Renewable Energy World Markets
TABLE OF CONTENTS
IEA calculations based on preliminary data show that China has now overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest energy user. China’s rise to the top ranking was faster than expected as it was much less affected by the global financial crisis than the United States.
For those who have been following energy consumption trends closely, this does not come as a surprise. What is more important is the phenomenal growth in demand that has taken place in China over the last decade; also, prospects for future growth still remain incredibly strong. Since 2000, China’s energy demand has doubled, yet on a per capita basis it is still only around one-third of the OECD average. Prospects for further growth are very strong considering the country’s low per-capita consumption level and the fact that China is the most populous nation on the planet, with more than 1.3 billion people.
China’s demand today would be even higher if the government had not made such progress in reducing the energy intensity (the energy input per dollar of output) of its economy. It has also very quickly become one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy, particularly wind power and solar energy, and paved the way for a big expansion of nuclear power.
The worldwide implications of these new trends will be assessed in the upcoming World Energy Outlook 2010 to be released on November 9, 2010.
In 2009, for the second year in a row, both the U.S. and Europe added more power capacity from renewable sources such as wind and solar than from conventional sources like coal, gas and nuclear, according to twin reports launched by the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).
Renewables accounted for 60 percent of newly-installed capacity in Europe and more than 50 percent in the U.S.A. in 2009. This year or next, experts predict, the world as a whole will add more capacity to the electricity supply from renewable than non-renewable sources.
The reports detail trends in the global green energy sector, including which sources attracted the greatest attention from investors and governments in different world regions.
Investment in core clean energy (new renewables, biofuels and energy efficiency) decreased by 7 percent in 2009 to the value of $162 billion. Many sub-sectors declined significantly in money invested, including large (utility) scale solar power and biofuels.
However, there was record investment in wind power. If spending on solar water heaters, as well as total installation costs for rooftop solar PV, were included, total investment in 2009 actually increased in 2009, bucking the economic trend.
New private and public sector investments in core clean energy leapt 53 percent in China in 2009. China added 37 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power, more than any other country.
China surpassed the U.S. in 2009 as the country with the greatest investment in clean energy. China’s wind farm development was the strongest investment feature of the year by far, although there were other areas of strength worldwide in 2009, notably North Sea offshore wind investment and the financing of power storage and electric vehicle technology companies.
Globally, nearly 80 GW of renewable power capacity was added, including 31 GW of hydro and 48 GW of non-hydro capacity.
China surpassed the U.S. in 2009 as the country with the greatest investment in clean energy. China’s wind farm development was the strongest investment feature of the year by far, although there were other areas of strength worldwide in 2009, notably North Sea offshore wind investment and the financing of power storage and electric vehicle technology companies.
Wind power and solar PV additions reached a record high of 38 GW and 7 GW, respectively. Investment totals in utility-scale solar PV declined relative to 2008, partly a result of large drops in the costs of solar PV. However, this decline was offset by record investment in small-scale (rooftop) solar PV projects.
The reports also show that countries with policies encouraging renewable energy have roughly doubled from 55 in 2005 to more than 100 today — half of them in the developing world — and have played a critically-important role in the sector’s rapid growth.
The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Mr. Nobuo Tanaka, presented the IEA’s new “Energy Technology Perspectives 2010” at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The study provides answers to the question of how technological advances and innovation can accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy supply.
One of the study’s central assertions that is the decarbonization of electricity generation can be achieved only if all relevant technologies are put into action toward this aim — these include renewable energy sources as well as nuclear power and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
At the presentation, which was attended by representatives from government, business and science, Mr. Jochem Homann, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, highlighted the key role that the IEA plays in analyzing and formulating political strategies to develop and implement new energy technologies. He emphasized that the Energy Technology Perspectives offer particularly important guidance in this respect: “The IEA’s new study arrives at just the right time. Its findings will flow into the German government’s ongoing work on our new Energy Research Programme. Most significant is the assessment that over half of the necessary CO2 savings can be achieved through the use of new technologies by end-users. Germany is a world leader in this area. Thus by exporting cutting-edge technologies, we can make an important contribution to global climate protection.”
The German government’s Energy Research Programme, which is led by the Federal Economics Ministry, is to be unveiled in 2011. The program will focus primarily on the fields of energy efficiency, storage technology, smart grids and renewable energy.
The IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives are published every two years. In the newest edition for 2010, the IEA has adapted scenarios to current developments and, for the first time, has included detailed regional studies on the European OECD countries, the United States, China and India. Further information on the Energy Technology Perspectives is available at www.iea.org.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced 43 cutting-edge research projects that aim to dramatically improve how the U.S. uses and produces energy. Funded with $92 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), these selections focus on accelerating innovation in green technology while increasing America’s competitiveness in grid scale energy storage, power electronics and building efficiency.
The projects announced are based in 18 states, with 36 percent of projects led by universities, 33 percent by small businesses, 24 percent by large businesses, 5 percent by national labs, and 2 percent by non-profits. These awards complete ARPA-E’s grants under its Recovery Act funding: in three rounds of awards since last year, the agency has selected a total of 117 projects for $349 million in funding, supporting research that can deliver breakthrough changes in how the U.S. generates, stores, and utilizes energy.
The topic areas for projects announced include:
(1) Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage (GRIDS),
(2) Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology (ADEPT), and
(3) Building Energy Efficiency through Innovative Thermodevices (BEET-IT).
New greenhouse gas emissions and energy policies at the federal level could generate as many as 2.5 million new jobs and $134 billion in economic activity in the U.S. while keeping energy costs down, according to a new report from the Center for Climate Strategies, published with Johns Hopkins University.
The report is based on economic impacts of climate policies developed by 16 states and calls for adoption of 23 specific policy approaches that have the potential to reduce pollution, are cost-effective, and improve energy, health, environment, and economic development.
Suggested policy adoptions would focus on creation of new clean energy sources for heat and power; improved energy efficiency and industrial processes; transportation and land use improvements; agriculture and forestry conservation; and expanded recycling and waste energy recovery under a national framework.
Assuming full and appropriately scaled implementation of all 23 actions in all U.S. states, the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions would surpass national GHG targets proposed by President Obama and congressional legislation, and would reduce U.S. emissions to 27 percent below 1990 levels in 2020, equal to 4.46 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (BMtCO2e).
The Center for Climate Strategies was established in 2004 and is a nonpartisan 501(c)3. CCS works with 40 states and several regions across the U.S. and in Mexico and China, to develop and advance comprehensive climate and energy policies and actions.
The Governmental Studies Program of Johns Hopkins University Washington Center periodically publishes timely reports of pathbreaking work that can better inform ongoing policy debate. This report can be viewed in full at http://energypolicyreport.jhu.edu.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that $30 million in funding from the Recovery Act and Fiscal Year 2010 budget appropriations will be made available to qualified small businesses to support the commercialization of promising new technologies. This funding announcement builds on the Department’s existing efforts under the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) to develop near-term clean energy technologies and support American small businesses that will play an important role in building the clean energy economy of the future. This is the first time DOE has offered Phase III awards under these small business programs.
Small companies previously awarded Phase II grants through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) or the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) are eligible. Projects that include developed technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and impact on U.S. manufacturing and job creation are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants may receive up to $3 million over three years to research, develop and deploy new technologies.
The nation’s governors were to explore policies that expand domestic energy production from both traditional and renewable sources during the National Governors Association (NGA) Annual Meeting, July 9-11 in Boston, MA.
The discussion, titled “Capitalizing on America’s Domestic Energy,” was to occur during the Natural Resources Committee meeting on Saturday, July 10 at the Sheraton Boston. During the session, governors were going to discuss how to craft a comprehensive and multi-faceted energy future that capitalizes on America’s domestic energy resources and is sustainable, as well as affordable.
“I look forward to hearing about efforts to develop projects and technologies that can safely increase access to domestic natural gas sources,” said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, chair of the committee. “Collaboration is key to improving domestic energy production and can help governors plan for the future.”
“Learning about ways that governors can develop and expand carbon capture and sequestration technologies will enable us to increase domestic energy opportunities in our states,” said Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, vice chair of the committee. “We have an opportunity to significantly increase our nation’s domestic energy production by sharing ideas and formulating approaches that really work.”
The meeting was to include committee members, Regina Hopper, president & CEO, America’s Natural Gas Alliance and Nicholas K. Atkins, executive vice president, Generation, American Electric Power.
ICF International’s newly-released, second quarter Integrated Energy Outlook projects a significant shift to renewable, gas, and nuclear sources of energy should new carbon legislation be passed by the U.S. Congress.
Energy experts at ICF International, a leading provider of consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients, foresee the retirement of a substantial number of coal-fired electric generation facilities because Hazardous Air Pollution (HAPS) regulations will require large capital outlays for pollution control equipment.
The latest version of ICF’s quarterly Integrated Energy Outlook seeks to answer the key industry questions of whether energy market prices will continue to recover or slip back to 2009 levels, and how energy prices and new regulations will influence power markets.
Key findings of ICF’s 2nd quarter Integrated Energy Outlook include:
· The CO2 allowance price ceiling will be binding in some, but not all, years should Congress pass the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act.
· HAPS regulations will require large capital outlays on pollution control equipment and the retirement of a substantial amount of coal-fired electric generation capacity.
· Robust growth in gas demand will apply upward pressure on natural gas prices.
· New combined cycle generating capacity will not be economically viable over the next five years, although the timing varies across regions.
· California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard may be the most aggressive in the country, but the sheer size of the PJM Interconnection market contributes to greater overall renewable energy demand.
· Coal prices are expected to rise in the near term because of growing domestic and international demand.
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the United States Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance (USPREF) jointly identified an impending gap in federal support for renewable energy projects at the close of 2010. At a press conference at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum — Wall Street (REFF — Wall Street), top leaders from the financial industry discussed the anticipated post-stimulus landscape for renewable energy and expressed grave concern about potential deceleration and loss of jobs. In particular, the group called for extension of the 1603 Renewable Energy Treasury Grants, also known as the Grant in Lieu of Investment Tax Credit.
“The renewable energy industry is facing a new double crisis: first, a ‘stimulus cliff’ will occur as the ARRA provisions sunset, and, second, a drought of capital continues because the financial crisis has not ended,” said Michael Eckhart, President, American Council On Renewable Energy. “Indeed, the financial crisis goes on, and if not, addressed, the situation risks losing thousands of jobs that were just gained under ARRA.”
With the financial crisis likely to go on for another one to two years, the group agreed that the tax equity markets are likely to remain extremely challenging and lack depth to continue renewable adoption without a material fall off at the end of the year; the 1603 cash grant program, the loan guarantee programs, and manufacturing incentives will be needed to provide vitally important cash infusions and financing to project developers.
More than 100 Ph.D. economists with expertise in California energy and climate issues released an open letter in July warning against any delay in the implementation of California clean energy policies. The letter was organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
A broad array of the nation’s leading economists, including Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow, a former professor at Stanford University, disagree with those who support suspending implementation of emission reduction policies. “Delaying action now,” the letter states, ”will be more costly than initiating action now.”
“Postponing the implementation of California’s 2006 law, the Global Warming Solutions Act, will make it more expensive in the end for California to clean up our air pollution,” said Michael Hanemann, Professor of agricultural and resource economics and co-director of U Berkley’s Climate and Energy Policy Institute. “The Air Resources Board is pursuing a balanced and prudent approach that emphasizes increasing our energy efficiency and reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels that jeopardize our energy security. Any delay in implementing the law would benefit some special interests while imposing a greater burden on local governments.”
The 118 economists who signed the letter support AB 32 and the clean energy policies it requires, stating that these policies can “stimulate innovation and efficiency, help the state become a technological leader in the global marketplace, improve our energy security, create new business opportunities and more jobs, and provide immediate benefits to the health and welfare of residents by reducing local pollutants.”
The IEEE Standards Association announced a call for participation for the IEEE P1595™ Working Group to help develop new standards for quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emission credits from small hydro and wind power projects and for grid baseline conditions. The IEEE P1595 Working Group is part of the Climate Change Technology Sub-Committee (CCTSC) of the Energy Development and Power Generation Committee (EDPGC) of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (IEEE-PES).
The IEEE P1595 standard will use protocols for wind power, small hydo and grid baseline developed by the Government of Canada’s Department of Natural Resources CANMET Energy Technology Centre (NRCan-CETC) as its seed documents. These protocols were developed in accordance with the ISO 14064 Part 2 International Standard for GHG Projects, which is used by regulated carbon offset credit markets such as in the Province of Alberta and in the Province of British Columbia. ISO 14064 Part 2 has also been adopted by the Voluntary Carbon Standard.
The IEEE P1595 working group will be working in cooperation with the ClimateCHECK, a collaborative solutions provider in the GHG and clean technology markets. The IEEE P1595 working group will be utilizing ClimateCHECK’s online standards development platform, which was developed in association with the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GH-GMI).
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$180 million in additional financing to the government of Ethiopia in support of its efforts to provide adequate and cost-effective electricity supply and rapidly scale up electricity coverage and access for all its citizens.
The additional financing aims at scaling up certain components of the Energy Access Project which seeks to expand access to electricity and improve the quality and adequacy of power supply; improve energy end-use efficiency, developing renewable energy resources; and strengthen institutional capacity. The global objective would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas as a portion of diesel used for power generation and kerosene for lighting would be displaced by the renewable energy.
The total number of electricity consumers in Ethiopia increased from 700 thousand to 1.87 million, over the life of this project so far. The Energy Access Project has played a substantial role in achieving this result. Even with this high growth in consumer connection, at present only 14 percent of Ethiopia’s population is directly connected in the electricity network. Thus about 86 percent of its population is living and working without access to modern energy, which severely restricts social and economic development. It is the objective of the World Bank and the Government of Ethiopia to radically change this situation.
The Energy Access project is rehabilitating the distribution network in Addis Ababa. This will significantly improve the reliability and capacity of the Addis Ababa network. The project work is nearing completion in about 68 villages where it will connect about 120,000 consumers. The project has also started implementing its renewable energy component and so far has installed 300 Photovoltaic (PV) systems in schools and health posts, benefitting about 3,000 people. The project further supported manufacturing, training, and disseminating improved cooking stoves — so far more than 1 million stoves have been installed in rural areas.
The additional financing of US$180 million provided for the Energy Access project will support (1) upgrading the distribution network of seven major cities along with Addis Ababa; (2) expanding access to 50 new villages; (3) evaluating and appraising the geothermal resource in Aluto Langano; and (4) providing technical assistance and capacity building of the sector entities. Under the project a total of about 700,000 consumers are expected to be connected with the network in both urban and rural areas.
The Carbon Trust has launched a new service designed to “turbo charge” and stimulate investment in early-stage clean tech companies. This will help create a step-change in the growth of high tech, low carbon businesses in the U.K. The launch of Carbon Trust Entrepreneurs Fast Track, developed after consultation with Britain’s emerging low carbon technology companies, was welcomed by business leaders, including Sir James Dyson, Federation of Small Business, the business angel community and the U.K. Government.
The principal aim of Carbon Trust Entrepreneurs Fast Track is to accelerate the commercialization of Britain’s best early stage clean tech companies, taking them from high risk startups to attractive investment propositions. The commercialization of the country’s early stage companies in the low carbon sector is central to the creation of new jobs across the UK, boosting export revenues and helping the UK move to and prosper in the low-carbon economy.
Specifically Carbon Trust Entrepreneurs Fast Track will provide a customized package of research and development funding, expert advice and enhanced networking opportunities, to the leading UK clean tech ventures with the highest growth potential.
For the first time, the Carbon Trust will support low carbon entrepreneurs to turn their concepts into working prototypes. This will site alongside support for technology development and demonstration, as well as strategic commercial and expert technical advice on matters such as identifying optimal business models, building capable management teams and protecting intellectual property.
Carbon Trust Entrepreneurs Fast Track has been developed after consultation with more than 400 early stage clean-tech companies from across the U.K. According to this latest research “proof of concept” and prototype building/ testing were ranked by small companies as the two most valuable types of support needed to move towards technology commercialization. This was followed by: the need for assistance in protecting knowledge by navigating the complex issue of intellectual property; and access to seed or venture capital finance.
In order to promote and facilitate the development of renewable energy sources in Puerto Rico, the Government of Puerto Rico is establishing and implementing a series of new policies that will create the necessary legal framework to spearhead development.
Puerto Rico’s Governor, Luis G. Fortuno, signed into law several measures that clearly define Puerto Rico’s public policy regarding renewable energy. The newly-enacted Act for a Public Policy for Energy Diversification Through Sustainable and Alternative Renewable Energy and Green Energy Incentives Act set specific renewable energy production goals and will create economic incentives to facilitate the investments required to meet those goals.
First, the new law establishes public policy rules to increase and diversify energy generation by requiring the purchase and sale of sustainable and alternative renewable energy. Specifically, it gives way to a Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”), which will require retail energy providers in the Island to produce or purchase a specified percentage of their electricity from renewable energy sources. These portfolio standards set a hard target of 15 percent renewable energy production by 2020 and require retail energy providers to prepare a plan to reach 20 percent renewable energy production by 2028.
In addition, the measure establishes Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs’) as the main financial mechanisms to achieve these goals and validates them as legally-recognized assets that can be purchased, sold, traded, and transferred separately from electric power. It also provides for the creation of a permanent Renewable Energy Commission, comprised of five members ex officio and two named by the Governor for a four-year term, one of which must come from academia.
Furthermore, the Governor signed a second law that provides a series of short, medium and long-term economic incentives to encourage the creation of a new and solid renewable energy industry. This second law creates a Green Energy Fund (GEF), to be established by the Department of the Treasury as a special, independently administrated fund. Through this mechanism the government of Puerto Rico will co-invest $290 million in renewable energy projects and other initiatives over the next ten years. The GEF initiates with a $20 million injection in 2011. Through the GEF, the Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration will offer cash rebates of up to 60 percent for individuals, and 50 percent for companies, on the cost of installing residential and industrial projects not exceeding 1 MW of capacity. The GEF also provides flexibility for the government to establish new investment or incentive programs in the future.
For companies dedicated to the production of renewable energy on a commercial scale, the new Incentive Act also provides tax benefits in the form of significant partial exemptions from income taxes, property taxes, and municipal taxes; super-depreciation of buildings, structures, machinery, and equipment; and eligibility for tax-credits related to the use of locally-manufactured products, job creation, and research and development.
The Fortuno Administration has a mandate of reducing the cost of energy and ensuring that electric power is affordable, reliable and sustainable for all residents. Currently, electricity prices in Puerto Rico are approximately twice the United States average. This is due in large part to the Island’s current dependence on oil for approximately 70 percent of electricity production.
The Island’s overall energy reform banks on the diversification of the energy generation mix. Currently, petroleum comprises 69 percent of the mix, followed by natural gas at 16 percent, coal at 15 percent and renewable sources at 1 percent. The goals forecasted by the Administration for 2015 contemplate reducing the use of petroleum to 48 percent and keeping coal use constant, while increasing the use of natural gas to 24 percent and renewable sources to 12 percent.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will invest $15 million to support clean energy projects in the Greater Mekong Subregions (GMS) and South Asia through the Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund.
The fund will invest in companies engaged in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation and waste recycling projects. It expects to invest in at least 10 clean energy and environment projects by 2014.
Many people in the GMS and South Asia have no access to modern forms of energy. In 2008, 83 percent of households in Cambodia, 80 percent in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and over 50 percent in Viet Nam still used wood for fuel so it is critical to increase sustainable energy investments. The situation is often worse in South Asia.
At the same time, strong economic growth throughout Asia has already put substantial pressure on the region’s resources and is straining the environment. Further development of carbon-based power generation capacity, such as coal and oil, needs to be carefully evaluated to ensure that access to energy does not come at the price of steadily increasing greenhouse gases, contributing to global climate change.
The fund has a target size of $100 million and will be managed by Dragon Capital Clean Development Investments Ltd., a subsidiary of the Dragon Capital Group, which has longstanding experience in asset management in Viet Nam. Other investors in the fund include the Belgian Investment Company for Development Countries, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, and the Netherlands Development Finance Company.
