Friday, October 31, 2014

Modelling a renewable future

AUSTRALIA: South Australia made headlines around the world when it was announced that the state - 'a place with the population of West Virginia' - had been powered by 100 percent renewable energy for an entire working day.

Commentators took it as a proof that a fully renewable future is possible. South Australia, moving against the wider trends in Australia, is the poster child for that future.

This royalty free feature delves into the effective use of solar power, wind power and other renewable energy using the experiences of South Australia as an example. The long feature can be broken into parts specific to the energy forms.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

SolarReserve advances leadership in solar thermal energy

SANTA MONICA, USA: SolarReserve announced its acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne's Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) business.

The acquisition includes intellectual property (IP) rights and patents related to molten salt technology for concentrating solar-thermal power and electricity storage applications, as well as heliostat designs and collector field control systems.

The key personnel at Aerojet Rocketdyne with critical knowledge of this technology are joining SolarReserve along with the technology acquisition. This includes Chief Engineer, George O'Connor, a 35-year veteran at Aerojet Rocketdyne who brings extensive technical leadership experience on the solar programs while at Aerojet Rocketdyne in addition to his expertise on rocket propulsion and advanced power systems.

"The technology acquisition further demonstrates SolarReserve's industry leadership in solar thermal energy storage, and our ongoing commitment to technology innovation and operational excellence through investments in advanced technology research and development," said SolarReserve's CEO Kevin Smith. "With this acquisition and continued advancement on the technology, SolarReserve is well positioned to capture a significant portion of the projected $75 billion CSP market expected to develop through 2025."

"We are excited to have the industry's top solar thermal technology experts join SolarReserve from Aerojet Rocketdyne," Smith added. "The integrated SolarReserve technology organization will further innovate, improve performance and reduce deployment costs of this leading edge technology."

SunEdison and Rajasthan Government sign MoU for 5 GW of solar PV

JAIPUR, & CHENNAI, INDIA: SunEdison Inc., has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Rajasthan Government aimed at developing Rajasthan as the global hub for solar energy.

SunEdison intends to establish 5 GWs of capacity in the form of multiple Mega Solar Projects, with the expected capacity of each Mega Solar project 500 megawatts (MW) or more.

The MoU comes at an opportune time following the new Solar Policy announced by the Government of Rajasthan, which aspires to create 25 GW of solar capacity in the state in the next few years. The MOU was signed by the honorable Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje Scindia.

"Under the dynamic leadership and vision of chief minister, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, this MOU paves the way for socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and prosperity in the State of Rajasthan," said Pashupathy Gopalan, president, Asia Pacific Operations.

"SunEdison is honored to be able to contribute its world leading technology and deployment capabilities to support the emergence of India as a global solar energy leader under the vision and leadership of the honorable PM Narendra Modi and energy minister, Piyush Goyal."

Gopalan re-iterated SunEdison's commitment to India, saying: "SunEdison is committed to the long term development of India's solar program and supports its quest for energy security. In support of this initiative we are building local and global partnerships to ensure India is at the cutting edge of solar technology and can provide its citizens with clean, reliable, affordable energy solutions."

SunEdison intends to create state-of-the-art solar facilities to generate and supply solar energy to various organizations inside and outside the State of Rajasthan. Those who will receive renewable energy from the solar projects include nodal entities of the Central Government of the Union of India, viz., Solar Energy Corp. of India, NTPC Vidyut Vyaparan Nigam Ltd and Power Trading Corp. SunEdison or SunEdison affiliates, including Yieldcos, are envisioned as the ultimate owner(s) of the solar projects.

The Government of Rajasthan will facilitate the identification of government land suitable for the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects as well as allot land on a long-term lease in accordance with the applicable policies of the state government.

Additionally, the Government of Rajasthan will create and provide the necessary electricity interconnection infrastructure. In order to complete these requirements, the government has tasked the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation with expediting and facilitating the allotment of land and all other requisite permits and approvals for establishment of the solar PV projects.

As a thought leader in the solar industry, SunEdison will also assist in the development of strategies and policies to facilitate the large scale replacement of existing electric and diesel water pumps with solar powered water pumps via innovative financing and business models. In doing so, farmers will be able to increase their incomes by harvesting crops using the sun's energy instead of falling victim to ground water depletion and electricity subsidy issues.

SunEdison already has a strong presence in Rajasthan, with over 50 MW's of large solar generation capacity and more than 1000 solar water pump installations.

Solar glass price plunge to cease as trade sanctions take effect

MUNICH, GERMANY: After falling by about 50 percent from 2009 through 2014, pricing for solar glass is set to commence a rebound starting next year, as anti-dumping duties levied by the European Union go into effect on Chinese suppliers.

Average global pricing for glass used in photovoltaic (PV) solar is expected to fall to $4.60 per square meter this year, down from $10.40 in 2009, according to IHS Technology.

However, pricing will begin to stabilize and begin a long-term increase starting next year. By 2018, solar glass pricing will increase to $5.90 per square meter, up 11 percent from the low point this year, as presented in the attached figure.

“The sharp drop in solar glass prices during the last five years was the result of massive oversupply in the market,” said Karl Melkonyan, solar research analyst at IHS Technology.

“Chinese government subsidies on solar glass caused domestic suppliers to increase production and exports. However, the European Union’s move to impose countervailing duties on solar glass imported from China will limit supply in the market, leading to an expected increase in prices.”

Made in China
In 2010, imports accounted for only 7 percent of total solar glass supply in Europe. This share grew to 30 percent in 2013. For 2014, more than 90 percent of imports will come from China, up from 35 percent in 2010.

This means that in 2014, Chinese manufacturers will account for 27 percent of total solar glass supply in Europe, up from 2.5 percent in 2010.

Encouraged by government subsidies, many Chinese glass manufacturers entered the solar glass segment and started an aggressive pricing strategy in overseas markets, following a similar pattern to China’s participation in the module space. The price undercutting caused a strong oversupply and price collapse in the market.

European backlash
High imports from China led to lost profits and shutdowns of factories for European solar glass producers.

In response, the European Union in May imposed five-year tariffs on solar glass from China. The EU imposed countervailing duties on solar glass imported from China in a range of about 3 to 17 percent, depending on the level of subsidy that a solar glass company received from China.

Glass shippers
IHS estimates the global demand for flat glass—the parent category of solar glass—in 2013 was 47.6 million metric tons. With an estimated 55 percent share, China dominates flat glass supply. Europe follows with a 16 percent share.

The Asia-Pacific region is forecast to remain the largest and fastest-growing market for solar glass during the next five years. However, only a few first-tier suppliers from China will provide what customers consider to be high-end products.

ARC of triumph
In other developments in solar glass, the global market share of anti-reflective coated (ARC) solar glass in 2018 is projected to reach 85 percent.

Anti-reflective coatings increase module power output and lower the cost-per-watt, which is the key value measure for any solar-power-generating system.

After a weak 2012, the fast-recovering PV market has also contributed to a strong demand for solar glass with AR coating, with about 50 percent growth during each of 2013 and 2014.

The “Module Innovations to Create Opportunity for PV Materials Market” report delivers to readers an in-depth look into the competitive landscape of the leading module manufacturing materials, as well as cost trending through 2018. The report investigates current and pioneering developments in glass, backsheet, frames, junction boxes and encapsulants.

Council decision on 2030: Lacking ambition

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: European Heads of State have agreed on a Climate and Energy framework for 2030 that includes a binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 40 percent, a renewables target of at least 27 percent and an energy efficiency target of at least 27 percent.

“The renewables target is a very small step to support the enormous potential that solar and other renewables represent. It is still an important signal of political resolve to overcome the existing market barriers and the adverse national political contexts where some Member States have implemented retroactive measures for renewables,” stated Frauke Thies, EPIA Policy director.

“The ball is now in the Court of the new European Commission to build on this minimum target with a meaningful legislative framework and fair market conditions for renewables. Technologies like solar must be able to realise their full competitive potential and keep Europe on track for the much-needed energy transition,” concluded Thies.

Significant acquisition adds to ContourGlobal’s growing wind and solar operating portfolios

WIEN, AUSTRIA & NEW YORK, USA: ContourGlobal and affiliates of Austria’s Raiffeisen Banking Group announced that they have signed agreements for ContourGlobal to purchase approximately 201 MW of renewable energy operating plants in Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic for an undisclosed sum.

The portfolios acquired include 8 operating wind farms in Austria totaling 161 MW and operating solar sites in the Czech Republic and Slovakia totaling 40 MW. 103 MW was signed and closed October 15, 2014 with RENERGIE (an affiliate of Raiffeisen-Holding NÖ-Wien) and an additional 98 MW was signed on October 22, 2014 with REE (an affiliate of Raiffeisen-Leasing) and is expected to close before year-end.

The acquisition expands ContourGlobal’s growing portfolio of renewable energy assets, complementing its nearly 1.4 GW portfolio of renewable energy businesses in South America, Europe and Africa.

“We are thrilled to execute this significant transaction, adding to our growing renewable portfolio and continuing our nearly decade long investment in the Central and East European power space,” said Joseph C. Brandt, ContourGlobal’s president and CEO.

“Austria has a very well developed and well-structured market that provides predictable and fair rules for development competition and we look forward to further growth here. Vienna is also a well located hub for our growing Central and Eastern European operations. For nearly ten years Austrian banks and professional service firms have supported our Eastern European operations. We are pleased to announce that we will be locating our European headquarters to Vienna.”

“During the last years REE has developed attractive projects and a sustainable business. We are selling our profitable wind farms and solar plants to ContourGlobal, which is an experienced international power company. ContourGlobal is a sizable company and has the technical know-how to continue the successful operation and development of the assets,” stated Alexander Schmidecker, CEO of Raiffeisen Leasing, with the affiliate Raiffeisen Energy & Environment.

Schmidecker also commented that Raiffeisen Leasing will continue to engage in lease financing transactions for projects in the energy sector.

