulture Wing of NDMC. A report on the Field Study of Peacocks has also been prepared under the aegis of the World Pheasant Association.

B. Nature Trail - a Nature Trail spread over 75 acres has been developed in the President's Estate with the help of the Department of Environment and Forests, Govt. of NCT of Delhi. This trail showcases the bio-diversity of the President's Estate. Since its inception more than 3000 visitors mainly from schools have come to the Trail which has 136 wild and cultivated plant species as well as 84 animal and 32 bird species.

C. Ban on usage of Plastic bags and replacement by more eco-friendly products - Usage of plastic products specifically plastic bags, is discouraged in the President's Estate. However, a total ban could not be imposed in the past for want of suitable alternatives. Now under the Roshini Project, use of more eco-friendly products is being promoted. Under this initiative SHGs of women have been trained in making paper bags, which are being used in shops inside the Estate.

3. Energy Conservation

A. Energy Audit and Conservation - Based on a project report on energy conservation, measures are being taken to conserve energy in the Estate and the President's Secretariat. Usage of energy efficient electrical appliances is also being promoted.

B. Usage and Promotion of new and renewable sources of energy - Solar photovoltaic panels have been installed in the new Auditorium, Health Centre and President's Secretariat Officers' Institute. In addition, 100 solar street lights have been installed in the Estate.

Solar powered water heating devices are being installed in residences. As result in one year more than one lakh Kw per hour of electricity consumption has been reduced, resulting in monetary savings of Rs. 6.50 lakh.

In addition, a 25 CUM Bio-gas plant has been installed in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Khadi and Village Industries Corp. (KVIC) for the kitchen of the President's Body Guard (PBG) and the Army Guard Kitchen situated in the President's Estate. These kitchens' were previously using LPG cylinders for cooking purposes. The plant uses about 600 kgs. of cattle dung per day and provides cooking fuel for about 70-80 persons in the PBG Mess.

C. Replacement of LPG by Piped Natural Gas (PNG) - more than 1000 houses in the Estate have been converted to PNG, supplied by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL). In addition PNG is also being supplied to the President's main kitchen.

Other activities under ROSHINI
Five Self Help Groups (SHGs), engaged in activities like vermi and organic composting, masala grinding, beauty culture and production of paper bags are also part of the ROSHINI initiative.

"Sopan", a creche is also in operation in the President's Estate for the benefit of the children of the contractual labours and daily wage earners working in the President's Estate.

Yingli Green Energy to collaborate with Innovalight, aiming to boost multicrystalline cell efficiency

BAODING, CHINA & SUNNYVALE, USA: Yingli Green Energy Holding Co, Ltd has signed a technology, research and production collaboration agreement with Innovalight Inc., a privately-held firm selling a platform of silicon ink-based high efficiency solar cell materials and technology.

By collaborating with Innovalight, Yingli Green Energy expects to raise the average efficiency of the multicrystalline cells produced on its commercial production lines.

"We are glad to sign this agreement with Innovalight," said Dr. Dengyuan Song, CTO of Yingli Green Energy. "We believe strong research and development capabilities are critical to strengthen our industry leadership, and we have recently launched a series of innovation initiatives. Our collaboration with Innovalight once again re-affirms our commitment to technology advancement and allows us to bring the benefits of cutting-edge technologies to our valued customers."

"We are delighted to have Yingli Green Energy as our customer and partner," said Conrad Burke, CEO of Innovalight. "Innovalight's silicon ink technology is a powerful platform to incorporate in the production of high efficiency solar products. Our collaboration with one of the largest vertically integrated solar product manufacturers in the world today is very exciting," he added.

Innovalight manufactures a proprietary nanotechnology-based silicon ink and licenses a proprietary platform process which allows a simple upgrade to solar cell manufacturing production lines to boost performance of solar cells and lower production costs.

JinkoSolar announces 24 MW solar module supply agreement with Enfinity

SHANGHAI, CHINA: JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd, a fast-growing solar product manufacturer with low-cost operations based in China, has entered into an agreement to supply 24 megawatts of solar photovoltaic modules in 2010 to Enfinity Asia Pacific Ltd, 100 percent owned by Enfinity N.V., a global renewable energy developer. JinkoSolar branded module shipments have already begun and will continue through the end of 2010.

"Our solar module supply agreement with Enfinity is a testament to the quality of our solar modules, devoted service and commitment to customers," said Xiande Li, chairman of the Board of Directors at JinkoSolar.

"Enfinity is one of the world's largest and most experienced solar PV developers with projects in over 20 countries across the globe. We believe Enfinity's exceptional track record with first-rate partners, world-class developments in PV systems and strong presence in Belgium as well as many other countries in Europe will help us to further expand our business and deliver high-quality solar products in key regions."

Gino Van Neer, Enfinity's Asia-Pacific CEO commented: "We are very pleased to have entered into this supply agreement with JinkoSolar as the Company's high-quality modules will be utilized in several of our solar projects in Czech Republic and Belgium.