The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is seeking stakeholder input as it develops an annual program to collect and publish data about agriculture’s production and use of renewable energy.
“With growing national interest in energy efficiency and alternative energy sources, there is a need for solid data about how the agriculture sector is generating and using renewable energy,” said NASS Associate Administrator Joseph T. Reilly. “In response to this need, we’re expanding our data collection efforts and are hoping that farmers, farm and energy organizations, and other stakeholders will weigh in and tell us exactly what information they want and need.”
In the 2007 Census of Agriculture, NASS for the first time included a question about on-farm energy production. Based on the information gathered from the census, NASS is currently conducting U.S.D.A’s first On-Farm Renewable Energy Production Survey, focusing on farms and ranches that produced renewable energy via solar panels, wind turbines and methane digesters in 2009.
“This initial survey will provide important baseline data, and our plan is to expand our efforts into a broader, annual survey program beginning in 2012,” said Reilly, “We’re open to looking at all aspects of renewable energy production and use, including issues such as the costs and benefits, the motivators and obstacles, and the handling and use of energy co-products.”
Consumers Energy has reached power purchase agreements with independent developers for more than 240 MW of new Michigan-based renewable energy capacity.
The agreements support Consumers Energy’s Balanced Energy Initiative which is a comprehensive 20-year plan to meet the needs of its 1.8 million electric customers with a balanced energy portfolio, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and customer demand management.
The power purchase agreements are for 20 years and have been submitted for approval to the Michigan Public Service Commission. The new renewable energy projects are:
· John Deere Wind Energy, based in Johnston, IA, will develop its Michigan Wind 2 farm in Sanilac County. This wind project will provide 90 MW of renewable energy capacity to Consumers Energy beginning in 2012.
· John Deere Wind Energy will develop its Harvest II Windfarm project in Huron County. This wind project will provide 59.4 MW of renewable energy capacity to Consumers Energy beginning in late 2012.
· John Deere Wind Energy and Great Lakes Wind, LLC, will develop their Blissfield Wind Energy project in Lenawee County. This wind project will provide 81 MW of renewable energy capacity to Consumers Energy beginning in late 2012.
· Waste Management Renewable Energy, based in Houston, will develop an additional landfill gas electric generation facility at its Pine Tree Acres landfill near Richmond in Lenox Township, Macomb County. The project will provide 12.8 MW of renewable energy capacity to Consumers Energy beginning in 2012.
NextEra Energy, Inc. reported 2nd quarter 2010 net income on a GAAP basis of $417 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $370 million, or $0.91 per share, in the 2nd quarter of 2009. On an adjusted basis, NextEra Energy’s earnings were $457 million, or $1.11 per share, compared with $401 million, or $0.99 per share, in the 2nd quarter of 2009.
Elected officials and community leaders joined NASA and FPL executives on April 8 to commission FPL’s Space Coast Next Generation Solar Energy Center. The 10-MW facility, which is located on NASA property at Kennedy Space Center, is producing enough clean, emissions-free power to serve approximately 1,100 homes.
NextEra Energy Resources, the competitive energy business of NextEra Energy with generating facilities in 26 states and Canada, reported 2nd quarter net income on a GAAP basis of $154 million, or $0.38 per share, compared with $163 million, or $0.40 per share, in the prior-year quarter.
NextEra Energy Resources’ 2nd quarter results were driven mainly by the addition of new wind projects, improved performance of existing assets, and the sale of a power plant, largely offset by higher interest expenses.
The company’s wind assets increased by nearly 1,460 MW compared to the end of the prior-year quarter, contributing $0.03 to adjusted earnings per share. Existing assets contributed $0.01 to adjusted earnings per share as a result of higher generation from the wind portfolio and higher-priced hedges for the output of the Seabrook nuclear station. At 96 percent relative to the long-term expected average, the wind resource in the 2nd quarter improved significantly over the prior two sequential quarters and the 89 percent measured in last year’s 2nd quarter, a result the company believes is primarily attributable to the weakening of the el Niño weather effect.
The company currently has approximately 540 MW of new wind already in service or under construction and likely to be commissioned in 2010.
FirstEnergy’s Ohio utilities — Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison — are initiating a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for renewable energy credits to help meet requirements established under Senate Bill 221. The RFP process, which will include renewable energy credits (RECs) and solar renewable energy credits (SRECs), will be managed by Navigant Consulting, a global consulting firm with expertise in energy markets and procurement.
The RFP, which was to be held August 3, 2010, is seeking RECs and SRECs for 2010 and 2011. For 2010, the companies are requesting bids for SRECs generated from within Ohio and SRECs that can be deliverable into Ohio, and RECs generated from within Ohio. For 2011, the companies need both SRECs and RECs generated from within Ohio or deliverable into Ohio.
No energy or capacity will be purchased under this RFP. The number of individual bidders is not limited. However, bidders must meet and maintain specific credit and security qualifications.
The Tennessee Valley Authority announced that it is resuming new enrollments in its Generation Partners pilot project to encourage renewable energy use across the TVA service territory.
Qualifying solar, wind, biomass or hydroelectric projects of up to 200 kW will be eligible for the Generation Partners incentives, which include a $1,000 payment to offset startup costs. In addition, TVA will buy 100 percent of the green power that participants produce, paying the retail rate, plus any fuel cost adjustment, plus a premium per kilowatt-hour, depending on the type of renewable energy produced.
TVA briefly held up new enrollments to adjust to overwhelming customer response.
Of the 264 projects approved or completed through Generation Partners to date, 260 are 200 kW or under.
APX inc., the leading infrastructure provider for environmental and energy markets, announced the launch of the North Carolina Renewable Energy Tracking System (NC-RETS). NC-RETS will provide account holders with an easy-to-use, web-based system that creates, tracks, and enables trading of renewable energy and energy efficiency certificates. Additionally, the registry will track each North Carolina electric power supplier’s compliance with North Carolina’s renewable energy portfolio standard, including its contribution toward specific requirements for energy supplied by solar, swine and poultry waste resources.
Further, NC-RETS has functionality to allow for the import and export of renewable energy certificates (RECs) into and out of the North American Renewables Registry™ (NAR), and similar links will be established with additional registries across the United States. The registry also will ensure the transparency, quality, reliability, and security of these certificates for both the compliance and voluntary REC markets.
APX’s technology will provide users with comprehensive and easily-accessible reports that will allow the public to monitor key information, including NC-RETS projects, issued certificates, and utility compliance with North Carolina’s renewable energy portfolio standard.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has released its forecast for wind power installations in 2010. It expects 10 gigawatt (GW) of new wind power capacity to be installed in the EU during 2010, taking total installed capacity by the end of 2010 to almost 85 GW — an increase of 13 percent.
Last year – a record year for wind power installation – saw 10.163 GW of new wind power capacity installed, constituting 39 percent of all new power capacity installed in the EU that year. Total installed wind power capacity by the end of 2009 was 74.767 GW.
“We predict another strong year for wind turbine installations in Europe, repeating the high level achieved in 2009,” said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. “What is encouraging is that, unlike in 2009, the 2010 results consist of orders placed after the start of the financial crisis. This shows continued and strong investor confidence in the technology.”
“It is too early to say whether, for a third year running, there will be more wind energy capacity installed than any other electricity generating technology, but it is clear that wind energy will be competing for the top spot with new gas power plants,” added Kjaer.
2010 will see more installations in offshore wind power, with up to 1 GW of new capacity expected to be installed during the year compared to 577 MW installed in 2009.
EWEA expects France and Italy to again install around 1 GW each in 2010. The expected decline in installations in Spain will be more than compensated for by a doubling of installations in the new member states – led by Romania and Bulgaria – and significant growth in the UK, particularly offshore. Germany is expected to be the largest market this year, closely followed by the UK.
According to a report released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), BlueGreen Alliance and the United Steelworkers, the U.S. wind industry can create tens of thousands of additional jobs manufacturing wind turbines and components if the U.S. passes long-term policies that create a stable market for the domestic wind energy supply chain.
Winds of Change: A Manufacturing Blueprint for the Wind Industry highlights growth for the American wind industry despite the absence of a long-term and stable market for wind energy, or policies to support wind's manufacturing sector. While the growth in wind energy manufacturing has been steady — growing from 2,500 workers in 2004 to 18,500 in 2009 — tens of thousands of additional jobs manufacturing wind turbines and components, such as towers, gearboxes, and bearings, could be created with policies that establish a long-term, stable market and support the manufacturing sector's transition to the wind industry.
The report follows a recent announcement by AWEA and USW on a "framework agreement" to accelerate the development and deployment of wind energy production in the U.S. The report recommends a federal RES of 25 percent by 2025 with meaningful mid-term targets, regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, and policies specifically aimed at building the U.S. wind energy manufacturing sector.
Along with the RES, specific policies aimed at building the wind manufacturing sector include extending and strengthening the Recovery Act's convertible tax credit program (1603), fully funding the Green Jobs Act, building a transmission grid infrastructure to meet the demand for clean energy and utilizing loan guarantee programs for commercial manufacturing of clean energy.
The report recommends passing Senator Sherrod Brown's IMPACT Act, which creates a state-level revolving loan fund to help small-and medium-sized manufacturers retool for clean energy markets and adopt energy efficient manufacturing. The report also recommends extending and strengthening the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit with specific incentives and accountability provisions to maximize domestic job creation, including giving highest priority to projects that manufacture clean energy component parts.
The World Bank launched two new reports on wind power. The reports, titled “Regulatory Review of Offshore Wind in Five European Countries” and “Strategic Guidance,” present examples and options for consideration by China in meeting the challenges of offshore and large scale onshore wind power development.
In recent years, China’s achievements in wind power development have exceeded expectations and planning targets. Wind power development in China has made remarkable progress particularly during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006–2011). By the end of 2009, China had the third largest installed capacity of wind power in the world, and a market growing at a rate that is likely to be the largest in the world in the coming years. The Government plans to scale up onshore wind in resource-rich regions of the country, undertake pilot intertidal projects, and initiate development work on medium and deepwater offshore wind farms.
An overview of lessons learned from international experience in large-scale wind power development, and practical implementation guidance for future wind power development in China was the focus of a recent joint initiative of the NEA and the World Bank. This resulted in the two reports, which were launched at the China Offshore Wind Conference in Shanghai.
a detailed description and evaluation of the regulatory approaches that various countries in Europe have taken to develop offshore wind energy. Based on the evaluation of experience to date, the report makes recommendations for the regulation of offshore wind in China.
The second report, “Strategic Guidance”, builds on the lessons learned from international experience, provides technical guidance for offshore and large-scale onshore wind development in China, and presents a roadmap with institutional, preparatory, demonstration and research and development tasks. The report stresses that a key component of success will be ensuring that wind farms are built in places where some key requirements are present. The report identifies the following as the main principles for the efficient development of wind resources:
· Confirmation of wind characteristics
· Adequate project design and proven turbines
· Assurance of regulatory clarity, predictability and adequate incentives
· Availability of skilled staff for design, manufacturing, and operations and maintenance
· Getting grid planning and development right.
NRG Energy, Inc. has completed the purchase of the South Trent wind farm near Sweetwater, TX. The 101 megawatt (MW) wind farm, which came online in January 2009, consists of 44 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines capable of powering more than 80,000 homes when the wind farm is operating at maximum capacity.
South Trent is the fourth plant in NRG’s onshore wind portfolio. NRG owns and operates the 120 MW Elbow Creek wind farm near Big Spring, TX and the 150 MW Langford wind farm near San Angelo, TX. NRG also is a 50 percent owner of the 150 MW Sherbino wind farm near Fort Stockton, TX, operated by BP Alternative Energy, North America. In addition to onshore wind, NRG is developing a diverse mix of low and no carbon generation, including new nuclear, solar, offshore wind, biomass and carbon sequestration to advance our vision of a low-cost, low-emission future.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is pleased to see the number of projects proposed in response to the call for tenders for wind energy from aboriginal or community projects. Bids for wind energy projects submitted to Hydro-Québec represent more than 1,000 MW – almost double the required quantity (2 x 250 MW) specified in the call for tenders.
"This is excellent news for Quebec, as well as for its various communities and regions. As further proof of the vitality of Quebec’s wind energy sector, it also affirms Hydro-Québec’s leadership role in the country,” stressed Robert Hornung, President of CanWEA.
Bids were submitted by 16 different proponents for more than 44 projects, both aboriginal and community. "The contracts awarded by Hydro-Québec will generate almost $1.4 billion in investment, of which close to $850 million will be invested directly in the regions’ economies. Add job creation and regional economic development to these benefits, and all of Quebec comes out a winner,” Hornung concluded.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan in the amount of $220 million for Egypt to support Wind Power Development Project, out of which $150 million is financed from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). This is the first CTF supported project in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The project will support the renewable energy strategy of Egypt, which has given the utmost priority to the large scale renewable energy electricity generation program which can serve both national and regional goals of achieving fossil fuel savings, protection of the environment, and the creation of green jobs and technology transfer.
Some of the world’s best wind power resources are in Egypt, especially in the areas of the Gulf of Suez, where at least 7,200 MW could be potentially developed by 2022, with further 3,000 MW on the west and east banks of the Nile. Under its large scale development of renewable resources strategy, Egypt plans to have 20 percent of its installed generation capacity in the form of renewables by 2020.
The project’s development objective is to develop infrastructure and business models for scaling-up wind power in Egypt. It comprises transmission infrastructure development and support for the construction of the first 250 MW wind project in the Gulf of Suez and Gabel El-Zait. The project will connect the future wind parks at Gulf of Suez and Gabel El-Zait to the national network.
As the president and congressional leaders meet at the White House on energy policy, GE Energy and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) delivered a petition from Americans across the country in the form of a 131-foot wind turbine blade. The blade traveled more than 4,000 miles through 10 states gathering signatures from Americans who support a clean energy future. It arrived in Washington, D.C. the previous night, and parked in front of the main gate at Nationals Park for the 2010 Congressional Baseball Game.
More than 6,000 Americans across the country—including people from all walks of life: factory workers, managers, engineers, service and transportation workers, public officials and the general public—signed the blade, which carries the message: “I’m helping to build America’s energy future,” issuing a call to Congress: Create More American Jobs by Enacting Clean Energy Policies This Year.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has filed a protest with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding a proposal by Puget Sound Energy and released the following statement from AWEA Director of Federal Regulatory Affairs Tom Vinson:
“We are asking FERC to overturn a proposal by Puget Sound Energy that would impose unfair and excessive grid integration charges on wind plants while failing to charge competing fossil and nuclear-powered power plants for the far larger integration costs they impose on the power system.
“Wind power works for electric consumers, providing a clean source of energy with which to power homes and businesses, create jobs and strengthen our energy security. Puget Sound Energy is singling out wind energy for this excessive integration charge, while American consumers spend billions of dollars per year to pay for the massive amount of reserve generation that must be available 24/7 to keep the power grid reliable in case a large coal or nuclear plant suddenly experiences an outage. To add insult to injury, wind plants are currently forced to pay for these reserves as well, even though these reserves are only needed for large power plants.
“Moreover, flaws in Puget’s calculations grossly inflate wind integration costs and proposed collection charges. The cost of integrating wind would be greatly reduced if Puget made simple, cost-effective reforms that have been implemented in other regions, such as moving to faster generator dispatch intervals and better coordinating its operations with its neighbors – steps that improve the efficiency of the grid and save consumers money even in the absence of wind energy. AWEA and the wind industry will fight against all attempts by utilities and competing energy suppliers to impose excessive and unfair charges on wind power, and will seek a level playing field for all energy sources, including an abundant, affordable, clean and readily available energy source like wind.”
ZF has signed a contract with global wind energy market leader Vestas to supply wind turbine gear boxes. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2012 at a new U.S. facility under construction in Gainesville, GA, with the goal of eventually producing 2,000 gear boxes per year for the growing wind power industry.
In addition, ZF will add manufacturing test stands for the wind gear box industry to its substantial experience in providing engineered end-of-line and development test benches.
ZF has been providing service for the wind power industry since 2007, and is currently investing in service centers for wind turbines in Dortmund, Germany and in the U.S.
ZF aims to achieve annual gear box sales of more than $200 million.
ZF is investing about $90 million to build the new Gainesville facility, which will employ about 200 workers.
American Superconductor Corporation, a global power technologies company, announced in conjunction with Global Wind Day 2010 that it has achieved a significant milestone by supporting the production of more than 15,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power worldwide with its proprietary power electronic solutions. This amount of zero-emission electricity is sufficient to power approximately 4.5 million U.S. households and represents nearly 10 percent of the world’s 158,000 MW of wind power installed as of the end of 2009.
“The fast-growing global wind industry continues to be the primary business driver for AMSC,” said AMSC founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Yurek. “We are providing proprietary wind turbine designs and production support services to more than a dozen customers in seven countries around the world, including 10 customers in the Asia Pacific region. Each wind turbine produced by these companies utilizes AMSC’s core electrical components and control systems, which serve as the brains of these power generation machines.
“In addition, AMSC’s D-VAR grid interconnection technology, including our D-VAR RT low voltage ride through solution, is being utilized by more than 70 wind farms in seven countries worldwide to meet local grid interconnection requirements,” Yurek continued. “With nations around the world seeking to derive a greater percentage of their energy needs from renewable energy sources, we believe we have only begun to scratch the surface of the renewable energy grid interconnection market's potential.”
Vestas is proud to announce it has established a permanent office to serve the emerging southern African wind energy market and to support the future development of wind energy in the region.
The opening of the office coincides with the successful commissioning of South Africa’s newest wind turbine at Coega – a Vestas V90-1.8 MW turbine – at the World Cup city of Port Elizabeth. As the world comes to South Africa to celebrate football, wind energy will help to provide the energy to host football players and fans from around the world. The Coega turbine is a project of Belgian energy developer Electrawinds, which is a pioneer in renewable energy in emerging markets.
Vestas has been active in Southern Africa for several years, but the opening of an office in Johannesburg now is recognition of the positive environment for wind energy and represents a real commitment to the region over the long term. Vestas also intends to clearly demonstrate its commitment to actively supporting the development of wind energy as an important source of energy for Southern Africa. In addition, Vestas is committed to supporting overall sustainable development, social development and economic development as a central part of its presence in the region.
The President of the Navarre Regional Government, Miguel Sanz, opened ACCIONA's new wind turbine blade manufacturing facility at Lumbier, representing an investment of €25 million. The plant, which enhances the company's presence in the entire wind power value chain, will produce 34-meter and 37.5 meter blades for the AW-1500 wind turbine, which uses ACCIONA Windpower technology. It is expected to reach full production capacity in September: 450 blades a year produced by a workforce of 148 employees.
The new plant occupies a constructed surface area of 12,000 m2 in the Lumbier Industrial Park. Its production capacity is 450 blades a year, using in-house technology for the AW-1500 wind turbines (1.5 MW capacity each), manufactured by ACCIONA Windpower at its plants in Barásoain (Navarre) and La Vall D'Uixó (Castellón), in Spain; and West Branch (IA, U.S.).
The facility has been designed for a possible future extension that will allow the manufacture of blades of up to 56.7 meters. These will be installed on the 3 MW AW-3000 turbine, which is currently at the prototype stage.
In June, REpower Systems AG passed the one gigawatt milestone with wind energy systems installed in France. The manufacturer has installed around 500 turbines across the country since 2002. This corresponds to 20 percent of France's existing wind energy capacity. Alongside its activities in the sale, installation and maintenance of onshore turbines, REpower also intends to be active in the area of offshore wind energy in future. France has announced the start of the round of tenders for autumn 2010.
With a market share of more than 20 percent last year, REpower S.A.S., a fully owned subsidiary of REpower Systems AG, was the second largest manufacturer of wind turbines on the French market. The company was established in 2002 as Les Vents de France, a joint venture between the German REpower Systems AG and the Belgian Turbowinds S.A. The first wind energy system, a 1.5 megawatt type MD77 turbine, was erected the same year in the Champagne-Ardennes region. Since 2003, the company, renamed REpower S.A.S., belongs entirely to the REpower Group and now employs around 150 people.
