Friday, March 29, 2013

SOLON expands, providing solar energy solutions throughout North America

USA: SOLON Corp. has expanded across several growing solar markets in North America. SOLON’s team is focused on developing, designing, constructing, financing and servicing solar projects that meet the unique needs of utilities, businesses and public institutions.

With over 65MW of systems installed in Arizona, and nearly 100MW installed in the United States, SOLON is leveraging its success and experience in the Southwest, and aggressively growing its business in California, the Northeast, the Southeast and the Caribbean, as well as in federal sector opportunities across the country.

Characterized by their extensive expertise in the energy industry and in delivering integrated energy solutions, SOLON’s expanded team brings strong proficiencies in energy performance contracting, demand response, building energy retrofits, green building design, waste-to-energy solutions and various co-generation technologies, in addition to designing, developing, financing, constructing and servicing photovoltaic systems.

“We have gathered an esteemed group of energy industry and business veterans with the right expertise to meet the growing needs of customers as markets and policies evolve,” said Jared Schoch, VP and GM of Power Plants at SOLON. “With a local presence and regional support teams now established in current and near future grid parity markets, we are ready to provide freedom of choice to our customers with smart energy solutions.”

New international PV technology roadmap updates path toward continuous solar cost reduction

GERMANY: SEMI has released the fourth edition of the International Technology Roadmap for PV (ITRPV), the global collaborative process that informs PV cell, module and system manufacturers, equipment and materials suppliers, and other industry stakeholders on key technology trends in the field of crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic technology and identifies critical areas for R&D and process improvements.

This year’s edition concludes that the industry’s historic learning rate of about 21 percent can be maintained into the next decade by introducing new double- and single-sided contact cell concepts, new and improved materials, improved cell front and rear side efficiencies, new module technologies, increased equipment productivity, and other areas.

The ITRPV was jointly prepared by leading international c-Si solar cell manufacturers, module manufacturers, silicon producers, and wafer suppliers. Feedback and input from various institutes, equipment suppliers and providers of production materials was also included.

The present publication covers the PV value chain from crystallization, wafering and cell manufacturing downstream to module manufacturing and PV systems. The ITRPV has grown in importance as the oversupply of PV products and global competition has led to rapid price declines, making the roadmap a critical guide to supply chain profitability, as well as price competitiveness of non-subsidized solar energy.

Speaking before the SEMI PV Fab Managers Forum in Berlin, Dr. Markus Fischer, director of R&D Processes at Hanwha Q.Cells and co-chair of the working group said: “The ITRPV indicates where and how further reduction of silicon PV manufacturing cost is possible without sacrificing quality and reliability. The ITRPV process is the platform where the entire industry can collaborate to identify and target critical areas of improvement.”

The ITRPV is divided in three areas: materials, processes, and products. The analysis includes current technology, performance, cost, or specification data collected from participating companies and processed anonymously by SEMI. Future performance, cost, specification and other targets are agreed upon by participating companies and assessed by the status, complexity and probability of availability of the solution.

Color marking is used to describe the maturity of a technology in critical parameters: green (technology is in use), yellow (industrial solution is known but not in mass production), orange (interim solution exists, but is too expensive), red (no industrial solution is known).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

US solar industry market increases 34 percent to $11.5 billion in 2012

USA: The US solar Industry has experienced a resurgence over the past year as newly-imposed import tariffs on Chinese solar cells have helped companies compete with their Chinese competitors.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the US solar industry market increased to $11.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of 34 percent.

In 2012, the US installed a record 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV). At the end of 2012 the U.S. contained 7,221 MW of PV and 546 MW of concentrating solar power, which is enough to power approximately 1.2 million homes.

"There were 16 million solar panels installed in the U.S. last year -- more than 2 panels per second of the work day -- and every one of these panels was bolted down by a member of the US workforce," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. "We've brought more new solar online in 2012 than in the three prior years combined."

More solar brought online in the US than previous three years combined

USA: The US solar industry has experienced a resurgence over the past year as newly-imposed import tariffs on Chinese solar cells have helped companies compete with their Chinese competitors.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the US solar industry market increased to $11.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of 34 percent.

In 2012, the U.S. installed a record 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV). At the end of 2012 the US contained 7,221 MW of PV and 546 MW of concentrating solar power, which is enough to power approximately 1.2 million homes.

"There were 16 million solar panels installed in the US last year -- more than 2 panels per second of the work day -- and every one of these panels was bolted down by a member of the US workforce," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. "We've brought more new solar online in 2012 than in the three prior years combined."

Leviton expands energy management offering with VerifEye submetering solutions

USA:  Leviton announced the expansion of its suite of energy management technology with the launch of its revenue-grade VerifEye Submetering Solutions. Easy to install and maintenance-free, VerifEye provide users with turn-key tenant billing implementation.

VerifEye enables tracking, monitoring and verification of real-time energy usage, providing precise data for billing, reducing operating costs and allowing users to experience long-term energy savings of 15 to 20 percent. A robust, comprehensive submetering platform, VerifEye delivers a seamless solution to simplifying the complexities of allocating energy costs and billing tenants, while enabling smart metering and LEED compliance requirements.

VerifEye gives energy managers the ability to easily identify precisely how and where energy is being used throughout a facility, from the individual circuit-level to tenant-occupied spaces and major building systems loads.

Enhancing user accountability and driving the implementation of energy-saving programs in virtually any application environment, its energy measurement and verification solutions are ideal for installation in multi-tenant residential and commercial facilities, commercial offices, retail spaces and manufacturing facilities.

Bentley factory goes green with the UK's largest roof-top solar installation

ENGLAND: Bentley Motors is installing the UK’s largest roof mounted solar panel system. The installation will be owned and operated by Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd, the UK’s leading solar energy generator.

Over 20,000 solar panels with a capacity of 5MW are being fixed to the roof of Bentley’s factory in Crewe, making use of 3.45 hectares of roof space which would otherwise be unutilised. The array will generate enough energy to power over 1,200 households and is three times more powerful than the current largest roof mounted system in the UK.

It is anticipated that at peak generation times, the system will produce up to 40 percent of Bentley’s energy requirements and reduce CO2 usage by over 2,500 tonnes per year.

Michael Straughan, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Manufacturing said: “Unlikely as it may seem our 1940s plant in Crewe is ideally situated to generate solar power as the “saw tooth” factory roofs are south facing at an angle of 20 degrees.

“We take the sustainability of our products and factory extremely seriously and we are always looking for ways to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency. The panels will reduce our energy costs and help ensure that our manufacturing operations in Crewe are efficient, sustainable and globally competitive.”

Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource, said: “The installation on Bentley’s factory demonstrates the tremendous potential for solar energy in the UK and is a fantastic example of how businesses can gain greater pricing certainty for the future whilst reducing their carbon footprint. It is also remarkable what can be achieved in a short space of time and with no adverse impact on existing business activity.”

SunEdison ROC celebrates 1GW of solar energy under management

USA: SunEdison has announced a global milestone in the company's solar operations as it now has more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of global solar PV (photovoltaic) assets under the management of its Renewable Operations Centers (ROCs).

The facilities managed by the ROCs include a mix of plants that are owned by SunEdison and its investment partners, as well as third parties who have come to SunEdison to utilize its advanced services platform.

SunEdison operates three ROCs providing 24/7 services year round, configured with redundancy to prevent disruption of service. The flagship ROC is at the company's headquarters in Belmont, California, with additional facilities located in Chennai, India and Madrid, Spain.

"Achieving this milestone is a significant moment in our company history," said Mark McLanahan, VP and GM for global services for SunEdison. "When it comes to asset management, SunEdison is in a unique position to serve our customers.  We are not just a vendor, we are also an owner/operator of PV solar power plants so we have a first-hand understanding of our customers' requirements, which allows us to bring innovative solutions to market."

Investment grade monitoring system
The SunEdison ROCs employ sophisticated monitoring and reporting tools to detect any anomalies in system performance. Technicians can analyse alerts to diagnose the cause and determine the best course of action.  In many cases issues can be resolved remotely, reducing the need to dispatch technicians.

SunEdison monitors the full range of components and systems within a solar installation; including weather stations, pyranometers, ambient temperature sensors, panel temperature sensors, inverters, string combiners, recombiners, soiling analysis stations and AC subsystems.

The ROCs' sophisticated analysis capabilities allow SunEdison to transform raw data into rich reports that provide a system-level view of plant performance which helps predict the potential of a power plant, uncover operational issues, and optimize system performance.

GT Advanced Technologies and Powertec Energy sign MoU

USA: GT Advanced Technologies and Powertec Energy Corp. announced the execution of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which states Powertec’s intention to purchase polysilicon technology and equipment from GT for their phase 2 and 3 expansion projects.

Design work for these projects has begun and Powertec currently expects to begin ordering GT equipment and technology in the second half of 2014.

Powertec was founded in 2010 with WalsinLihwa Group, United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), and Sino American Silicon Products Inc. (SAS) as major shareholders. In 2011, Powertec began its phase 1 project, located in Taiwan’s Changbin Industrial Park, at which time it purchased 6,000 MTA polysilicon production technology and equipment from GT.

The equipment for phase 1 was shipped in 2012. Powertec’s phase 1 project is on track for commercial operation in the first half of 2014 in line with when the solar industry, which has experienced a downturn since 2011, is expected to recover.

“When our plant is fully operational next year, we will immediately begin debottlenecking work to increase our phase 1 capacity to 7,500 MTA. We expect to produce high-quality polysilicon at a cash cost that will enable us to successfully compete on a global scale,” said YiYi Tai, chairman of Powertec.