The acquisition adds to ContourGlobal’s growing presence in Eastern Europe, where it owns power generation facilities in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Southern Co. subsidiary to top 300 MW of total solar generating capacity with acquisition of new California facility

ATLANTA, USA: Southern Co. subsidiary Southern Power announced the acquisition of the 150-megawatt (MW) Solar Gen 2 solar facility in California from First Solar, Inc. As the largest solar facility in the Southern Power portfolio, Solar Gen 2 is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 average California homes.

"Our strategic renewable development has earned Southern Company a reputation as a national leader in solar," said Southern Co. chairman, president and CEO, Thomas A. Fanning. "Expanding our partnership with First Solar - a global renewable leader - will help us continue to develop a more diverse energy mix for America."

The Solar Gen 2 project spans three sites - each of which is approximately a 50-MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system - comprising a combined 1,451 acres of land in Imperial County, California. The project will consist of more than one million thin-film PV solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables manufactured by First Solar.

"We value the strong, successful track record we have with Southern Power," said First Solar CEO, Jim Hughes. "We're pleased to continue that relationship with Solar Gen 2 and we look forward to further opportunities to work together."

The Solar Gen 2 facility is being built and will be operated and maintained by First Solar. Construction of the project began in 2013. Completion of the project is expected to occur later in the fourth quarter 2014. Southern Power will initially own 100 percent of the project, with First Solar agreeing to acquire a minority interest subject to certain terms and upon fulfillment of certain conditions.

Electricity generated by the plant is contracted to serve a 25-year power purchase agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), a subsidiary of Sempra Energy. Headquartered in San Diego, SDG&E provides energy service to 3.4 million people through 1.4 million electric meters and 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Southern Power has previously acquired seven solar facilities with Turner Renewable Energy, with Southern Power's ownership of the facilities totaling 262 MW. The acquisition of Solar Gen 2 is expected to increase the total Southern Power-owned solar capacity to 338 MW. The total generation capacity of the eight projects is anticipated to be 441 MW.

The acquisition fits Southern Power's business strategy of growing the wholesale business in targeted markets through acquiring generating assets and building new units, the output of which is significantly covered by long-term contracts.

California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The RPS program requires investor-owned utilities, publicly owned utilities, electric service providers and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources to 33 percent of retail sales by the end of 2020.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Panasonic completes solar installations for Hertz at Denver and St. Louis international airports

NEWARK, USA:: Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Co. (Panasonic) and The Hertz Corp. announced the completion of two solar power installations at Hertz Rent-a-Car facilities at Denver and St. Louis International Airports.

Panasonic is also building solar installations for Hertz at Newark Liberty International Airport in NJ, expected to be completed later this year, and will start construction for Hertz at John F. Kennedy Airport in NY in 2015. When completed, Panasonic's total installed solar capacity at the four Hertz airport locations will reach 1 megawatt of clean energy. The electricity generated by the installations will be used to power Hertz customer service areas and other nearby Hertz buildings.

At Denver, Panasonic mounted 1,116 solar panels for Hertz; the 262-kilowatt installation is expected to generate approximately 335,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year in operation, equivalent to the amount of energy used by about 33 homes over 12 months. At St. Louis, Panasonic built a 152-kilowatt solar system, designed to generate 187,000 kilowatt hours of energy in its first 12 months of operation.

For Newark Liberty International Airport, Panasonic designed a 299-kilowatt photovoltaic system which is expected to generate about 331,000 kilowatt hours in its first year in operation. For the Hertz Rent-a-Car facility at JFK International Airport, Panasonic designed a 318-kilowatt solar carport installation, planned to generate 396,000 kilowatt hours of power in its first year.

Also in New York, for leading retail property owner and developer Macerich Company, Panasonic is already in the process of building a shopping center solar installation, one of 11 solar projects at Macerich shopping centers nationwide, which are expected to yield up to 10 megawatts of clean energy. For the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Panasonic installed a solar parking lot canopy to deliver 115 kilowatts of renewable energy to the Agoura Hills, California headquarters of the foundation.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

US DoE announces $53 million to drive innovation, cut cost of solar power

WASHINGTON, USA: Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and continue US leadership in clean energy innovation, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced more than $53 million for 40 innovative research and development (R&D) projects that aim to drive down the cost of solar energy, tackling key aspects of technology development in order to bring innovative ideas to the market more quickly.

Supporting the development of next generation photovoltaic (PV) solar technologies and advanced manufacturing processes, and addressing both hardware and non-hardware “soft” costs of solar installation, these awards support advancements that will help reduce the cost of solar energy and make solar electricity more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

“As US solar installation increases and the cost of solar electricity continues to decline, solar energy is becoming an increasingly affordable clean energy option for more American families and businesses,” said Secretary Moniz. “Today, the US has 15.9 gigawatts of installed solar power – enough to power more than 3.2 million average American homes. The projects announced today will help the US solar energy industry continue to grow, ensuring America can capitalize on its vast renewable energy sources, cut carbon pollution, and continue to lead in the world in clean energy innovation.”

Due in part to the Energy Department’s long-term investments and partnerships with private industry, academia, and DOE National Laboratories, solar PV panels now cost 50 percent of what they did three years ago. To accelerate the development of next generation PV technologies that will further drive down costs, the Energy Department is awarding more than $14 million to 10 research institutions to improve the performance, efficiency, and durability of solar PV devices.

The R&D projects will explore a variety of leading-edge solutions, from new high-performance materials to novel techniques for creating more efficient solar cells that cost less to manufacture.

By nearly all measures, the solar energy industry has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States over the last five years, with cumulative installed solar power increasing more than tenfold since 2008. Significant decreases in both the hardware costs and non-hardware “soft” costs of a solar energy system, such as permitting, interconnection, and financing, supported this increase in deployment, and further cost reductions will create an environment for even more solar deployment.

Through its SunShot Incubator program, the Energy Department is investing more than $14 million in 20 small businesses that will develop innovative technologies and services to further drive down hardware and non-hardware costs for solar electric systems. The projects take a number of approaches to decreasing costs, creating a software-based solution to quantify risk for solar investors, developing advanced materials and components that maximize efficiency for concentrating solar power (CSP) and identifying ways to eliminate the need for expensive silver in solar cell manufacturing.

Trannergy launches 4-9KW three-phase solar inverters

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND: Trannergy, a Chinese leading on-grid solar inverter manufacturer, has launched a new line of three-phase inverters (TRB Series) from 4KW to 9KW, of which a stunning showcase was made at Solar Energy UK (SEUK) at NEC in Birmingham on October 14-16, Booth #D35.

Worthy of mention is that, the highly anticipated Trannergy TRB8000TL and TRB9000TL inverters are compactly designed at only about 0.05 cubic meters and 24 kg, which is quite competitive in the industry.

"The 4KW to 9KW three phase TRB Series were designed for higher efficiency, wider range of input DC & MPPT voltage, smaller size, lower noise and longer lifecycle," says William Xu, Trannergy VP.

"Its maximum efficiency can reach up to 98.1 percent. Film capacitor design is made to assure longer lifecycle. Besides, the TRB series are also a fanless cooling design that are extremely silent. You can hardly hear any noise even if you are very close to it. With the release of these kind of three phase inverters, we believe that our residential and commercial customers now have a significantly better solution and option for rooftop systems."

Windiga Energy gets green light for construction of 20-MW solar power plant in Burkina Faso

MONTREAL, CANADA: Windiga Energy, a Canadian-based independent renewable energy power producer, announced the signature of a power purchase agreement ("PPA") with the National Electricity Company of Burkina Faso (SONABEL) for the construction and operation of a 20-megawatt photovoltaic plant located in Zina, in the province of Mouhoun.

Conclusion of the PPA was the final step in the authorization process, which now gives Windiga Energy the green light to begin construction of the largest solar power plant in sub-Saharan Africa. The plant is expected to produce approximately 34 gigawatt hours of clean energy annually and will be connected to SONABEL's main power grid.

Upon completing the final phase of the approval process with SONABEL,  Elie Ouedraogo, chairman of the Board, Windiga Energy Burkina Faso, said: "It is with enthusiasm that we celebrate this historic agreement, one that will see a Canadian company assist Burkina Faso in meeting its energy needs with renewable sources that will be connected directly to the country's power grid." Ouedraogo also highlighted the fact that Windiga will be the first independent power producer in the country.

"Windiga Energy is committed to providing innovative accessible energy solutions to Africa, key to the continent's economic development," said Benoit La Salle, president and CEO, Windiga Energy. "We are confident that by working in concert with governments, our experience and expertise will provide vital support to African countries in their quest for energy independence."

Windiga's focus now is to finalize funding agreements with the private sector divisions of the development banks involved in the project, as well as to commence construction of the plant.

In Mauritania, Windiga signed an agreement pertaining to the terms and conditions of a 30-year PPA with the Mauritanian Electricity Company (SOMELEC) for the construction and operation of a waste-to-energy plant. A similar agreement pertaining to the terms and conditions of a waste supply contract was also signed with the Urban Community of Nouakchott. These agreements define the terms of the purchase of electricity and the supply of waste, as well as further the development of the project to build a 15-megawatt waste-to-energy power plant in the city of Nouakchott.

Windiga also signed an agreement pertaining to the terms and conditions of 20-year PPA with the Electricity Company of Ghana for the construction and operation of a 20-megawatt solar power plant in the northern community of Tilli.

SunEdison awarded 17.7 MW of distributed solar projects in California

BELMONT, USA: SunEdison Inc. has been awarded 17.7 MW DC of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects through the Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project (R-REP) led by the County of Alameda.

SunEdison will be working with 9 different public agencies in the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo to develop projects on more than 30 individual sites as part of one of the largest ever public solar power procurements in the United States.