"Throughout our history, we have focused on delivering commercially viable solar PV systems that offer a solid return on investment to our customers. JinkoSolar's modules offer a cost-effective solution and we look forward to developing a long-term relationship that will enable both companies to capitalize on new opportunities."

Colexon secures large portfolio in Czech Republic

HAMBURG, GERMANY: COLEXON Energy AG has secured a 7.2 MWp solar energy system portfolio in the Czech Republic. The EnerCap Power Fund is the investor for the 20 million EUR project.

In May of this year, COLEXON started with the construction of the 7.2 MWp solar project portfolio in the Czech Republic. "We have already successfully carried out projects in France, Italy and the USA," Thorsten Preugschas, CEO and chairperson of COLEXON, summed up.

"We are expanding our international project business successively to reduce our dependence on national subsidy models. We are pleased that we can now implement a large portfolio in the Czech Republic, because the Eastern European solar energy market is very significant in this development due to its attractive framework conditions," Preugschas continued.

Profitable portfolio
The Czech project covers a total area of 200,000 m2. It is being built with thin film modules from the market leader First Solar and a Schletter mounting system. The portfolio comprises three free field installations which will produce approximately 6.8 GWh electricity per year.

Equivalently, a coal fired power plant would generate approximately 7,200 tons of CO2 for the production of this electricity. These emissions can be avoided through the PV power plant.

Partnership with perspectives
The contract volume of the project is more than 20 million EUR. Financing is secured by the EnerCap Power Fund and UniCredit Bank Austria AG The EnerCap Power Fund is a private equity fund focused on investments in renewable energy and high efficiency projects in Central and South-eastern Europe. Investors include the EIB, EBRD and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

The Fund is managed by Prague based EnerCap Capital Partners. EnerCap sees in the facilities, which will be built in the Czech cities Mimon, Tocnik and Lomecek, a very promising basis for implementation of further joint photovoltaic projects.

"EnerCap and COLEXON have built up a strong and trustworthy partnership over the past months. The concluded EPC and O&M agreements create a solid basis for good performance in the current projects as well as a perspective for the future," according to Michael White, Partner at EnerCap Capital Partners.

Smart grid communications node shipments to total 276 million through 2016

BOULDER, USA: On a fundamental level, the smart grid is the merging of two networks: the power network, consisting of the electrical generation, transmission, and distribution grid, and the modern communications network, which enables voice, video, and data communications for billions of endpoints around the world.

As such, networking and communications technologies are at the core of utility smart grid deployments, and have been the focus of significant attention and fierce debate by industry players.

A new report from Pike Research forecasts that 276 million smart grid communications nodes will be shipped worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2016, with annual shipments increasing dramatically from 15 million in 2009 to 55 million by 2016.

The cleantech market intelligence firm expects that this will represent a total industry investment of $20.3 billion during the seven-year forecast period, with annual revenues increasing from $1.8 billion in 2009 to $3.1 billion by 2016, despite rapidly falling average selling prices (ASPs) per node.

“The greatest myth of the smart grid is that there will be one communications technology to rule them all,” says senior analyst Bob Gohn. “The reality is that smart grid networks will be as diverse as the internet, including fixed and wireless, public and private, standard and proprietary technologies. Different technologies will lead in various application categories, based on their respective cost and performance characteristics.”

Gohn adds that advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) nodes for smart meters will be the largest communications equipment category over the next several years, followed distantly by home area network (HAN) nodes and network interface converters.

Smaller node categories include generalized grid routers, AMI concentrators, WAN backbone nodes, substation routers, and substation Ethernet switches.

Monday, July 26, 2010

US solar market forecast to grow ten-fold by 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Despite a challenging domestic economic environment, the US solar market grew 36 percent in 2009, according to the United States PV Market 2010 from Solarbuzz, part of the NPD Group.

This growth was, however, not nearly as strong as the region’s 62 percent growth in 2008. On a global scale, the country was ranked the third largest solar photovoltaic market, behind Germany and Italy.

“2009 marked a year of transformation for the US solar market,” noted Craig Stevens, President of Solarbuzz. “Changes in the roles of utility companies, new market entrants, lower cost PV modules from Asia and new direct-to-market approaches became more prevalent. As a result, solar companies doing business in the States will need to adapt quickly to these challenges while also being responsive to frequent adjustments in the fragmented incentive and regulatory environment.”

Golden state steals the sunshine
California continues to play a critical lead as the base load state market for the US. The state accounted for 53 percent of US PV on-grid installations, and is expected to maintain its strong position in 2010. Despite a slowdown in demand from the corporate sector across the US, government, residential and utility growth more than offset this effect. Price cuts in residential installations provided the foundation for steady growth across the country. A wide range of start-up markets in other states are well underway as new PV incentives were launched.

US government policies progress
While there are utility barriers to be resolved, including regulatory restrictions on the use of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), the central policy thrust over the past 12 months remains positive. Sixteen states and Washington D.C. have enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard with solar or DG set-asides to promote PV. Fulfillment of solar set-aside obligations drove around 30 percent of total on-grid PV installations in 2009.