“In addition, Powertec and GT have already started designing the phase 2 and 3 expansion projects. Construction of our next phase is expected to begin immediately after the successful startup of phase 1. Total capacity at our current site is expected to reach 27,500 MTA after all three phases are completed.”

With increasing demand for higher solar power conversion efficiency, polysilicon quality is becoming increasingly important. In addition, there is strong demand in Taiwan from leading Taiwan semiconductor companies such as UMC and SAS for ultra high-quality electronic-grade polysilicon. Powertec’s phase 1 high-quality capacity as well as phase 2 and 3 electronic grade capacity are expected to meet not only future solar demand, but also domestic semiconductor industry demand in Taiwan.

Scott Kuo, president of Powertec, said: “GT is recognized for its industry-leading polysilicon production technology with a successful track record of helping top-tier producers achieve high volume, low-cost production. The combination of our highly experienced team with GT’s ongoing support and cooperation with our current and future polysilicon production plans form a powerful partnership, and this MOU is a testament to our great confidence in each other.”

“Powertec is building a world class polysilicon facility,” said Dave Keck, GT Advanced Technologies executive VP, worldwide sales and service. “It has a top tier organization with the experience to be a leader in supplying both electronic and solar grade polysilicon. GT and Powertec look forward to future collaboration as Powertec expands their polysilicon production capabilities.”

Solar Wind Energy Tower collaborates with Providence Energy on development of first downdraft energy tower

USA: Solar Wind Energy Tower Inc. is collaborating with Providence Energy Corp., a privately-owned company from Dallas, Texas, on the development of the first Solar Wind Energy Downdraft Tower located in San Luis, Arizona on the US/Mexico border.

The Solar Wind Energy Downdraft Tower will provide clean renewable energy at a cost more favorable than nuclear plants with no negative impacts to our planet.

Providence Energy is a nationally recognized leader in clean and environmentally friendly development of domestic oil and gas resources and has been investing in the generation of diversified sources of alternative energy for several years. Providence currently owns and manages over 4 million net mineral acres in 34 states with royalty and working interests in over 20,000 producing wells.

Providence is primarily focused on unconventional oil and gas formations and has a strong presence in nearly all major basins across the country, but has invested substantially renewables over the past decade. The company has both invested in the R&D of innovative green technologies and also been actively developing renewable generation projects across the Americas.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Trylon launches Solarshield service network to support satcon install base

USA: Trylon TSF Inc., a leading service provider for the telecom and energy transmission industry, has expanded its solar services organization.

Trylon has been authorized by the Trustee overseeing the liquidation of Satcon Technology Corporation and its affiliates to provide ongoing technical field services and support to hundreds of Satcon customers owning thousands of inverters throughout North America, pending a sale of Satcon’s assets by the Trustee.

This strategic expansion of Trylon’s Solarshield services network will enhance Trylon’s ability to deliver the highest levels of service and support to owners and operators of commercial and utility scale solar power plants across North America.

“Trylon was the first Satcon Certified Service Provider in North America, and with over 150 megawatts of Satcon inverters currently under Trylon service programs, holds the most advanced technological knowledge base on Satcon products,” said Paul Royal, CEO of Trylon TSF.

“Solar plant owners and operators with Satcon inverters now have access to the industry’s most trained and trusted service provider with Trylon to support their solar plants and investments.”

Linzer reduces energy costs with Mitsubishi PV system

USA: Linzer Products Corp., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, importers, and exporters of paint tools and accessories, is replacing all the company’s electricity needs with clean, solar power at its paint brush factory in San Fernando, California.

The recent installation of a 614kW DC photovoltaic (PV) system includes 2,730 Mitsubishi Electric solar modules, installed by Sun Integration. The solar modules stretch across the factory’s flat roof, transforming it into a productive space that contributes to the company’s bottom line.

“Investing in a solar installation for our factory builds on our proud manufacturing history, while reducing our electrical costs and improving the environmental sustainability of our operations,” said Linzer president and COO, Brent Swenson. “Linzer’s commitment to producing quality paint tools dates back to 1892, and our commitment to environmental quality extends to future generations.”

The system is estimated to produce 920 MWh of electricity per year. The project is financed in part by the federal investment tax credit, and a rebate from the California Solar Initiative.

“Sun Integration applauds Linzer Products Corporation for powering their production facility with the sun,” said Sevan Varteressian, president of Sun Integration. “It was rewarding to work with Linzer to advance the company’s environmental and economic goals through installation of their PV system.”

Linzer Products selected Mitsubishi Electric solar modules for their PV installation based on the company’s 92 years of experience in the electronics business. In addition to Mitsubishi Electric’s reputation for highly efficient and durable solar modules, Linzer valued the product’s environmental credentials, including lead-free solder, and its production in a solar-powered facility with IS0 14001 certification.

“Mitsubishi Electric and Linzer Products Corporation share the philosophy that product quality is reflected in the economic and environmental sustainability of the manufacturing process,” said Gina Heng, VP and GM of Mitsubishi Electric’s photovoltaic division. “We are pleased to be able to help a local manufacturer harness the sun with the use of our solar modules.”

Panasonic solar PV parking lot canopy delivers 115KW of clean RE to Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

USA: Panasonic Eco Solutions North America (Panasonic), has completed the installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) parking lot canopy at the new Agoura Hills, California headquarters for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Panasonic served a supporting role in the project that was developed and financed by RSB Funds (RSBF). The 115 kilowatt PV project will deliver clean, renewable energy to the headquarters, generating enough energy to operate over 20 average California homes for an entire year.

"Panasonic is pleased to have partnered with RSBF to deliver a comprehensive solar solution, including development, construction and financing, that will generate tangible and intangible benefits for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for decades to come," said Jamie Evans, MD, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation designed its new headquarters campus to address current and future professional and social responsibilities, including a focus on becoming increasingly energy efficient, environmentally responsible and aesthetically appealing. The solar PV carport system supports the organization's goal to exceed Platinum LEED standards and further demonstrates the Foundation's long-term commitment to sustainability.

"The use of solar power was an essential part of our plan to achieve LEED Platinum status and eliminate the use of fossil fuels.  The project we completed with Panasonic helped us achieve this goal while enabling us to continue to maximize the allocation of our assets for charitable purposes," said Patrick J. Modugno, VP, Administration and CFO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Mainstream to finalize acquisition as First Power and Light signs $400,000 solar contract

USA: Mainstream Entertainment, Inc. announced that First Power recently signed a $400,000 commercial solar installation contract.  It is the first of an anticipated four contract deal that will be part of Mainstream's acquisition agreement and name change to First Power and Light, Inc., pending audit.

Lindsay Hertzog , National Sales director, said: "Securing this $400,000 contract is proof that First Power's aggressive sales efforts, strong management and team mentality are effective in building a national solar installation company.  It is our goal to earn greater numbers of Federal, State and Commercial solar contracts on our path to become a national leader in the solar installation industry."

Hertzog concluded: "With construction started on our new project and three more contracts in the pipeline, we believe First Power and Mainstream are well on their way for a very successful year ahead.  Not only are we growing as a Company, but we are proud to be producing jobs in America, using American made products, and helping America to meet its energy needs in a sustainable way."

First Solar is world's largest PV EPC in 2012

USA: First Solar Inc. became the largest engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry in 2012, according to new rankings by IMS Research, now part of IHS Inc.

First Solar installed over 500 MW of PV projects in 2012, a 50 percent increase over 2011. IHS also reports that SunEdison LLC and SunPower have also made the top 15 EPCs, with 390 MW and 190 MW installed, respectively.

“Because of the dramatic shift in demand away from Europe, non-European companies are now completing vast numbers of PV projects around the world,” states Ash Sharma, IHS senior director of Solar Research.

“Last year, just four of the top 10 EPCs and system integrators were based in Europe due to the large project business of US, Chinese and Indian companies. Back in 2010, seven of the top 10 EPCs were European.”

Asian EPCs rise with Asian markets
IHS notes that Asian EPCs also featured prominently in the 2012 rankings, specifying Chinese companies linked to state-owned utilities and industrial companies. In 2012, four of the ten largest EPCs were Chinese companies, and IHS expects these companies to continue to grow with the nation's domestic PV market.

Eleven of the 30 largest EPCs are still European, and installed a total of 2 GW of capacity. IHS notes that these companies are becoming increasingly active in Asia and Latin America.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (Mumbai, India) also appeared in the top 10 ranking, the first time an Indian EPC has done so. Larsen &  Toubro completed almost 200 MW of PV projects in 2012, nearly double the amount completed in the prior year.
Fragmented EPC landscape
However, IHS notes that the EPC landscape remains “incredibly fragmented”, noting that First Solar's EPC business represents only 2 percent of the total market and that the top 30 EPCs account for only 24 percent of the global PV project business.

SGIP approves inclusion of IEEE 1901-2010 into catalog of standards

USA: IEEE, the world's largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, announced that the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) and its Participating Members in Good Standing have approved the inclusion of IEEE 1901-2010 “IEEE Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks: Medium Access Control and Physical Layer Specifications” into its “Catalog of Standards.”

Established in December 2009 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a public-private partnership, SGIP provides a framework for coordinating all smart grid stakeholders to help accelerate standards harmonization and advance the interoperability of smart grid devices and systems.