SunEdison will install solar systems at 30 individual locations. To accommodate different site requirements while optimizing solar production, SunEdison will deploy rooftop, canopy, and ground mount system technologies.

All of the planned projects are being closely coordinated with each of the nine agencies involved to ensure that each solar deployment is tailored to each site and agency's specific needs. Upon completion, the portfolio will produce more than 27,700,000 kWh of clean solar power every year and will result in the reduction of more than 13,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

"SunEdison has a strong commitment to expand solar throughout all of California," said SunEdison North America president, Bob Powell. "We are particularly proud of this opportunity to work with public agencies in the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Mateo – with operating headquarters in Belmont, many SunEdison employees live in these counties and this gives them the opportunity to serve their local communities."

sPower breaks ground on 7MWdc solar facility in Palmdale

SALT LAKE CITY, USA: sPower (Sustainable Power Group), a leading renewable energy provider, announced breaking ground on the 7MWdc (megawatts of direct current) Little Rock Solar Facility in Palmdale, CA. The project is expected to begin commercial operation mid-December 2014.

sPower will use First Solar, Inc Modules Plus equipment, which includes the company's photovoltaic (PV) thin film solar modules, mounting structures and wiring integration.

"We are excited about commercializing First Solar's award-winning thin-film technology with its exceptional efficiency levels," said Ryan Creamer, sPower CEO. "sPower has built a pipeline that rivals any in the industry. We take an entrepreneurial approach that seeks out projects that are not only environmentally and economically feasible, but that also move our industry and company forward. Employing new technologies is one very important way we're working towards achieving our objectives."

The Little Rock Solar Facility is the latest in the large portfolio of sPower projects that provide construction and operations jobs, as well as revenues for local governments – all the while helping to reduce carbon emissions and delivering affordable and reliable clean energy to rate payers. The solar energy generated from the project will be sold at a set price to Southern California Edison for 20 years.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Yingli Solar surpasses 2,000 MW of solar panel deliveries in Americas

BAODING, CHINA & SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd has surpassed two gigawatts (GW) of cumulative solar panel deliveries in the Americas. The more than six million Yingli Solar panels delivered are now generating electricity for more than 85,000 solar projects across the region.

"We're honored to reach this historic milestone, and thank our customers and stakeholders for making this possible," commented Robert Petrina, MD of Yingli Green Energy Americas. "The investments that we've made in building highly capable local teams allow Yingli to provide differentiated services to our sophisticated and fast-growing customer base."

Yingli estimates that more than 80,000 homes and 5,000 business and institutions in the Americas are energized by its high-quality solar panels. Its most popular product line, the YGE 60 Cell Series, is a versatile multicyrstalline solar panel suited for most solar applications, from off-grid systems to large-scale utility projects.

LG's AC solar module delivers max performance, installation flexibility

LAS VEGAS, USA: Led by new integrated, max-performing AC-powered solar modules, LG Electronics USA is exhibiting a host of solutions from the LG Mono X monocrystalline module series here this week.

At the Solar Power International (SPI) Expo 2014, LG is displaying new solar module upgrades, combining a new level of performance and flexibility for both home and business owners seeking lower utility bills and energy independence.

LG Solar headliners at SPI at the Las Vegas Convention Center include:
* Mono X ACe module, designed to maximize AC-power output and provide a new level of installation flexibility;
* Mono X NeON, which is among the lightest DC modules on the market at only 37 pounds; and
* Mono X Black, LG's iconic module incorporating higher efficiency and durability for convenient installation and an aesthetic interior.

"We recognize that solar panels give homeowners a path toward energy independence, while providing convenience and exceptional functionality," said Ellen Kim, senior VP, Energy Solutions, LG Electronics USA "Our carefully-designed solar panels aren't just about saving money, but allowing consumers to become a more sustainable member of society."

For the first time at SPI, LG is highlighting its solar charging and energy storage system (ESS) for electric vehicles. The first-ever Cadillac ELR electrified luxury coupe featured in LG's booth showcases how LG solar solutions provide cost-effective charging for homes and offices.

LG's ESS is a sleek, smart battery designed for solar panels and buildings, which pairs with inverters to convert the direct current from the solar panel into alternating current that can be used around the house both day and night to help make consumers' lives easier.

The alliance with Cadillac at SPI builds on LG's relationship with General Motors; LG Chem produces batteries for GM, while LG Electronics manufactures On-Star electronics for all GM vehicles.

As solar energy is predicted to grow globally at a gross rate of at least 20 percent, according to the 2013 US Solar Market Insights Report, LG continues to develop its solar products with consumers and businesses in mind, helping them lower their electricity costs, Kim said.

Sunpreme demos world's first 500W bifacial double glass module with an effective efficiency up to 22.2 percent

SUNNYVALE, USA: Sunpreme, a global solar photovoltaic company that designs and manufactures its own cells and panels, announced that it has demonstrated the world's first bifacial double glass module with a measured STC output of 503W.

With a 15 percent bifacial power boost, the effective panel wattage can be enhanced to 575W with an effective module efficiency of 22.2 percent. A second performance bonus comes from a record low thermal coefficient of module efficiency of 0.28 percent/C.

The product is designed to achieve an unsurpassed BOS (Balance of System) cost reduction for distributed power generation applications. The panel and IV flash data are on display at Sunpreme's booth at the Solar Power International14 (SPI) trade show being held in Las Vegas during the week of October 20, 2014.

Sunpreme's new 500W panel uses the same design and materials technology as its current line of Maxima GxB series. The underlying technology platform is Sunpreme's proprietary SmartSilicon® Hybrid Cell Technology (HCT) developed five years ago.

It is designed to maximize energy production in ground mount as well as tracker configurations. The proven construction consists of 156.75mm AFS cells sealed between two panels of tempered glass. With a frameless design, there is no need for grounding. Such innovative double glass modules have proven easy to install and maintain even when deployed at multi-MW volumes. The modules have demonstrated extremely robust reliability, with sleek see-through aesthetics and an excellent value.

CBD Energy's Westinghouse Solar unit delivers first US residential solar system

NEW YORK, USA: CBD Energy Ltd announced that its Westinghouse Solar unit has completed installation of the company's first US-based residential solar system.

The 5.86kW system, purchased via a 12-year loan with no money down, comes with a 20-year Westinghouse Solar warranty. The company estimates that this customer, located in Massachusetts, will realize approximately 33 percent energy cost savings.

Gerry McGowan, CBD Energy executive chairman and MD, stated: "We are very pleased to announce our first U.S. residential solar system installation, the first completion of our robust, growing pipeline. Local demand for our solar systems is strong and this is an important milestone as we enter the U.S. solar marketplace.

"Our customers will enjoy cost certainty and minimized impact of future energy price increases over the 25-plus year system life. Furthermore, our residential solar customers own their systems, which allows them to directly benefit from all of the government rebates, incentives and solar renewable energy certificates ("SRECs") associated with the system."

ET Solar supplies 5 MW PV modules to mining operation in Suriname

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: ET Solar Energy Corp. has supplied 5 MW polycrystalline photovoltaic modules to a leading mining operation in Suriname.

Upon completion, this solar power plant will substantially meet the demand for electricity of the facilities. ET Solar photovoltaic modules are proven to be one of the most reliable products globally in terms of quality, performance and linear product warranty. Additionally, backed by a technical support and service system available on a global basis, ET Solar is committed to providing fast and efficient responses to customer requests.

Dennis She, president and CEO of ET Solar, commented: "We are proud to have been involved in such an exciting and challenging project in Suriname. This is our first mining project in South America and we are very pleased to help minimize the energy cost and carbon emission of the mining operation."

ET Solar offers an attractive value proposition for the mining industry as the solar power plants require low capital expenditures, have short design and construction cycles, and offer speedy paybacks.

"Our engineering and business development teams are currently exploring several opportunities with various mining customers in the region for off grid hybrid systems. In Chilean market in particular, we are able to offer a basket of solutions and services, ranging from EPC to project co-development." he added.

Daetwyler Clean Energy and Exosun form alliance

HUNTERSVILLE, USA: Exosun, an expert in the design, development and supply of solar tracking systems for ground-mounted utility-scale solar power plants, and Daetwyler Clean Energy (DCE), a leading supplier of superior engineered ground mount and rooftop solar mounting solutions, have strategically partnered to provide a full range of best-in-class mounting and tracking solutions to elevate consumer awareness and make it even easier for their clients to achieve their financial goals from a single solar mounting provider in the United States.

Each company will provide the full range of mounting and tracking products while ensuring customers receive world class support.

"Simply put, different projects require different solutions," stated Bill Taylor, president and founding partner of Daetwyler Clean Energy. "We wanted to provide our clients the convenience of working with a single, trusted partner to source any of their mounting and tracking needs. With our commitment to R&D, and through our extensive due diligence process, we found the Exosun product to be a superior system. The simplicity, flexibly, operational cost, ease of installation and overall value is unmatched. We are truly proud to add this product to our extensive product catalog."

"We are delighted about this partnership with Daetwyler Clean Energy," commented Frédéric Conchy, president and CEO of Exosun, and inventor/co-inventor of more than a dozen international patents. "By combining our know-how in the solar utility-scale field, we will be able to offer our customers a complete range of innovative, high quality and cost-effective products, delivered with associated engineering support services and project management."

ModSolar intros ModSolar acquisition pipeline system (MAPS)

LAS VEGAS, USA: One of the rising stars of the solar industry, ModSolar, which is changing the solar industry by creating the software and processes that make the industry more efficient and effective, is introducing the ModSolar Acquisition Pipeline System - MAPS - this week in Las Vegas at Solar Power International.

SPI is the solar industry's most powerful, comprehensive educational conference and product exhibition.

"MAPS is a giant leap beyond traditional lead programs," said Mike Dershowitz, president and co-founder of ModSolar. "It is a turnkey 'hello to thank you' marketing automation system that provides everything a solar installer needs to survive in a world of 'Solar Goliaths,' and eliminates the industry's 60 percent leads problem in a neat, efficient and effective way never before seen in the solar industry."