The large number of state policy initiatives has created a fragmented regulations and incentive environment. Regardless, states are doing their job of stimulating local markets. The dispersed funding sources mean the US market does not does not carry the same level of risk compared to countries driven by a single national policy. Nonetheless, Federal incentives are playing a much larger role in stimulating demand over the next two years.

SunPower leads in US installations
The systems division of SunPower was the leading company in terms of PV installed for the year. In California, Chevron Energy and SPG Solar performed strongly in 2009 and moved up to the #2 position.

Among residential installers in California, REC Solar, SolarCity and Real Goods Solar led the field.

US market forecast to grow to 4.5-5.5 GW by 2014
Within the next five years, Solarbuzz forecasts the market will grow to between 4.5-5.5 GW depending on the scenario. This is around ten times the size of the 2009 market, an average annual growth rate of 30 percent per annum.

The key drivers of this outcome will be much more aggressive positioning in the utility segment based on the need to meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard obligations, the development of new state markets together with the return of the corporate segment and steady growth in residential demand stimulated by cuts in end-market pricing.

The US order book for photovoltaic systems currently stands at 12 GW. This represents the total of solar set-aside RPS’, projections of demand from multi-year funded incentive programs, stimulus funded projects and other large utility identified projects.

Fig. 1: US PV Order Book (2010-2014)Source: Solarbuzz, USA.

Indian solar project to increase export outlets of solar energy industry

TAIWAN: Indian government has recently announced the official version of its solar energy industry development plan — the National Solar Mission. EnergyTrend, a research division of Trendforce Corp. remarks that the Indian policy delivery will exert a short-term bullish influence on the global solar industry.

In the short term, stimulated by the policy, solar energy demand will grow fast. Moreover, since India’s solar energy industry cluster hasn’t taken shape yet, India market will become a key import market, which will increase new export outlets for export-oriented manufacturers from Taiwan, China and Japan.

The Indian government hopes to promote domestic solar power generation capacity and solar industry strength through the implementation of the scheme so as to further rank India into one of the leading countries in global solar energy industry. The plan, composed of two parts, PV and Solar Thermal, will be carried out into three phases, with the India’s aggregate PV market expected to reach 20GW and the Solar Thermal market to 14GW by 2022.

According to EnergyTrend’s statistics, India’s solar energy installations was only 5MW last year, but after the launch of the new plan, India market will expand into 1GW with policy subsidies and supports between 2011 and 2013 and is expected to reach 20GW in 2022, making India the most remarkable emerging market in the eyes of global manufacturers.

EnergyTrend thinks that the scheme’s influence on global solar energy industry can be observed from both market and industry perspectives. In view of the market, 2010 installations in Europe market exceed the expectation. Besides, major countries will cut subsidies in 2011, leading the market to turn conservative toward the outlook for 1H 2011.

However, the timely subsidy policy launch from India has given the market a boost; while China, Japan, and USA have also introduced relevant new policies, which will lessen the impact of Europe’s subsidy reduction policies.

In light of the high degree linkage between the solar energy market and policy, EnergyTrend believes that subsidy policies mentioned above are beneficial for the growth of global solar energy market in the first half of next year and raises the outlook of the global solar energy demand for the period to cautious optimism.

According to EnergyTrend, in the long term, India will become the main rival against Taiwan, mainland China, and Japan, because its government plans to attract the fund and technology of global solar energy industry in order to strengthen its solar energy industry.

Furthermore, India’s solar energy industry will develop rapidly due to the domestic demand take-off. Compared with China and Japan, the solar energy industry in Taiwan doesn’t have any domestic demand backup. Therefore, once Indian manufacturers rise rapidly, Taiwan manufacturers will face more challenges than their peers in China and Japan.

Besides, according to the new energy reward policy lately issued by Japanese government, the reward subsidy applications from new energy companies will be accepted from Feb. 12 to Mar. 15, 2011.

Japan government says that any green energy company that introduces solar power, wind power, solar thermal utilization, biomass power, biomass thermal utilization, biomass fuel production, snow and ice thermal utilization, temperature difference energy utilization, hydropower, geothermal power, natural gas based cogeneration, fuel cells, microgrids will be subsidized up to 1/3 its operating expenses, 1 billion Japanese Yen at maximum.

In addition, there are other regulations about the subsidy amount in fields of the solar power, wind power, natural gas based cogeneration and microgrids.

Moreover, in terms of new energy introduction policies on local government level, Japan also encourages local public groups, non-profit NGOs and other organizations to participate, providing half of the operating expenses subsidy for the mentioned categories.

Thus, corresponding reward subsidy schemes have been developed by local governments in Hokkaido, Northeastern Japan, Kanto Area, Kansai Area, Kyushu and Okinawa, expected to bear fruits in 2011 and significantly promote the development of Japan’s various new energy and green energy businesses. The overall follow-up effect is worth concern.