After the SGIP’s board of governors’ recommendation, plenary voting among the panel’s Participating Members in Good Standing resulted in the inclusion of the IEEE 1901 standard in its catalog, which is a collection of standards and practices that the SGIP considers to be relevant for the development and deployment of a robust, interoperable and secure smart grid.

“The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) is honored that the SGIP has recognized the importance of IEEE 1901 to the future of smart-grid deployment and its ongoing development,” said Bill Ash, strategic program manager with the IEEE-SA. “Having the SGIP approve the inclusion of our standard in its catalog underscores the importance of smart-grid expansion and advancement worldwide. We understand that collaboration among multiple organizations is paramount to the smart grid’s success.”

The IEEE 1901 standard was developed for the benefit of high-speed communication devices via electric power lines—also known as broadband over power line (BPL). The standard delivers data rates in excess of 500 Mbps in LAN applications and is used with transmission frequencies below 100 MHz. In addition, the standard provides numerous benefits to utilities, service providers, consumer electronics companies, smart-meter providers and home appliance manufacturers—all organizations that have a stake in smart-grid technologies.

Guidelines for grid connected solar projects under JN-NSM

INDIA: Guidelines for selection of grid connected solar power projects for batch-I and II of Phase-I of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JN-NSM) have been issued, which broadly cover the intended capacity of each project, essential financial and technical criteria to be met by bidders, methodology of shortlisting of projects, power purchase agreement, bank guarantees and time lines for the projects.

Some amendments were already carried out while framing Batch-II guidelines.

An article appeared in the magazine “Down to Earth” in its issue dated 1-15 February, 2012 in which allegations were made regarding violation of Guidelines of the 1000 MW Solar Power Project Scheme of  the JN-NSM being implemented through NVVN.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee to inquire into the allegations. The Committee in its report has made a number of recommendations and suggestions such as refining of the guidelines so as to bring in greater clarity regarding definitions of “net worth”, “control”, etc.

It has also recommended more specificity in guidelines regarding selection of EPC contractors and has recommended physical verification of the address of the company and more stringent and specific penalty provisions in case of violation of any clause of the guidelines.

The report of the Committee and its recommendations are currently under examination by the Government.

This information was given by Minister for New & Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah in Lok Sabha.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

HyperSolar to build renewable hydrogen generator for commercial use

USA: HyperSolar Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water, announced its plan to build renewable hydrogen generators for commercial use.

Named the H2Generator, the company’s first commercial product is expected to sell at a substantially lower price than other renewable hydrogen systems that rely on expensive and energy intensive electrolyzers to split water.

“We believe that we can offer a cost competitive renewable hydrogen alternative for those who need power 24/7,” said Tim Young, CEO of HyperSolar. “We believe that our intensive R&D efforts will finally pay off in the form of a go to market commercial product. One key discovery was an efficient and low cost polymer protective coating that will allow us to protect solar devices against photocorrosion. Using this coating to treat traditional silicon solar cells, we are able to eliminate the expensive electrolyzer by integrating the electrolysis function directly into a solar cell immersed in water.

“We have given our tech team the green light to complete the product design required to build the first demonstration system. With a demonstration system in hand, we can then move to the manufacturing phase of the business.”

The HyperSolar H2Generator will be designed to be a linearly scalable and self-contained renewable hydrogen production system. As a result, it is intended to be installed almost anywhere to produce hydrogen fuel for local use. This distributed model of hydrogen production will address one of the greatest challenges of using clean hydrogen fuel on a large scale – the need to transport hydrogen in large quantities.

Each stage of the HyperSolar H2Generator can be scaled independently according to the hydrogen demands and length of storage required for a specific application. A small scale system can be used to produce continuous renewable electricity for a small house, or a large scale system can be used to produce hydrogen to power a community.

Monarch Power intros Lotus Mobile

USA: Prof. Joseph Hui is such a fan of butterflies that two years ago he named his company Monarch Power after them. Their wings and flowers they visit became important steppingstones in the development of Lotus Mobile, the world’s first solar unit that tracks the sun, folds up at night and has beautiful "solar petals" just like the lotus flower that inspired it.

“Nature is a continual source of inspiration for innovation,” says Hui, founder/CEO of Monarch Power and inventor of Lotus Mobile. Hui’s hobby of following the monarch butterfly led him to the mountains of Mexico. That led to designing the Monarch Solar Vehicle Van with "butterfly wings," to driving around Scottsdale in a “monarch orange” Tesla Roadster, and to inventing energy-saving appliances inspired by the beauty of flowers and insects.

“My passion is to invent products that help people all over the world live a more comfortable and sustainable life. Lotus Mobile was inspired by the lotus flower to transform solar energy from heavy, strapped down panels to become light, personal and portable. For African Maasai villages, Tibetan highlands, Arabian deserts, Native American homes – and a home in your neighborhood – Lotus Mobile is a revolutionary solar unit that allows you to ‘take it with you.’”

Lotus Mobile follows the sun on two axes, giving 30 percent more power than rooftop solar panels. It’s also less expensive because of significantly less structural support, since 70 percent of the traditional panel system cost is related to architectural placement.

Nautilus Solar Energy expands presence on West Coast

USA: Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC has opened its office in San Diego, CA to serve as the base of operations for the West Coast solar market. The office is headed by JJ Fair who manages Nautilus Solar Energy's construction projects on the West Coast.

As part of the expansion efforts, Nautilus has recently signed a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement with the Kern Sanitation Authority for a 218 KWp solar PV project to be constructed at Kern Sanitation Authority's Wastewater Treatment plant.

The expansion includes participation in existing programs such as LADWP's feed in tariff program and behind the meter installations for commercial and industrial customers as well as municipalities and cooperatives. With 2.7 million square feet of rooftop solar installations in operation and 8 million under lease or option in development throughout the United States and Canada, Nautilus is looking to leverage its experience and expertise to grow its portfolio on the West Coast.

Problem of China-EU trade frictions

CHINA: Chong Quan, deputy representative of the Ministry of Commerce international trade negotiations on the EU-China trade friction, answered a reporter's question about. As follows:

The EU photovoltaic products dual investigation formally opened for some time, you tell us after placing the communication between the two? Between China and the EU did have a number of similar cases, this case any different? In early June, the EU will make a preliminary ruling, the remaining two months time, the Chinese side believes that should be how to solve this problem?

Chong Quan: The Chinese government attaches great importance to China-EU PV trade friction case, it has maintained a position on the settlement of disputes through dialogue and efforts to this end. Since last year, we had several discussions with the EU at the political level and the technical level of communication and consultation last year, Premier Wen Jiabao had personally with the leaders of the European Commission and EU member states on the case to communicate, the Ministry of Commerce also repeatedly sent -level delegation to Europe consultations and working groups.

Communication channels of the two sides at all levels has been unblocked, China has never interrupted or delayed for any reason, the consultations with the EU. Currently, the case is still under investigation procedure, the China the respondent work is proceeding in an orderly manner. The Chinese side has always been not to abort and abandon efforts to resolve disputes through consultations with the EU.

Had a lot of trade friction between China and the EU does, but the PV product the double reverse investigation into whether from the amount of money involved, industry type or from the impact of view, are unprecedented. The first involved a large amount of money, according to preliminary estimates, the photovoltaic cells involving more than $200 billion of Chinese enterprises export, EU trade remedy investigations in 2012 in cases involving more than 70 percent of the amount. Secondly, the case affected the world in clean energy strategic emerging industries.

Since 2012, the global financial crisis, the international photovoltaic products, prices and other factors, in addition to initiating trade remedy measures, the United States and Europe for me photovoltaic products photovoltaic industry industry downturn and loss phenomenon experienced unprecedented development difficulties, serious impact on the the development of new energy industry.

According to statistics, in 2012 the Chinese photovoltaic products exports year-on-year decrease of 35 percent, including solar cells and components exports fell by more than 40 percent. Just a few days ago, China's largest PV company Suntech Power Co., Ltd., declared bankruptcy reorganization. Again, the most important point, the case involving a large number of China's photovoltaic industry employment, preliminary statistics will affect more than 40 million of the working population.

For these reasons, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the case. There is no doubt that the photovoltaic case, such as improper handling, is bound to give the EU economic and trade relations have serious negative impact.

China and the EU are important trade partners to each other, a huge bilateral trade volume, are highly complementary, and have extensive cooperation and common interests in many fields of photovoltaic products, automobiles, aircraft, and agricultural products. Properly handle trade frictions related to the overall situation of the healthy and stable development of China-EU economic and trade relations.

Here, I would like to reiterate that the Chinese Government has consistently advocated by industry dialogue and cooperation to solve the problems of development and competition, we once again call on the EU to seriously consider China's stance and proposals to give serious consideration to the voice of the EU PV upstream and downstream industries, prudent use of trade remedy measures through consultation and cooperation to resolve the photovoltaic products trade friction. China and the EU are members of the WTO, should work together to contribute to the maintenance of world trade order.

XsunX responding to developing markets

USA: XsunX Inc., the developer of CIGSolar, a patent-pending solar cell manufacturing process offering a capital-efficient, low-cost alternative to the use of silicon solar cells, is working with solar start-up firms in developing regions including Africa and the Caribbean.

Working under Letter-Of-Intents (LOI) provided by customers, XsunX is configuring solutions to deliver CIGS manufacturing capabilities targeting the initial deployment plans by firms in these regions.

With hundreds of millions of people throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and South America suffering from either a lack of access to electricity or the use of a chronically unreliable and costly electric power grid, the deployment of solar in these regions is expected to see major growth in both grid and off grid power production.