MAPS has been designed by ModSolar to make the solar installer's life easier on a daily basis, enabling the installer to focus on installing solar systems, while relying on MAPS for lead generation.  MAPS delivers prospects that are worth the installer's time, and delivers personalized content-including a home's actual solar design- that goes well beyond the generic mailers common to the industry.  It also helps the installer build and nurture a steady pipeline of leads until the time is right.

ModSolar's new lead acquisition pipeline system, MAPS, gives solar installers access to a huge new target, Pre-Qualified Prime Prospects (PPPs).  PPPs are households that are qualified, up front, to be solar worthy.  Although PPPs are aware of solar, it hasn't been in their consideration yet.  MAPS is designed to make them aware that solar makes sense and dollars for them.  Powered by ModSolar's patent-pending technology MAPS locates, nurtures and converts PPPs into Qualified Leads.

ModSolar's platform is a cloud-based proposal generation system, which currently includes features such as ModSolar's patent-pending panel layout technology; energy usage and payback, which provides an instant analysis of customer return on investment; proposal generation; financing options; lead generation and qualification with lists of solar-ready homes with qualified owners; CRM integration; and custom software development. The ModSolar platform works for both homes and businesses.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Low Carbon and Nur Energie support energy security with TuNur large scale solar project

LONDON, ENGLAND: Renewable energy investment company, Low Carbon and utility scale solar developer Nur Energie, are partnering in the development of their TuNur project. TuNur is a flagship 2GW solar export project in the Tunisian Sahara which will be connected to the European electricity grid via a dedicated cable.

The project will produce almost twice as much energy as any of the UK’s current nuclear power plants and can even produce power when the sun is down.

The project is currently undergoing permitting in Tunisia and Europe, and is set to reach financial close and start construction in 2016. When the project comes online in by late 2018 it will provide clean and reliable power to more than 2.5 million UK homes.

The announcement of the commitment from Low Carbon and Nur to take the TuNur project forward to the next stage follows the significant milestones achieved over the course of the project’s development which have provided confidence in its success.

The majority of the project’s feasibility and preliminary licencing has now been completed including an offer of a 2GW grid connection solution (“STMG”) from Terna, the Italian grid operator, for an interconnection point in Italy. The project is now entering into the next stage of permitting and development, putting it on track to start construction by the end of 2016.

Energy security is currently a key concern for European countries, following disruptions to energy supplies due to the unsettled situation in the Ukraine and the Middle-East. European authorities have called for member states to take active steps to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, potentially by investing in renewable technologies.

Furthermore, as global demand for renewable energy rises, it is becoming increasingly important that renewable energy projects are built to a scale that has a significant impact on the decarbonisation of electricity grids.

Africa presents many new exciting investment opportunities for the renewable energy industry, with its abundance of solar and wind resources. According to the European Commission’s Institute for Energy, 0.3 percent of the sunlight that shines on the Sahara and Middle Eastern deserts could supply all of Europe’s energy needs. Investing in such regions is crucial for diversifying our energy supplies for the future.

T1-S Vantage provides performance optimization for PV resources

FOLSOM, USA: Trimark Associates has announced T1-S Vantage, a performance management system that provides advanced control, reporting, and analytics. This utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) power generation management system is available via mobile app and browser-based interfaces.

T1-S Vantage is fully integrated into Trimark's complete suite of solutions. The system gathers and presents data captured by data telemetry devices; revenue meters, and meteorological instruments. This unified system enables performance optimization, operations and maintenance management, and PPA compliance.

"We took a fresh approach to design a SCADA system specifically to address challenges of PV site management," said Bob Wood, CTO, Trimark Associates. "We applied technology that wasn't available a year ago to deliver tools for real-time information presentation, provide practical tools for the mobile worker, and consolidate site-wide control."

A key capability of T1-S Vantage is its ability to control PV inverters, trackers, capacitor banks, and reclosers – all from a single interface. Control functions also enable authorized users, utilities, or balancing authorities to adjust generation parameters including maximum power, power factor, and reactive power.

T1-S Vantage's feature-rich mobile interface presents key operational metrics, alerts and alarms. Field-deployed users can check site status, acknowledge alarms, take notes and photograph site conditions – all through the T1-S Vantage app on their smart phone or tablet.

The T1-S Vantage interface can be easily adjusted to match specific user requirements. "One of our development criteria was to enable a highly-configurable user experience," said Wood. "T1-S can be organized to put the user's highest-priority information right where they want to see it." This configurability provides PV site operators, resource owners, asset managers and investors with views, reports and real time management tools for a single location or a portfolio of sites.

sPower and JinkoSolar bring 34 MW of solar power to Antelope Valley

SALT LAKE CITY, USA & SHANGHAI, CHINA: JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd and sPower (Sustainable Power Group), a prominent renewable energy provider, announced details of the first partnership between the companies.

According to the terms of the contract, JinkoSolar supplied nearly 115,000 of its 305W high efficiency solar PV modules to sPower for the 34MW solar facility, which is comprised of four separate projects located in Lancaster and Victorville, California.

"This is a significant milestone for sPower -- bringing online the first major group of projects after our merger with Fir Tree-backed developer Silverado Power earlier this year. The development of these projects has brought jobs and economic benefits to the Antelope Valley, while providing a sustainable future in the area," said sPower CEO, Ryan Creamer.

"We look forward to teaming with JinkoSolar on many more projects. Their experienced team is extremely capable, and we are pleased with the quality and performance of their PV modules."

When fully operational, the sPower facility is expected to generate enough clean solar energy to serve the needs of about 4,110 homes per year, reducing carbon emissions by roughly 45,050 metric tons annually – the equivalent of taking nearly 10,000 cars off the road.

"The abundance of solar energy in California makes PV modules the ideal solution to fulfill local electricity needs, and JinkoSolar's durable, high-performance modules are well suited to such a demanding environment. It is with great pleasure that we effectuate our partnership with sPower, a truly prominent player in the solar industry, on what is anticipated to be an assembly of successful solar projects," said Nigel Cockroft, GM of JinkoSolar (U.S.) Inc. "We pride ourselves in our ability to provide high-quality products and contribute to the substantial growth of the US solar industry."

Koolbridge Solar obtains two solar patents

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, USA: In July 2014, notification was received from the US Patent and Trademark Office that two patent applications relating to new solar energy techniques had been allowed, and were in a state for formal issue.

The first patent, entitled "Solar Energy Conversion and Utilization System (Application no. 13/103,070), claims a new advantageous technique for converting DC power from solar cells to 120 volt AC house current for powering a home.

The second patent, entitled "Potential Arc Fault Detection and Suppression" (Application no. 13/225,505), discloses and claims a simple method for detecting and mitigating wiring faults that meets National Electrical Code requirements.

Koolbridge Solar Inc. has executed an agreement with the inventor, Dr. Paul Wilkinson Dent, to acquire all rights to the patents, which will be assigned to Koolbridge Solar in due course and implemented in Koolbridge products.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Canadian Solar to intro Diamond Module at 2014 SPI

GUELPH, CANADA: Canadian Solar Inc. will introduce a new, groundbreaking Diamond module at the upcoming Solar Power International (SPI) exhibition.

The Diamond module, also known as the double module, utilizes heat-strengthened glass instead of the traditional polymer backsheet. The Diamond module is PID free with anti-PID cells and encapsulated material. With no metal module frame, the Diamond glass module does not require grounding, thereby eliminating the cause of Potential Induced Degradation (PID).

In addition, the Diamond module has the ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions, including high humidity, high temperature, sandstorm, and ultraviolet (UV) conditions. Furthermore, the module's increased resistance to salt corrosion translates into a more robust and reliable solution for seaside/waterside photovoltaic (PV) system installation.

Rated for 1500V systems, the Diamond module significantly reduces Balance of System (BOS) costs by increasing modules in a string and decreasing the number of combiners, cables, and other system parts. The innovative glass-on-glass cell encapsulation blocks moisture permeability, enhancing long-term system performance reliability. The first year annual power degradation is 2.5 percent and 0.5 percent each year afterwards. With that, module output at the 25th year is maintained at 85 percent versus the current 80 percent.

"Canadian Solar is committed to providing robust, high-performance solar modules to meet the diversified needs of our global customers," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar. "This Diamond Module, which will be officially launched in 2015, essentially enhances our customers' return on investment by decreasing system costs while improving energy yield."

In addition to the Diamond Module, Canadian Solar will be showcasing their innovative string inverters and installation modules in Booth #300 at SPI. More than 15,000 visitors are expected at North America's largest solar tradeshow from October 21-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

ModSolar building OS for solar industry

ARDMORE, USA: How does a company that started with a total cash investment of $3,500 in 2011 stand on the cusp of being an industry leader with no outside funding just three years later?

For Mike Dershowitz and Kevin Ilsen, it's a remarkable story of finding an unfulfilled need in a growing industry and taking the plunge.

The company they co-founded, ModSolar, is a rising star of the solar industry.  Based in the Philadelphia suburbs, it has rapidly grown an international reputation as the innovative leaders in technology solutions for the solar professional.

ModSolar is presenting their platform and services at 2014 Greenbuild Conference and Expo, Wednesday, October 22nd and Thursday, October 23rd at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans., The team from ModSolar will be exhibiting in booth #2176, with demonstrations and presentations throughout the conference.

"ModSolar is changing the way the solar industry works," said Dershowitz.  "We are bringing efficiency to previously time-consuming processes, with an all-in-one, comprehensive platform that features our patent-pending, solar panel layout technology, and a growing software offering that now includes financing options and contract generation."

ModSolar's software enables solar providers to produce solar proposals and contracts in less than five minutes, including the placement of panels on an image of the prospect's roof, as well as the calculation of the return on their solar investment. ModSolar develops software that dramatically reduces the "soft costs" involved in solar sales, solar system design, production of high-quality solar proposals, and all the paperwork surrounding solar installations.