Gamesa has set the terms and conditions for the bonus share issue to be charged against reserves in order to provide its shareholders with the choice of receiving their dividend payments in cash, as is traditional, or, alternatively, in company shares. The maximum number of new shares to be issued is 3,686,362, with a nominal value of €0.17 each. Accordingly, the maximum nominal value of the equity issue will be €626,681.54.
However, the definitive number of shares to be issued will depend on the number of shareholders opting not to sell their freely allocated rights back to Gamesa. This figure is expected to be known on July 20, 2010.
Each company share currently outstanding will qualify its holder for one right free of charge while the number of freely allocated rights needed to receive one new Gamesa share is 66. Gamesa has committed to purchasing the freely allocated rights during the established trading period at a price of €0.116 each.
Gamesa’s Flexible Dividend Policy provides shareholders with an alternative remuneration formula. Shareholders can choose to receive their dividends in company shares instead of cash, thereby benefitting from the favourable tax treatment afforded bonus share issues. This regime is also being introduced by the main Spanish and international players.
Helix Wind, Corp announced that in cooperation with its direct customers, the company has received three executed purchase orders to provide six S594 wind turbines to be shipped domestically to customers recently.
Helix Wind, Corp., a global renewable energy company, is engaged in the design, manufacturing and sales of small wind vertical axis turbines designed to generate 300 W, 1 kW, 2.0 kW, and 4.5 kW of clean, renewable electricity. Additional information can be found at www.helixwind.com.
Vestas, the world’s leader in producing high-tech wind power systems, has already created more than 1,000 highly skilled manufacturing jobs to meet growing production needs at its three Colorado factories. Vestas’ blade factory in Windsor, tower factory in Pueblo and nacelle factory in Brighton have been hiring to fill a variety of new jobs to prepare for several recently announced orders.
Hiring information includes:
· Vestas Blades in Windsor now employs 650 people in areas such as engineering, purchasing, human resources, finance, administration, and production. The factory is still hiring and is specifically looking for production and electro-mechanical workers.
· Vestas Towers in Pueblo — the largest wind tower manufacturing facility in the world — has filled more than 180 new positions in the past few months, bringing the total to 283 employees so far. The tower factory continues its ramp up and seeks skilled workers in a number of areas including plasma cutting, welding and painting. The tower factory will recruit at the Southern Colorado Jobs and Career Fair at the Pueblo Convention Center on July 22, 2010.
· Vestas Nacelles in Brighton, which officially opened July 7, 2010, now employs more than 280 workers, most hired in recent weeks. Recently filled jobs include technicians, logistics personnel, production engineers, quality engineers, planners and team leaders.
On July 7, Vestas announced that it will open an Engineering Site in Louisville, CO., to support Vestas Global and enhance Vestas’ wind power production capabilities throughout North America. Vestas will move 46 employees into 47,675 square feet of space on Centennial Parkway, Louisville, and will expand this team to include up to 125 highly skilled engineers within a year’s time.
The Vestas Engineering Site will enhance Vestas’ ability to integrate product development by placing it close to the company’s three factories – a blades’ factory in Windsor, a nacelles-assembly factory in Brighton and towers’ factory Pueblo, thereby better servicing and meeting the needs of Vestas’ North American customers.
WindPower Innovations, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Energetic Drives, LLC has been unveiled as the "innovation division" of WindPower Innovations.
Energetic Drives' Grid Tie Inverter software, the subsidiary's flagship technology, utilizes proprietary algorithms that dramatically increase the range in which sustainable energy sources can deliver a useable 60 Hz AC to the power grid.
"We estimate an increase in efficiency of up to 25 percent," says Ian Griffiths, President and CEO. "For example: A traditional wind turbine has to be turning at a sustained rate, generating 1200 to 1800 RPM's (depending on number of poles per generator), in order to produce useable electricity. Outside of that range, the power is referred to as 'dirty' as it is inconsistent and unusable. Our technology allows the wind turbine to be utilized at a constant 120 percent of the generator rating with our cooling system employed. This proprietary innovation allows 'clean' power to be produced over a much wider range of wind speeds throughout, from 30 to 120 percent of the generators rating. The technology also provides for a consistent flow of clean, synchronized, unity power energy to the grid, compatible with IEEE 519 and 1547 certifications. Not only does it result in greater profitability for the operator, it is a dynamic tool for smart grid compatibility."
Leading French wind project developer and renewable energy producer VALOREM recently added a Triton Sonic Wind Profiler to its wind resource assessment program. The purchase, which followed an initial rental Triton deployment, represents a significant endorsement by a leader in the French wind industry.
VALOREM’s acquisition followed a four-month performance validation study at a site in southern France where Triton was installed adjacent to an 80 meter met tower equipped with Thies First Class anemometers. Triton’s wind data compared very favorably with that generated by the Thies anemometers: average wind speeds at 60 and 80 meters agreed to within 0.1 percent, and the average correlation coefficient was 0.973. Reliable hub height wind data reduces resource uncertainty and provides the basis for successful wind project developments.
Triton’s dependability was also validated by its 99.7 percent operational uptime during the four-month study. “Our decision to purchase Triton was based on its high correlation to anemometer data, excellent reliability and ease of deployment,” says Simon Brillet, VALOREM’s Research Director.
Second Wind and Mistaya Engineering announced a partnership to seamlessly integrate Mistaya's Windographer analysis software and Second Wind's wind data collection technology into a solution to help energy companies evaluate and select the most productive sites for their wind turbines.
Second Wind’s Triton® Wind Profiler and Nomad® Data Logger collect and compile information on winds up to 200 meters above ground level, creating large and detailed data sets. Mistaya Engineering’s Windographer software plots and analyzes wind data, enabling users to spot patterns, improve data quality, and predicts wind turbine performance more accurately.
Second Wind has added a key to its SkyServe wind data management portal that enables users to export Triton and Nomad data directly to Windographer, with no custom coding or formatting. Together, the products provide energy companies with a seamless data collection and analysis solution.
Windographer helps users manage Triton data on import by automatically identifying wind speed data columns, wind direction, and measurement heights. The software also flags and filters data points below a set quality threshold, plots vertical wind speed profiles, and provides analysis tools for meteorological events such as inverse shear and low-level jets. The two companies also plan to integrate Windographer with Second Wind’s SkyServe® satellite wind data service, which provides remote monitoring of Triton and Nomad units.
STM Group, Inc. announced on June 30, 2010 that its subsidiary in Madrid, Spain, has entered into a long term contract for supply of its VSAT products and services to NEO-SKY (Iberdrola’s telecom operator) for Iberdrola’s network, the world's top wind power producer and one of the largest utilities internationally. Iberdrola, the largest energy company in Spain, has experienced phenomenal growth within the past decade as it has expanded its activities throughout the world. With unprecedented investments within the last two years in renewable energy, NEO-SKY selected STM as its technology partner for providing the means of having reliable communications to sites that require remote surveillance, control, and monitoring in order to protect its investments and maximize the return.
The solution package, engineered by STM's team in Spain, will be deployed by Iberdrola at wind and solar farms, as well as at transmission stations. Each site is equipped with an IP-based SatLink VSAT that provides remote video surveillance, monitoring, and control, particularly useful in case of emergencies or when backup power is needed. Iberdrola is being provided with virtual network operation (VNO) control using the hubs and teleports owned and operated by STM.
BCO Hydrocarbon Ltd., a natural resource exploration company, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Sauer Energy, Inc.
Nevada City, California-based Sauer Energy (SEI) is a developmental stage company that designs and produces small, cost-effective wind turbine systems designed to be sold as a kit for roof mounting on an individual home or small building. Utilizing its advanced patented and proprietary technology, SEI’s vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) are intended for the consumer and small to mid-size enterprise marketplace.
SEI wind turbines are designed to enable its customers to produce their own renewable energy at a low cost per kilowatt hour, save on their utility bills and help the environment. SEI is in the process of commercializing its VAWT product line for manufacturing and distribution into one of the fastest growing segments of the global energy marketplace.
Under the terms of the transaction, Mr. Sauer will contribute to the company of all the shares of SEI and assign certain patent rights related to wind turbine technology held by Mr. Sauer to BCO and be elected to the BCO board of directors. The closing of the agreement is subject to the parties’ completion of their due diligence and the satisfaction of certain legal conditions.
WindPower Innovations, Inc., announced it has completed the contract to acquire Energetic Drives, LLC as a wholly owned subsidiary of WindPower Innovations, Inc.
Energetic Drives, LLC is focused on providing highly efficient solutions for the wind power industry using cutting-edge, patented technologies to revolutionize the transfer of power to the grid. Energetic Drives’ proprietary Grid Tie-Inverter will assist the industry in complying with Smart Grid standards for electrical transmission. In addition, Energetic Drives’ innovative Direct Drive Generator technology allows optimum power generation over a much broader spectrum of wind speeds with a smaller generator footprint, and with greatly improved MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) rates. Energetic Drives has also developed a proprietary wind turbine with no gearbox, using DC Permanent Magnetic Generation ranging from 10 KW to 1.5 MW. All of Energetic Drives’ technologies are engineered for use in new turbines or can be retrofitted to serve existing equipment.
This strategic addition is a key next step towards WindPower Innovations’ fulfilling its commitment to provide next generation solutions designed to minimize downtime, increase profitability for wind farm operators, and assist wind and solar projects to achieve compliance with current and future industry standards, while increasing output and efficiency.
WindPower Innovations, Inc., President and CEO John Myers stated “We, along with our
subsidiaries, Energetic Drives and XH Industries, are on course to become the leading energy innovation company, featuring new and more efficient ‘proprietary’ gear box designs, grid tie components and electronics, and improvements of existing equipment to higher than ‘industry’ standards…at lower than ‘industry’ rates.
ITOCHU Corporation and General Electric Company entered into a collaboration and cooperation agreement to identify co-investment opportunities in renewable energy worldwide.
Under this agreement, General Electric's GE Energy Financial Services unit, ITOCHU International Inc (III) and Tyr Energy Inc (Tyr), an independent power producer investment holding company of ITOCHU, are discussing co-investment opportunities in wind power, including the CPV Keenan II Wind Power Project (152 MW, Oklahoma) and another wind project in the U.S. for which ITOCHU and its affiliates are conducting due diligence. Closing of ITOCHU's investments in the Keenan II and other wind projects is expected in the third quarter of this year. For the Keenan II Wind Power Project, operations and maintenance will be contracted to NAES Corporation, a subsidiary wholly owned by III and ITOCHU, the industry's largest independent, third-party provider of power plant operations and maintenance services.
ITOCHU and GE have already developed a history of successful collaboration in power generation in the United States:
· Tyr and GE Energy Financial Services jointly own the Fox Energy Center in Kaukauna, WI
· GE Energy Financial Services led the arrangement of non-recourse debt for Tyr's wholly owned Commonwealth Chesapeake Company, LLC project in New Church, VA
· Tyr and GE Energy Financial Services were co-owners of the Green Country Energy project in Jenks, OK
Both companies consider it beneficial to enhance their relationship as potential investment partners focusing on renewable energy where the required amount of capital is significant. Under the memorandum of understanding, co-investment opportunities that ITOCHU and GE identify will undergo customary internal and due diligence reviews.
Schrader Electronics (headquartered in Antrim, N. Ireland) and Gates Corporation (headquartered in Denver, CO) announced their joint participation through membership in the Global Wind Alliance. The wind power generation industry is an exciting, fast-growing global market. Schrader Electronics and Gates will provide innovative solutions with a vast product line; experienced engineers; and capable research, development, and manufacturing facilities. Schrader Electronics and Gates Corporation are both subsidiaries of Tomkins plc, a global engineering and manufacturing group based in London, UK.
Schrader Electronics’ and Gates engineering teams have significant experience in the industrial and automotive sectors, and bring cutting edge research and technology combined with innovative real-world solutions to a variety of global customers. Membership in this group further supports Tomkins plc’s commitment to sustainable, alternative energy solutions and a cleaner environment.
The Global Wind Alliance is an exciting new concept for the successful operation and maintenance of wind farms across the world. The GWA brings together some of the finest component manufacturers and experienced engineers from the wind industry and beyond under one alliance. This provides the wind solution client one single, reliable, unbiased point of access to the equipment and the people best qualified for keeping the wind farm operational and profitable, wherever it may be in the world.
COMSA EMTE and Gamesa have sealed an agreement to bid jointly for the wind power tender launched by the Department of Finance of the regional government of Catalonia. The purpose of the consortium formed by the two companies is to obtain a significant share of the capacity (MW) tendered in the various Priority Development Zones Established.
COMSA EMATE brings to bear its track record in the wind power sector where the group is active in the development, construction, operation and maintenance segments in Spain and Poland.
For its part, Gamesa contributes more than 15 years’ experience in the development, construct and operation of wind farms. To dare the company has developed 213 MW of wind power in Catalonia, of which 102 MW has already been built and commissioned and another 50 MW is slated to come on stream throughout the rest of the year. In addition, Gamesa is the leading player in Spain and global benchmark in the design, manufacture and maintenance of wind turbines.
Helix Wind, Corp., a global renewable energy company announced that it is in negotiations with VENCO Power GmbH of Germany to license VENCO’s Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT). One of many benefits this licensing agreement is expected to provide to Helix is the ability to offer a low wind speed vertical technology to address this market space. The agreement would provide Helix Wind access to VENCO’s product line to manufacture and sell by Helix through its distribution channel. Currently, Helix Wind expects the agreement to allow Helix to distribute VENCO products in the Americas, Africa, Middle East, and South East Asia. Other countries are expected to be negotiated on an as needed basis.
Scott Weinbrandt, Chairman, CEO& President of Helix Wind said, “We are pleased to be working with VENCO to renew our relationship and add VENCO product solutions to the Helix Wind portfolio. VENCO’s vertical technology wind turbines operate efficiently in low wind speeds, while Helix Wind turbines are known for their aesthetic appeal and performance in high wind regimes. Both vertical technologies complement each other and provide a broad array of small turbine solutions from Helix to satisfy our customer’s needs.”
Although Helix Wind expects to enter into a licensing agreement with VENCO, it cannot provide any assurances that the licensing agreement will be completed.
Clipper Windpower Plc announced product warranty, technology, and sales support from United Technologies Corporation (UTC).
Clipper and UTC have reached agreement for UTC to guarantee Clipper wind turbine warranties for selected new business. The guaranty arrangements have been approved by the Boards of both companies, and formal guaranty agreements between Clipper and UTC are currently being finalized. A circular outlining the company’s proposal to enter into the warranty guaranty and its related agreements will be distributed for shareholder approval in the current month. The amount of warranty support to be provided will be determined on a case by case basis for each new customer order. The Liberty wind turbine warranty support from UTC will provide increased confidence to customers and their project finance institutions that Clipper has the ability and credit strength to fulfill its contractual warranty commitments.
The company and UTC are also entering into a formal intellectual property and technical assistance license agreement. The agreement formalizes the terms and conditions that allow UTC to provide technical assistance and grant rights in UTC intellectual property for use and application in Clipper’s business and jointly developed technology.
UTC currently owns 49.9 percent of the outstanding shares of Clipper resulting from an investment in new and existing shares of Clipper in January 2010. Since then, Clipper and UTC have formed teams to enable Clipper to access UTC’s support and expertise in a number of areas, including technology, sales, manufacturing, product quality and other industrial processes. These efforts include a relationship with Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (“PWPS”), a manufacturer and distributor of gas turbine power plants that will enable Clipper to leverage the PWPS distribution network to sell and service Clipper’s 2.5 MW Liberty turbine, as well as provide integrated turnkey project solutions to global customers. The PWPS relationship expands Clipper’s market reach from predominantly U.S. based, to major global economies and emerging markets.
As the U.S. Department of the Interior begins to reorganize the Minerals Management Service (MMS) – now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) – following the Deepwater Horizon crisis, four Senators and five members of Congress urged Secretary Ken Salazar in a July 14 letter to ensure that developing offshore wind energy is not delayed. The bipartisan group expressed their concern that if offshore wind remains under the jurisdiction of BOEMRE, the development of an offshore clean energy plan for the United States could be compromised.
Cosigners on the letter included: Senator Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Edward E. Kaufman (D-DE), Susan M. Collins (R-MA), and Olympia J. Snowe (R-MA); and Reps. Michael N. Castle (R-DE), Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD), Kathleen A. Dahlkemper (D-PA), Frank A. LoBiodo (R-NY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY).
The letter states, “Minimizing administrative delay is vital to the success of offshore wind projects in the near and long-term, and for this reason we write to express our desire to see that offshore wind and renewable energy issues be regulated outside of BOEMRE at least temporarily.”
The delegation requested that the Interior Department explore the possibility of, “a special office or bureau specifically dedicated to offshore wind and renewable.”
Not only does the letter address the growing popularity of emissions-free electrical power, it mentions a recent Department of Interior/U.S. Department of Energy report that confirms that winds off the coast of the United States are a promising source of clean, renewable electrical power.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Delaware (UD) announced they will work to facilitate the potential establishment of a test site for commercial wind turbines off the Delaware coast.
Under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) worth $500,000 over the next five years, UD will work with federal and state agencies to identify and meet criteria for establishing any potential offshore test sites. Public involvement is expected to be a key part of the process.
Commercial offshore wind turbine components can be tested separately on land, but before installing multiple full-scale commercial turbines, it is prudent for researchers and industry to study one or a small number of complete turbine systems at sites that will expose the turbines to typical offshore conditions, such as salt water and mist, wind gusts, and weather events such as northeasters.
As part of the planning and development of a potential offshore wind turbine test site, NREL and UD will develop test procedures specific to the area’s harsh offshore wind environment, and establish methods for predicting wind energy costs in the U.S. The partners expect that any test turbines would serve as valuable classrooms used to train future wind energy professionals, scientists, and engineers.
Almost one year after final commissioning of the Thornton Bank wind farm in Belgium, REpower Systems AG (WKN 617703) is in a positive mood. The availability of the six REpower 5M turbines has been consistently above 97 percent over a period of six months, and with that – despite the adverse conditions in the open seas – at the level of onshore turbines. Since the turbines were officially commissioned, over 4,000 full load hours have been recorded per turbine.
The six turbines installed by REpower in the German alpha ventus test field have been delivering positive results in the first weeks and months of operation and are currently working excellently as well. Several of the turbines installed at this site have already completed their operational trials.
The initial phase of the Thornton Bank project with six REpower turbines was officially inaugurated at the end of June 2009 and, for the remainder of the year, achieved a technical availability rate of 94 percent. The wind farm is located 28 kilometers off the Belgian coast in waters between 12 meters and 27 meters deep, making it one of the first such wind farms to be located so far offshore. Of course, this makes service particularly challenging. REpower Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Matthias Schubert says: “We have deliberately prepared ourselves for these more difficult access conditions. Thanks to continuous improvement measures in service, we have managed to raise the technical availability for the current year to over 97 percent – a peak value that even many onshore systems cannot emulate.”
This was enabled through the ongoing optimization of the maintenance concept and the resulting reduction of downtime during inspections. Faults are immediately identified by a Permanent Monitoring System (PMS) and then quickly rectified by locally based service technicians from REpower Benelux. A team of specialists works in parallel to the service technicians to ensure that each individual fault type is permanently eliminated. As a result, 4,000 full load hours were achieved even in the first year of operation – a figure that would be impressive enough even for onshore sites. “This proves that we can expect much more wind offshore than onshore and, as a result, much higher power outputs,” adds Schubert.
GE has announced plans to install up to five offshore demonstration wind turbines through two separate partnerships. Both initiatives will feature the largest wind turbine in GE’s fleet, a 4.0-megawatt machine that includes a 110 meter rotor. GE’s 4.0-110 incorporates advanced drive train and control technologies and GE’s innovative technology that eliminates the need for gearboxes.
GE has signed a cooperation agreement with Norwegian energy companies Statoil and Lyse to jointly carry out technical and environmental feasibility studies for building an offshore wind demonstration project in Rogaland County, off the southwest coast of Norway. The agreement includes the installation of up to four 4.0-megawatt offshore, direct drive wind turbines. Subject to successful completion of the feasibility studies and the appropriate investment and funding decisions, the installation of the wind turbines will start in 2012.