Additionally, in these regions significant portions of current power needs are met by burning fossil fuels such as diesel. The result is that today's costs for delivered electricity in the Caribbean hover at $0.37 a kWh.

"Our customers are telling us that governments in these regions are looking for multi-faceted solutions to fill the growing demand for electricity for their huge, and quite often, dispersed populations," stated Tom Djokovich XsunX's CEO.

"But, providing more reliable and less costly power to satisfy the demand for basic needs represents only one aspect of the focus for governments in these regions. Job growth is another focus and through the deployment of high tech solar manufacturing facilities and power fields, opportunities exist to develop and diversify jobs markets while increasing employment and the buying power of their populations. XsunX is well suited to support this developing market through our low-cost of capital requirements, modular scalability of our technology, and excellent cost-per-watt production costs."

These promising opportunities are multi-relationship based purchase and deployment efforts, so in support of these customers, XsunX is providing creative business solutions tailored to the clients' needs and the regionally based support efforts of local governments. With only 1 percent of total current global solar installations deployed in these regions, the company is excited to be working with clients in these important developing markets.

Monday, March 25, 2013

ABB named top 10 smart grid vendor by GTM Research

USA: ABB Automation & Power World -- ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has been named by Greentech Media as one of "The Networked Grid Top 10 Smart Grid Vendors for 2013."

This latest recognition is based on a new report published by GTM Research on today's smart grid landscape involving the top 150 smart grid-related companies, entitled, "The Networked Grid 150: The End-to-End Smart Grid Vendor Ecosystem Report and Rankings 2013."

Rankings involved assessments across three primary domains, according to GTM Research: smart grid solution, market dominance, and growth and sustainability.

According to the report's taxonomy, ABB had a particularly strong presence in the Distribution Automation and Transmission sectors. ABB also had a strong presence in Network Operations – including IT/OT convergence and distribution management systems – through Ventyx; in Communications through Tropos Networks; and with electric vehicle charging infrastructure through its investment in partner ECOtality.

"Utilities today recognize the importance of improving operational effectiveness on the grid, especially in light of an aging infrastructure, changing demands on the grid from reliability and efficiency initiatives, the growth in distributed energy resources, and the need for grid resiliency and situational awareness to respond to major storms like Sandy," said Gary Rackliffe , ABB VP of smart grids, North America.

"ABB has over 100 years of experience in building a 'smarter grid' and in helping utilities solve these problems with greater reliability, efficiency and sustainability, while still helping them meet the bottom line. We appreciate this recognition and look forward to continuing the discussion about operational effectiveness."

According to the report: "ABB is one of the industrial titans in power and automation technologies, offering solutions for transmission and distribution hardware, software, and communications, as well as utility control and enterprise systems through its Ventyx brand.

"ABB has an extensive knowledge base pertaining to the technology that enables the transition to more intelligent planning, management, and control of electrical grids. Continued research into power semiconductors, grid automation technologies, and grid communication standards will help ABB to maintain a leading presence in the evolving smart grid market. ABB is expanding its solutions within energy storage, network management, medium- and low-voltage grid hardware, FACTS/HVDC, asset management, and communications."

Potential of green energy generation equipment market In India

IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Potential Of Green Energy Generation Equipment Market In India (2013-2017)" report to its offering.

The Indian market is quite diversified, as it produces both high- and low-end technology products. The boiler, turbine and generator segment forms the major portion of the equipment manufacturing industry.

The country has also made significant progress in photovoltaic cell production, due to government initiatives like the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), which has set a target of 20 GW of installed capacity by 2022.

Foreign players have evinced an interest in not only supplying to the Indian market, but have also started to consider India as an emerging manufacturing hub' due to government support, cheap labor and easy availability of raw materials.

Solar America continues Mexico expansion with strategic alliance

USA: Solar America Corp. has entered into a strategic alliance with SolarMex Equipos Solares de Mexico (SolarMex), reseller of solar products and solutions located in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The strategic alliance with SolarMex positions Solar America to profit from the anticipated growth in Mexico's renewable energy programs.

With resources 60 percent greater than those of solar leader, Germany, Northern Mexico is considered to have the world's third greatest solar potential, according to the Secretaria de Energia de Mexico. The Mexican government is recognizing this potential and encouraging growth.

According to Renewable Energy World, by 2024 at least 35 percent of Mexico’s electricity could come from renewable sources, including solar. Mexico is also pursuing a research initiative with The National Autonomous University of Mexico to determine the country’s commercially feasible solar potential.

“Our strategic alliance with SolarMex gives us the ability to capitalize on the existing infrastructure and relationships built by SolarMex and its principals as we work to acquire additional projects in Mexico,” stated Robert Bludorn, CEO of Solar America. “I have been very impressed by product and market intelligence of SolarMex’s principals as we discussed their fresh ideas and ambition in regards to Mexico’s solar potential.”

“Though SolarMex was recently incorporated, its principals have been in the solar industry for years and have developed an extensive project portfolio in the Guadalajara region,” concluded Bludorn.

Sunerg Solar raises capacity to 100 MW

ITALY: Italian solar module producer Sunerg Solar Srl has opened a second production line at its manufacturing facility in Città di Castello, in the central region of Umbria, and that the global annual capacity of the company has now reached 100 MW.

The new line has a capacity of 70 MW. The new line has been assembled with equipment from German providers Teamtechnik, Reis Robotics and NPC-Meier.

Sunerg will produce on this line the multicristalline module type XP 60/156-230, which has entered the top 10 of PHOTON's 2012 module yield test.The module has reached a performance ratio of 92.8 percent in the outdoor test.

Renewables: More European approach needed

BELGIUM: The need for a more integrated system at EU level for promoting renewables, the issue of adopting new targets for the period after 2020 and possible solutions that could help boost investments were highlighted in the non-binding resolution on renewable energy, adopted by the Energy Committee.

"The report gives a realistic overview about the challenges ahead for renewable energies, but also the opportunities they bring. We all expect the share of renewables to grow, but we will only be able to accommodate such growth if the required infrastructures are in place. Intermittent renewables need not only flexible back-up and energy storage, but also a modernisation of the existing grid-infrastructure.

That is quite expensive, so we should do everything we can to bring costs of renewables down. Our current arrangement with a wide variety of different support mechanisms is certainly not ideal, especially with regard to the internal energy market. In the future we should find a more European approach. The enormous potentials of the different Member States have to be used!", said the rapporteur Herbert Reul (EPP, DE).

Toward an integrated EU wide support mechanism
As a result of disparities between national market features, different potentials, as well as different stages of technology patterns and maturity, a wide variety of different schemes for promoting renewables currently coexist in the EU, says the text.

This variety creates problems such as inefficiencies in cross-border electricity trading. MEPs stress that a more integrated system at the EU level could help to provide a more cost-effective framework and they ask the Commission to assess the potential of an EU-wide mechanism for promoting renewables.

A new target for 2030?
Members of the Energy Committee suggest that targets and milestones should be set for the period to 2050, and given Commission's assumption that renewables will have a share of more than 30 percent in the EU's energy mix, MEPs suggest that the EU should try to achieve an even higher share, while asking the Commission to assess the costs and benefits of introducing a mandatory EU-wide target for renewables for 2030.

An amendment calling for a "binding target of 40-45 percent for 2030" was rejected with 18 votes in favour to 31 against.

Promoting investments
Access to capital for investments is a crucial factor in the further deployment of renewables whilst there is an increasing need for a stable policy framework to provide economic guarantees concerning the availability of reserve capacity mechanisms  as well as for system and balancing services, says the text.

Energy Committee members call on the Commission to take action to remedy obstacles to trade to help EU companies to access non-EU markets and highlight the need to facilitate a competitive environment for the operations and internationalisation of SMEs.

The non-legislative resolution was adopted with 49 votes in favour, 7 against and 1 abstention.

KSK Energy and MiaSole announce commissioning of 11.6MW solar project in Rajasthan, India

USA: KSK Energy Ventures, a leading India power development and generation company, and MiaSole, the leading manufacturer of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic solar panels and system solutions, announced that the commissioning of an 11.6MW solar photovoltaic project occurred on February 26, 2013.

The project is under India's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission and is one of the largest solar power plants in Rajasthan, India.

US Export-Import Bank will provide $9 million of debt financing for the project, marking the second MiaSole project in India that the U.S. Export-Import Bank has supported. "This project financing facilitates exports from MiaSole's California manufacturing center, will boost California's economy and help to create hundreds of local jobs," said US Export-Import Bank chairman, Hochberg.

The KSK project highlights MiaSole's ability to scale solar technology at a price that is attractive for both solar developers and utilities and underscores the company's position as the leading supplier of high-efficiency CIGS modules and solar solutions in India. Over the past year, MiaSole has completed projects in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, making MiaSole one of India's leading providers of solar energy.

"We are pleased to partner with MiaSole to deliver clean energy to our customers and drive continued growth for us in this market," said Anil Kumar Kutty, director of KSK. "MiaSole CIGS solar panels have proven to deliver the best solution for our project and are a compelling solution for the India market."

"India represents a tremendous opportunity for renewable energy, and we are pleased to partner with a leading company like KSK in its efforts to deliver clean energy resources in Rajasthan," said John Carrington, CEO of MiaSole.

"In 2013, we will expand our global footprint and our business model to invest in projects, acquire project pipeline and partner with leading developers and EPC companies in sustainable markets like India.  Ex-Im Bank's support of MiaSole's technology lowers the cost of project financing, and will expand the deployment of our California-made solar modules in projects globally."