Grupo Clavijo completes 40 MW installation in Chile and starts new 35 MW project

CHILE: The Spanish company Grupo Clavijo has completed the installation of 40 MW of single-axis solar trackers in Chañares (Chile), working with the Greenwood Biosar Chile Spa (Aktor Group) as the EPC company of reference. The project was completed in record time, manufacturing all the trackers in six weeks and assembling them in just two months.

Clavijo has also started another project in Chile comprising 35 MW of single-axis trackers. This type of tracker is becoming the benchmark in the world photovoltaic sector by offering high performance, robustness and wide adaptability to all types of terrain.

Grupo Clavijo is continuing its international expansion with its integral service (from pre-design to installation and maintenance), products with high added value and on-time project execution. The Spanish firm expects to finish this year with more than 650 MW installed worldwide.

Solar3D confirms commitment to growth-through-acquisition

SANTA BARBARA, USA: Solar3D Inc. confirmed that it is committed to expansion via acquisition of profitable solar providers.

Since its acquisition of SUNworks, a solar design and installation firm, in early 2014, Solar3D has experienced strong revenue growth. In July 2014, the company announced second quarter sales of $7.5 million, a 600 percent increase over Q1 2014, resulting in operating profits for the quarter in excess of $762,000.

Yet another indicator of its growth, the SUNworks division also announced its move to a 20,000 square foot facility, tripling the size of its headquarters.

Solar3D's growth-through-acquisition model is fueled by interest from both residential and commercial sectors for solar. According to a market report produced by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, "The US installed 1,133 MW of solar PV in Q2 2014, up 21 percent over Q2 2013, making it the fourth-largest quarter for solar installations in the history of the market."

In further testament to the market opportunity Solar3D continues to aggressively pursue, "53 percent of new electric generating capacity in the US in the first half of 2014 came from solar."

Solar3D is headquartered in California, the home of well over half of the solar systems installed in the US in 2013.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Enel Green Power begins work on new PV plant in Chile

ROME, ITALY: Enel Green Power has started work on the construction of Lalackama II, the company’s fourth photovoltaic plant in Chile.

With a capacity of 19 MW, once fully up and running, the Lalackama II plant will be capable of generating over 50 GWh per year, equivalent to the power consumption needs of about 30,000 Chilean households, therefore avoiding the emission into the atmosphere of over 30,000 tonnes of CO2.

The Lalackama II solar power plant will be constructed in the municipality of Taltal, Antofagasta region, about 950 km north of Santiago. The facility, which will cover an area of some 40 hectares, is an extension of the original Lalackama project, currently at its completion stage. Lalackama II will bring the total installed capacity of the photovoltaic plant to an approximate 79 MW.

The total investment required to build the new power plant is approximately $32 million dollars. Lalackama II is supported by a power supply contract to sell energy to private customers.

In Chile, Enel Green Power runs the Talinay Oriente and Valle de los Vientos wind farms, each with a capacity of 90 MW, and is competing construction work on its largest wind farm in the entire nation, Taltal (99 MW), as well as on the 61 MW Talinay Poniente wind project.

Enel Green Power is also completing construction work on its solar power plants Diego de Almagro (36 MW), Lalackama (60 MW) and Chañares (40 MW). The company is also active in the geothermal sector, exploring a number of concessions with a potential of over 100 MW.

Jinko Power signs 200 MW PV project development agreement with Government of Shicheng County in Jiangxi province

SHANGHAI, CHINA: JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd announced that JinkoSolar Power Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the company has signed a PV project development agreement with the government of Shicheng County, Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province to develop 200MW PV power plant. The project will require an aggregate investment amount of approximately RMB1.6 billion.

The project will be built in Zhuokeng and Fengshan villages, Shicheng County, Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province. The PV power plant will be constructed in four phases over a period of 4 years. The first phase of construction will begin during the first half of 2015.

The project is expected to receive the national subsidy of RMB1/kWh as well as provincial level subsidy of RMB0.2/kWh for 20 years. The PV power plant is expected to generate approximately 240 million kWh of electricity annually and RMB288 million of revenue annually while improving the local environment and contributing to economic development.

"We are pleased to sign this significant PV project development agreement with the government of Shicheng County as we further expand our pipeline in Jiangxi Province," commented Xiande Li, chairman of JinkoSolar.

"We believe this project will be a great success as we leverage the local government's support and willingness to build clean energy infrastructure and our high quality PV products and industry leading capabilities in PV power plant development. This project will enable us to expand our clean energy generation capacities and grow shareholders' value."

Smart grid networking market worth $11.61 billion by 2019

DALLAS, USA: According to new research report "Smart Grid Networking Market by Hardware (Cables, Controllers, Routers, Smart Meter Com Module, Switches), by Software (Network Management: Performance, IP, Device, Security, Configuration), by Services, & by Regions - Global Forecast & Analysis (2014 - 2019)", published by MarketsandMarkets, defines and segments the global smart grid networking market into various sub segments with an in-depth analysis and forecasting of market sizes.

The report also identifies the factors driving this market, various restraints, and opportunities impacting it along with the adoption trends.

Smart grid networking deployments by utility operators helps them to enable two-way communications between different components of electricity transmission and distribution grids. Smart grids networking solutions collects critical data, analyze the data, manage it and monitor the flow of data to keep check on the performance of computer networks.

This in turn, helps the utility operator in decision making for an instance a well-managed grid utilization data helps in forecasting the expected electricity demand during peak hour from different end-users such as, residential, commercial and industrial. One of the major restraints faced by the players in this space is different regulatory frameworks imposed by different governments.

MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global smart grid networking market to grow from $7.12 billion in 2014 to $11.61 billion by 2019, at a CAGR of 10.3 percent. In terms of regions, NA is expected to be the biggest market in terms of market size, whereas MEA and LA are expected to experience increased market traction during the forecasted period.

SunEdison signs JV agreement with JIC Capital

SHANGHAI, CHINA: SunEdison Inc. has announced a joint venture agreement with JIC Capital, to facilitate nonrecourse financing and develop, construct and own up to 1 GW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in China over the next three years.

The joint venture will focus on facilitating and structuring nonrecourse financing for solar PV plants in one of the world's largest and most attractive solar markets. SunEdison, directly or through an affiliate, including a yieldco, may purchase the projects developed by the joint venture at fair market value.

"This historic joint venture is a great step forward for SunEdison," said Ahmad Chatila, president and CEO of SunEdison. "It is a great honor to partner with a leader like JIC Capital, and we are committed to harnessing our world leading technology and deployment capabilities to deliver clean, cost effective solar energy to the people of China."

"Capital contributions will accelerate the growth of the solar market in China, and China's solar PV industry requires international know-how to improve. We see this collaboration brings opportunities to combine capital and industry, to form a focused industrial investment platform for long-term operations," said JianPing Zhang, chairman, JIC Capital.

China has approximately 19 GW of installed solar energy capacity, with a target to reach 35 GW by 2015 and 100 GW by 2020. The joint venture is currently exploring and evaluating several large-scale projects and expects to start construction in early 2015.

Operation and maintenance of the solar power plants will be performed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

MVV Energie and Juwi pool forces to expand renewable energies

GERMANY: The Mannheim-based energy company MVV Energie and the Rheinland-Pfalz project developer Juwi (Wörrstadt) aim to forge a close partnership in expanding renewable energies. As announced by MVV Energie on Thursday morning following a meeting of its Supervisory Board, by participating in a capital increase at Juwi AG the company intends to acquire a 50.1 percent stake in the German renewable energies market leader.

Scheduled for completion by the end of the year, the transaction is conditional on successful implementation of the financing concept with participation of the banks and other financing parties involved, as well as on approval by the Federal Cartel Office. The two companies have agreed confidentiality concerning further financial and organisational details.

According to Dr. Georg Müller, CEO of MVV Energie, the new participation represented a major step for the Mannheim-based group of companies within its MVV 2020 strategic realignment launched in 2009.

He said, "The transformation currently underway in the German energy supply is all about combining renewable and conventional energies as key pillars of the future energy system in a way that makes both economic and ecological sense."

Here, MVV Energie saw itself as a pioneer and driver of this change and covered the entire energy industry value chain within its group of companies. This cooperation represented a historic milestone in the German energy industry. "Others talk about the energy turnaround. We are making it happen," he added

Juwi is known as a pioneer of renewable energies in Germany. By drawing on innovations and its own expertise, it has become the market leader in developing wind and solar projects. Based in Wörrstadt in Rheinland-Pfalz, the company was founded in 1996 and now has around 1,000 employees worldwide. In recent years, Juwi has generated annual sales of up to one billion euros.

Due to changes in the market climate, the company has recently encountered financing difficulties and reacted by introducing a far-reaching restructuring programme and streamlining its organisational processes.

"Once this restructuring is complete," commented MVV CEO, Dr. Müller, "Juwi will complement our own activities and acquisitions in our further growth-driven expansion in renewable energies." This strategic cooperation would offer the stability and development prospects necessary for Juwi, its project partners and new interested parties.

"Together with Juwi, we aim to expand renewable energies on an economically viable, reliable basis and thus help the energy turnaround succeed." On this basis, Juwi would now be able to consistently work on implementing its well-filled project pipeline, as well as on further marketing projects to interested investors.

Juwi's two founders, Fred Jung and Matthias Willenbacher, will in future hold a combined 49.9 percent stake in Juwi AG. For them, the new partnership will successfully "combine the energy industry know-how of a forward-looking energy group with the expertise of an experienced renewable energies project developer. This constellation is so far unique in the German market."

According to its CEO, MVV Energie is at the same time extending its non-investment service business - from asset management via operations management through to direct marketing. Since the spring, MVV Energie has thus assumed the direct marketing of electricity generated at those renewable energies plants at Juwi that do not form part of the current participation process.