India's National Solar Mission Framework and TimelineSource:MNRE; Compiled by EnergyTrend. July 18, 2010

ISA welcomes guidelines for new solar projects under JN-NSM

BANGALORE, INDIA: The Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy on July 25th unveiled the guidelines for selection of new grid connected solar power projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JN-NSM).

India Semiconductor Association (ISA), the apex trade body representing the Indian Electronic Systems Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) industry, welcomes this development and is confident that these policy measures would give impetus to the growth of the domestic solar PV industry. This is a concrete step in realizing the targets set by the National Solar Mission and will provide a significant boost to the domestic solar industry.

As per the guidelines, it will be mandatory for the projects based on c-Si technology to use the modules manufactured in India for 150 MW of solar PV power projects to be selected during the current FY 2010-11.

During the FY 2011-12, over 300 MW of solar PV power projects would be selected where it will be mandatory for all the projects to use cells and modules manufactured in India. This would greatly benefit the domestic cell and module companies and also attract foreign investment into the country in the area of solar PV manufacturing.

The collaborative efforts of various industry bodies with Government of India to promote the use of domestic content in putting up solar PV power projects have yielded positive results. This will definitely boost domestic solar industry.

ISA collaboratively worked with along with other industry bodies and proactively worked with MNRE, Dept of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Dept of Information Technology and Ministry of Power to provide industry inputs. Early this year, ISA along with other industry bodies successfully represented to Central Electricity Regulatory Commission for the increase in tariffs for solar PV power projects, which has benefited, solar PV power developers as well as manufacturers.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Sushilkumar Shinde unveil guidelines for new solar projects under JN-NSM

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and Sushilkumar Shinde, Union Minister for Power, jointly unveiled the guidelines for selection of new solar power projects under the 1,000 MW solar power scheme in the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

This would put India in league with countries like Germany, Spain and Japan who are leaders in harnessing solar power.

Bharatsinh Solanki, Minister of State for Power, also graced the function held in New Delhi to mark the development. B.K Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission, Deepak Gupta, Secretary, MNRE and P. Uma Shankar, Secretary, Power, were also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that he is committed to adding 1100 MW of grid connected solar power by the end of the first phase of the Mission and this will only be possible if all activities are carried out with clockwork precision.

The Minister informed the gathering that a tremendous excitement both domestically and internationally about our National Solar Mission was evident from the fact that the small grid connected plants scheme that was recently launched attracted nearly 400 MW worth of applications -- nearly four times the available capacity. He said that he has asked IREDA to ensure that it should announce the list of eligible projects selected under the scheme latest by August 15, 2010.

Dr. Abdullah anticipated a similarly large response in the large grid-connected power plants as well and expressed hope that NVVN will now take immediate steps to bring out the expression of interest, invite applications and select eligible developers under the policy released today.

The New and Renewable Energy Minister also acknowledged the effort put in by both the Secretaries and their team of officers, scientists and experts involved in the process for operationalising the Mission in record time.

Sushilkumar Shinde said that the guidelines have been finalised after considerable deliberations in true spirit for the success of the National Solar Mission. He said that the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN), a wholly owned subsidiary of NTPC, is the nodal agency for entering into PPA with Solar Power Developers and will shortly be inviting project developers to participate in the Request for Selection (RFS) for development of Solar Projects under this scheme.

Bharatsinh Solanki said that to achieve the target of 20,000 MW of solar energy by 2022, we need to put in concerted efforts and the indigenous manufacturing of solar power equipment will be of paramount importance in achieving this goal.

B.K. Chaturvedi, in his address, termed the occasion a reflection of synergy between the two Ministries to take India ahead in achieving target set under the Mission. He also assured all support from Planning Commission.

Uma Shankar reaffirmed the commitment of Ministry of Power to the Mission and also spoke of the efforts being taken to overcome the barriers such as high cost of solar power and payment security etc.

Earlier, Deepak Gupta delivered the welcome address.

Under the Jawaharlal Nehru Mational Solar Mission, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), which is the power trading arm of the NTPC has been designated as the nodal agency to purchase solar power generated by independent solar power producers, at rates fixed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission(CERC) and for a period of 25 years.

For 2010-11 the CERC has fixed the rate of Rs. 17.91 per unit for PV and Rs 15.31 per unit for solar thermal power projects. The rates will be applicable for solar PV projects commissioned by March 2012 and solar thermal projects commissioned by March 2013.

The government will provide equivalent MW of power from the unallocated quota of NTPC for bundling with solar power. NVVN will select projects to set up about 1000MW capacity of solar power plants based on solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. The utilities will be able to account for purchase of solar power against their RPO obligations.

The government has also announced guidelines to encourage domestic manufacture. Dr. Abdullah has invited global solar companies to invest in India.

The NVVN has also signed MoUs with 16 project developers to set up to 84 MW capacity solar power projects. Under migration 54 MW capacity will be through solar PV and balance 30 MW through solar thermal technology. These projects are expected to be commissioned by middle of next year.