MiaSole's headquarters and manufacturing are located in California, where the company employs approximately 200 people.  In 2013, the company plans to hire over 200 additional employees in California to expand its manufacturing, research and development and commercial activities.

MiaSole panels have been used in a variety of projects globally, from large scale projects utility scale fields to commercial and residential rooftops. MiaSole is also developing a flexible solar solution, and last year announced a new flexible solar photovoltaic efficiency world record of 15.5 percent.

Sunvalley Solar awarded 87.5KW solar installation contract

USA: Sunvalley Solar Inc. has been awarded a new 87.5KW solar system installation contract from Corporate Logistics in City of Industry, CA.

The 87.5KW contract is for a system capable of generating 131,146kWh of electrical power annually. The system utilizes 350 pieces of high efficiency 250 watt Polycrystalline solar panels.

"Corporate Logistics', an existing customer since 2008, selection of Sunvalley for this contract shows their trust and confidence in our quality and our expertise. Sunvalley continually strives to be a leading supplier of high quality solar systems," said James Zhang , CEO of Sunvalley Solar , Inc.

The installation is scheduled to begin mid 2013.

New Energy Husum: Wide range of products and great visitor response

GERMANY: The leading renewables trade fair New Energy Husum closed, after a great four days. With around 300 exhibitors and circa 15,000 visitors, it has once again proven itself to be one of the most important trade fairs in the renewable energy sector.

The range of exhibitors and products, and the visitor response, were greater than ever. “I am delighted by the great interest shown by trade visitors and the general public at this year’s New Energy Husum,” said exhibitor Ole Hering, MD of NorthTec Maschinenbau GmbH. And the number of lectures was also greater than ever before.

“The general public is far more interested  in and aware of renewable energy, and this was confirmed by the great interest in our lectures and seminars. Questions asked of exhibitors were more detailed, and the discussions much more active,” said Thomas Seifried, New Energy Husum project manager.

The international World Summit for Small Wind was better attended than ever before, and it was enhanced by additional sessions on the planning, erection and operation of small wind turbines, and about the building laws pertaining to SWTs.

From battery storage to insulation systems
While solar businesses were focussing on self-consumption products, energy management and maintenance, the small wind turbine manufacturers were showing both horizontal and vertical axis turbines and their components.

“Many visitors to the fair were interested in ways of generating their own heating and power,” said exhibitor Michael Erdmann from BeBa Energie GmbH & Co. KG. “New Energy Husum shows us where the journey is going.”

The special passive house showcased insulation systems for floors and walls, buffer storage systems and planning software. As well as storing excess energy in batteries, there was also an electrolysis model that transforms excess wind and solar power into hydrogen, which can then be turned back into power in biogas plants.

This future-fit theme was also the subject of a dedicated congress for the first time in Husum, and one that was completely sold out. The audience learned for example how heating grids can store power from renewable sources, and that natural gas cannot play any role in the heating sector by 2050 if the German government is to achieve its climate goals.

Entertaining events and prominent visitors
Delegations from the Greens, CDU, SPD and a CCI group from Paraguay came to the fair to learn. State MPs from all the parliamentary parties came for talks with exhibition boss Peter Becker, including Ingbert Liebing, Bundestag MP (CDU), and from the state capital in Kiel came the permanent secretaries Dr Ingrid Nestle (Greens) and Ralph Müller-Beck (SPD), as well as the chairman of the CDU state parliamentary party Johannes Callsen.

The entertaining peripheral events included a photo call with the incumbent Crocus Queen, Sandra Weber, and the second New Energy Slam, which was won by Benjamin Thaidigsmann from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg with his talk on “Electrons, Holes and the Sun”.

The “Renewable Energy Career Days” were also very well received. Exhibitors presented their training and job opportunities at their exhibition strands. The additional advice offers, talks and the job exchange attracted all those interested in having a career in the renewable energy sector.

“We are very pleased with the extremely great variety of renewable energy sources exhibited here, and the associated solutions for energy storage and electrically powered transport,” said Peter Becker. “We are convinced that this will be the main source of mobility for the future.”

Rise and fall of Suntech: How a trailblazing solar company went from dominance to insolvency in two years

USA: Suntech Power’s epic plunge from solar module dominance to bankruptcy comes as the result of misplaced investments, a misguided pricing strategy, antidumping action in the United States and a potential new willingness by the Chinese government and banking system to cast off detrimental manufacturers, according to the IHS Solar service.

China’s Suntech on Wednesday said its main operating subsidiary, Wuxi Suntech, had been pushed into bankruptcy by eight Chinese banks. This represents a major fall from grace for Suntech, which as recently as 2011 was the world’s largest supplier of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, as presented in the attached table.

“The seeds of Suntech’s fall were planted during its rise to market leadership,” said Mike Sheppard, senior PV analyst with IHS. “In 2009, at a time when the solar market was reeling from bloated inventories and cash-flow concerns, Suntech was one of the few companies willing to brave the uncertain business conditions and invest aggressively in manufacturing capacity.

"This bold strategy resulted in Suntech becoming the world’s largest PV module supplier in 2011. However, in retrospect, the company failed to invest in all the correct areas, specifically in wafer manufacturing. By failing to vertically integrate in this fashion, Suntech was caught in a cost squeeze between falling system, module, and cell pricing and steady wafer expenses—making the company uncompetitive.”

From premium to discount
Suntech worked hard to earn its price premium status. As the first Chinese company to do so in the PV market, it was considered at the same level at top-tier US, European and Japanese producers. Turbulence began to occur for the company in 2012 with the US antidumping trade case, led by SolarWorld, gaining traction against Chinese producers. Investors in the United States afraid of retroactive elements of the antidumping action avoided Chinese modules in their installations.

This had the most negative impact on Suntech, which was the No. 1 module supplier in the U.S. market with 600 megawatts worth of shipments during the year.

Compounding this issue were financial concerns over the global solar fund, which is still being investigated for alleged illegal activities. The net effect of these two events hurt the company, significantly eroding the price premium earned by the company. By the time news from internal power struggles and the exit of Dr. Shi Zhengrong, Suntech president and CEO, had come to light, it was too late for a company so laden with debt.

Sacrificial pawn
“This potential insolvency is an indication that China's central government may no longer be willing to support any manufacturer in any condition anymore,” said Stefan de Haan, principal PV analyst with IHS.

“A little bloodletting may help soften the trade case in the EU. And with a major player folding, China can demonstrate it is not fully supporting these companies anymore. This means that the consolidation in the PV industry will continue, since there are still many hundreds of suppliers and there is still a fundamental overcapacity in the market.”

PV growth to continue
In the short term, Suntech's potential insolvency strengthens the position of other leading suppliers. However, looking further out Chinese-based banks may be reluctant to provide funding for other Chinese

Even so, IHS Solar does not expect an immediate shift in the supply and demand balance. Although consolidation among suppliers will continue, a turnaround in the PV industry is expected to occur this year in light of  growing end markets, stabilizing prices and revenues, and positive single-digit margins for best-in-class manufacturers.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Guidelines for grid connected solar projects under JNNSM

INDIA: Guidelines for selection of grid connected solar power projects for Batch-I and II of Phase-I of JNNSM have been issued, which broadly cover the intended capacity of each project, essential financial and technical criteria to be met by bidders, methodology of shortlisting of projects, power purchase agreement, bank guarantees and time lines for the projects.

Some amendments were already carried out while framing Batch-II guidelines.

An article appeared in the magazine “Down to Earth” in its issue dated 1-15 February, 2012 in which allegations were made regarding violation of Guidelines of the 1000 MW Solar Power Project Scheme of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) being implemented through NVVN.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee to inquire into the allegations. The Committee in its report has made a number of recommendations and suggestions such as refining of the guidelines so as to bring in greater clarity regarding definitions of “net worth”, “control”, etc.

It has also recommended more specificity in guidelines regarding selection of EPC contractors and has recommended physical verification of the address of the company and more stringent and specific penalty provisions in case of violation of any clause of the guidelines.

The report of the Committee and its recommendations are currently under examination by the Government.

This information was given by Minister for New & Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah in Lok Sabha.

Implementation of plan for mega solar power generation in Arida, Wakayama

JAPAN: The Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc. and TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K. have agreed to the joint implementation of a plan for a mega solar power generation project in the city of Arida in Wakayama Prefecture.

Under the plan, a 45-hectare plot of idle land owned by TonenGeneral Sekiyu in Arida will be utilized for the construction and operation of a 30MW (30,000kW) mega solar power plant by Kansai Electric Power Group company Kanden Energy Solution Co. Inc. TonenGeneral Sekiyu will provide the land for the project and will also handle regular facility inspections and other aspects of plant management. The companies will work together toward the implementation of the plan and aim to begin plant operations in fiscal 2014.

The Kansai Electric Power Group will continue to actively promote the development of renewable energy sources, while also contributing to their growth and expansion. TonenGeneral Sekiyu will continue to contribute to the development and invigoration of the communities in which it operates.

PV manufacturers to overcome potential obstacles as investments in Australia increase

TAIWAN: Numerous Taiwanese manufacturers have attended Australia’s solar investment seminar in order to understand the latest investment trends in the Australian PV market.

According to EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce , though industries are highly interested in the overseas PV market, plans are still on paper due to the policy and environmental factors.

Australia is a place with good natural conditions for the development of solar energy, and Northern Australia is among other areas the most suitable for PV development. However, since southeast and southwest are the main electricity consumption areas, electricity transmission and distribution becomes a huge obstacle to the development of renewable energy in Australia.