Dr. Müller added that these activities are being flanked by current projects aimed at smartly linking renewable and conventional generation plants using innovative components. "This area harbours promising opportunities for new business models, especially in the field of decentralised energy management. We are working on this closely both with partners from within the energy industry and partners from other sectors who are leaders in their respective markets."

SunEdison renewable operations center portfolio surpasses 3 GW

BELMONT, USA: SunEdison announced that its Global Services Division has reached an important milestone, surpassing 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity globally.

The Global Services Division provides a portfolio of service offerings, including Asset Management, Monitoring and Operations and Maintenance. Its operations are managed out of Belmont (California), Chennai (India) and Madrid (Spain).

"2014 has been a strong year for our service business, with growth in third party clients as well as SunEdison's own projects," said Mark McLanahan, president, Global Services, SunEdison.

"Our reputation for delivering best-in-class results and putting customers first is extending beyond our manufacturing, finance, and interconnection expertise to include long-term management relationships.  We take the responsibility of ensuring plant performance and revenue management very seriously and are honored that so many customers choose to work with us."

SunEdison Global Services uses a sophisticated platform of monitoring hardware and software tools to remotely detect anomalies in system performance and to determine the best course of corrective action.  In many instances, issues can be immediately resolved through remote management.

In cases that require on-site expertise, SunEdison relies on its team of highly trained field services technicians, who are experts in all facets of solar power plant operations.  With over 190 technicians located on 6 continents, SunEdison has one of the largest field service teams in the industry.

Asset management, another critical function of SunEdison's Global Services Division, is particularly important for solar investors.  With the myriad of local regulations and multitude of finance structures, understanding asset performance is a complex discipline requiring a unique mix of technical, financial and solar expertise.  As one of the world's top 5 solar service companies, SunEdison asset managers are trusted by leading investment firms.

"Macquarie Infrastructure Company has made a significant investment in contracted power generation using solar PV technology, and we count on SunEdison to ensure the stable and predictable long-term returns that define this asset class," said Bill Green, CEO MIC Renewable Energy Holdings, a division of Macquarie Infrastructure Company and SunEdison Global Services client.

"We trust SunEdison to manage our five solar plants because they understand what it's like to be an owner.  They constantly deploy new tools to ensure that our plants perform well and that we receive operating data in an efficient fashion."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Seattle Mariners swing for fences with solar at Team's Arizona training facility

GREENWICH, SCOTTSDALE & SEATTLE, USA: Healthy Planet Partners, LLC (HPP), a Clean Energy Solutions Fund that finances, implements and maintains distributed energy and energy efficiency projects that optimize performance in commercial buildings, and Kyocera Solar, Inc. announced the completion of a solar rooftop and carport system at the Seattle Mariners Spring Training facility in Peoria, AZ.

HPP developed and financed the project with partner Kyocera Solar which provided engineering and project management support as well as acting as a finance partner.  By doing so, Kyocera lowers the risk and the associated cost of capital to HPP.  Sky Engineering and Construction Inc. built the system at the Peoria Sports Complex, using Kyocera’s industry-leading, high-efficiency solar modules.

This 345kW solar array will generate approximately 529MWh of clean electricity annually.  The project will also eliminate approximately 365 metric tons of CO2 emissions, which is the environmental equivalent of powering more than thirty-three homes for one year or burning more than 391,722 pounds of coal, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.

“The Seattle Mariners enjoyed working with HPP, Kyocera and Sky Engineering to deploy this solar project; in our parlance – they’ve hit a home run,” said Joe Myhra, Seattle Mariners VP of ballpark operations.

“Incorporating solar in our energy mix, along with deploying other sustainable practices, is at the core of our operations.  Not only is ‘greening’ our facilities the right thing to do, it's also good for the corporate bottom line and we know this PV array at our Arizona training facility will be an important element in our overall energy savings plans.”

The new solar installation reinforces environmental responsibility efforts of the Mariners, which have resulted in savings of more than $1.75 MM in electricity, natural gas, water, and sewer charges since 2006. The team has been named American League Recycling Champions by Major League Baseball the last two consecutive years.

Kyocera Solar Inc., the only solar module manufacturer to earn the highest rating across all six PV module test categories in GTM Research’s July 2014 PV Module Reliability Scorecard, served as technical advisor for the project, which was conceptualized by HPP.  The 1,380 Kyocera KU250 modules will also provide shade to 96 vehicles at the complex, shielding them from the powerful Arizona sun.

Top US solar design firm active in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

ALAMEDA, USA: Blymyer Engineers, the nation’s leading solar design firm, announced the cumulative effect of its engineering designs for solar projects has reduced carbon dioxide (C02) emissions nationally by 1,171,000 metric tons per year, or a whopping 26,933,000 metric tons over the lifetime of these solar projects.

According to EPA removing just one million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere is equal to the emissions from cars driving three billion miles, or burning over one billion pounds of coal.

“This is an unprecedented achievement for our company and demonstrates how solar is augmenting our country’s energy needs with a clean and renewable energy source,” states Michael Rantz, president of Blymyer Engineers. “The solar projects we’ve worked on not only save energy and create jobs but significantly reduce the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.”

Scientists and energy experts agree release of CO2 into the atmosphere is the main reason the planet is getting hotter. As temperatures continue to rise so does the likelihood of extreme weather disasters like floods, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes and hundred year storms.

By designing multiple solar projects across the country Blymyer Engineers is helping to reduce the overall atmospheric carbon load. The company successfully partners with contractors and utilities nationwide enabling solar projects to extract the maximum amount of power via Blymyer’s’ efficient designs and innovative thinking.

Each year US electric power plants emit more than two billion tons of carbon dioxide while producing electricity from fossil fuels. That’s roughly 40 percent of the country’s CO2 emissions.  Electricity derived from solar power is clean and releases no CO2 into the atmosphere.

A major trade group, the Solar Energy Industries Association, estimates over 26,000 MW of utility-scale solar projects are currently under development in the US, with Blymyer Engineers designing systems for several of these projects.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Canadian Solar modules to power key solar projects in Honduras

GUELPH, CANADA: Canadian Solar Inc.has executed a sales contract to supply photovoltaic (PV) modules to two utility scale projects totaling 146.4 MWp in Honduras.

These two projects, entitled Project Developer/EPC Solar Power S.A. de C.V. (SOPOSA) and Companía Hondurena de Energia Solar S.A. de C.V. (COHESSA), will be constructed in the southern region of Honduras between December 2014 and March 2015. Each project powers approximately 73.2 MWp, bringing the total to 146.4 MWp.

This is equivalent to supplying energy needs to 45,000 homes in Honduras with cost-effective and renewable green energy.  These two projects represent a milestone for SOPOSA and COHESSA, whose corporate vision strives to develop solar projects that maintain the highest standards of sustainable development.

"We are pleased to be selected to supply our PV modules to SOPOSA and COHESSA, both world leading developers and EPC providers. I am confident that Canadian Solar's global experience, proven track record, and consistent product performance will continue to make us a partner of choice in supplying our modules to key solar installations worldwide," said Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.

Since 2010, Canadian Solar's PV modules have consistently been ranked at the top of the PVUSA Test Conditions (PTC) Ratings, maintaining their leadership position in the market. Furthermore, for the fourth year in a row, Canadian Solar has achieved first-rate results on the Potential Induced Degradation (PID) test results. This test assesses how well modules withstand extreme environmental conditions in a test laboratory.

Trina Solar's high-efficiency monocrystalline Honey module sets new world record for peak power output of 335.2W

CHANGZHOU, CHINA: Trina Solar Ltd announced that its high-efficiency Honey solar module has set a new world record for peak power output for P-type monocrystalline silicon PV modules, as independently certified by TUV Rheinland.

The module was developed in the Company's State Key Lab of PV Science and Technology and is composed of 60 156mm x 156mm high-efficiency Honey monocrystalline silicon cells. It generates a peak power output of 335.2W, breaking the previous world record of 326.3W, set by Trina's Solar's original Honey module in April 2014.

"We are thrilled to once again break the power output world record for P-type monocrystalline silicon PV modules just six months after we first set it. Through our advanced State Key Lab of PV Science and Technology Trina Solar is delivering on its commitment to be the innovation leader in the industry," said Dr. Zhiqiang Feng, Technology VP and director of the State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology of Trina Solar.

"The fact that we have broken the world record twice within just half a year gives us confidence in the huge potential to commercialize modules with higher efficiency, thereby reducing the cost of achieving grid parity and providing high-efficiency solar energy to more households in the near future."

Leading US companies make big investments in solar energy

WASHINGTON, USA: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative (Vote Solar) released the annual Solar Means Business report, identifying major commercial solar projects and ranking America’s top corporate solar users.

The report found that Walmart remains America’s commercial solar leader with 89 megawatts (MW) at 215 locations. The Top 25 companies, ranked by installed capacity, are Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Apple, IKEA, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, McGraw Hill, Staples, Campbell’s Soup, U.S. Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kaiser Permanente, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Target, Safeway, FedEx, Intel, L’OREAL, General Motors, Toys “R” Us, White Rose Foods, Toyota, and Dow Jones & Company.

Combined, these top 25 companies have deployed 445 megawatts of solar capacity, a 48 percent increase from one year ago.

“The list of companies moving to clean, affordable solar energy reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the most successful corporations in America,” said SEIA president and CEO, Rhone Resch.

“These iconic brands are leading the way when it comes to efforts to reduce our nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign energy sources. They’re also helping to create thousands of American jobs, boost the US economy and improve our environment.  At the same time, they’re reducing operating expenses, which benefits both their customers and shareholders.”

"For years, the promise of solar was always 'just around the corner.'  Well, solar has turned the corner, and found itself on Main Street, USA.  These companies – titans of American business – may have vastly different products, business models, and geographic locations, but they all have something in common: they know a good deal when they see one, and they are going solar in a big way," said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made towards installing solar panels atop nearly 90 percent of our U.S. locations,” said Mike Ward, president, IKEA US.