GE is also planning an onshore installation of its direct drive machine in 2011. The machine, designed specifically for the offshore environment, will be erected in Gothenburg Harbor in Sweden in cooperation with Gothenburg Energy.
RWE Innogy, Stadtwerke München (SWM - Munich Municipal Utility) and Siemens have entered into a joint venture to build the offshore wind farm Gwynt y Môr (Welsh for “wind in the sea”). RWE Innogy will hold a 60 percent stake in this joint venture, Stadtwerke München 30 percent and Siemens 10 percent. The total investment amounts to more than €2 billion, including the grid connection to the coast. The investment will be divided between the partners accordingly. Gwynt y Môr is to be built with an installed capacity of 576 megawatts in Liverpool Bay, around 18 kilometers off the North Wales coast. Work will start towards the end of 2011 to erect the first foundations for a total of 160 wind turbines. All permits for the wind farm covering an area of 79 square kilometers have already been obtained. Siemens will supply, install and maintain the wind turbines, and provide the connection to the grid.
In its first phase of expansion, the wind farm is planned to generate electricity as early as 2013. The project is expected to be completed in 2014. From then onwards it is forecast to generate around 1,950 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to supply around 400,000 British households. The site is in a very favorable location: Liverpool Bay in North Wales is characterized by comparatively shallow water and very high wind speeds.
GE and Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) of Northern Ohio announced a long-term partnership beginning with the development of the first fresh water offshore wind farm in the U.S. and involving a broad range of other initiatives. Under the new partnership GE will provide direct-drive wind turbines to LEEDCo’s 20 megawatt offshore wind project in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie. The partnership and project is a significant step towards accelerating the deployment of offshore wind in the Great Lakes. The announcement was made at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual WINDPOWER Conference in Dallas.
To kick off the collaboration with LEEDCo, GE has committed to providing offshore wind turbines and maintenance services for an initial 20-megawatt wind farm. Upon its completion, targeted for late 2012, this project would be located off the shores of Lake Erie, near Cleveland, OH. This would be followed by subsequent projects with a long-term goal of 1,000 megawatts in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie by 2020.
At the core of the Lake Erie Project is GE’s next generation wind turbine, a 4-megawatt machine designed specifically for offshore deployment. As the largest wind turbine in GE’s fleet, it will incorporate direct-drive technology gained through GE’s acquisition of ScanWind. The 4-megawatt wind turbine will feature GE’s innovative advanced loads controls and aeroelastically tailored blade technology.
RWE Innogy and Aker Verdal have signed a contract for the supply of foundations for the "Nordsee Ost" offshore wind farm. Aker Verdal, a subsidiary of the Norwegian construction and technology group Aker Solutions AS, will supply steel structure foundations (so-called jacket foundations) for a total of 48 wind turbines of the 6 megawatt class. The first of these foundations are due to arrive in RWE Innogy's offshore base port at Bremerhaven in autumn 2011. From there, they are to be transported to the deep-sea construction site approximately 33 kilometers northeast of Helgoland on one of the world's largest construction ships. The total order value of these components amounts to approximately €115 million. A subcontract worth about €40 million has been awarded to Erndtebrücker Eisenwerk GmbH in North Rhine-Westphalia. The company will supply the steel tubes for the foundations.
At the end of last year, RWE Innogy had already awarded the contract for building offshore installation ships to a Korean shipyard. The order value for each of these jack-up rigs totals about €100 million. The first installation ship is due to be completed in 2011. It will then be used for the construction of the “Nordsee Ost” wind farm.
The foundations manufactured by Aker Verdal are to be placed at water depths between 22 and 25 meters. Each individual jacket foundation, which is similar to the design of power pylons, will be anchored firmly with piles on its four feet in the sea bed. Each of these foundations has a total height of approximately 50 meters and a total weight of approximately 550 tons. The base of the foundation has a footprint of almost 400 square meters.
RWE Innogy has already awarded the contract for the wind power systems of the 6 megawatt class to the turbine manufacturer REpower at Bremerhaven. The first wind turbines are due to be commissioned as early as mid-2012. The "Nordsee Ost" wind farm is due to be completed in 2013.
Seajacks International has entered into a contract with Lamprell Energy PLC to construct Seajacks Zaratan, a self propelled jackup that is designed specifically to service the wind farm installation market in the harsh operating environment of the North Sea, as well as to provide services to the oil and gas sectors.
The vessel is a modified version of the MSC NG5500 design, which incorporates a fully redundant DP2 propulsion system, accommodations for 90 persons, and an 800T leg encircling crane designed by MSC. With these capabilities, the vessel is capable of installing wind turbines and foundations in water depths up to 55 meters.
The contract also provides Seajacks with an option to build one additional vessel at Lamprell, which it hopes to exercise in the foreseeable future. Delivery of Zaratan is scheduled for second quarter 2012, and the additional newbuild shortly thereafter.
Seajacks currently owns and operates two self-propelled jack-up vessels out of Great Yarmouth in the United Kingdom, the Seajacks Kraken and Seajacks Leviathan. Both vessels are purpose built for installing offshore wind turbines, as well as being able to perform a number of niche operations for the North Sea oil and gas industry.
Seajacks is owned by Riverstone Holdings LLC's most recent renewable energy fund, which acquired it in January 2010. Riverstone is an energy and power-focused private investment firm founded in 2000 with approximately $17 billion under management across six investment funds. Riverstone expects to devote additional capital from its renewable fund to expand Seajacks' current fleet.
Highly experienced offshore wind farm support vessel specialists OWPMS has partnered with The Brook Henderson Group a leader in mission critical asset services, in order to provide a bespoke package for offshore wind farm operators, focusing on vessel supply during construction and operation & maintenance phases throughout Europe, Asia and North America.
Brook Henderson is committing its substantial financial resources, equity of over £30 million, to building a fleet of up to 60 Vessels over the coming 24 months.
Eddie Ward, Co-Founders of OWPMS, are delighted with the Joint Venture noting that: “Due to recent events within the banking sector it’s made raising funds to build new vessels very difficult and was preventing us from expanding to allow us to tender for new work. We are therefore very pleased to be welcoming the Brook Henderson Group onboard who have shown both faith in us as a successful operating company and who can see the benefits of investing in this sector of the renewable energy market. This partnership means we can now pick up and proceed with new and existing tender opportunities as a preferred supplier to the utilities and develop new markets outside of Europe. We can now fund an ambitious build program for our clients and offer them the reassurances of contracting with ourselves and the Brook Henderson Group.”
Offshore Wind Power Marine Services, whose clients include RWE Npower, Dong Energy, Vattenfall, Siemens Wind Power, owns and operates a fleet of purpose built wind farm support vessels.
The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) expressed serious concern about the implications of the Ontario government’s new proposed 5 kilometers setback for offshore wind energy developments in Ontario. If implemented, this decision will prevent several proposed offshore wind energy projects from proceeding in their current form.
“Encouraged by the Ontario Government to explore offshore wind energy opportunities, companies have been making significant investments to develop wind energy projects in areas that would now be excluded from development under the proposed regulation,” said CanWEA president Robert Hornung. “Investors require strong and stable wind energy policy, but this element of the proposed regulation is inconsistent with past policy signals concerning offshore wind energy in Ontario.”
The proposed regulation is part of a package of policies on offshore wind energy development that are now open to public consultation. CanWEA will be reviewing and responding to these proposals with a view to proposing changes targeted at maintaining investor confidence in Ontario’s offshore wind energy policy framework while at the same time facilitating and ensuring the responsible and sustainable development of offshore wind energy in Ontario.
Iberdrola Renovables, has started up the Peñascal wind farm in the state of Texas. This is the largest facility operated by the company worldwide with installed capacity of 404 MW.
The Peñascal complex is located in Kenedy County (TX) and comprises two wind farms: Peñascal I and Peñascal II. The facility has 168 Mitsubishi MHI 92 wind turbines, with unit capacity of 2.4 MW. Its output meets the energy needs of around 150.000 average families and prevents the emission of some 120,000 tons of CO2.
The facility provides a significant socio-economic boost to the region as it has created some 20 direct jobs in the maintenance and operation of the wind farms. Around 200 people were involved in its construction.
Moreover, the facility was built in line with the stringent environmental criteria of Iberdrola Renovables and the company spent over 4000 hours researching the characteristics and habits of the bird life in the region prior to its construction.
The complex’s innovative features include radar that detects the arrival of large flocks of migratory birds and shuts down the turbines if visibility conditions present a danger.
The AES Corporation announced that its wind business has signed an agreement with Jan Reichert (Reichert), a Polish wind developer, to acquire its development pipeline of 353 MW. Through the transaction, AES Wind Generation acquired a 51 percent stake in the pipeline, and will take ownership of up to 90 to 95 percent, pending completion of certain milestones by Reichert. Of the total pipeline, 158 MW of projects are expected to begin construction next year and will require approximately $80 million of AES equity through the end of 2011. Completion of the entire pipeline would require approximately $175 million of AES equity through the end of 2014.
The Reichert investment builds on AES Wind Generation’s recent entry into the Polish wind market through its acquisition of 3E’s 422 MW development pipeline, announced in April 2010. With this new investment, AES Wind Generation has a development pipeline totaling 775 MW in Poland. Of AES Wind Generation’s global development pipeline of approximately 6,000 MW, nearly one-third of those projects are located in Europe.
Hunton & Williams LLP is pleased to announce it has assisted Cannon Power Group, a San Diego-based renewable energy pioneer, in securing a Section 1603 Treasury cash grant through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The funds will be used for the expansion of Cannon's landmark Windy Point/Windy Flats wind projects, one of the largest wind projects in the U.S. The grant is another milestone in the development of Windy Point/Windy Flats over the past six years. To date, Cannon's total investment in the projects exceeds $1 billion.
The ARRA grant will go towards the purchase of wind turbines to be used for wind power generation and other project costs. This will also enable the expansion of the project from 400 to 500 megawatts (MW). Cannon previously closed a $178 million financing deal with Siemens Financial Services, Inc. in October 2009 for a 60 MW expansion of the project. Cannon, a leading wind farm developer, currently has over 3000 MW under development in western North America and Europe.
Vestas has received an order from Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas) for 139 V90-1.8 MW turbines for the Cedar Point Wind project located primarily in Lincoln and Elbert Counties, CO.
Construction of Cedar Point Wind is underway with commercial operation expected in 2011. Once completed, Cedar Point Wind will be the second largest wind project in Colorado.
Maintaining momentum in its renewable energy investing, GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE (GE), announced that it has made an equity investment in Idaho's largest wind energy project. The almost half billion dollar portfolio of 11 wind farms under construction was developed by Exergy Development Group.
GE Energy Financial Services made the announcement at the American Council on Renewable Energy's Renewable Energy Finance Forum in New York City. The GE unit will own a majority equity interest in the Idaho Wind Partners project. Exergy Development Group will own a minority interest along with manager and operator Reunion Power. The wind farms will sell all of their power to Idaho Power Company under 20-year agreements. Once completed, the portfolio is expected to qualify for the Federal Treasury Grant program designed to stimulate renewable energy projects. Additional financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Construction company Fagen, Inc. initiated project construction earlier this month and expects to complete the wind farms located on farmland clustered near Hagerman and Burley by year's end. Using 122 of GE's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, over 13,500 of which have been installed worldwide, these wind farms will have the capacity to generate 183 megawatts.
The wind farm project is expected to create approximately 175 construction jobs as well as permanent employment for operations and ongoing seasonal maintenance requirements.
Wind comprises nearly 80 percent of GE Energy Financial Services' renewable energy portfolio. The portfolio includes equity investments in 58 wind farms with a total capacity to produce 6.1 gigawatts of electricity, as well as loans to 38 wind farms totaling 1.5 gigawatts.
Vestas has received an order from Capital Power Corporation , via Capital Power L.P., the legal entity that holds Capital Power’s Ontario and British Columbia wind project assets, to supply and commission 44 V100-1.8 MW and 35 V90-1.8 MW wind turbines at Capital Power’s proposed Quality Wind Project in British Columbia.
The turbines will be delivered and commissioned in 2012. Capital Power will be responsible for the installation of the turbines and towers. The order also includes a 10-year service and maintenance agreement.
In addition to the 142 MW order, Capital Power Corporation has also placed an option for an additional 375 MW comprised of 58 V90-1.8 MW wind turbines for the 105 MW Port Dover and Nanticoke Wind Project in Ontario and 150 V90-1.8 MW turbines for the proposed 270 MW Kingsbridge II Project also located in Ontario. This option is contingent upon provincial environmental and regulatory approvals. Should all three projects be developed, Vestas would deliver a total of 287 turbines to Capital Power.
Africa’s largest wind farm, the 140 MW Tangiers I “Dahr Saadane” facility was inaugurated in Tangiers (Morocco). Gamesa was one of the project’s key suppliers, making and installing its 165 G52-850 kW wind turbines. The company will also maintain the wind turbines.
With capacity to generate 526.5 GWh a year, this new farm will increase installed wind power capacity in Morocco to 250 MW, servicing 2.5 percent of the country’s energy requirements. The resulting power generation is equivalent to more than 126,000 tons of oil equivalent (TEP) each year and prevents the emission of close to 370,000 tons of CO2 annually.
The facility, entailing investment of €250 million, is developed and operated by the Moroccan electricity board (the ONE for its initials in French) and falls under the scope of the Moroccan government’s commitment to developing renewable energy projects, promoting the use of national energy resources and protecting the environment.
With the start-up of this wind farm, the fifth in Morocco fitted with Gamesa wind turbines, the company has installed total capacity of 230 MW in the country. In addition to the Tangiers project, the company has installed wind turbines in Tetouan and Essaouira.
Gamesa’s presence in various North African nations has enabled it to install 659 MW in the continent to date.
In its capacity as developer, another of Gamesa’s core business lines, the company has three wind farms in the pipeline in Morocco, at various stages of development.
Western Wind Energy Corp ("Western Wind") is pleased to announce that on June 24, 2010, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the amendment to the Power Purchase Agreement between Western Wind and Southern California Edison for the 120 Megawatt Windstar Project located in Tehachapi, CA.
Western Wind is a vertically integrated renewable energy electrical production company that currently owns over 500 wind turbines with 34.5 MW of rated capacity and a further 131 MW of expansion power purchase agreements in the States of California and Arizona. Western Wind further owns additional development assets for both Solar and Wind Energy in California, Arizona, Ontario, Canada and has a development team in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Western Wind is in the business of owning and acquiring land sites and technology for the production of electricity from wind and solar energy. Management of Western Wind Energy includes individuals involved in the operations and ownership of utility scale wind energy facilities in California since 1981.
NRG Energy, Inc. has completed the purchase of the South Trent wind farm near Sweetwater, TX. The 101 megawatt (MW) wind farm, which came online in January 2009, consists of 44 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines capable of powering more than 80,000 homes when the wind farm is operating at maximum capacity.
The South Trent acquisition was announced in March of this year and approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) on June 11, 2010. AEP Energy partners, Inc. has a 20-year power purchase agreement for all of the generation from the site.
South Trent is the fourth plant in NRG’s onshore wind portfolio. NRG owns and operates the 120 MW Elbow Creek wind farm near Big Spring, TX and the 150 MW Langford wind farm near San Angelo, TX. NRG also is a 50 percent owner of the 150 MW Sherbino wind farm near Fort Stockton, TX, operated by BP Alternative Energy, North America. In addition to onshore wind, NRG is developing a diverse mix of low and no carbon generation, including new nuclear, solar, offshore wind, biomass and carbon sequestration to advance our vision of a low-cost, low-emission future.
Pattern Energy Group LP announced that one of its subsidiaries has entered into a 20-year power purchase and operating agreement (PPOA) with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for the sale of 75 megawatts produced at the Pattern Santa Isabel Wind Project, a wind energy generation facility being developed by Pattern that will be located in Southern Puerto Rico in the Municipality of Santa Isabel.
The Pattern Santa Isabel Wind Project is expected to begin producing electricity in late 2011 and will generate clean, renewable energy equivalent to the power needs of up to 25,000 Puerto Rican homes. Once operational, it will be the largest wind energy project in Puerto Rico.
Five and a half months after buying a dedicated transmission line to transmit renewable energy eastward, Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company, is constructing its first wholly-owned wind farm in North Dakota.
Preliminary grading and road-building was started last fall, and construction began in earnest about a month ago on the first phase of Bison Wind I. A total of 33 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines will be erected on a footprint of farmland about 12 square miles in size. The first 16 wind generators should be installed and operational by December of 2010, with the second phase of 17 turbines scheduled for construction and deployment a year later. The project is estimated to cost approximately $178 million.
ALLETE purchased the DC Line linking Center, N.D. to Duluth, MN for $70 million in a sale that closed December 31, 2009. That purchase will allow the company to increase its use of renewable wind energy.
The Bison project and ownership of the DC line are key elements of an ALLETE strategy to increase the amount of renewable energy that can be produced and transported to population centers.
Several hundred megawatts of carbon-free wind power installations will be developed to satisfy a growing demand for renewable energy and meet Minnesota’s “25 by 2025” renewable energy mandate. The high “capacity factor” wind at the Bison Wind I site will allow Minnesota Power to develop an economical renewable energy source for the company’s ratepayers.
Vestas has received an order from Näsudden Väst Invest, Slitevind AB and Stugyl AB for delivery of 21 units of the V90-3.0 MW wind turbine. The order has a total capacity of 63 MW and the turbines will be installed in Näsudden, located on the island of Gotland southeast of Sweden. Delivery and installation of the turbines is scheduled to be completed in late 2011. The contract includes supply, installation and commissioning of the turbines, a VestasOnline® Business SCADA system and a 15-year service agreement.
The project named Gotland Repowering is a joint enterprise between the three parties Näsudden Väst Invest, Slitevind AB and Stugyl AB. The island of Gotland has a great history of wind power and provides the best wind conditions and surroundings. Vestas installed its first turbine on Gotland in 1983, and our service organization has been present on the island for many years.
Flat Water Holdings, LLC has announced an equity partnership associated with the 60 MW Flat Water Wind project, a tri-party partnership between Gallop Power, LLC, Gestamp Wind North America, Inc., a subsidiary of Gestamp Renewables, and Banco Santander, S.A. Flat Water recently began construction of the Flat Water Wind Farm, located in Richardson County, NE, and the project is expected to reach commercial operations by December 31, 2010. Under a long-term power purchase agreement, Omaha Public Power District will purchase the full output of the facility. Flat Water will employ GE 1.5 MW turbines and began electrical and civil construction work earlier this year.
Vestas has received an order from China Datang Renewable Power Co. Ltd. for 25 units of the versatile and highly productive V80-2.0 MW turbine. The turbines are designated for the Alatan wind farm near Tongliao in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and delivery is expected in the third quarter of 2010.
The sale includes transportation, installation and commissioning as well as a VestasOnline® Business SCADA solution.
Vestas received an order from Fujian Energy Wind Power Company for 24 units of the V80-2.0 MW turbine, totaling 48 MW.
Fujian Energy Wind Power Company is owned by Fujian Energy Group, which is one of the key players in the energy sector of Fujian province. This company has set ambitious goals for expanding wind energy projects in their portfolio and is set to play a pivotal role in Fujian’s renewable energy sector.
The new site is located near the coast in Putian County, Fujian Province, and the first delivery is scheduled to take place in the third quarter of 2010.
The contract includes towers, delivery, transportation, installation and commissioning of the wind turbines, a VestasOnline® Business SCADA solution and a two-year service and maintenance agreement. This solution includes an extensive range of monitoring and control functions allowing the wind park to be controlled in the same way as a conventional power plant. In this way, customers have full control of power production as well as full overview of the operational status of each individual wind turbine, which is very important in relation to servicing of the turbines and sophisticated management of large scale wind power plants.
Vestas announced it has received an order for 20 V90-2.0 MW wind turbines from the UKA Group (UKA), for several wind energy projects in Eastern Germany. The total order has a capacity of 40 MW.