In addition, related policies have also hindered the investment of overseas industries. It is said that Australia’s goal for renewable energy is 20GW/2020, which means that since they have already installed 11GW, until 2020, only 9GW is left for the market.

Taiwanese manufacturers are reluctant to invest in this business due to the continually reduced subsidy and prolonged payback period. Related industries indicated that already common among Taiwanese industries, the downstream market expansion is the main reason for the fierce competition in the Taiwanese market.
The main problems in the overseas market, however, are still financial issues involving local law, financial planning, international finance, and risk management. Huge capitals are involved in the overseas business, and funds are often taken up by only a few projects.

Moreover, since Taiwanese manufacturers seldom expand business to the overseas market, they may feel powerless when bidding on projects, and the overseas market expansion may thus be delayed.
Though price has continued to increase in the spot market, price increase in several products has slowed down.

In the Chinese market, polysilicon price is quoted at $135 RMB/kg-$150 RMB/kg; Multi c-Si wafer price is around $5.8 RMB/piece-$6.3/RMB; Mono c-Si wafer price is around $8.2 RMB/piece-$8.4 RMB/piece; the average cell price has also increased to approximately $2.7 RMB/watt.

As for USD quotes, polysilicon price has continued to rise, with this week’s average price at $17.915/kg, showing a 2.72 percent increase. Silicon wafer manufacturers have reached maximum utilization, and high efficiency product price has continued to rise; this week’s average price was raised to $0.904/piece, showing a 1.46 percent increase.

Mono c-Si wafer price has also increased due to the high efficiency demands, with this week’s average price up to $1.219/piece, a 1.46 percent increase. Market demands for cells are still significant and may cause a continuous increase in cell price; this week’s average price is up to $0.385/Watt, a 1.32 percent increase.

Raised by European manufacturers, this week’s module price is up to $0.675/Watt, a 0.15 percent increase.

Sky Solar connects Greek 70MW PV power plant grid

CHINA: Sky Solar Holdings Co. Ltd has announced the successful grid-connection of integral Greek 70MW PV power plants before March 12. Amy Zhang, CEO of Sky Solar immediately extended her congratulations and thanks to the Greek project team.

In the complex economic investment environment in Greece, with many years of experience in construction, operation & maintenance including management, the Greek project team of Sky Solar made timely adjustments in technology, manpower allocation and project management to break through many challenges and ensure the successful grid-connection of the overall project.

These projects involved several regions as well as many functions including development, approval process, design, investment and financing, construction and also grid-connection.

Greece has excellent solar resources with an average amount of solar irradiation 40 percent higher than that of Germany. As a part of the EU electricity grid, Greece not only transmits and sells the electricity to the European countries short of electricity, but also attracts EU countries and enterprises to invest in photovoltaic power generation in order to accomplish its goals of renewable energy sources.

Having analyzed and studied the market, Sky Solar began to invest in the Greek PV renewable power business in 2007 and has since been very successful with this investment. Sky Solar 's 70MW PV power plant is composed of 40MW and 30MW project packages, and the average sun irradiance of the project areas is over 1500 hours per year.

The 40MW project was grid-connected on January 28, 2013, while the 30MW project was grid-connected on March 12, 2013. These two projects are entitled to a 20-year Greek PV FiT subsidy, and the electricity price is locked between 0.29 Euro/kWh - 0.44 Euro/kWh.

Following COSCO's large investment in the Beelia Container Terminal, Sky Solar is the largest Chinese investor in Greek renewable energy sector and is playing an instrumental part in laying the foundation for safe investments for other Chinese enterprises, while also assisting in the export of Chinese products.

JA Solar commences 2 MW shipment to largest ground mount PV plant in North Africa

CHINA: JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd.has commenced delivery of 2 MW of solar modules to Jet Energy International for a solar power plant located in Kenitra, Morocco.

Expected to be the largest ground mount photovoltaic power plant in North Africa when completed in the first quarter of 2013, the 2 MW project will be equipped with 7,150 pieces of JA polycrystalline modules and is estimated to generate more than 3.5 million kWh of electricity per year.

Electricity generated by the power plant will on average offset more than 2,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Jet Energy International, a Morocco-based affiliate of JetAlu Morocco, is the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) service provider for the project.

"The power plant is designed to generate power at a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) similar to that of other traditional forms of energy sources at around 0.8 Dirham per kWh, establishing a new benchmark in the region," said Adil Rtibi, CEO of Jet Energy International. "We are glad to have chosen JA Solar as our partner for the project. Their top-notch products and exceptional customer service are the key success factors to the project."

"We are very proud to be part of this flagship project in Morocco," said Baofang Jin, CEO of JA Solar. "This project with Jet Energy International not only signifies an important step for us in the North African market, but also serves as another example of JA Solar's continued success in expanding into emerging markets around the world. We will continue to increase our footprint by focusing on providing our customers with high-quality product offerings and great customer service."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Middle East and Africa PV demand to reach 1 GW in 2013

USA: New solar photovoltaic (PV) demand from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is forecast to reach 1 gigawatt (GW) in 2013, based on findings from the new NPD Solarbuzz Middle East and Africa PV Market Report. This represents an increase of 625 percent Y/Y from 136 MW in 2012.

“Historically, the MEA region lagged behind global PV markets but is starting to catch up,” said Susanne von Aichberger, analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “By 2017, the region is forecast to account for 3.7 GW of annual PV demand, with the potential to reach up to 9 GW.”

Although the MEA region benefits from very high solar insolation levels, existing PV deployment has been confined mainly to development projects. In fact, the MEA region accounted for just 0.5 percent of global PV demand in 2012, despite comprising 17 percent of the world’s population.

Recently, there has been a strong increase in PV applications across the MEA region following the introduction of ambitious funding schemes, most notably in South Africa, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. As a result, PV contributions from the MEA region are now poised for rapid growth, and the region is expected to account for 6 percent of global PV demand by 2017.
In the near term, South Africa is forecast to become the largest PV market within the MEA region, having completed the first two bidding rounds of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP) in 2012. Already, this program has created a PV project pipeline of 1 GW that will be installed by the end of 2014. Ultimately, this will result in 1.45 GW of new PV capacity.

Israel is expected to be the region’s second largest market in 2013, driven by quotas, tenders, and a newly implemented net-metering scheme. Collectively, Israel and South Africa are projected to account for more than 80 percent of all PV demand across the MEA region this year.

PV funding in Saudi Arabia is based on a renewable purchase program that targets a PV capacity of 16 GW by 2032. Saudi Arabia accounted for just 5 percent of total PV demand in the MEA region during 2013, but the country is forecast to become the region’s largest PV market by 2017.

Over the next five years, a greater number of countries across the MEA region will start to contribute to overall PV market, decreasing the share from Israel, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa to below 50 percent.

By 2017, NPD Solarbuzz forecasts that ground-mount PV applications will account for over 70 percent of PV demand across the MEA region.

Magnolia Solar demos flexible CIGS solar cell with 13 percent efficiency

USA: Magnolia Solar Corp. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Magnolia Solar Inc., has demonstrated a flexible CIGS solar cell with an efficiency of 13 percent, rivaling the average efficiency of current PV technologies and proving that flexible thin film solar cells are potentially a viable solution for various energy needs.

The flexible CIGS solar cell, made using thin, flexible stainless steel and titanium substrates, was developed and produced by the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) on behalf of Magnolia Solar at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering's (CNSE) Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC) located in Halfmoon, New York.

This flexible solar cell demonstration is the result of the successful and continuing collaborative research effort between Magnolia Solar, CNSE, and PVMC, and is supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

To increase the adoption of game-changing clean energy solutions, Magnolia Solar intends to continue to work with CNSE to further develop high-efficiency flexible solar cells for defense and commercial applications, making use of their significant advantages over inflexible solar cells that are made using crystalline silicon and thin film solar cells on glass.

Dr. Ashok K. Sood, president and CEO of Magnolia Solar, said: "We are working with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering through our research and development center located at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex to further improve the PV production process and demonstrate AR coating technology on high-efficiency solar cells. We are also grateful for NYSERDA's support and for our collaboration with CNSE and the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium, part of the Department of Energy's SunShot Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative (PVMI)."

CNSE professor and VP for Clean Energy Programs Dr. Pradeep Haldar, said: "As further testament to Governor Andrew Cuomo's vision and leadership in catalyzing New York's innovation-driven economy, the results of CNSE's collaboration with Magnolia Solar demonstrate a unique ability to tap the vast potential of solar energy. Through its leadership in PVMC, CNSE is delighted to work with companies like Magnolia Solar to lower the costs of solar energy production, making this clean energy resource even more competitive by taking advantage of New York's world-class research and development ecosystem."

REC Solar launches in New York State

USA: REC Solar, a leader in solar system design and installation with more than 9,000 solar electric systems installed nationwide, has announced a major expansion into New York state.

REC Solar now offers turnkey solar solutions to residents across the state, with an initial focus on Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange Counties.

As New Yorkers can be a skeptical bunch, REC Solar has released a list of the top five New York solar myths to celebrate its expansion into the Empire State.

REC Solar brings New York more than 15 years’ experience designing and installing more than 9,000 solar electric systems across the country—from sunny Hawaii to snowy New England to the stormy Caribbean. That comes out to more than 140 megawatts of solar power, enough to power more than 23,000 homes.

Solar America ships first products to Los Conejos project

USA: Solar America Corp. has made the first shipment of products to the Los Conejos housing project in Tonlola, a suburb of Guadalajara, Mexico. This shipment comes as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding between Solar America and Valdez Cueva Constructores Asosiados, the project's principal contractor.