“We appreciate the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative for acknowledging our commitment to sustainability as represented by our investment in solar photovoltaic technology. We are honored to be recognized for helping contribute to the development, expansion and promotion of the US solar industry as we work toward our goal of using 100 percent renewable energy in our operations.”

“As we work toward our ambitious goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, solar energy continues to be an important part of our renewable energy portfolio,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, VP for energy, Walmart. “With our size and scale, Walmart is in a unique position to encourage innovation and accelerate the adoption of cost-effective, clean energy alternatives, including solar power.”

Ken Bonning, Kohl’s senior executive VP, said: “As one of the largest hosts of solar electricity generation in North America, Kohl’s continues to make solar and the use and support of green power key components of our sustainable operations strategy. Solar also plays an important role in our goal to achieve carbon neutrality through 2015. Across all of our sustainability initiatives – from renewable energy and designing energy-efficient buildings to supply chain collaboration and waste reduction – we are demonstrating our commitment to being an environmentally responsible retailer and setting a positive example in the communities we serve.”

"Solar energy has played a significant role supporting our corporate goal of promoting the use of 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020," said Rob Threlkeld, General Motors manager of renewable energy. "Thanks to organizations, like SEIA, that tout the fiscal and environmental benefits of a solar program, we've seen many companies roll a solar strategy into their business, which is a benefit to everyone."

Solar Means Business also ranks the Top 25 companies by number of solar energy systems, the Top 5 companies in the food services, health and beauty and automobile sectors and the Top 10 retail companies.

Like these companies, America Supports Solar. From coast to coast, solar is creating jobs, saving money and decreasing our reliance on outside energy sources. In total, the companies analyzed for this report have deployed systems in 30 states and Puerto Rico. View map.

Solar growth among these leading businesses reflects the growth in the US commercial solar sector as a whole. As of Q2 2013, the cumulative commercial solar deployment totaled 3,380 MW and was located at more than 32,800 facilities throughout the country, representing an increase of over 40 percent from last year.

Suntech partners with Munich Re and Ping An to insure its performance warranties

WUXI, CHINA: Wuxi Suntech announced it is adding another measure of protection for customer warranties: Its modules’ performance will be insured by Chinese-based insurance company Ping An and reinsured by the leading risk carrier, Munich Re.

This new insurance policy provides 25 years’ warranty protection for Suntech in the event of a significant decrease of performance for modules – a move expected to help expand sales by providing Suntech’s customers with reassurance in the performance quality of their products

“We have great confidence that our products are of the highest quality and are built to last,” said Suntech CEO, Eric Luo. “But to ensure our customers feel fully protected, our new insurance policy with Ping An and reinsurance by Munich Re will allow us to continue to honor  our  products ‘performance warranties, while still maintaining our strong financial balance sheet.”

Suntech recently announced that its polycrystalline silicon modules ranked above industry standards in a technical review conducted by UK-based consultancy OST Energy. The announcement followed Suntech’s modules receiving the VDE-Quality Tested certification, which recognizes products with a level of quality control that goes beyond existing standards in the photovoltaic industry.

“Thanks to the cooperation with our partner Ping An, we are able to provide an innovative performance warranty insurance solution for Suntech’s modules that are fundamental to the sustainable success in the solar industry,” said August Proebstl, head of Corporate Insurance Partner at Munich Re. “It sets industry standards by being the first significant deal when it comes to volume insured and indemnity offered to a manufacturer domiciled in the People’s Republic of China.”

“We are excited to work with Munich Re under our Co-operation Agreement in the renewable energy sectors to support Suntech as it emerges with a new business strategy and grows in new verticals globally,” said Mr. Xin Wang, GM of Property & Casualty at Ping An. “Our role is to promote and protect the development of Chinese PV companies and we are proud to offer reliable long term insurance coverage capacity to Suntech now and for many years to come.”

Recently acquired by Hong Kong-based Shunfeng Photovoltaics Ltd., Suntech now has the strongest financial footing in the solar industry with nearly zero debt allowing the company to invest in growing the business through partnerships and expansion of its sales, marketing and services teams.

Suntech will provide one-stop access to the Shunfeng family of companies including capabilities in design, engineering, manufacturing, construction, finance, insurance, operation and maintenance, energy storage, solar products and applications.

America’s leading companies continue to invest big in solar energy

WASHINGTON, USA: Reflective of the growing popularity and increasing growth of solar nationwide, many of America’s leading Fortune 100 companies continue to significantly ramp up their use of clean solar energy, according to the 3rd annual Solar Means Business report, which was released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The comprehensive report, which identifies major commercial solar projects and ranks top corporate solar users, shows Walmart at the top of the list for the third year in a row with 105 megawatts (MW) installed at 254 locations.

Rounding out the top 25 companies utilizing solar are Kohl’s, Costco, Apple, IKEA, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, Target, McGraw Hill, Staples, Campbell’s Soup, U.S. Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kaiser Permanente, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Safeway, FedEx, Intel, L’Oreal, General Motors, Toys “R” Us, Verizon, White Rose Foods, Toyota and AT&T.

Combined, these blue chip companies have deployed 569 MW of solar capacity at 1,100 locations – a 28 percent increase over a year ago and a 103 percent increase since 2012, when the first report was released. Representing a “Who’s Who” of the corporate world, these companies are playing an increasingly important role in the development, expansion and promotion of solar nationwide, while also reducing their operating expenses, benefiting customers and shareholders alike.

“What do Walmart, Costco and Apple have in common besides selling cell phones and computers? These iconic brands, and many others like them, are all investing big in solar energy,” said SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch.

“These forward-looking companies are helping to create thousands of American jobs, boost the U.S. economy and improve our environment. The 1,110 commercial solar systems currently in operation are generating enough clean electricity to prevent 549,296 metric tons of damaging carbon emissions from being released into our air. That’s the equivalent of saving nearly 62 million gallons of gasoline.”

Today, IKEA leads all companies in the percentage of their facilities that are solar powered, with nearly 9 out of 10 stores now utilizing clean, reliable and affordable solar energy. General Motors is next in line at 43 percent.

According to the report, the “growing adoption of solar by the commercial sector is predominantly the result of consistent price declines. The average price of a completed commercial PV project in Q2 2014 has dropped by 14 percent year over year and 45 percent since 2012. As solar prices continue to fall, more businesses in more states turn to solar to cut operating costs.”

“Going solar is a smart way for these blue chip companies to increase value for their shareholders,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of Clean Power Finance and SEIA Board chairman. “Businesses are dealing with higher and more volatile electric rates. At the same time, price declines and financing innovations have reduced the upfront cost of solar. These and other factors make solar a sound business decision today, and consistent policies at the state and federal levels will make solar a top three energy source for the U.S. in the future."

Intersolar North America welcomes solar industry veteran to leadership team

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Intersolar North America announced the addition of Jim Callihan to its team as director, Sales and Marketing North America.

Drawing from nearly two decades of experience in the solar industry, Callihan will serve as a liaison and advisor for exhibitors and partners looking to maximize event participation.

Intersolar North America 2015, taking place July 14 – 16 in San Francisco, will welcome solar professionals from across the supply chain to share insights into the technologies, business models and policies spurring solar industry growth.

Callihan will work directly with Intersolar North America’s exhibitors and partners to enhance corporate visibility and establish new business connections through unique event marketing programs before and during the event. He will also introduce and integrate Intersolar’s global event opportunities for North America exhibitors seeking to expand internationally.

“Intersolar’s mission to increase the share of solar sources in the world’s energy supply mirrors my own vision for ongoing growth and development of solar power home and abroad,” said Callihan. “Intersolar events have been central to my solar education over the past 15 years, and I look forward to working alongside this dedicated team to translate my experience into success for our exhibitors and partners each July in San Francisco.”

Callihan comes to the Intersolar team with deep and diverse experience in the solar industry. He was co-founder of the solar industry news site,, known today as Renewable Energy World. Under Callihan’s leadership, Renewable Energy World grew its online audience to 350,000 readers monthly and its digital magazine subscriber base to more than 50,000.

“Visitors return to Intersolar North America each year because of the quality business connections and novel insights shared exclusively at our event, and Jim will play a key role in our efforts to connect solar businesses,” said Markus Elsaesser, CEO of Solar Promotion International GmBH, a co-organizer of Intersolar North America. “Jim is an excellent addition to our already stellar team. Together, we will work to ensure that our exhibitors and partners receive the full value of Intersolar North America in 2015 and beyond.”

SunEnergy1 begins installation of JinkoSolar panels

CHARLOTTE, USA: SunEnergy1 has begun installing JinkoSolar panels at the Duke Energy Renewables-owned Capital Partners Solar Project in eastern North Carolina.

The solar project was announced June 24 as a unique partnership among three customers – George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital -- that will bring solar power from rural North Carolina to the urban settings of the Washington, D.C., institutions. Customer First Renewables, a renewable energy integrator, facilitated the partnership.

Phase I, in Pasquotank County near Elizabeth City, is underway and represents the first 20 megawatts (MW) of the total 52-MW (AC) solar photovoltaic project. It is expected to reach commercial operation by year-end, and two other sites will be constructed in 2015 to complete the project.

SunEnergy1 developed the sites and is the engineering, procurement and construction contrac The 92,000 solar panels for the first 20-MW site are provided by JinkoSolar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Etrion announces start of construction on 34 MW plant in Japan

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Etrion Corp. announced the start of construction on its first 34 megawatts in Japan jointly owned with Hitachi High-Technologies Corp., a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.

Marco A. Northland, Etrion’s CEO, commented: “We are pleased to begin construction on schedule for our first 34 MW in Japan with our partner, Hitachi High-Tech. We have now demonstrated our unique execution capability in the Japanese solar market – from greenfield development through project finance and construction – and we look forward to accelerating our growth in the months ahead. Etrion and Hitachi are committed to delivering shovel-ready or under-construction projects in Japan totaling 100 MW by 2015 and 300 MW by 2017.