Earlier this year, on 16 of June, 2010, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had announced the guidelines for providing support for off gid solar applications and also small grid connected solar power plants of 100kW to 2 MW capacities.

The Ministry has now released the guidelines concerning all the three major deployment programmes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to fully operationalise the deployment related activities.

Source: Press Information Bureau.

NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam signs MoUs with 16 project developers for solar power projects

NEW DELHI, INDIA: NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), which is the the nodal agency to purchase solar power generated by independent solar power producers, has signed MoU with 16 project developers to set up to 84 MW capacity solar power projects.

Under migration 54 MW capacity will be through solar PV and balance 30 MW through solar thermal technology. These projects are expected to be commissioned by middle of next year.

Following is the list of the project developers:Source: Press Information Bureau, India.

India to generate 1,000 MW solar power by 2013

NEW DELHI, INDIA: India will generate 1,000 MW of solar power by the year 2013, with financial assistance from Power Finance Corp and Rural Electrification Corp, under the government's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

"We would be able to generate 500 MW of solar-thermal power and another 500 MW from photovoltaic cells in the next three years," Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said at a joint press conference today.

The Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy today unveiled the guidelines for selection of New Grid Connected Solar Power Projects.

"PFC and REC would finance some of these projects," Shinde said, adding that Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) will also fund these projects.

Source: Press Trust of India.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ET Solar to supply solar modules for a PSE&G PV project in US

NANJING, CHINA: ET Solar Group Corp., a Nanjing-based photovoltaic system turnkey solution provider and integrated manufacturer of PV products, announced that it has been selected to provide modules for a photovoltaic project for Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), the largest publicly owned utility in New Jersey.

Under the agreement, ET Solar will supply 910 KW of 280 Watt modules that will be installed on two rooftops and two carport structures at Camden Street School in Newark, New Jersey, housing approximately nine hundred students.

The high efficiency 280 Watt series modules are specifically developed for commercial and utility projects, therefore, can maximize the power output and reduce the labor for installation.

Developed, integrated and installed by A.L.M. Electric Co., the system will be financed, owned, and operated by PSE&G under its Solar 4 All Program. The module shipment has commenced this month. The grid connection is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

Solar, infrared and LED experts discuss advances in photonic materials and devices

BOLINGBROOK, USA: On July 12-13, 2010, experts from across the solar photovoltaics, infrared (IR) photovoltaics and light emitting diode (LED) disciplines met to review and discuss recent progress and future trends in the rapidly advancing fields of photonic materials and devices at the 2010 International Symposium on Optoelectronic Materials and Devices.

The symposium was jointly organized by the Quantum-functional Semiconductor Research Center of Dongguk University, the Microphysics Laboratory of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Sivananthan Laboratories Inc. It was held and successfully concluded at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel in Chicago.

Leading scientists from various government agencies, universities and industry presented recent advances on solar cells, IR devices and LEDs including but not limited to thin film solar cells, very high efficiency tandem solar cells, heteroepitaxial growth, antimonide- and HgCdTe-based infrared sensors and ZnO nanorods. The symposium featured two plenary speakers, Dr. Martha Symko Davies of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Mr. Minh Le of the Solar Energy Technologies Program at the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The year’s symposium was 7th in the series and the second consecutive symposium held in Chicago,” said Yesim Anter, Project Coordinator of the Microphysics Laboratory. Ms. Anter added “The goal of this symposium was to bring together a small group of distinguished members of the optoelectronic materials society to interact with each other and listen to the exciting developments in their respective fields first hand. Furthermore, the symposium provided a great opportunity for many students and faculty to do networking with these renowned speakers.”

Dr. Chris Grein, Professor of Physics and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said that “The fields of solar and infrared photovoltaics and light emitting diodes have many common technical elements yet few conferences bring together experts from all three. One of the goals of the symposium was to facilitate the cross-pollination of many ideas that will benefit these technologies.”

Dr. Timothy Coutts, Advisor and Senior Scientist at EPIR Technologies Inc, NREL Fellow Emeritus and founder of the Device Development Group at NREL, stated: “This year’s International Symposium on Optoelectronic Materials and Devices brought together a wonderful group of researchers from the solar, IR, and LED industries. The symposium attendants exchanged ideas that will potentially result in creative new approaches for advancing the state of these technologies.”

Dr. Tae Won Kang, director of Quantum-functional Semiconductor Research Center at Dongguk University in Seoul, S. Korea, stated that he is “pleased to see the continued collaboration between the two research centers, the Quantum-functional Semiconductor Research Center (QSRC) at Dongguk University and the Microphysics Laboratory (MPL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which helped organize the symposium series for more than 8 years.” Dr. Kang added that he plans to organize the symposium next year in Seoul, S. Korea.