The scope of the order includes supply, installation and commissioning of the wind turbines and a long-term full service agreement. Delivery of the wind turbines is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010.
This order by UKA to Vestas underlines the long and close relationship between Vestas and UKA, one of the leading wind energy developers in the growing Eastern German market. For 10 years, UKA and Vestas have been working together and building a solid business partnership.
Established in the Eastern German province of Saxony, UKA is a forward-looking company specializing in developing and operating clean energy generation projects with a sustainable business case. UKA has developed wind farms with a combined generation capacity of approximately 165 MW, and stresses working cooperatively with landowners, communities, governments and other stakeholders in building wind energy projects.
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. announced that two new wind projects have achieved commercial operation. Montana-Dakota, a division of MDU Resources Group, Inc., constructed an additional 30 megawatts of wind generation in two locations.
The company developed the 19.5 megawatt Cedar Hills wind generation facility in southwest North Dakota. The project is located on leased land approximately five miles west of Rhame, N.D. It also expanded its Diamond Willow wind facility by an additional 10.5 MW. Diamond Willow, which went online in late 2007, is located near Baker, MT. The expansion project includes seven additional wind turbines on leased land, and increases the capability of the site to 30 MW.
The North Dakota site features 13 turbines and is located close to a Montana-Dakota transmission line for interconnection. Two new employees will be hired because of the wind expansion. The additional generation from both projects will provide enough electricity to meet the needs of about 10,000 Montana-Dakota residential customers in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Montana-Dakota has nearly $130 million invested in wind generation and other renewable projects to serve its electric customers in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Enovos Luxembourg S.A. decided to acquire a stake in the "Bard Offshore 1" wind park equivalent to 30 MW of capacity. The stake was acquired via Sudweststrom Windpark GmbH & Co KG, of which Enovos Luxembourg will hold slightly above 10 percent.
The offshore wind park is located about 90 kilometers north-west of Borkum in the North Sea; the 80 wind turbine generators will be placed in an area where the water depth is about 40 meters and have a generation capacity of 5 MW each, resulting in a total capacity for the park of 400 MW.
"The technical aspects of this project are impressive - the turbine housings will be placed 90 meters above sea level and the surface covered by the rotor blades has a diameter of 126 meters. The wind park's annual production is 1,600 GWh," explains Daniel Christnach, Head of Renewable Energies at Enovos Luxembourg.
"The project is in an advanced stage, the sea-cable has been laid and the transformer station is operational; the first generators will feed electricity into the grid by July 2010. Our share of the farm's total annual production corresponds to the energy used by about 30,000 households – it is important to mention the high number of full load hours on the open sea which allow for a quantity of power to be produced that is comparable to the peak-load of coal-fired power plants – namely between 4,000 and 4,500 hours per year," adds Jean Lucius, CEO at Enovos Luxembourg. "Moreover, this project should foster future bilateral agreements between Germany and Luxembourg and help the Grand Duchy reach its target of 11 percent share of renewable energy sources of the final consumption by 2020."
Vestas has received an order for the delivery of 13 – plus one in option –V90-1.8 MW wind turbines for the “Volturino” wind farm in Apulia, Italy.
The contract includes supply, installation and commissioning of the turbines and a five-year service agreement. Delivery is scheduled to start in the first half of 2011 and the project will be completed by the end of the year.
The order has been placed by Volturino Wind and CO-VER Industrial. Volturino Wind is a project company of BKW Italia, controlled by BKW FMB Energy, a leading Swiss utility and among the main providers in production, transmission and distribution of electricity. BKW FMB Energy has a generation capacity of more than 2,000 MW produced by a consolidated mix of hydroelectric, nuclear, wind and biogas power. The other company, CO-VER Industrial, stems from the merger of several companies of the CO-VER Group working in the leading industrial and service sectors.
With a total installed capacity of 23.4 MW and an estimated annual production of 78,000 MWh per year, the Volturino wind power plant will save the environment from more than 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions on an annual basis. Furthermore, it will generate enough electricity to power 32,500 Italian households per year.
ScottishPower Renewables has welcomed the decision of Dumfries & Galloway Council to approve the building of a windfarm at Ewe Hill.
Located 15 kilometers from Lockerbie, the windfarm will comprise of six turbines and will produce enough clean green energy for up to approximately 10,000 homes. This development was initially part of an earlier application for 22 turbines which SPR is still progressing.
As part of ScottishPower Renewables’ commitment to the community around Ewe Hill, a fund will be set up to support local projects, with approximately £20,000 being invested in the fund each year.
ScottishPower Renewables now has over 1200 MW of clean, green electricity generating capacity in operation, construction and consented and is the UK’s largest operator of onshore windfarms.
Vestas Mediterranean has received its first order for the new V100 turbine model launched last year. The order consists of 10 units for the Sierra de Arcas wind power plant which will be located in Malaga in the south of Spain.
The order comprises wind turbine delivery, assembly, installation and commissioning, a VestasOnline® Business SCADA solution as well as a ten-year service and availability contract. Delivery is scheduled to start during the last quarter of 2010, and the project is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2011.
The order has been placed by LDV Sierra de Arcas, a privately-owned Spanish company, owned by the Enhol Group (66 percent) and Orisol (34 percent). Both organizations have a strong focus on the renewable energy sector.
On June 10, 2010, Enovos Luxembourg S.A. signed the acquisition of a 100 percent stake in the wind farm "La Benate" near Saintes (Charente-Maritime region, France).
The 6 wind turbine generators (WTG) are of the type Enercon E82 with a nominal power output of 2 MW each and a hub height of 79 meters. The wind farm has already been partially feeding into the public grid since May 2010; final commissioning of all 6 WTGs will take place in June.
100 percent of the generated power will be fed into the public grid, corresponding to the annual consumption of around 8,000 households.
"By investing in this wind farm, which generates around 32 GWh of green electricity each year, Enovos Luxembourg S.A. contributes to further extend its share of power generation from renewable energy sources. Furthermore around 13,000 tons of CO2 emissions will be saved each year," emphasizes Daniel Christnach, Head of Renewable Energies at Enovos Luxembourg. "The lack of roughness in the terrain, combined with a high annual number of wind hours, makes this location extremely attractive."
Recently, Enovos Luxembourg also decided to participate in the offshore wind farm "Bard 1." Jean Lucius, CEO of Enovos Luxembourg, underlines that "the purchase of 'La Benate' is further significant proof of the commitment of Enovos in the field of renewable energies. This highly profitable project represents our first investment in renewable energies in France – additional projects, in France and other countries will follow."
The solar energy market has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two years, driven by a new abundance of polysilicon, the effects of the worldwide financial crisis, and the plunging price of solar modules. As a result of these factors, the solar industry has shifted from supply-constrained to demand-driven, and a few strong companies have been able to improve their revenues and market share based on a low cost per watt combined with high module efficiency.
According to a new report from Pike Research, this market realignment will set the stage for a new era of solar growth over the next several years, and the cleantech market intelligence firm anticipates that by 2013, in many markets, solar costs will reach the long-elusive goal of grid parity, the cost of electricity from traditional power sources. Between 2010 and 2013, Pike Research forecasts that solar demand will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 percent.
“Solar prices are plunging quickly, and lower pricing will fuel a surge in demand in 2010 and beyond,” says senior analyst Dave Cavanaugh. “However, pricing trends and oversupply of solar modules will also place huge pressure on solar suppliers, especially Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies that are not well-equipped to weather the storm. We expect a significant shakeout among solar suppliers in the next two years.”
A new survey conducted by Applied Materials, Inc. reveals that two-thirds of Americans believe solar technology should play a greater role in meeting the country’s energy needs. In addition, three-quarters of Americans feel that increasing renewable energy and decreasing U.S. dependence on foreign oil are the country’s top energy priorities.
In recognition of the summer solstice and the ongoing debate concerning energy reform legislation, Applied Materials, the world’s leading supplier of solar panel manufacturing equipment, conducted its second annual survey to gauge the public’s current knowledge and opinion of solar energy usage in the U.S.
According to the survey, 67 percent of Americans would be willing to pay more for their monthly utility bill if their utility company increased its use of renewable energy and 49 percent of consumers polled would be willing to pay $5 or more each month for an increased amount of renewable energy – a 14 percent increase from the results of Applied Materials’ 2009 survey.
Amendments to the photovoltaic feed-in tariffs of Germany’s Renewable Energies Act were passed on July 9, 2010, marking a shift towards the rooftop segment. Germany’s Bundesrat (lower house of parliament) approved the amendments, clearing the way for them to become law. The changes abandon field installations on cropland and increase the attractiveness of the own consumption bonus for small and medium-scale rooftop installations.
Implemented retroactively to take effect July 1, feed-in tariff rates will be reduced by 13 percent for rooftop installations and eliminated for cropland field installations. At the same time, conversion areas will see a reduction of 8 percent and all other areas will be decreased by 12 percent. Beginning October 1, these rates will again by reduced by a further 3 percent of the initial rate. Still, the new tariffs remain highly attractive, ranging from €25.01 – 34.05c/kWh for installations connected between July and October 1 and €24.16 - €32.87c/kWh those connected during the remainder of the year. The new amendments also more than double the federal target of annual installed capacity to 2.5 – 3.5 GWp.
The law, which was established ten years ago, requires power companies to buy renewable energy from system owners at the corresponding feed-in tariff rate for 20 years, guaranteeing an attractive payback time and high returns. Even greater income can be secured by utilizing the “own consumption bonus,” which is paid to rooftop installation owners of systems smaller than 500 kWp who intend to use the energy they generate.
A coalition of business, environmental and non-profit organizations led by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) launched a campaign to create a 600 MW Solar Feed-n Tariff (FiT) program. The FiT would facilitate private investment to meet Los Angeles’ renewable energy goals by enabling residents and business to install solar panels on their property and sell the power generated back to the electrical grid.
The coalition outlined specific guidelines for city policymakers about how to design a FiT that would create more than 11,000 local green jobs and generate enough clean energy to meet three percent of Los Angeles’ needs, while being cost-effective for ratepayers. This proposal was developed based on a comprehensive report issued by the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and the LABC.
Drawing on an in-depth survey of major local energy users, county-wide mapping analysis of potential solar resources and economic modeling, the report concludes that a FiT in Los Angeles would produce energy at lower cost than Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) other potential sources over a ten-year period, while at the same time providing program participants with a 5 to 7 percent return on their investment.
The study’s detailed analysis also shows that the cost of installing solar panels will fall as the price of other energy sources, like coal and natural gas, rises. As a result of this shift, solar energy generated by a Fit would become more cost-effective than LADWP’s other sources of energy within ten years.
The study’s conservative estimate that a 600 MW FiT would create at least 11,000 local jobs over the next 10 years – nearly triple the number of jobs that have been produced by the LADWP’s green programs to date in Los Angeles – has helped to bring in support for the program from a wide-range of business and labor organizations, and made the program attractive for city policymakers.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a world leader in safety testing and certification services, has intensified its talks with the National Renewable Energy Center of Spain, CENER (Centro Nacional de Energias Renovables), to cooperate in the field of testing and certification of PV modules. With the planned collaboration UL and CENER continue to expand their global footprint in renewable energy sector to meet growing demand. It allows both parties to offer PV manufacturers to test and certify their products according to national and international standards as well as to UL standards by only one testing facility, and thus giving them easier, more cost effective and faster access to the international photovoltaic markets and in particular to the North-American market due to CENER’s local presence and a highly skilled engineering team communicating in local language.
UL is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing standards for safety for over a century. UL is based in Northbrook, IL, U.S. and has recently opened Europe’s largest Photovoltaic Technology Center of Excellence near Frankfurt, Germany.
The CENER is an international best-known and well-established technology center specialized in applied research, and the development and promotion of renewable energies. The foundation began it activity in 2002 and the Board of Trustees comprises the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Ciemat (Research Center for Energy, Environment and Technology), and the Government of Navarra.
It currently provides services and research achievements in 6 areas in the field of renewable energies: Photovoltaic Solar Energy, Solar Thermal Energy, Biomass Energy, Biomass Energy, Bioclimatic Architecture, Renewable Energy Grid Integration and Wind Energy. One of the main aims of the CENER Photovoltaic Solar Energy Department s to support the photovoltaic industrial sector with its developments and to help reduce the costs of this type of energy source, improving and increasing its possibilities of use. CENER PV Laboratory performs PV modules tests according to the standards IEC 61215, IEC 61646, IEC 62108 and IEC 61730. For this purpose, CENER is accredited by IEC and ENAC. This lab is also equipped for PV inverters tests.
As an ever increasing number of people around the world become connected by mobile communications networks, the challenges to providing electricity to these expanding networks are becoming greater as well. In particular, developing countries are seeing unprecedented growth in wireless subscribers, however many of the base stations in these areas are in remote locales that have limited or no access to grid power. Renewable energy from solar panels and small wind turbines offers a viable alternative to diesel generators in these remote off-grid sites, and a new report from Pike Research forecasts that renewable energy will power 4.5 percent of the world’s mobile base stations by 2014, up from just 0.11 percent in 2010. In developing countries, the percentage will be even higher – the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that 8 percent of base stations in those regions will utilize renewable power by 2014.
Pike Research’s analysis also shows that mobile network infrastructure equipment is rapidly becoming more energy-efficient, owing to a series of initiatives by equipment vendors and network operators. The firm believes that lower base station power requirements will make it even easier to integrate renewable energy into mobile networks. In the process, the global wireless industry will have a significant opportunity to reduce carbon emissions associated with network operations.
Evergreen Solar, Inc., a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar panels with its proprietary silicon wafer technology, will unveil its upcoming line of higher efficiency solar panels featuring its newly developed BOOST™ Cell Technology, at Intersolar 2010 in Munich, Germany.
The new ES-D and ES-E series of panels for residential and commercial markets feature Evergreen’s new Boost cell technology that uses micro wires instead of conventional bus-bars to reduce cell shading, improve current collection and ultimately increase the overall panel efficiency. This innovative new cell technology also gives these panels one of the most appealing aesthetics in the industry. The new panels will begin to be available commercially from fourth quarter 2010 onwards and are on display for viewing throughout Intersolar at the company’s booth located in Hall B5, Stand 126.
The ES-D series panels, designed primarily for residential roofs, are lighter weight for ease of installation and smaller in size to ensure a better fit of the panels to any shape or size of roof. The ES-D series will be produced with two sets of specifications:
The ES-E series panels will be the most powerful Evergreen Solar panels ever made, with a larger panel design to meet the needs of commercial applications where the larger size helps to minimize installation costs. The ES-E series panels will be available in 220, 225 and 230W power grades.
All the new panels will feature an industry leading -0/+5W power tolerance and anti-reflective treated glass as standard.
MiaSole, the leading manufacturer of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic solar panels announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) independently confirmed the 13.8 percent efficiency of its large area production modules (one square meter in size).
“We are pleased with our strong continued progress,” said Dr. Joseph Laia, CEO of MiaSole. “The modules that we ship in 2011 will have efficiencies greater than 13 percent. The only reason that we are not shipping these modules is that we are awaiting the completion of our UL certifications.”
This new high efficiency will allow MiaSole to offer solar modules with the efficiency of polysilicon and the lower manufacturing costs of thin-film modules.
MiaSole’s unique manufacturing process lays CIGS on a flexible stainless steel substrate and produces all layers of this highly efficient photovoltaic material in a continuous sputtering process. MiaSole is the only thin-film solar company that uses sputtering every step of the way for coating the solar modules, thereby reducing manufacturing time and costs of production.
MiaSole will ship 6.5 MW in the first half of this year and expects to ship 22 MW in 2010. The company’s products are designed for utilities and independent power producers to use in industrial scale deployments such as large-scale rooftop and ground mount installations.
SunPower Corp, a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced that it has produced a full-scale solar cell with a sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency of 24.2 percent at its manufacturing plant in the Philippines. This is a new world record, confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s NREL, for large area silicon wafers.
Evolution Solar Researchers from the University of Texas in Austin and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis have discovered a process that can be used to increase the conversion efficiency of solar cells up to 66 percent. The process transfers hot electrons from quantum dots to an electron acceptor. In typical semiconductor solar cells, photons with energies above the semiconductor’s bandgap generate hot electrons, and much of the energy from the hot electrons is lost through heat before it can be captured and used for electricity.
This new process uses quantum dots to slow down the cooling process of hot electrons and then captures and transfers them. This allows the addition of energy that is currently lost as heat in conventional solar cells.
“This is a dramatic leap forward in making solar power more cost efficient,” stated Robert Hines, President of Evolution Solar. “This has the potential to double solar power output and cut solar payback times in half.”
The Dichtel group in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University has developed a method to organize organic dyes into stacked sheets that are porous for incorporation into flexible solar cells. The process could revolutionize the way solar cells are made by lowering costs dramatically, while creating highly-efficient and easy-to-manufacture solar cells.
The process employs organic dye molecules assembled into a structure known as a covalent organic framework (COF). The strategy uses a simple acid catalyst and relatively stable molecules called protected catechols to assemble key molecules into a neatly ordered 2D sheet. These sheets can be stacked on top of one another to form a lattice that provides pathways for charge to move through the material. At the core of the framework are molecules called phthalocyanines, a class of common industrial dyes used in products from blue jeans to ink pens. Phthalocyanines, a class of common industrial dyes used in products from blue jeans to ink pens. Phthalocyanines are also closely related in structure to chlorophyll, which absorbs almost the entire solar spectrum.
This structure is a model that can significantly broaden the scope of materials that can be used in COFs. Once the framework is assembled, the pores between the molecular latticework could potentially be filled with another organic material to form light and flexible solar cells.
Methode Development Company, a business unit of Methode Electronics, Inc., announces that its conductive inkjet printable ink can now print circuits directly onto treated polyesters. The ink, formulated for thermal and piezo inkjet systems, makes it possible for engineers to print working electrical circuits, right from their desktops – facilitating product development, prototyping, and manufacturing processes. With this technology, scale-up for high volume manufacturing can be easily achieved.
Methode’s water-based #9101 ink has excellent adhesion to polyester substrates. The inkjet formulation contains conductive silver nano-particles, and does not require secondary curing or additional processing. Near full conductivity is achieved within a few minutes of printing. The ink is RoHS-compliant and negligible volatile organic compouns (VOCs) are created during printing, alleviating the need for specialized ventilation during application.
The addition of treated polyester substrates significantly expands the growth potential in the flexible circuit, membrane switch, RFID and photovoltaics markets. These markets have always required an efficient and cost-effective manufacturing alternative that inkjet printing provides. The treated polyester adds to Methode’s full line of substrates – none of which require thermal processing – including coated papers and synthetic substrates, such as Teslin.™
A development kit is available that allows engineers to create functional electrical circuits with a thermal inkjet desktop printer. The kit includes 3 substrates, a thermal inkjet printer, a cartridge filled with the 9101 conductive ink, a printer maintenance kit, and an owner’s manual. The cartridge simply replaces the existing black cartridge on the desktop printer. The desktop print head is the same head used for industrial print systems, allowing a direct path for production scale-up. The price of the kit is $1,850 with replacement 9101 ink cartridges available.
RoseStreet Labs Energy, Inc. announced a breakthrough laboratory demonstration of the first known multiband photovoltaic device featuring three distinct light absorption regions integrated into a single layer thin-film device. This breakthrough is based on RSLE’s IBand™ technology and is the first known intermediate band solar cell reduced to practice in a laboratory demonstration. This technology illustrates great promise for high efficiency thin-film solar efficiencies above 35 percent by potentially capturing the full spectrum of the sun’s spectrum.
Efficient solar cells require optimized utilization of the whole solar spectrum. Currently this is achieved in a complex and expensive technology in which several solar cells with different band gaps are connected in series. A much simpler approach in which a single semiconductor has several different gaps sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum has been proposed but never realized.
The intermediate band solar cell developed by RSLE, is a thin-film technology based on the discovery of highly mismatched allows. The simple and elegant three bandgaps, one junction device has the potential of significantly improved solar light absorption and higher power output than the III-V triple junction compound semiconductor devices that presently hold the world record for solar efficiency. RSLE’s demonstration device was fabricated on high volume CVD technology thereby validating the potential for high volume commercialization.