Shizukuishi is a 24.7 MW utility-scale solar PV power plant under construction on one site in the Iwate Prefecture of Japan. Construction-related works began this month, and the solar project is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.

The solar power plant is being built on 51 hectares of leased land, and the facility will connect through Tohoku Electric Power Co. Inc. The project has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Tohoku Electric Power utility to receive ¥40 per kilowatt-hour produced (approximately $0.37 per kWh). Once operational, Shizukuishi is expected to produce
approximately 25.6 gigawatt-hours of solar electricity per year.

Mito is a 9.3 MW utility-scale solar PV power project including five sites under construction in the Ibaraki Prefecture of Japan. Construction began this month, and the solar project is expected to be operational by the end of 2015. The solar power plant is being built on 27 hectares of leased land, and the facility will connect through the Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The project is expected to enter into a 20-year PPA by the end of 2014 with TEPCO to receive ¥40 per kWh produced (approximately $0.37 per kWh). Once operational, Mito is expected to produce approximately 10.3 GWh of solar electricity per year.

The total project cost for both projects is being financed approximately 80% through project debt from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd with an 18-year tenor. The first drawdown of the project loan for Shizukuishi was recently completed. The remaining approximate 20 percent equity portion for the projects is being funded by Etrion and Hitachi High-Tech based on their respective ownership interests in each project of approximately 87 percent and 13 percent.

JinkoSolar to supply 21.5MW of PV solar modules for Searchlight Solar project in US

SHANGHAI, CHINA: JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd announced that it will supply 21.5MW PV solar modules for the construction of the Searchlight solar project located near Searchlight, NV, approximately 50 miles south of Las Vegas.

The project was acquired by an affiliate of D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments, L.L.C (DESRI) and Bright Plain Renewable Energy (BPRE), two investors active in the solar industry, from American Capital Energy Inc., the initial developer of the project. Signal Energy will act as the EPC for the project and will provide operation and maintenance services once the project is completed.

Around 70,525 high-efficiency JinkoSolar modules will be used in the construction of this project, which will generate approximately 45,000MWh of clean energy annually for NV Energy customers once it is connected to the grid by the end of 2014.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with such reputable companies as DESRI, BPRE and Signal Energy on this sizeable project”, said Nigel Cockroft, GM of JinkoSolar (US) Inc. “Being a global leader in the industry, we are proud to be in a position where we can continually provide excellent products, while promoting a brighter, more sustainable future for the US and the world.”

“The Searchlight project is an important milestone in achieving Nevada’s renewable energy goals,” said Bryan Martin, MD and head of US growth and buyout private equity at the D. E. Shaw group. “We are pleased to be partnering with JinkoSolar, BPRE, and Signal Energy in helping transform the state’s natural solar resources into a clean and reliable source of energy.”

“Signal Energy Constructors is proud to provide its utility-scale solar EPC expertise to the Searchlight Solar Project,” said Ben Fischer, CEO of Signal Energy Constructors. “There are great opportunities in the solar industry over the next few decades and projects like this help build a clean energy future for America.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Solar-Log and Generaytor leverage power of social media to accelerate solar adoption

BETHEL, USA: Solar Data Systems, Inc. and Generaytor, have announced a partnership that connects the new Solar-Log & GE Meter to the Generaytor community of passionate solar homeowners.

The Solar-Log and GE Meter integrated the market leading PV monitoring technology with the popular General Electric residential meter. The resulting device assures maximized solar electric performance while providing revenue grade reporting.

Solar-Log customers are now able to connect to the Generaytor community, share their solar experiences, discover other supportive local solar homeowners, showcase their real-time solar performance, and gain insights beyond their own energy production.

Generaytor community members can also invite their friends to experience the benefits of solar through a “Virtual Solar” simulation. A street address and some basic details about the home are all that are needed for an accurate prediction of the financial benefits of going solar. Continuously updated performance data from nearby Solar-Log monitored systems help calculate the estimates.

Trina Solar announces sale of 10.6MW PV power plant in UK to funds managed by Foresight Group

CHANGZHOU, CHINA: Trina Solar Ltd has signed a share purchase agreement on September 30, 2014 to sell the company's 10.6MW PV power plant located in Trehawke, UK to funds managed by Foresight Group LLP. This is the first of two Trina Solar UK projects that connected to the grid in Q1 2014.

The utility-scale Trehawke solar power plant utilizes 41,404 Trina Solar TSM-255-PC05A modules that provide high quality, durability and performance. The solar power plant generates 10,300 MWh of electricity every year.

"We are delighted to acquire the 10.6MW PV power plant located in Trehawke, Cornwall from Trina Solar, which has a successful track-record of delivering value to its clients," said Ricardo Piñeiro, director and head of UK Solar at Foresight.

"The transaction is consistent with Foresight's strategy to invest in high quality operational assets built by world-leading tier one solar power system developers, such as Trina Solar and which offer stable returns for our investors. This transaction with Trina Solar showcases the strength of working with a partner with international credentials, and we look forward to further co-operation with Trina Solar in the near future."

"This is an exciting step forward for Trina Solar's overseas downstream expansion and underscores our continued momentum in the UK," said Jifan Gao, CEO of Trina Solar.

"Successful completion of this sale will allow us to redeploy resources on other projects and to further expand our pipeline in the UK. We currently have an additional 49.9MW project under construction in the UK expected to be completed in Q1 2015, which has attracted the interest of several potential buyers. We look forward to more sales in the near future and will continue our project development through the outstanding efforts of our company and local strategic partners."

Energy sector key to powering prosperity in sub-Saharan Africa

LONDON, ENGLAND: Increasing access to modern forms of energy is crucial to unlocking faster economic and social development in sub‑Saharan Africa, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Africa Energy Outlook, a Special Report in the 2014 World Energy Outlook series.

More than 620 million people in the region (two-thirds of the population) live without electricity, and nearly 730 million people rely on dangerous, inefficient forms of cooking. The use of solid biomass (mainly fuelwood and charcoal) outweighs that of all other fuels combined, and average electricity consumption per capita is not enough to power a single 50-watt light bulb continuously.

“A better functioning energy sector is vital to ensuring that the citizens of sub-Saharan Africa can fulfil their aspirations,” said IEA executive director, Maria van der Hoeven. “The energy sector is acting as a brake on development, but this can be overcome and the benefits of success are huge.”

In the IEA’s first comprehensive analysis of sub-Saharan Africa, it finds that the region’s energy resources are more than sufficient to meet the needs of its population, but that they are largely under-developed. The region accounted for almost 30 percent of global oil and gas discoveries made over the last five years, and it is already home to several major energy producers, including Nigeria, South Africa and Angola.

It is also endowed with huge renewable energy resources, including excellent and widespread solar and hydro potential, as well as wind and geothermal.

The report finds that investment in sub-Saharan energy supply has been growing, but that two-thirds of the total since 2000 has been aimed at developing resources for export. Grid-based power generation capacity continues to fall very far short of what is needed, and half of it is located in just one country (South Africa). Insufficient and unreliable supply has resulted in large-scale ownership of costly back‑up generators.

In the report’s central scenario, the sub-Saharan economy quadruples in size by 2040, the population nearly doubles (to over 1.75 billion) and energy demand grows by around 80 percent. Power generation capacity also quadruples: renewables grow strongly to account for nearly 45 percent of total sub-Saharan capacity, varying in scale from large hydropower dams to smaller mini- and off-grid solutions, while there is a greater use of natural gas in gas-producing countries.

Natural gas production reaches 230 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2040, led by Nigeria (which continues to be the largest producer), and increasing output from Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola. LNG exports onto the global market triple to around 95 bcm. Oil production exceeds 6 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2020 before falling back to 5.3 mb/d in 2040.

Nigeria and Angola continue to be the largest oil producers by far, but with a host of other producers supplying smaller volumes. Sub-Saharan demand for oil products doubles to 4 mb/d in 2040, squeezing the region’s net contribution to the global oil balance. Coal supply grows by 50%, and continues to be focused on South Africa, but it is joined increasingly by Mozambique and others.

The capacity and efficiency of the sub-Saharan energy system increases, but so do the demands placed upon it, and many of the existing energy challenges are only partly overcome. In 2040, energy consumption per capita remains very low, and the widespread use of fuelwood and charcoal persists.

The outlook for providing access to electricity is bittersweet: nearly one billion people gain access to electricity by 2040 but, because of rapid population growth, more than half a billion people remain without it. Sub-Saharan Africa also stands on the front line when it comes to the impacts of climate change, even though it continues to make only a small contribution to global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.

“Economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa hinges critically on fixing the energy sector,” said IEA chief economist, Fatih Birol. “The payoff can be huge; with each additional dollar invested in the power sector boosting the overall economy by $15.”

In an “African Century Case”, the IEA report shows that three actions could boost the sub-Saharan economy by a further 30 percent in 2040, and deliver an extra decade’s worth of growth in per-capita incomes by 2040. These actions are:

* An additional $450 billion in power sector investment, reducing power outages by half and achieving universal electricity access in urban areas.

* Deeper regional co-operation and integration, facilitating new large-scale generation and transmission projects and enabling a further expansion in cross-border trade.

* Better management of energy resources and revenues, adopting robust and transparent processes that allow for more effective use of oil and gas revenues.

As well as boosting economic growth, these actions bring electricity to an additional 230 million people by 2040. They result in more oil and gas projects going ahead and a higher share of the resulting government revenues being reinvested in key infrastructure.

More regional electricity supply and transmission projects also advance, helping to keep down the average cost of supply. But the report warns that these actions must be accompanied by broad governance reforms if they are to put sub‑Saharan Africa on a more rapid path to a modern, integrated energy system for all.