Friday, July 23, 2010

ISA workshop outlines opportunities for solar inverter manufacturers

KOLKATA, INDIA: The India Semiconductor Association (ISA), in association with Government of West Bengal, Webel & West Bengal Green Energy Power Development Corp. Ltd (WBGEPDCL) organized a workshop on solar inverters today in Kolkata.Debesh Das, Honorable Minister of Information Technology, Government of West Bengal inaugurated the workshop and highlighted the need to strengthen solar inverter manufacturing capabilities in the State of West Bengal.

The workshop was attended by manufacturers, system integrators, power developers, researchers, academia, key policy and decision makers. It brought together experts from the industry the government to provide a comprehensive techno-commercial perspective on solar inverters and discussed the opportunities, challenges and issues faced by the manufacturers and the solar PV based power developers.

Few facts on solar power industry in India:
• Worldwide solar cell production reached a consolidated figure of 9.3 GW in 2009.
• Increasing investments in production capacity of polysilicon, emergence of Thin Film technology and reduction in material consumption per silicon solar cell, are expected to drive the reduction in the cost of solar systems.
• The capacity in India is currently estimated in excess of about 400 MW for cells and about 1,000 MW for modules. Based on the interactions with the industry, the capacity of PV cells and modules in India is estimated to cross 750 MW and 1250 MW by the end of year 2010.
• The production in India for year 2008-09 is estimated at 175 MW of cells and 240 MW of modules. A large proportion of the production was exported.
• According to the Annual Report of MNRE (2008-09), there are about 15 players in cell manufacturing, over 20 players in modules and more than 50 in solar assembly.

Commenting on the workshop, Dr Pradip K Dutta, vice chairman, ISA said, “India offers a large market for the solar inverters, however domestic companies need to improve product design and expand their capacities to be able to compete at a global level."

Rajiv Jain, chief coordinator-Solar PV Industry, ISA, said, “We at ISA work closely with the government and the industry to facilitate creation of the conducive policy framework and the ecosystem that will help local companies tap the growing market."

Solarfun obtained RMB7 billion framework credit facility from Bank of China

SHANGHAI, CHINA: Solarfun Power Holdings Co. Ltd, a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots and photovoltaic cells and modules, announced that Jiangsu Linyang Solarfun Co. Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Solarfun, has obtained a framework credit facility in the amount of RMB7 billion, or an equivalent amount of foreign currency, from Bank of China, Nantong branch.

The contract has a term of 10 years and provides a number of credit facility options. Specific drawdowns against this facility are subject to internal review and approval by the Bank.

Gareth Kung, CFO of Solarfun, commented: "Our longstanding relationship with Bank of China has been an important ingredient in Solarfun's growth and progress to date. Visibility of customer demand remains high throughout 2010 and key customer indications give us increased confidence in the prospect for 2011.

"We believe this new framework credit facility would provide added flexibility for Solarfun to finance future expansion plans. The demands of our customers are evolving, including project financing, and this new facility will assist us in meeting their needs more competitively."

Suniva helps power LumenHAUS project

NORCROSS, USA: Suniva Inc., a US manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules, announced that its ARTisun series solar cells are being used to power innovative designs and award-winning projects around the world.

The company’s solar cells recently played an integral part in Virginia Polytechnic State University’s LumenHAUS project, the grand prize winner of the first ever European Solar Decathlon.

Suniva solar cells have also been used in world-renowned projects such as The Plastiki Expedition, a catamaran made of recyclables that sailed across the Pacific Ocean in an effort to raise awareness on environmental issues, and the 2010 Shell Eco-marathon Europe, a fuel-efficient car competition.

“The ARTisun solar cells played a key role in the LumenHAUS project’s winning entry. The energy balance between the teams was very competitive – Suniva’s high-efficiency solar cells enabled us to create additional solar arrays that generated the needed power capacity to help the project stand out from the rest of the entries,” said Joseph Wheeler, associate professor and LumenHAUS lead project coordinator, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

BIPV market to reach $8.2 billion by 2015

GLEN ALLEN, USA: NanoMarkets, a Virginia-based market research and analysis firm, has just issued a new report on the building integrated photovoltaics market (BIPV).

The firm predicts that the global BIPV market will reach $8.2 billion in revenues by 2015 driven by the cost advantage that BIPV can provide versus conventional PV solutions. Furthermore, BIPV provides both the improved aesthetics and necessary energy efficiency that will allow property developers and owners to better compete in stagnating real estate markets.

The report titled, “Building Integrated Photovoltaics Opportunities: 2010,” is the latest in the firm’s on-going coverage of the market that dates back to 2006. NanoMarkets has also issued other analyses related to organic, dye cell sensitive and inorganic thin-film pv in the past several months and will soon publish additional reports on BIPV in Europe and BIPV in Asia later in 2010.

SunPower partners with Solar Ventures to build 11.1 MW in Piedmont region of Italy

MILAN, ITALY: SunPower Corp. and Solar Ventures S.r.l., a developer of solar parks in Italy, France and the Mediterranean area, have signed a contract to design and build three solar power plants in the Piedmont region of Italy.