The performance of crystalline silicon – widely considered a reliable solar module construction – declines amid rising temperatures of rooftop modules, according to studies performed by TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC, a member of the world’s largest solar and photovoltaic testing network.
Most photovoltaic modules made with crystalline silicon re known to decrease by 0.5 percent per celsius degree as the temperature increases. Dr. Govindasamy Tamizhamani, president of TUV Rheinland PTL, and Mr. Joseph Kuitche, Operations Section Head of TUV Rheinland PTL, plan to show the link among module temperatures and weather conditions. The results of the study conducted at Arizona State University and TUV Rheinland PTL have the potential to impact the type of module set-ups homeowners and businesses choose to install in the future.
A 20-minute presentation during Intersolar North America’s “Crystalline Silicon II – Modules & Systems” session will cover the types of weather conditions influencing the module’s operating temperature and the thermal models developed to predict the temperatures of open-rack and rooftop crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules.
SoloPower, a California-based manufacturer of flexible, thin-film solar PV cells and modules, announced the launch of its debut CIGS-based, thin-film, lightweight, flexible SFX1-i PV module.
SoloPower produces high-power, lightweight, flexible PV modules utilizing a low-cost, roll-to-roll electroplating process. The SFX1-i module (80Wp, 0.3m x 2.9m, 2.3 kg/5lbs.) represents the first of several products of SoloPower’s flexible module product line which includes the SFX1-i3 module (260Wp, 0.9m, 2.9m 6kg/13lbs.) and the SFX2 module (170Wp, 0.3m x 5.8m, 3.6kg/8lbs).
STMicroelectronics has unveiled the industry’s first IC to combine important power-optimization and power-conversion functions for solar generators. ST’s innovation will allow multi-panel arrays, ranging from domestic rooftop-type equipment to larger installations, to deliver more energy at a lower cost per watt.
ST’s new SPV1020 chip allows Maximum Power-Point Tracking (MPPT) to be applied individually for each panel. MPPT automatically adjusts a solar generator’s output circuitry to compensate for power fluctuations resulting from varying solar intensity, shadowing, temperature change, panel mismatch, or ageing. Without MPPT, the power from a solar panel can fall by 10 to 20 percent if even a small percentage of its surface is in shadow. This disproportionate decrease may restrict the choice of site or force the use of a smaller array to avoid shadows. In some cases, it can challenge the viability of the project.
The SPV1020 enables Distributed MPPT (DMPPT), which compensates each panel individually, in contrast to a centralized MPPT scheme that applies a ‘best-fit’ compensation to all the panels in the array. DMPPT is the most promising technique to improve the energy productivity of PV systems because it maximizes the power extracted from each panel regardless of adjacent module performance, even if a module has failed.
Implementing DMPPT usually requires a network of discrete components for each panel in an array. The SPV1020 replaces this network with a single chip and also integrates the DC/DC converter to step-up the panel’s low-voltage DC output to a larger DC voltage from which line-quality AC power is produced. By integrating MPPT and the DC/DC converter, the SPV1020 dramatically simplifies design and reduces part count, making DMPPT economical for solar generators across a range of power ratings and price points.
ST has integrated all of the required functions in a monolithic chip using its advanced 0.18-micron BCD8 multi-power process technology. BCD8 holds the key to combining power and analog functions for the DC/DC converter on the same chip as the digital logic performing the MPPT algorithm. This technology enables a smaller, more reliable and longer-lasting solution than an alternative built with discrete components. The IC also has an advanced DC/DC converter architecture that minimizes the size and number of external passive components needed.
The research program of Natcore Technology Inc. being conducted at Rice University under the direction of Prof. Andrew Barron has successfully encapsulated silicon quantum dots with a uniform coating of silicon dioxide.
This represents a crucial milestone in Natcore’s development of an all-silicon, super-efficient tandem solar cell. To the knowledge of Natcore scientists, such an encapsulization of individual silicon nanocrystals, or quantum dots (QDs), in silicon dioxide has never before been accomplished.
The silicon dioxide coating was achieved using Rice University’s patented liquid phase deposition (LPD) process, to which Natcore has the exclusive worldwide license. As a result of this unprecedented accomplishment, Natcore can now work toward the construction of multiple layers of silicon QDs in orderly, three dimensional arrays that could more efficiently absorb shorter wavelength light (i.e., higher-energy photons) than is possible in ordinary bulk silicon.
When added to the top of a standard silicon solar cell, such stacked arrays could significantly increase the efficiency of the silicon solar cell at a much lower cost per additional watt than that of the original cell itself. Theoretical calculations by various independent research groups and published in the open literature show that efficiency of over 30 percent for tandem solar cells in terrestrial sunlight is possible.
Efficiency of greater than 30 percent would represent approximately double the power output of today’s commercial silicon solar cells, and would likely bridge the economic gap between solar and conventional power generation.
Tandem solar cells are a proven technology currently employed in space applications. The major issue preventing their broad use in earth-based applications has been the need to use exotic semiconducting materials for the upper layers, and the expensive special vacuum processing technology that limits large-scale production.
In contrast, Natcore’s LPD technology eliminates the need for such materials and their costly processing, and promises to usher in a period of unprecedented growth in the application of solar cells for electrical power generation.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) NREL and Solarmer Energy, Inc., have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to collaborate on improving the lifetime of plastic solar cells, a promising new solar conversion technology. The joint research covered by the CRADA will explore the lifetime and stability of the OPV devices that make up the energy-harvesting layers of plastic solar cells.
Under the terms of the CRADA, NREL researchers will evaluate the lifetime of Solarmer’s high performance active layer systems. They will conduct the tests on NREL’s combinatorial degradation system, which compares the performance of up to 360 organic PV devices in parallel under simulated solar conditions that accelerate the test results. Optimizing the durability of organic PV cells will enhance the technology’s commercial future.
The project will cover true lifetime results of materials and devices, a comparison of the materials, and an examination of degradation mechanisms. Both parties are confident that they also will find better encapsulation and packaging approaches, which will contribute to improving the lifetime of the plastic solar cells.
OPV technologies, which include plastic solar cells, may one day cost a fraction of conventional silicon solar cells because they use less expensive materials. They also can be manufactured in high volumes through innovative processing methods, potentially bringing solar electricity in line with conventional electricity costs over time.
Morgan Technical Ceramics (MTC), a leading manufacturer of innovative ceramic, glass, precious metal, piezoelectric and dielectric materials, introduces performance enhancing materials of ceramic rollers in furnaces used to make silicon wafers for solar panels to be showcased at the Intersolar North America Tradeshow in San Francisco, CA. The performance improvements associated with the materials are expected to lower costs by driving down the processing costs for each wafer produced.
MTC’s fused silica rollers provide a variety of benefits for thermal processing and chemical doping of silicon wafers and module glass. The rollers are inert, have high mechanical strength and good wear characteristics, leading to a long life in a challenging high temperature environment.
For high temperature applications in aggressive atmospheres, MTC has developed HalSolar alumina/silica rollers, which have improved chemical resistance, excellent thermal shock resistance and can be supplied with a smooth surface finish. Developed specifically for the solar market, the new rollers demonstrate MTC’s commitment to providing application engineering support to this important emerging market segment.
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and SolarCity®, a national leader in solar financing, design, installation, monitoring and related services, announced a project that will install a 187 kW solar PV research system at the institute’s headquarters.
The SolarCity PV rooftop system is expected to produce more than 7.3 kWh over the next 30 years and offset about 11 percent of EPRI’s annual power usage at its four-building research campus. When completed in mid-August, it will be the second largest solar installation in Palo Alto.
In May, EPRI joined the Solar Technology Acceleration Center, an outdoor research laboratory in Aurora, CO, where members test, validate and demonstrate advanced solar technologies. EPRI is actively pursuing research on two demonstration projects using solar thermal energy in conjunction with traditional fossil generation sources.
Power-Save Energy Company, an emerging leader in the renewable energy and energy efficiency products industry announced a contract from California Power-Save to supply a complete photovoltaic solar system for installation on an Agriculture Water Pump System in Shasta County, CA. Power-Save Energy Co. will supply all the solar equipment and CA Power-Save will be installing this 32.725 kW solar array. This specific contract is worth $194,423.00.
This project is significant to Power-Save Energy Co. in that it furthers the company’s pursuit of larger commercial projects. This agriculture installation has been funded through an agricultural grant of $48,500.00, a Pacific Gas and Electric rebate of $26,000.00, and a Federal Tax Grant of $55,000.00. The customer will save approximately $10,000.00 per year in electrical costs to pump water and have a ROI of approximately 7 years.
Rohaglas® Film Saves Flexible Solar Modules
Thin-film solar cells are developing into a rapidly growing market segment. If their commercial potential is to be fully exploited, the solar modules must be produced in a roll-to-roll manufacturing process. Evonik Industries has now developed the “missing link” necessary for continuous production: a highly transparent and also weathering-resistant barrier film based on polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) that can replace glass plates as a front cover.
Most of the solar modules to be found nowadays contain crystalline solar cells, for which the light sensitive semiconductor layers are produced from silicon wafers, and at the front a glass plate shields the cells in the modules from environmental effects. They are produced in a batch process and weigh about 20 kilograms.
If the barrier film protecting the solar cells from environmental effects is of plastic rather than glass, lightweight, flexible and therefore cost efficient thin-film solar cells can be realized with a number of semiconductor materials. They can be produced in a continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing process. The covering film should have the same properties as glass as far as possible. That means, it has to act as a barrier to water vapor and oxygen, allow high light transmission, adhere well to solar cells, and be electrically insulating, flexible, and cost efficient. It should also have high weathering and UV resistance. In short, this would mean developing an entirely new system solution for the photovoltaics industry.
PMMA has many of the required properties such as high transparency, weathering resistance, and UV stability. To meet the other requirements, Evonik has been developing a multilayer film consisting of several functional and bonding layers and outer PMMA layer. The Rohaglas® protects the underlying layers of the film very efficiently against the effects of weathering, thus ensuring the necessary longevity.
In the spectral range relevant to photovoltaics, Evonik’s new film achieves transmission rates of 88 and 90 percent in the short-wave and long-wave regions; these figures are comparable to those for glass plates.
The film is currently being put through tests for compliance with the IEC 61646 standard for thin-film solar cells. The tests expose the laminated film to strong temperature fluctuations, UV radiation, high humidity, and mechanical loads such as arise from hail, snow, and wind. It is already clear that the multilayer film will more than satisfy the standard in regard to the damp heat test and UV resistance. Its water vapor barrier is 10-3 g/(m2d). The first customers are already testing the film of 1200 mm width for use in their flexible thin-film solar modules.
DAS Environmental Expert GmbH located in Saxony, Germany develops and distributes integrated and compact solutions for the abatement of waste gas, waste water and fine dust created during the production of silicon based thin-film modules.
The Giant and Uptimum abatement tools have been developed by DAS Environmental Expert GmbH especially for customers in the solar industry. Huge amounts of waste gas are handled in a very efficient, reliable and economic manner. This is extremely important as the producers of thin-film modules are facing enormous cost pressures due to the intense competition in the solar market.
In some process steps during the production of solar modules, waste gases are created which cannot be emitted to the environment without any further treatment. These are flammable and explosive elements (Hydrogen and Silane) as well as the NF3. These harmful gases are destroyed by high temperature abatement resulting in acidic and fine dust by-products. In a second process step they are cleaned within the integrated wet scrubber. If especially high volumes of very fine dust are created by the process then a third step is necessary: the electrostatic removal of the particles which are handled by an Electrostatic Dust Collector, which reduces the emission of even the smallest particles by up to 99.9 percent. Downtimes because of clogged pipes are finally a thing of the past. The remaining gas complies with the German TA Luft regulations and can be released into the environment.
Since April 2010, DAS has been manufacturing at a new site in Dresden within the German Solvarvalley. With a production area of nearly 1400m2 and 20 new employees the Environmental Expert produces its established waste gas and waste water abatement solutions. “The relocation was necessary in terms of expansion, to be ready for the worldwide demand for abatement solutions especially in the semiconductor and photovoltaic industry,” stated Horst Reichardt, CEO and President of DAS.
Gujarat Borosil Limited, a member of the Borosil Group, announces production of high performance low iron extra clear Solar Glass.
The entire process plant comprising of this manufacturing facility has been imported from West Europe and U.S.
Its process line to impart a pencil edge and temper glass sheets conforming to EN12150 is soon to be commissioned. With this GBL will be able to meet the requirements of demanding customers in this industry.
It has been set up in District Bharuch of Gujarat State, India. GBL makes 230 tons of sheet glass in a separate manufacturing facility at the same location.
GBL high performance solar glass is already being used by customers in Europe. Its authorized distributor in Europe is VETRAD from Netherlands.
Borosil Glass Works Limited, a member of this group, manufactures products made from low expansion Borosilicate Glass (33 x 10-7) for laboratory, Industrial and Household use.
This company has been licensed technology from Corning Glass U.S.
Natcore Technology Inc. has completed an agreement with a Chinese consortium forming a joint venture to develop and produce film-growth equipment and materials that could significantly lower the cost of manufacturing solar cells.
At the heart of the joint venture is Natcore Technology’s patented Liquid Phase Deposition (LPD) technology, licensed from Rice University where it was developed. LPD grows an anti-reflective (AR) film on a substrate in a room-temperature chemical bath, potentially making solar cells significantly cheaper and cleaner to produce. Existing technology uses a high-temperature vacuum furnace to grow the coating, requiring much more energy in the process and much more silicon to achieve the thickness needed to withstand the firing.
The new company, “Natcore China,” is a joint venture between Natcore Technology, based in Red Bank, NJ; the Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, a government-supported zone in Hunan province; and Chuangke Silicon Ltd., a polycrystalline silicon producer. Natcore China will be 55 percent owned by Natcore Technology, with its partners holding the remaining 45 percent. The agreement is subject to approval by the Toronto Venture Exchange.
Under this agreement, Natcore China will have a life span of at least 20 years it will have exclusive rights in perpetuity to develop and manufacture the AR coating equipment used in this technology, so long as it meets specified pricing and quality control standards, and to sell it to solar cell producers in China. Natcore China will also have exclusive rights for a period of five years to develop and manufacture this equipment for sale anywhere in the world. The solar cell producers that buy this equipment may sell their output anywhere in the world.
Natcore Technology retains the unrestricted rights to license their LPD technology for all other applications. Natcore China will be funded by an initial $3 million investment consisting of U.S. $500,000 contributed by Natcore Technology, and U.S. $2,500,000 contributed by the Chinese Partnership.
With the signing of this agreement, Natcore China will immediately begin staffing, retooling and installing equipment in an existing U.S. $250,000,000 facility within the Hi-Tech Zone. They expect that first product shipment will be made within 10 months.
Under the agreement, Natcore China will complete the engineering and production of self-contained, self-replenishing film-growth equipment that will recycle the chemicals and water used in Natcore’s LPD process. Until that is accomplished, however, the Chinese partnership envisions the incorporation of the technology into existing solar cell manufacturing lines through manual replenishment of the chemical bath. Thus Natcore China may be able to serve its first solar cell customers before product development is completed.
PCCI is used for a simple, standardized connection of micro and small generation of electricity from renewable energy sources to network. It enables monitoring of energy generation and ensures safe disconnection from network. All types of electric energy from renewable sources or energy from PV, wind power stations, cogeneration, hydropower stations as well as “classical” small power stations can be connected. Completely safe and supervised energy generation is possible using PCCI. At each and every moment a responsible person can remote control and monitor what is happening at her/his PV modules, wind turbines, hydroelectric power station, etc. PCCI is provided with a simple communication with the control center via Ethernet. You can get data about the consumption and connect to the network within the same cabinet, which decreases your costs. Small compensation devices can be easily added to the system. Various protection functions (voltage, frequency, island operation, etc.) or a combination of them are available. A cabinet is compliant with the requirements of electric utilities and with the regulations on connection of small power stations to the network.
MiSmart software is an integrated solution used for storing and analyzing data on the consumption of energy products in industry, business buildings, dwellings, at the production of energy, etc. It is based on the modern program solutions, enables monitoring of a large number of metering points and is completely adaptable to your needs. It functions as a capable energy advisor.
Ignite Solar, developer of large scale solar PV projects and manufacturer of tracking systems has introduced a 1 MW turnkey solar park for distributed installations. The innovative design is scalable from 1 to 30 MWs, and delivers a distributed solution at the cost advantage of a large utility project. The fully integrated 1 MW solution is able to greatly reduce the deployment cycle and cost of traditional solar.
The Ignite 1 MW turnkey design uses innovative large format 2.6m x 2.2m a-Si thin-film 360-W modules. These modules deliver reliable and robust performance, capable of performing well under diffused and indirect sunlight, and in diverse climatic conditions.
The modular 1 MW design is available in a fixed configuration or with Ignite’s 1-axis tracking system. The customizable mounting solutions are also able to accommodate many soil conditions with driven pole, ground screw, concrete, and ballasted foundation options.
ET Solar Group Corp., a Nanjing-based PV system turnkey solution provider and integrated manufacturer of PV products, announced it has received approval and listing from the California Energy Commission for its new line of black frame and black back sheet crystalline solar modules for the North American markets, including both U.S. and Canada.
The product line includes both mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline modules. The black mono-crystalline ET-M572B series modules are made with a black anodized aluminum frame and black triple-layer backsheet. Available in power ratings of 175/180/185 watts with conversion efficiencies of up to 14.5 percent, they are encapsulated with 72 pieces of 5-inch, high efficiency mono-crystalline solar cells.
The black multi-crystalline ET-P65B, ET-P660B, and ET-P672B series modules are made with a black anodized frame and black backsheet or white backsheet. They are encapsulated with 54, 60 and 72 pieces of 6-inch multi-crystalline cells respectively. Their power ratings range from 200/205/210 watt, 220/225/230 watt, and 270/275/280 watt with module conversion efficiencies up to 14.4 percent. The ET-M572B and ET-P660B series are compatible with micro inverter technology, which is becoming increasingly accepted in the North American markets.
The new black modules are designed to address concerns on aesthetic appeal, particularly in the residential solar market segment.
An alliance of industry, academic and government organizations, formed to commercialize technologies that will utilize concentrated solar energy to convert waste carbon dioxide into diesel fuel, was announced recently.
The alliance team members include Sandia National Laboratories, Renewable Energy Institute International, Pacific Renewable Fuels, Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne (a United Technologies Division), Quanta Services, Desert Research Institute and Clean Energy Systems. In addition, commercial partners have signed on to advance work on the first round of commercial plants.
The project team has received a first phase of funding from the National Energy Technology Laboratory to demonstrate these technologies.
The solar reforming technology platform will be collocated next to industrial facilities that have waste CO2 streams such as coal power plants, natural gas processing facilities, ethanol plants, cement production facilities and other stationary sources of CO2.
“Sandia began working on research, development and demonstration of solar reforming technologies more than 20 years ago. We are leased for the opportunity to extend these concepts in a public/private partnership that we expect will accelerate commercialization to accomplish our joint goals of CO2 emissions reduction and domestic fuel production,” said Ellen Stechel, recycling CO2 program development lead for Sandia National Laboratories.
A solar reforming system is currently being demonstrated in Sacramento, CA, and demonstrations will continue both at Sandia’s facilities in New Mexico and at a power plant project site in Bakersfield, CA. Planning for the first round of commercial plants is under way at several locations in the U.S. The project team anticipates that deployment of the first commercial plants can begin in 2013.
Direct Grid Technologies, LLC, manufacturer of PV micro-inverters and related monitoring systems, announced a new series of OEM grid-tie micro-inverters that mate to a variety of monocrystalline and polycrystalline type modules. The DGM-S250 offers a power output of 250 watts, and the DGM-S460 offers an unprecedented 460 watts.
Similar to its predecessor, the DGA Series, the DGM Series units use Direct Grid’s unique closed loop Mosfet planar architecture which offers high power and excellent thermal management, resulting in unparalleled efficiency and reliability.