“This is an exciting day for Solar America,” said CEO Robert Bludorn. “Not only are we proud of the contribution we are making to the Los Conejos project, but because this is the first step of Solar America's engagement in Mexico, a country in which we hope to develop other new solar projects.”

Showcasing Solar America's Solar Power Stations and Solar Lighting solutions, The Los Conejos project will provide renewable energy to a planned community of 700 homes. This is just the beginning for Mexico, which has been identified as a region prime for growth in the solar market due to increased consumption and relatively high prices.

Arnall Golden Gregory assists with two cutting-edge solar energy projects

USA: Arnall Golden Gregory's Renewable and Alternative Energy Practice recently assisted with two significant solar energy projects in Georgia: a 1.1 megawatt system for the Dublin City School District that will be the largest photovoltaic system in Middle Georgia, and the sale of a 7.7 megawatt solar energy development project in Washington County by client Jacoby Development.

Groundbreaking for Dublin's system took place on March 11; Jacoby Development's sale of its project to Dominion Resources was announced on March 1.

Dominion will build the Azalea Solar Power Facility and sell the power to Cobb Electric Membership Corp., one of the largest electric cooperatives in the state.  Power production is expected to begin late this year.

Dublin's system will be spread out over the Dublin High School campus and include rooftop arrays, ground mounts and dual axis trackers.

Wuxi Court accepts petition for restructuring of Chinese subsidiary Wuxi Suntech

CHINA: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. announced that the Wuxi Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Jiangsu Province, China has formally accepted the petition for the insolvency and restructuring of the company's Chinese subsidiary Wuxi Suntech Power Co. Ltd.

The Court has appointed an administration committee, consisting of local government representatives and accounting and legal professionals, to administer the restructuring of Wuxi Suntech. The insolvency and restructuring procedure is designed to facilitate an orderly process for both Wuxi Suntech and its creditors. The primary goal is to restructure Wuxi Suntech's debt obligations, while continuing production and operations.

Wuxi Suntech is the company's principal operating subsidiary in China engaged in the manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) cells and PV modules. Wuxi Suntech will continue operations through the restructuring period.

Furthermore, the company has additional wholly owned or partially owned subsidiaries with cell and module production facilities that continue to produce high quality solar products to meet customer orders. Suntech and the administration committee are committed to maintaining all of Suntech's product warranty obligations.

Suntech Power Holdings, the ultimate parent company of Wuxi Suntech, has not commenced insolvency proceedings, nor have any of the Company's other principal operating subsidiaries. The company is not aware of any similar proceedings regarding any of its other entities.

How can III-V cells compete with cheap crystalline silicon PV?

FRANCE: Yole Développement announces its High-Concentration Photovoltaics Business and Technology Update report.

Yole Développement’s report presents the key factors to improve the bankability of HCPV installation projects and a new analysis to guide strategic business decisions related to this technology. Yole Développement also updated from its 2012 edition market data for wafers, epiwafers and installation, costs of HCPV modules and system.

How to drive the annual HCPV market to 1.5 GW by 2020?
As of March 2013, approximately 120 HCPV installations have been installed throughout the world, accounting for a total capacity of about 130 MW. This is only approximately 1/1000 of the total installations of flat-plate PV, represented mainly by crystalline silicon.

The main advantage of High-Concentration Photovoltaics (HCPV) over flat-plate PV is high efficiency - surpassing 40 percent (at cell level), and reaching about 30 percent at module level. This level of efficiency is not achievable by conventional PV technologies.

As Yole Développement shows in the report, the high efficiency of HCPV systems will be the key driver for HCPV in the future. The HCPV cell efficiency must be significantly increased (without significantly increasing manufacturing costs) in order to increase the differentiation between HCPV and its strong competitor, conventional flatplate PV, and to reduce the system costs. The high system efficiency, together with high electricity production (kWh/kW installed), makes HCPV Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) competitive with that of fossil-fueled power plants in some sunny locations.

Most technology challenges identified early, at the beginning of HCPV development, have been resolved already. However, today’s relatively weak HCPV market development is related not only to the technology issues, but also to the lack of financing and low interest among potential customers. To speed up the HCPV market growth, the bankability of HCPV projects must be improved at all levels, including technology development and testing, and minimizing the uncertainty about the solar resources at the future installation site, etc.

This Yole Développement’s report deals with the factors that can improve the bankability of HCPV installation projects and help the HCPV market to grow. Based on future technological achievements and improved bankability, two scenarios - conservative and optimistic – are proposed for the 2013-2020 HCPV market evolution.
Supply chain: vertical integration or subcontracting? Which business model will win?
HCPV market is very restricted and there is no place for less-competitive players. Several companies have recently stopped or reduce their HCPV activity due to either strong competition or losing interest in a small and low-margin market such as HCPV is today.

The leaders are not yet established, and new companies with innovative technology or business models may take a lead in the future. As shown in the report, with rising market volume, there will be an increasing trend for vertical integration in the near future. Although more vertical integration is associated with a higher business risk, it enables better control of the system performance and total system costs.

The (at least) partial vertical integration together with 100 MW+ in-house production capacities may enable companies like Suncore or Soitec to get a significant advantage compared to their competitors.

“An alternative approach is to subcontract most of the business and thus lower a company’s capital needs and at the same time transfer most of the business risk to subcontractors. This approach is advantageous for small companies with limited sources of financing. In the report we analyze both approaches,” says Milan Rosina, Market & Technology Analyst, Photovoltaics, at Yole Développement.

Key technology choices to be made in the next five years
The performance of each individual element of an HCPV system says nothing about the performance of the whole system. All elements must be carefully optimized and matched in order to get optimal system performance, as shown in this report.

The Yole Développement’s report provides a detailed overview of all HCPV components needed to understand the challenges related to HCPV systems: wafer, epiwafer, solar cell, receiver module, concentrating optics, HCPV module, inverter and tracking system.

The analysis of different approaches (Ge vs. GaAs wafer, PMMA vs. SOG optics, etc.) allows identification of the main technology trends as well as materials and manufacturing techniques used. It helps to evaluate the potential of different HCPV components for cost reduction and performance enhancement.

The comparison of competing approaches enables identification of the best technology choice. The report also deals with manufacturing challenges (manual vs. automated module assembly, main factors to lower manufacturing costs, etc.).

NewWorld Capital Group invests in Soltage project portfolio

USA: NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure, L.P. has invested in a six-project 11.6 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic electricity production project portfolio developed by Soltage, LLC. The projects will be located in Connecticut and Massachusetts and will commence construction this month.

Soltage specializes in the development, design, ownership, finance and operation of solar power plants for large commercial customers. Since its founding, Soltage has successfully developed 10 solar power generating projects representing more than 14 megawatts of distributed generating capacity.

Soltage is backed by a group of investors, including independent energy company Tenaska, ranked by Forbes as the 35th largest privately held US company based on 2011 revenues, with approximately 11,000 MW of power generating assets under management.

NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure provides project finance equity and asset-backed structured equity to projects and companies building clean infrastructure assets.  NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure partnered on the investment with the CleanTech Alliance Fund, managed by North Sky Capital of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Panel discussion on future of energy transition

GERMANY: This morning, exhibition boss Peter Becker and experts from the fields of industry and politics opened New Energy Husum, the leading renewable energy trade fair, with a keynote speech and a panel discussion about the energy transition. More than 300 exhibitors will be exhibiting the complete range of renewable energy products and services at the Husum exhibition site until March 24.

“For the last eleven years our aim with New Energy Husum has been to provide a strong international platform for the renewable energy business sector, while also offering the general public an opportunity to find out about the use of all available kinds of renewable energy sources,” said exhibition boss Becker in his speech.

The traditionally strongest exhibitor segments are once again biomass/biogas, small wind turbines and photovoltaics. Other important exhibition topics include hydroelectric power, passive houses, energy storage and electric vehicles.

In his keynote speech, Stephan Schwartzkopff emphasised, “Beyond the energy transition it is time for a new normality.” The spokesman of the board of Kompetenznetzwerk Nachhaltige Mobilität also called for “reliable framework conditions for renewable energies, and funding for sustainable mobility systems”.

Exploiting political tailwind
“The energy transition is an ecological necessity and an economic opportunity. Also and especially for Schleswig-Holstein, also and especially for the exhibitors at New Energy,” said Ralph Müller-Beck, permanent secretary at the Schleswig-Holstein ministry of Economics, Labour, Transport and Technology.

“We want to achieve added value and create jobs. If the energy transition is to take place here, in Schleswig-Holstein, if we want to be trailblazers again, then all the actors here in the state should be aware that they will have to work together even closer,” continued Müller-Beck. He called upon the approximately 300 listeners use the experience, the given natural circumstances, and the political tailwind here in Schleswig-Holstein, and to pool their strengths.

“The energy transition is not just about phasing out nuclear power, swapping one energy source for another, or just altering the energy mix. It is more about how we fundamentally change the way we generate, distribute and use electricity,“ added Benn Olaf Kretschmann, MD of Stadtwerke Husum GmbH. “Die The energy transition is not a technical issue, but primarily a social issue. It is a transformation process that must run parallel with the complete renovation of the supply systems,” said Kretschmann.

Creating green jobs
Peter Rathje, managing director of ProjectZero gave an insight into neighbouring Denmark. The public-private partnership plays a major role in implementing the vision for turning the Danish municipality of Sønderborg into a CO2-neutral region by 2029, thus creating sustainable growth and a large number of new green jobs.