Totaling 11.1 megawatts over 30 hectares, the development represents one of the largest solar power developments in the region. Construction on the plants will start this month and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

"We are delighted to partner with Solar Ventures to deliver reliable, emission-free solar power to the community and continue the rapid expansion of the Italian solar market," said Mario Riello, EMEA Sales Director for SunPower Utility and Power Plants division. "This project reinforces SunPower's impressive track record in Italy where both development partners and financing institutions praise our bankability, high performance technology, and project execution."

On fixed-tilt, ground-mounted systems, SunPower will mount standard-efficiency solar panels, including SunPower Serengeti panels, which offer the same high quality, reliable energy delivery and 25-year warranty as SunPower's high-efficiency panel offerings.

"Solar Ventures built its first photovoltaic plant in Piedmont in 2007, where we have experienced excellent community and administration support for solar park development, as well as good irradiance levels," said Michele Appendino, CEO and chairman of Solar Ventures.

"We have therefore decided to focus our development efforts in this region, where we have other similar clusters of plants under construction this year. We are happy to work with SunPower, whose technology will deliver clean and renewable solar power for many years to come."

Worldwide, SunPower has more than 550 megawatts of solar power systems installed or under contract, including more than 200 megawatts of operational power plants in Europe.

JinkoSolar announces 24 MW solar module supply agreement with Enfinity

SHANGHAI, USA: JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd, a fast-growing solar product manufacturer with low-cost operations based in China, has entered into an agreement to supply 24 megawatts of solar photovoltaic modules in 2010 to Enfinity Asia Pacific Ltd, 100 percent owned by Enfinity N.V., a global renewable energy developer. JinkoSolar branded module shipments have already begun and will continue through the end of 2010.

"Our solar module supply agreement with Enfinity is a testament to the quality of our solar modules, devoted service and commitment to customers," said Xiande Li, chairman of the Board of Directors at JinkoSolar.

"Enfinity is one of the world's largest and most experienced solar PV developers with projects in over 20 countries across the globe. We believe Enfinity's exceptional track record with first-rate partners, world-class developments in PV systems and strong presence in Belgium as well as many other countries in Europe will help us to further expand our business and deliver high-quality solar products in key regions."

Gino Van Neer, Enfinity's Asia-Pacific CEO, commented: "We are very pleased to have entered into this supply agreement with JinkoSolar as the Company's high-quality modules will be utilized in several of our solar projects in Czech Republic and Belgium. Throughout our history we have focused on delivering commercially viable solar PV systems that offer a solid return on investment to our customers.

"JinkoSolar's modules offer a cost-effective solution and we look forward to developing a long-term relationship that will enable both companies to capitalize on new opportunities."

DayStar pursuing offshore manufacturing of CIGS solar modules

NEWARK, USA: DayStar Technologies Inc., a developer of solar photovoltaic products based on CIGS thin-film deposition technology, is pursuing a strategy for offshore manufacturing of its CIGS solar modules.

DayStar CEO, Magnus Ryde, commented: "While DayStar has accomplished significant innovations with our CIGS process and technology, we have encountered challenges in obtaining affordable capital for the build-out and operation of our facility in Newark, California. At this time, we are pursuing opportunities to manufacture our CIGS modules offshore and have begun discussions with several potential partners to implement this strategy.

"We are encouraged by the high caliber of the potential partners we are in discussions with. They understand the commercial potential for our CIGS modules and they bring substantial manufacturing and financial capabilities to the table. Those potential partnerships, if consummated, could include joint ventures, licensing agreements, contract manufacturing agreements, a reverse merger with or an acquisition of DayStar.

"We are confident in our core proprietary CIGS technology and believe that completing a transaction with a strategic partner and manufacturing our CIGS modules offshore would provide the best opportunity to bring our product to market and to manufacture the product in the most cost effective manner."

Ryde added: "In addition to the potential partnership discussions mentioned above, we disclosed on May 3, 2010 that DayStar entered into an agreement with Dynamic Worldwide Solar Energy LLC ('Dynamic') to provide DayStar with a series of loan commitments and at least one fully funded 25MW solar energy project.

"Under the terms of that agreement, Dynamic has proposed to assign to DayStar its interest in a fully financed contract to fabricate, construct and install, and commence the operation of, a 25 MW solar energy generation plant. We are actively working with Dynamic on these projects. If consummated, these projects will add a new 'downstream' dimension to DayStar and allow us to become a fully integrated solar energy company. DayStar's acceptance of the assignments is subject to applicable due diligence."

Digi 'Extends the Grid' for EcoFactor to save utility customers money, conserve energy

MINNETONKA, USA: Digi International announced that EcoFactor, a provider of software that intelligently manages connected thermostats and reduces home energy consumption, is using the Digi X-Grid to easily connect customers’ home energy devices to its Web-based software.

The Digi X-Grid is an “Extended Grid” that enables real-time, IP-based monitoring and control of home energy devices beyond the electric meter. The solution will help EcoFactor to reduce energy usage of Texas utility company Oncor customers by 20 to 30 percent.