The DGM-S250 is designed to mate with a single 60 cell 210 – 240 watt module, while the DGM-S460 is suited to mate with two 60 cell 210 – 240 watt modules. For original equipment manufacturers, power tracking voltage inputs can be modified to suit custom maximum power point ranges.
The Smart DGM Series also includes Echelon communication that permits each micro-inverter in the network to communicate with a remote access node. Power data, temperature, diagnostics and unique identification code are routinely collected from each micro-inverter. This network communication also enables the benefit of theft deterrence by monitoring the unique identification of each micro-inverter. The resulting data can be graphically presented to end users for each system monitoring.
Hollaender Speed-Rail® Makes Solar Panel Installation Simple, Affordable and Long-Lasting
Hollaender has made solar panel installation a simple, flexible and very affordable process for integrators, installers and contractors in the commercial and residential markets. Using the company’s popular Speed-Rail structural slip-on pipe fittings, together with 1 ¼, 1 ½ and 2 inch IPS aluminum, galvanized steel, stainless steel or black iron pipe, solar panel racking systems can be easily designed and built on site.
Speed-Rail fittings are strong and lightweight, and come in a wide variety of fixed and adjustable configurations, including the tees and flanges most commonly used in solar panel installations. The versatility of the fittings allows dependable support structures to be constructed virtually anywhere a solar panel needs to be installed. The same versatility also allows the systems to be easily uninstalled and moved if necessary.
The system installs quickly, securely and cost effectively, especially when compared to welded and other more complex systems. An integrated proprietary internal/external reverse knurl cup point set screw securely attaches the fittings to the pipe, and provides tremendous resistance to loosening even under high wind conditions. With full contact of the point of the screw to the pipe, the fittings resist pull out and rotational slip. The only tools needed for assembly are a saw, hex key and tape measure.
Made of 535.0 aluminum-magnesium alloy, Speed-Rail are the most corrosion resistant fittings on the market, and are backed by a 10 year warranty against corrosion. They will not rust, and can be used with galvanized steel or other metals without concern for galvanic corrosion.
The new Solmetric PV Analyzer is a complete electrical test solution for verifying and troubleshooting PV array performance. For each string, the analyzer measures current and power as a function of voltage. Measured results of the I-V and P-V characteristics are compared to the performance predicted by advanced built-in models. When predicted results match modeled results system performance is verified. Any differences can offer insights into potential performance issues such as excess series resistance, failing cells, or module mismatch. The PVA solution is ideal for system verification during installation and for troubleshooting performance problems.
Benefits of the PVA-600 include: increased confidence in system performance at startup, identification of problems with equipment and interconnects, maintenance and performance logs, and guidance during troubleshooting. “Solmetric’s mission is to provide tools with embedded expertise to help make solar installers more effective,” said Solmetric President Willard MacDonald. “The new PV Analyzer exemplifies this. It enables better installations and faster repairs by providing actual measurements where before there could only be guesses.”
As PV cell manufacturers are driven to obtain higher production volumes and increased cell uniformity requirements, high performance solar simulation is a necessity. There are many companies offering high performance solar simulator lamps; these lamps provide the cell manufacturer measurement uniformity, comparability, and traceability. Likewise, organizations such as IEC, JIS, and ASTM have developed standards that define solar simulator performance in three key performance areas: spectral match to the solar spectrum, spatial uniformity of irradiance, and temporal stability.
StellarNet, manufacturer of low cost miniature spectrometers since 1993, has developed a new solar monitoring system to evaluate solar simulator spectral match according to the above standardization organizations. The complete NIST traceable system consists of a portable UV-VIS-NIR grating based spectrometer, fiber optic cable, and light receptor. SpectraWiz® spectroscopy application software now includes a new solar match application panel that can be used to characterize and classify solar simulators. The Solar Match Monitor application panel calculates spectral irradiance from 400-500nm, 500-600nm, 600-700nm, 700-800nm, 800-900nm, 900-1000nm, 1000-1100nm and compares the results to the ideal percent for each range per IEC/JIS/ASTM. The proximity of the measured data to the ideal values results in classification of the solar simulator lamp from A through D.
In addition to the new Solar Match Monitor application panel, SpectraWiz® also includes a multitude of radiometric and spectral analysis tools and calculations. User customizable SpectraWiz® LabVIEW programs and Excel programs for operation from Visual Basic Automation are included with every system. StellarNet miniature spectrometer systems are designed rugged with permanent alignment and no moving parts for shockproof and portable reliability. Plug and play USB-2 connection and powering options allows for ultimate measurement flexibility in any testing environment.
Pv recycling, llc of Tempe, AZ the United States’ first and only independent recycler of Pv module waste, and Swiss based ENCROS signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop collection and recycling systems in North America and Europe. This strategic alliance will unite pv recycling, llc’s business development and administrative expertise with ENCROS’ advanced scientific technologies and experienced facility management.
Under the terms of the MOU, ENCROS will develop, test, and operate recycling technologies, while pv recycling, llc will implement and manage areas related to administration, logistics, and regulatory compliance. Together the two entities will co-market their services to companies in the solar supply chain. The initial focus will be on solar panel manufacturers selling products in North America and Europe.
As aging installations in Europe are being replaced, and demand for U.S. module manufacturing increases, the volume of panels reaching their end-of-life, and the inevitable factory scrap, will need to be handled in a sustainable manner. It has been demonstrated that providing such a service can be environmentally, socially, and financially viable.
MEECO Inc., attuned to the mounting demand for clean solar-grade gas announced that it will introduce its new M-i™ moisture monitor at the Intersolar trade show in San Francisco. The world’s first mini P205-based moisture monitor, the M-i is the world’s smallest, lowest-cost absolute moisture monitor, offering proven stability, precision, and repeatability.
A breakthrough in min-sensors, the Mi-i packs high-powered clean technology into a small, innovative and affordable package. Designed for fixed gas applications, the M-i measures an ideal range of 500 ppb (parts-per-billion) to 1000 ppm (parts-per million). Utilizing MEECO’s proven electrolytic technology, the new device is palm-sized and provides continuous, no-drift, on-line moisture analysis at a very low cost (under $2,000).
Renowned for reliability and innovation, MEECO has manufactured durable, high-quality gas analyzers for industry since the company’s founding in 1948. The company helped the natural gas industry with the invention in 1959 of a portable moisture analyzer for field technicians, eventually selling more than 10,000 of its “NEP” analyzers.
Acro Energy Technologies Corp., a leading U.S. solar integrator announced that it completed the second quarter of 2010 with record gross revenues of $5.4 million for the three-month period ending June 30, 2010.
The company’s second quarter 2010 gross revenues were a 297 percent increase compared to the gross revenues of the company for the three-month period ending June 30, 2009. During the three-month period ending June 30, 2010, Acro Energy’s southern California subsidiary, Energy Efficiency Solar, Inc. (EES)., achieved gross revenues of $3.0 million, which is greater than the revenues achieved by EES during the entire 2009 calendar year.
“We delivered a 46 percent increase in revenues from the company’s first quarter results, when we were able to post positive EBITDA on $3.7 million in gross revenues and we are maintaining an impressive backlog,” said Harry Fleming, chief executive officer of Acro Energy. “We believe that Acro Energy is on track to achieve its forecasted revenue goal of $24 million and net income of $1.7 million for 2010, which excludes additional revenue and net income from the company’s new operations in Arizona,” continued Fleming.
Acro Energy is entering the historically busy sales season in the third quarter with a backlog of approximately $5 million in committed, financed contracts.
The second quarter of 2010 is the second full quarter of operations for Acro Energy that includes results for all three solar installation companies acquired and integrated in 2009.
China Sunergy Co., Ltd., a leading solar cell and module manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced several updates regarding company expectations for the year 2010.
China Sunergy anticipates gross margin will be between 15 percent and 18 percent, prior to the completion of the acquisition of two module manufacturers, with conversion cost reducing to U.S. $0.20/watt by the end of the year, as production efficiencies continue to be realized.
Assuming the acquisition of the two solar module manufacturers will be completed without any unforeseen issues, China Sunergy expects the module capacity to be between 500 and 550 MW by the end of the third quarter of 2010. With demand remaining at current expectations throughout the rest of the year, China Sunergy now expects to have 400 MW of solar cell capacity and 900 MW of solar module capacity by the end of 2010.
Eyelit Inc., a manufacturing software provider for visibility, control, and coordination of manufacturing operations for the aerospace and defense, discrete electronics, semiconductor and solar industries, announced that is more than tripled its first quarter license revenue and recorded a 75 percent total company revenue growth since the same quarter last year. The revenue increase is driven primarily by the demand for Eyelit products in high-volume, highly automated factories in the semiconductor and solar industries.
Highlights for the first quarter of 2010 include:
“We are off to a great start for 2010; we expect increased contribution from our install base, as a result of a record-high number of new customer wins in 2009. We’ve hired and are continuing to hire employees to support the demand from our growing customer base. We are also seeing a rebound in the semiconductor industry, with our turnkey migration solution offering semiconductor manufactures a risk-free migration from legacy MES systems, such as FACTORYworks, PROMIS and Workstream, to Eyelit’s modern MES solution,” said Dan Estrada, Vice-President of Sales and Business Development.
LDK Solar Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers and PV products announced the filing of its 2009 annual report on Form 20-F with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its 2009 audited financial statements.
During the course of the preparation of LDK Solar’s 2009 annual report, LDK Solar’s management determined that an additional provision for doubtful recoveries of approximately $12.6 million for its accounts receivable and prepayment to suppliers at December 31, 2009 is required to properly adjust previously announced preliminary unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009.
The additional provision for doubtful recoveries of accounts receivable and prepayments to suppliers was based on updated information about its customers’ repayment ability and its supplier’s ability to honor existing contractual terms for delivery of products or refund of amounts paid.
ReneSola Ltd., a leading global manufacturer of solar wafers and producer of solar power products based in China announced its selected preliminary unaudited results for the second quarter of 2010 and provided its guidance for the second half of 2010.
Second Quarter Preliminary Results
“The strong demand for high-quality wafer products witnessed during the first quarter of 2010 continued through the second quarter as a result of ongoing tightness in the wafer supply chain,” said Li Xianshou, ReneSola’s chief executive officer. “Execution of our cost reduction strategies and the efforts we have made to develop and position our business have allowed us to capitalize on improved demand trends while becoming a leading low-cost solar product provider. By leveraging our leading wafer manufacturing platform and complementary OEM module production services and capitalizing on our strong customer relationships, we have benefited from a cost-competitive strategy to deliver record product shipments and increase profitability. We expect to see stable pricing in the coming months as demand has remained strong and is expected to continue in the second half of 2010.”
For the second half of 2010, the company expects total solar product shipments to be in the range of 600 MW to 650 MW. Net revenues are expected to be in the range of U.S. $550 million to U.S. $570 million and gross profit margin is expected to be between 28 percent and 30 percent.
Amtech Systems, Inc., a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and silicon wafers announced that its solar subsidiary, Tempress Systems, Inc., has received approximately $20 million in new solar orders for its diffusion processing systems from two new customers and several existing customers in Asia. Including these most recent orders, Amtech’s solar orders in its fiscal 2010 third quarter total $35 million, and total solar orders to-date in fiscal 2010 have reached approximately $118 million. Amtech’s fiscal 2010 began October 1, 2009.
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. the world’s largest producer of crystalline silicon solar panels, recently delivered its 10,000,000th solar panel since inception. Altogether, Suntech has shipped over 2.2GW of solar products to more than 1,400 customers in more than eighty countries around the world.
“We have made great progress since founding Suntech in 2001. Our exceptional global track-record of solar installations is a key differentiator as we expand in both emerging and well-established solar markets,” said Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Founder, Chairman and CEO. “This is a major milestone on our mission to provide everyone with reliable access to nature’s cleanest and most abundant energy source.”
The 10,000,000th solar panel is one of Suntech’s popular Ud-series modules primarily used for commercial and utility-scale electricity generation. It was produced in March 2010 at Suntech Global Headquarter in Wuxi, China. To commemorate the milestone, the 10,000,000th solar panel’s purchaser will soon be announced and then presented with a gift of Suntech solar panels for donation to a charitable cause.
Suntech Power Holdings Co. has opened a representative officer in Montbonot (Isere), France, to better serve its local partners throughout the region’s growing solar industry. Since Suntech established its presence in France in 2008, the French solar market has become one of Suntech’s top three markets in Europe.
“We are going the distance to meet the needs of our local partners, including distributors and installers, by providing them with responsive and top-quality service,” said Jean-Yves Lindheimer, recently appointed head of Suntech France, after welcoming key industry partners and public representatives to the new office. “The Grenoble area provides an ideal environment for our office in France, as this community shares Suntech’s commitment to driving technology innovation and sustainable development.”
The new office features a solar product training center for distributors and installers to learn more about the advantages of Suntech’s industry – leading product offerings. In addition, Suntech professionals will provide hands-on installation training, particularly for Suntech’s popular Just Roof™ offering that elegantly replaces traditional roofing materials with long-lasting, high-performing solar panels. The office will be home to a technical customer support team with decades of local industry experience, and is expected to grow in tandem with local market demand.
The Ardour Solar Energy IndexSM will delete one component, effective 6:00 p.m. (EDT) June 20, 2010, changing the number of index constituents to 32. The changes result from the quarterly rebalancing of the index.
The deletion from SOLRX is: PV Crystalox Solar
A complete list of constituents and weights will be posted on the AGI index family website (http://ardour.snetglobalindexes.com/about_the_indexes.php) as of the effective date.
American Capital Energy (ACE) announced that the company is constructing 20 percent of the utility-scale solar PV power plants slated to come online in the U.S. in 2010, according to the recently released Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) report, “June 2010 Utility-Scale Solar Power Projects in the U.S.” ACE has been building large solar PV projects for more than half a decade and the company will deliver 27 MW of utility-scale power in 2010 with projects that are currently under construction in Boston, MA (2 MW); Searchlight, NV (20 MW); and Hamilton, NJ (5 MW).
ACE manages every aspect of solar array construction and integration for its customers. It offers financial analysis, project financing, system design, procurement, project management, installation, operation training and maintenance. A hallmark of ACE’s business is quickly moving its customers from concept to construction and optimizing each array design to the given environment to maximize its solar output. The ACE engineering and contracting team has been able to adapt ground-mount arrays using ballasted mounts for brownfields, fixed tilt mounts for smaller spaces or wetlands, and single-axis trackers for larger plots.
PowerFin Partners, LLC, a manager of institutional funds for renewable energy assets announced that it now has the capacity to fund over $100 million worth of commercial and utility-scale solar projects in the U.S. and Canada.
Through its investment in solar projects, PowerFin enables companies throughout the solar value chain (integrators, developers, equipment providers, and other capital sources) to grow their businesses. As part of the funding process, PowerFin provides all of the necessary contracts (PPA, EPC, O&M, Site Lease, etc.) and engineering for full execution and operation of the solar-generating facility.
“There is a lot of excitement in the solar industry right now; but, confusion about incentives, power prices, and the value of solar, are holding the industry back,” said Tuan Pham, Manging Director and President of PowerFin. “We believe that our experience in valuing energy asset will enable the completion of more bankable solar projects and help open solar markets to more investors and customers. We look forward to providing the institutional infrastructure and investment discipline needed to accelerate the growth of this important industry.
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules announced it received a federal Export Achievement Certificate for its success in exporting clean technology to various international markets.
The award recognizes the international market development and sales of Ascent Solar’s unique flexible and light weight CIGS thin-film modules for building materials, portable power, and defense and transportation markets. All of which have generated additional exports of U.S.-manufactured products.
Strengthening its presence in the U.S. market for solar power plants, Concentrix Solar GmbH, a leading supplier of concentrator CPV systems and a division of the Soitec Group (Euronext Paris), has launched a U.S.-based subsidiary, hired additional industry professionals and won listing from the California Energy Commission. Concentrix Solar’s utility-scale power plant technology is proven and commercially ready for large scale deployment with all the key capabilities in place for increasing the company’s business in the U.S.
The company’s new U.S. subsidiary – Concentrix Solar, Inc. – is based in San Diego, where Concentrix Solar installed a CPV demonstration system in July 2009 to test its solar modules under California’s climate conditions. Since its installation, the 6-kW system has proven exceptional performance, achieving 25 percent efficiency in generating electricity.
As Concentrix Solar expands its presence in the U.S., the company’s multi-junction CPV module has achieved a listing with the California Energy Commission (CEC). This listing is vital to doing business in California and a key step in financing commercial projects with customer companies and state energy utilities. Concentrix Solar’s CS-75 module has now been listed by the CEC after testing at TUV Rheinland Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory LLC in Tempe, AZ.
Concentrix Solar’s CPV technology is designed for use by largest scale solar power plants in hot, arid regions. With characteristics such as low heat degradation and high durability, the company’s equipment is well suited for power plant installations in the American southwest. Performance benefits include a constant power-output curve to maintain the electricity supply needed to meet peak-load demands, the ability to operate without active cooling mechanisms, and almost no energy loss at high ambient temperatures.
These attributes helped Concentrix Solar to win a project with Chevron Technology Ventures to install the energy giant’s first MW solar farm in the U.S. at a site in New Mexico, as announced in February. Construction has begun on this project, which will be one of the largest CPV power plants ever built in the U.S. It is scheduled for completion before the end of this year.
GT Solar International, Inc., a leading global provider of polysilicon production technology, crystalline ingot growth systems and related PV manufacturing services for the solar industry, announced that it has achieved the milestone shipment of its 1,000th DSS450™crystalline ingot growth furnace. The recipient of the system is long-time Chinese customer Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited. The milestone shipment is part of a signed contract with Yingli. Under the terms of the contract, GT Solar is supplying its market-leading DSS450 ingot growth furnaces for installation in Yingli Green Energy’s new Hainan 100 MW manufacturing facility.
Yingli Green Energy became GT Solar’s first customer in China in 2002 when they set up the first ingot, wafer and cell production lines at their Baoding headquarters. These production lines launched Yingli into the PV manufacturing industry and they are one of the world’s leading fully vertically integrated PV manufacturers. Yingli has continued to invest in GT Solar’s multicrystalline ingot growth furnaces including the DSS240, which was introduced in 2003, and the current DSS450, which was introduced in 2007. GT Solar has shipped over 1300 crystalline growth furnaces to customers around the world.
CVD Equipment Corporation announced that it received over $6.0 million in new orders during the three months ended June 30, 2010 and approximately $9.3 million in new orders for the six months ended June 30, 2010. This surpasses the $2.8 and $5.5 million of new orders received during the three and six months ended June 30, 2009 by 125 percent and 70 percent respectively. The orders received during this period also exceeded all January through June periods in the history of CVD.
Most of the orders received were with the CVD/FirstNano division for equipment solution offerings designed to accelerate the commercialization of tomorrow’s technologies in solar/energy generation, energy saving and nanotechnology fields.
Orders received by the CVD/FN division during the first six months of 2010 increased by 72 percent when compared to 2009 order levels. The CVD/FN division benefited from the increased interest in energy generation, energy savings and nanotechnology fields. We anticipate that this trend will continue to increase during the 2nd half of this year.
Orders received by the Conceptronic division increased by 103 percent when compared to 2009 order levels. The Conceptronic division benefited from a partial recovery from the significant downturn in the electronics industry during 2009.
The large demand for energy savings, energy generation materials and products needed to address rising energy and environmental costs creates a growing demand for manufacturing solutions using nanotechnology and thin-film coatings on glass, wafers and other substrates. Using our Application Laboratory, we continue to perfect and expand the multiple areas where our process solutions can be applied. The solar, energy and nanotechnology markets offers us significant growth opportunities for technologies that deliver favorable cost benefits. These fields will benefit further from a renewed drive for energy savings and ecologically safe energy generation.
BioSolar, Inc., developer of a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that reduce the cost of PV solar modules, unveiled its strategic manufacturing plan for the production and distribution of its unique BioBacksheet™ protective backing designed to replace current expensive and environmentally hazardous petroleum-based backsheets.
“Biosolar’s manufacturing model will employ a ‘manufacturing-lite’ production and distribution model. In this model, BioSolar will perform research and development internally while outsourcing plastics compounding and film extrusion.