“In the border region we have both the resources and the expertise for mastering the challenges involved in achieving the German and Danish energy and climate goals,” said Rathje. “By further reinforcing the cooperation between us, and with a greater contribution from the cities, we will be able to reduce our dependence on national solutions, and create room for innovation, corporate and public participation, and generate new growth and green jobs.”

No risk of EU duties with WINAICO modules

GERMANY: Currently, the solar market is in great uncertainty about the availability and price development for Chinese modules. At the same time banks report about difficulties for capital grants.

"With products from WINAICO solar installers, investors and banks are on the safe side. We have already responded to the increased demand and ramped up our production," says Sascha Rossmann,
international sales director at WINAICO.

As more and more photovoltaic companies jumped on the bandwagon of market growth, WINAICO – in contrast to the Chinese approach of mass production – started its production with the aim of quality leadership. Therefore, very advantageous was the longtime experience of the parent company Win Win Precision Technology Co. Ltd on the field of semiconductor production.

"At no point Taiwanese PV module manufacturers were ever associated with any EU duties. Just like the European manufacturers we think that fair competition and sustainable solar energy for the EU are absolutely desirable. Furthermore, economically we can not afford to sell our products below the cost," Rossmann continues.

For its photovoltaic modules WINAICO only uses high‐quality components. Glass, EVA foil, frame, backsheet, junction box and solar tape are exclusively purchased from well‐known manufacturers that have a long experience on the market and ensure a high degree of quality assurance.

Due to the boom of the solar industry, more and more solar companies were founded all over the world, but especially in China. The associated development of production capacities led to an oversaturation of the worldwide photovoltaic market within the last two years. This development of production capacities in China was especially supported by credits from Chinese banks at extremely reduced rates of interest.

ReneSola signs RMB320 million loan agreement with China Development Bank

CHINA: ReneSola Ltd, a leading global manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and wafers, has signed a RMB320 million (approximately $50.9 million) 15-year loan agreement with China Development Bank.

"This funding will support our operations in China, a market in which we saw encouraging growth in the fourth quarter of last year," said Xianshou Li, ReneSola's CEO.

"Our ability to secure additional capital amid weak macro conditions and a tight credit environment speaks to our healthy overall financial position, as well as to the ability of our management team."

Utilization rate increases in 1Q13, PV industry accelerates concentration

TAIWAN: EnergyTrend , a research division of Trendforce , indicated in its “Gold Member Report” that although global grid-connected installations in 2013 may not increase significantly compared to  the amount of 2012, the actual demands of China, Japan, US, India, and other emerging countries would increase.

In 2013, global demands for modules will exceed 30GW (approximately 32-34GW, a 7 percent yoy increase). Due to the increased demands and reduced supply, the PV spot price and utilization rate is expected to rise.

EnergyTrend indicated that the utilization rate of each segment of the PV supply chain will increase in 2013 due to the following reasons.

Increased demands, reduced supply
Demand in the module market is expected to increase in 2013; though the amount of grid-connected installation remains still, the actual demand would be around 32GW-34GW. Therefore, the demands of each segment will increase, and since supply is not increasing, the utilization rate will rise.

Clearer boundary between brands and OEMs
In the current market, first-tier manufacturers are not eager to enhance capacity and second-tier manufacturers may receive OEM orders from first-tier manufacturers, thus most of the manufacturers that meet market requirements would be able to effectively increase the utilization rate.

Uncompetitive manufacturers phased out
Due to the policies that regulate modules and the rise of self-consumption systems, manufacturers that lack technology to enhance cell efficiency may be phased out. On the other hand, if products were sold for a price under cost for a long time, new manufacturers and small manufacturers without cost advantage may also be eliminated.
In  conclusion, the utilization rate of each manufacturer has increased in 1Q13. However, though manufacturers have all announced full production, due to limited labor , the capacity utilization rate could only be maintained at 60-85 percent.

Moreover, according to EnergyTrend, cell production  from the world’s top ten cell manufacturers have all exceeded 1GW in 2012, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the overall capacity. Though market concentration is not as obvious as that of the wafer market, as soon as brands begin to cooperate with OEMs, more companies may transform into OEMs. In addition, module  segment may also become more concentrated, and manufacturers with a large market share will be considered the most advantaged.

Solar America begins second project in Mexico

USA: Solar America Corp. has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with Habitables Innca S.A. de C.V., the principal contractor for the San Nicolas housing project in Guadalajara.

Under the terms of the Memorandum Solar America will be the exclusive provider of solar power and solar lighting solutions for San Nicolas project.

This residential project will reduce the carbon footprint of San Nicolas de la Primavera, a Guadalajara subdivision as well as showcase Solar America's innovative solutions. Solar America's alliance with Habitables Innca marks the expansion of the company’s efforts in Mexico, where Solar America is also participating in the Los Conejos housing project.

“Between Los Conejos and San Nicolas, our participation in the Guadalajara area is quickly expanding,” said Solar America CEO Robert Bludorn. “We are confident that our American solutions can be easily implemented throughout Mexico and Central America and look forward to continuing to build relationships in these countries.”

Mexico is looking to increase their use of alternative energy sources. Less than one percent of Mexico’s land area would need to be developed to power the entire nation, according to the Secretaria de Energia de Mexico, Mexico’s energy ministry.

GCL and YGE in strategic co-operation framework agreement

HONG KONG: GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd has entered into a strategic co-operation framework agreement with Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd in Beijing on 20 March 2013.

Both parties will develop a comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership under the principles of faithful cooperation, mutual complementation of advantages, resources sharing as well as equal and mutual benefits, and jointly devote to comprehensive cooperation in accordance with the industrial policies of the PRC and market demand with their respective advantages.

In accordance with the framework agreement which is not legally binding, both parties intend to develop comprehensive cooperation in areas such as division of labour in the industry chain, ancillary production facilities of wafer and supply chain business (polysilicon material/wafer/cell) in the future.

Both parties will combine their respective advantages in research, development and production in the photovoltaic field with an aim to jointly devote to the enhancement of the quality of photovoltaic products and on-going reduction of costs.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Suntech announces petition of insolvency and restructuring of Chinese subsidiary

CHINA: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd announced that on March 18, 2013, a group of eight Chinese banks filed a petition for insolvency and restructuring of its Chinese subsidiary Wuxi Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd in the Wuxi Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Jiangsu Province, China.

Wuxi Suntech notified the Court that it will not file an objection against the petition. The company expects that the Court will decide whether or not to accept the petition in the next few days.

Wuxi Suntech is the company's principal operating subsidiary in China engaged in the manufacture of photovoltaic (PV) cells and PV modules. The company has additional cell and module production facilities at wholly owned or partially owned subsidiaries in Wuxi, Shanghai and Luoyang and, in the event insolvency and restructuring of Wuxi Suntech is approved by the Court, the company intends to continue production of solar products to meet customer orders.

In addition, management will work with any Court-appointed administrators to ensure all of Suntech's product warranty obligations are met.

"While we evaluate restructuring initiatives and strategic alternatives, we are committed to continuing to provide high-quality solar products to our global customer base," said David King, Suntech's CEO. "During this period, we will continue to work closely with all of our stakeholders and take the necessary steps to put Suntech back on track for growth."

The insolvency and restructuring procedure is designed to facilitate an orderly restructuring plan for both Wuxi Suntech and its creditors. In such proceedings, the Chinese court would typically appoint administrators to Wuxi Suntech to administer the restructuring, including negotiations with existing bank lenders and other creditors. Wuxi Suntech will apply to the Court to continue operations under the supervision of the administrators.

Suntech Power Holdings, the ultimate parent company of Wuxi Suntech, has not commenced insolvency proceedings, nor have any of the company's other principal operating subsidiaries. The company is not aware of any similar proceedings regarding any of its other entities.

WWEA, BWE and BVKW present latest small wind turbine market surveys at New Energy Husum

GERMANY: The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and the German Small Wind Turbine Association (BVKW) are releasing their small wind turbine market surveys, reports and studies at the New Energy Husum trade fair.

“Small wind turbines are an important topic for New Energy Husum and for the renewable energy industry as a whole. Together with the three associations we want to strengthen and internationalise the small wind turbine industry,” says exhibition boss Peter Becker.

International market data about small wind turbines
The World Wind Energy Association has compiled 31 detailed country reports in its “Small Wind World Report 2013”. The 138-page book provides information about worldwide standards and certification procedures, and statistical information about worldwide use of small-scale wind power.

The report also lists 330 manufacturers from the small wind turbine industry. The English language work can be ordered at the WWEA stand (2A05) in Husum for 75 euros.

Guidebook and software for calculating profitability
On the other hand you can get a handbook about the engineering, profitability and approval procedures for small wind turbines at the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) stand in Hall 1, Stand A14. The “BWE Market Overview Special – Small Wind Turbines” informs its readers about all the important steps to be taken on the way to having their own small wind turbine.

The approximately 320 pages contain contributions from operators of small wind turbines, building contractors, architects and finance experts. The book can be purchased for 27 euros from BWE direct, and includes software for calculating the profitability of small wind turbine projects.

Journal for building law and engineering
In its special exhibition issue of the Kleinwindjournal, the German Small Wind Turbine Association (BVKW) provides a current overview of the state of the small wind turbine industry. The Journal also contains articles about building law and the assessment of rated output data.

At this year’s New Energy Husum the BVKW is also organising a congress on 23 March with practical examples of the planning, approval, erection and operation of small wind turbines.