“The Digi X-Grid makes it easy for us to connect customers to our Web-based software,” said Scott Hublou, senior vice president of products, EcoFactor. “Digi provides all of the hardware, hosted software and applications necessary to easily connect customers’ home energy devices. This allows us to focus on delivering energy efficiency services that can save customers hundreds of dollars per year on their heating and cooling costs.”

“EcoFactor is a leading provider of intelligent energy management software,” said Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Digi International. “By extending the grid directly to the home energy device, we enable EcoFactor’s Software as a Service energy efficiency system to maintain constant communication, allowing their system to make very fine adjustments.”

As a member of the Digi X-Grid Partner Program, EcoFactor is re-selling Digi products and services as a part of its energy management solution. Digi supports Digi X-Grid partners to jointly drive continued innovation, marketing and sales of energy service offerings in the Extended Grid.

The Digi X-Grid provides easy, real-time access to energy usage information, real-time control of energy consuming devices and real-time management of energy producing capabilities. This allows energy providers to improve the performance, load management and demand response capabilities of their Smart Grid investments, while providing a platform to fully engage consumers in real-time energy efficiency decisions.

From meters to thermostats to load control devices, the Digi X-Grid provides secure, real-time access to devices within the “Extended Grid” infrastructure. The Digi X-Grid includes Digi’s Smart Energy gateways, XBee ZigBee modules and adapters and iDigi Platform to make it easy to connect directly to home energy devices. The Digi X-Grid is industry-standards oriented and can connect any Smart Energy compatible device.

Solexant to locate 100MW solar facility in Oregon

SAN JOSE, USA: Solexant Corp., a developer of third-generation ultrathin-film PV technology, announced the selection of the city of Gresham, Oregon for the location of its first commercial-scale nanocrystal manufacturing facility.

Upon completion, the 100MW plant will be Oregon’s first thin film solar manufacturing plant and the largest nanotechnology manufacturing facility in the world. Solexant expects to receive a $25 million SELP loan from the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), the largest loan bestowed in the 30-year history of the state energy loan program.

“We are pleased to welcome Solexant to Oregon, North America’s leading solar manufacturing center,” said Governor Kulongoski. “This investment will mean jobs immediately for Oregonians with the promise of more in the future. In addition, this company brings a new technological facet to Oregon’s already booming solar manufacturing base and will help us continue to be a global leader in solar manufacturing.”

Along with an $18.75 million Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) from ODOE, a $25 million loan from the State of Oregon Energy Loan Program and the $64 million in equity funding Solexant has raised to date, the company will have adequate funds to bring the nanotechnology-based thin film solar plant to full capacity. The factory will initially be housed in an existing 100,000 to 150,000 sq foot facility in Gresham with plans to construct the new manufacturing line in 2011.

The City of Gresham has also provided a robust incentive package partnering with the solar manufacturing plant, which will employ as many as 200 Oregonians (97 confirmed local employees in the BETC agreement). The company expects to build additional 100MW lines in Gresham after the first line becomes operational.

“Solexant’s decision to come to Gresham proves that our city is well positioned and competitive, even in this challenging economy,” Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis said. “By building a close relationship with the company throughout the process, we have been able to show them the advantages of bringing major investment and jobs to Gresham.”

Solexant’s breakthrough technology and award-winning manufacturing method allow for more efficient use of equipment space, as well as higher throughput and lower labor costs than competing thin film companies, to produce thin film modules with an installed cost structure that will challenge the current industry norm.

Originally developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) by Dr. Paul Alivisatos and his team, Solexant’s printable nanocrystal technology platform can produce flexible thin film solar cells using a variety of materials through a fast and simple printing process using its nanocrystal inks.

For its initial commercial offering, the company will produce the industry’s first nanocrystal ultrathin-film solar cell using its proprietary roll-to-roll manufacturing process to print CdTe nanocrystals on a flexible substrate.

“Solexant greatly appreciates its partnerships with the State of Oregon, the Oregon Department of Energy and the City of Gresham to facilitate the construction of the world’s largest nanotechnology-based thin film manufacturing facility in this beautiful, business-friendly state,” said Damoder Reddy, CEO of Solexant.

“As Oregon’s first thin film solar manufacturing plant, the Gresham facility will prove the commercial application of our nanocrystal ultrathin-film solar cell technology in a very capital-efficient way and solidify Solexant’s place as a leader in the solar industry.”

Last month, Solexant announced the $41.5M first close of a Series C financing round following the successful completion of a 2MW pilot line operating at the company’s headquarters in San Jose, CA. Solexant and LBNL have received numerous technology and manufacturing awards for nanocrystal solar cells, including the prestigious R&D 100 Award in 2009.

The Solexant executive team has more than 100 years of combined experience in finance, manufacturing and R&D, and it also includes renowned nanoparticle scientists and deeply experienced thin film solar cell engineers.