“At a time when explosive demand for PV modules globally is fueling demand for module components, building our own manufacturing facilities does not allow us to be flexible, and may actually limit our growth,” said Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar. “Recognizing that building our own manufacturing capacity is both extremely capital and management intensive, BioSolar will instead enter into manufacturing supply agreements with experienced plastics compounders and film extruders, allowing us to reduce production costs while simultaneously providing flexible manufacturing capacity to meet increasing demand from PV module manufacturers.”
This strategy leverages BioSolar’s unique product development capabilities and ties to the plastics manufacturing industry, allowing both our balance sheet and product inventories to remain ‘lean and mean’ – a key element in our future success. This strategy will allow us to ramp up production quickly by adding suppliers as needed, as well as leverage the expertise and experience of established industrial suppliers to provide consistent high quality form the start.”
The primary material for the commercial grade BioBacksheet™ is a durable polyamide resin made from castor beans, which is then compounded with a secondary non-petroleum material during the extrusion process to form a unique and highly durable PV backsheet film which, in addition to being “green,” has several additional advantages over other commercial backsheet films.
Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that its St. Paul operations was awarded $800,000 in matching funds by the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Office of Energy Security provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support emerging renewable energy technology.
The matching funds were awarded for a 1.5 year project that will expedite Veeco’s CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenium) deposition equipment technology to market. This technology helps solar panel manufacturers to reduce their production costs and increase the feasibility of solar panels as an alternative energy.
First Solar, Inc. announced it has formed a utility systems business group to address the large-scale PV system solutions market. Jens Meyerhoff, 45, has been named president of the group. Mr. Meyerhoff has served as First Solar’s chief financial officer since 2006.
“With the pending completion of First Solar’s acquisition of NextLight, this part of our global business represents the next leg of growth for our industry and First Solar,” said Rob Gillette, First Solar CEO.
First Solar will have power purchase agreements for 2.2 gigawatts of utility-scale solar projects in North America when the NextLight acquisition closes, which is expected in the current quarter.
To date, First Solar has built or has under construction 189 MW of utility systems projects in North America.
First solar continues to provide a range of offerings that includes module sales and turnkey solar projects as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations and maintenance services to its various customer segments.
A contingent of SolarWorld employees in Camarillo, CA is celebrating at least 30 years of building the world’s best-performing solar modules at a factory that has continuously blazed a trail for the U.S. PV manufacturing industry.
Raju Yenamandra went to work at the plant in June 1980, for instance, after earning a master’s degree in engineering with a concentration on solar at Florida Institute of Technology in the late 1970s, just as industry-scale manufacturing began to gain traction. He is among the 10 most veteran employees, two of whom started in 1979. Their specializations centered on Camarillo’s module assembly operations, includes lamination, quality control, logistics, document control and facilities.
The most enduring U.S. solar production facility, the Camarillo plant was first to produce 1 MW of solar technology in a year, secure UL certification for a panel and offer a 25-year performance warranty. This year, it was first to offer a linear warranty. As the company aggressively expands this year, the sales and marketing unit based in Camarillo is doubling in size to deploy much higher volumes.
The Camarillo site grew out of a startup launched in 1975. It sold to ARCO Solar, ARCO to Siemens Solar, and Siemens to Shell Solar. SolarWorld purchased Shells solar factories in 2006 and opened an even bigger plant in Hillsboro, OR in 2008. Many key U.S. company personnel, however, remain the same.
BTU International, a leading supplier of advanced thermal processing equipment to the alternative energy and electronics manufacturing markets announced that it received a $16 million order for solar cell processing equipment. Revenue recognition for this order is projected to start in the fourth quarter of 2010 and continue through the first half of 2011.
“We are very pleased with this breakthrough win for in-line silicon cell manufacturing,” said Paul van der Wansem, chairman and CEO of BTU International. “Our vision – shared by certain key customers – of using in-line thermal processing for the diffusion step in the production of silicon solar cells, has now been validated after several years of development. In particular, BTU’s knowhow in precision temperature uniformity and atmosphere control for high volume processing has been a major enabler to achieving the process and cost goals set by our customer. In-line diffusion can significantly reduce the cost per watt while delivering equivalent cell efficiency compared to traditional batch equipment.”
BTU offers solar processing equipment for both silicon and thin-film PV. For silicon PV applications BTU’s systems are used for metallization and in-line diffusion processes. For thin-film PV, BTU leverages its technologies and decades of experience to provide scalable, custom, in-line thermal process systems for rigid as well as flexible substrates.
Solar Manufacturing has shipped a new Model VTC-714 Vertical Top Loading high temperature R&D furnace to the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), in Albany, OR. NETL is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and part of DOE’s national laboratory system. NETL supports DOE’s mission to advance the national economic and energy security of the U.S.
Pete Reh, vice president of sales for Solar Manufacturing stated, “This is the second vacuum furnace that Solar manufacturing has shipped to NETL in Albany, OR. The first furnace shipped in 2006 was a model HF-2624-2EQ. the new furnace, model VTL-714 will be used to homogenize and heat treat refractory alloys, perform diffusion couple experiments as well as other proprietary heat treat work.”
The Model VTL-714 Vertical Top Loading high temperature R&D vacuum furnace, features a Hot Zone size of 7.5” diameter x 14” high. The maximum operating temperature is 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, and the insulation is graphite felt and a FlexShield hot face. This vacuum furnace also features graphite heating elements, a 35 CFM two-stage vacuum pumping system, a partial gas system of argon and nitrogen; and the controls are SolarVac 3000 including Honeywell DCP 550 and Allen-Bradley Micrologix 1500.
Spire Corporation an American global solar company providing capital equipment and turnkey manufacturing lines to produce PV modules worldwide announced it has been selected by the DOE as the recipient of a Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a light emitting diode (LED) based solar simulator.
Spire is a major producer of solar simulators using pulsed light lamp light source; this project will develop a next generation solar simulator, based on LED technology. An LED based system could provide advantages of accuracy, reliability, versatility and cost. Spectral, intensity and spatial uniformity variations could be achieved easily with system software and control electronics.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited announced that it will provide its expertise in solar energy to power “20 Centers for 2010”, the official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. This campaign is part of the Football for Hope movement, which is using the power of the game for positive social change. It is led by FIFA, world’s football governing body, and street football world, a social profit organization that links relevant actors in the field of development through football, and their affiliates such as Yingli Green Energy.
Yingli Green Energy will actively support the campaign by providing solar power to training centers across Africa. Yingli Solar calls this “Football for Hope. Energy for Hope.” The company will supply the centers with solar installations that will, for instance, power pitch lighting, computers or study rooms in those centers. Of the 20 centers, five are being built in South Africa and 15 in other African counties. The first six centers to be built are located in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Mali, Namibia and Ghana.
Investing in solar energy for your manufacturing plant can be expensive and time consuming because of a fragmented component supply chain and a lack of industry expertise, according to Ocean Yuan, the man behind a new solar manufacturing consortium.
The consortium aims to change that in Ontario and become the leading supplier of complete solar panel systems for MicroFIT and FIT markets.
“We want to have the supply chain in Ontario and meet the Feed-in Tariff local content requirements,” explains Ocean Yuan, president and CEO of Grape Solar, Eugene, OR who created the idea of a consortium of manufacturers for the solar energy industry.
“We have already successfully organized a consortium from China that makes all the components on the panel. We have more than 30 manufacturers that make all the components involved in a solar panel system – solar cells, glass, cables, frames, back sheet, front sheet, etc. – and we organized them under the Grape Solar brand to venture into the U.S., and the consortium has been hugely successful.”
Now Yuan is bringing his idea into Ontario, where he says the supply chain for solar energy installations is “fragmented.” He says that “people are confused and our mission from day one in North America is to make solar systems affordable to middle class North Americans for consumers and commercial and industrial markets.”
According to Yuan, “The current problem in Ontario is that energy is expensive and installations are extremely slow due to a fragmented supply chain of companies offering different components and distributors who have little knowledge of the solar business. So we want to establish a supply chain of components and a well-trained installation segment that will allow us to install solar energy systems efficiently and cost effectively.”
The plan is to set up a manufacturing consortium that will begin operations at the beginning of 2011. The consortium will operate under the Grape Solar name and consist of manufacturers of solar panels, inverters, various racking systems, cable and other components.
Consortium partners include: Sungrow from China, the largest inverter manufacturer there; Patriot Solar, a manufacturer of ground-mounted systems and trackers, based in Michigan, U.S.; Wise Power, a manufacturer of rooftop racking systems for solar panels, based in Delaware, U.S.; and the list is growing, including Blackstone Solar, a Toronto firm that manufactures solar water heaters.
Intertek, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification services, announced that the company has doubled the PV testing capacity in their Lake Forest, CA lab. The expansion is in response to growing demand for PV products and the company’s dedication to providing the industry’s fastest project turnaround. The state of the art testing laboratory is equipped with solar simulators, environmental chambers, rain & hail testers, impact and mechanical loading apparatus, among other equipment.
Intertek’s Lake Forest lab began PV testing in October 2008 and has since expanded its solar testing scope to include Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), energy efficiency testing for CEC and FSEC, and performance testing. Intertek provides the ETL Mark for compliance to safety standards in North America and Europe. The lab’s IECEE CB Scheme accreditation allows Intertek to conduct one set of tests that will provide manufacturers with market access to more than 40 countries that participate in the CB Scheme, saving manufacturers money and reducing their overall time-to-market.
In addition to the Lake Forest, CA lab, Intertek provides PV testing and certification through their lab in Shanghai China and through partners in Germany and Italy.
SunRun, a leading home solar company announced it closed a Series C round of funding for $55 million led by Sequoia Capital and joined by existing investors Accel Partners and Foundation Capital. SunRun is redefining residential electricity by offering homeowners a better alternative to electricity from their traditional utility – easy, affordable home solar. SunRun plans to use the funding to meet increasing demand for its affordable home solar plans, and for expansion into new U.S. markets.
SunRun eliminates the two biggest barriers to mainstream solar adoption – high cost and hassle – by providing homeowners with a clean, affordable alternative to the electricity they receive from their utility. SunRun owns the solar panels for its customers, allowing them to switch to solar electricity for little to no initial cost, and then make a predictable monthly payment for solar power. SunRun customers control the rates that they’ll pay for home solar electricity over the next 18 years, allowing them to avoid costly utility rate increases in the future. SunRun takes on the responsibilities of owning solar panels, including full maintenance, monitoring, repairs, insurance and a money-back performance guarantee for every customer.
SunRun’s strong customer growth in the past year shows that home solar has finally become a realistic option for homeowners. SunRun’s customer base has grown by over 400 percent in the past year, and the company has over 4,500 satisfied home solar customers across five states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey. This funding round follows an announcement by SunRun and PG&E Corporation recently of a $100 million tax equity project financing agreement to fund SunRun’s installation of more than 3,500 new home solar installations across the nation.
Solar Components, LLC announced that it has placed its initial manufacturing order for its Joos Orange ™ portable solar chargers with Singapore-based Eastern Asia Technology Limited, one of the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers in the world for consumer electronics devices.
Solar Components now plans to begin shipping its much-anticipated Joos Orange portable solar chargers during the third quarter of 2010.
The Joos Orange™ from Solar Components™ sets a new standard in “Personal Solar Appliances” by delivering more than 2.5 hours of cell phone talk time for every hour of charging time – up to 20 times the powering capability of existing personal solar power devices.
Carmanah Technologies Corp. through its marine partnership with Sabik Oy is providing Carmanah/Sabik solar LED marine lanterns for marking oil spill containment booms in the Gulf of Mexico. The lanterns are helping to keep marine traffic safe while containment and cleanup work continues in the area.
Through the efforts of Carmanah’s authorized marine distributor in Texas, several hundred white and yellow Carmanah/Sabik Model 502 and M650 solar LED marine lanterns have already been deployed to mark areas such as open bays and waterways where the presence of containment booms poses a risk to navigational safety. Carmanah is working with its Houston-based manufacturing partner to fast-track production and delivery of several hundred additional lights in the coming days. Carmanah has a history of responding in times of crisis, most notably in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when all production was diverted to supply self-contained, self-powered solar LED lighting solutions to keep road, air and marine traffic along the Gulf Coast moving safely while rebuilding efforts were underway.
“Our customer had tried and abandoned a battery-powered marking light due to performance issues and ongoing maintenance requirements. They asked us to provide a maintenance-free, cost-effective alternative that could be trusted to perform reliability in a range of operating conditions,” said Carmanah distributor Jeff Sanel, Vice President of Laporte, TX-based Channel Safety and Marine Supply.
Solyndra, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of innovative cylindrical PV systems for commercial rooftops announced that after rigorous testing and auditing it has received microgeneration product certification from BRE Global Limited in the United Kingdom.
“Meeting these strict European standards further validates our commitment to product quality and to meeting the needs of our customers for reliable, rooftop solar electricity,” said Chris Gronet, Solyndra’s CEO. “The UK feed-in tariff has heightened interest in commercial rooftop solar power throughout the region and this certification further assures our customers of Solyndra’s suitability for the UK environment.”
Solyndra products offer light weight and strong wind performance with other benefits that make them ideal for rooftop installations in the United Kingdom.
Solyndra is one of only a small number of solar companies to have achieved BRE Global certification.
Sungevity, the leading online residential solar provider, announced record results for the first half of 2010, due to widespread consumer interest in solar energy made more affordable by lease programs.
Sungevity’s revenues from solar panel installations on residential homes have increased by a factor of 10 over the last six months compared with the first half of 2009 revenues. To keep up with the pace of demand for its solar products and services, Sungevity has more than tripled its team in the last six months, bucking the trend by adding green collar jobs during tough economic times.
Sungevity has designed a unique online sales process to make it easy and affordable for homeowners to go solar. Sungevity’s Solar Lease offer gives most customers savings from the start. For many the electricity bill savings start immediately and increase over time. Sungevity has an easy online “iQuote” process, which enables Sungevity to use satellite images and aerial photography to assess customers’ roofs remotely and accurately determine the home’s solar potential. This allows the company to furnish thousands of customers with a firm proposal to use solar power with no capital cost within 24 hours.
Pall Corporation, a global leader in filtration, separation and purification, will showcase economical and eco-friendly products and systems for the PV industry at Intersolar North America in San Francisco. The products are designed to help increase yield and reduce reworking times in solar cell manufacturing.
Purification of the process gases utilized in solar cell production has become critical to enhancing yields and conversion efficiency. Pall will feature two new media for its Gaskleen® purifier assemblies. The AresKleen™ HCLP media is highly effective in removing trace moisture down to <15 parts per billion (ppb) levels from HCI gas used in the formation of trichlorosilane, a key ingredient in the production of polysilicon. Silane, also involved in making polysilicon as well as amorphous silicon PV cells, frequently contains trace siloxane and moisture. AresKleen SIP medium reduces these detrimental contaminants to sub-ppb levels. All Pall purifiers have integrated, highly efficient particle filters.
“The Pall GasKleen purifier with SIP material was evaluated by CVD Equipment Corporation and was found to lower dopant metal contaminants (As, P, Al and B) in a low grade silane line, resulting in improved silicon-epitaxial layers with impurities in the parts per trillion atomic (ppta) range,” said Karlheinz Strobl, VP of business development, CVD Equipment Corporation. “We, therefore, find the Pall Purifier to be eminently capable of achieving below ppb levels of these contaminants in hydrogen, argon and silane process gases utilized in silane epitaxial film deposition.”
Pall will present its fully automatic Water Reclaim System for recovering over 90 percent of deionized water used during silicon ingot shaping. The system efficiently and economically removes the resultant silicon fines without the need for chemical additives, providing essentially particle-free water for cost-effective recycling. A major supplier of shaping and grinding tools for the solar industry highly recommends this reclaim system.
Another exhibit will highlight Blowback Filtration Systems for the protection of CZ ingot puller vacuum pumps.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a fourfold increase in demand for and production of solar PV is expected between 2008 and 2012. To help protect its clients who are installing solar panels and energy systems and operating solar farms, Travelers added SolarPak coverage to its EnergyPak series of insurance products and services offerings.
SolarPak coverage was built to meet a wide variety of needs for solar operations. The scope of coverage encompasses the entire life span of a solar farm or operation, from early stage feasibility and development to the operational phase. Key features of the SolarPak coverage include:
Considerations specific to the solar industry are contemplated within the SolarPak coverage form, such as business income including production tax credits, green valuation with upgrade for replacement property which is more efficient, debris removal including additional expense for recycling, mounting rack systems, inverters and spare parts, operations and maintenance structures, and loss warranty or service contract reimbursement. The product offering provides seamless capabilities to write associated coverages such as contractors’ equipment, general liability, hired and non-owned auto and umbrella.
PV Contractor Inc. plans to launch the ultimate internet-based PV one-stop shop solution for the U.S. solar installer community. This service tool has been developed, so that PV professionals can be kept up-to-date with the ever-changing high-tech PV industry. With innovative straight forward advanced search functions, PV contractor makes this rapidly evolving technical information flow easier to manage and to understand. This solution provides access to solar installation planning tools and creates a purchasing experience for solar professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada. All of PV contractors products are available online at www.pv-contractor.com and are listed with data sheets, certifications, and warranty information of UL certified PV components only. This way contractors can easily obtain high quality certified PV components at the click of a button.
In addition to an online store, PV contractor also offers software services, planning support, a technical helpdesk, and training seminars to partnering installers and retailers of single PV components or complete solar systems on small (household) or large (commercial & govt.) scale. These software and technical services help contractors to plan PV installations more effectively and efficiently. Moreover, partners of PV contractor have the option to use ready-made marketing services for everything from print and online material advertisements to business cards and office equipment. Thus, contractors of any size can promote themselves with ease. PV contractor is part of the global network of the independent Mission Solar certified installer community. Thus, all partners of PV contractor also have access to a larger network, so that all can work together in furthering the solar revolution in the U.S. and around the world.
Complete Recycling and ESM Equipment are working together to provide a solar panel manufacturing & installation company with an economical and efficient way to manage and transport by-products generated from the solar panel installation process in rural areas.
The disposal of trash and the handling of recyclable materials for the solar panel industry require extra attention and specialized equipment due to the large quantity of material and rural jobsite locations. Complete Recycling will manage the entire process, from identifying all recyclables that can be removed from the waste stream to locating the best markets to sell recyclables through their network of recycling consumers. Most importantly, Complete Recycling will ensure that systems are in place to collect 100 percent of the recyclable materials located on the jobsites.
China Sunergy Co., Ltd. a leading solar cell and module manufacturer based in Nanjing, China announced updates regarding the company’s disputes with REC Wafer Norway AS.
In response to the recent Norwegian District Court ruling on July 5, 2010 in favor of REC Wafer, China Sunergy is considering an appeal against the ruling.
The U.S. $50 million bank guarantee is currently still blocked from being withdrawn by REC Wafer, as China Sunergy is further appealing the Supreme Court of Norway for an injunction.
Hagens Berman announced that it filed a new class-action lawsuit on behalf of shareholders against Canadian Solar, Inc. in CA, where the company’s sole U.S. operations exist and where most witnesses reside. The lawsuit identified new claims and new classes based on an independent investigation undertaken by the law firm.
The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently, alleged Canadian Solar overstated is revenues and concealed necessary information about the company’s business operations ahead of the $100 million plus October 2009 offering of common stock. Defendants include Canadian Solar senior officers, Arthur Chien and Shawn Qu, who allegedly authorized recorded revenues from fictitious sales transactions and failed to properly account for product returns in 2009, in the registration statements, prospectus and other documents. As a result, the company sold CSIQ shares to investors at inflated prices.
The new complaint, which can be found at www.hbsslaw.com/canadian-solar, seeks to represent three classes of investors who purchased CSIQ shares during the revised Class Period from October 13, 2009 to June 1, 2010. The three classes of investors include:
Kendall Law Group, a national securities firm led by a former federal judge Joe Kendall, is also investigating Canadian Solar after the company’s recent disclosures regarding delayed financial reporting and subpoenas issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for 2009 sales transactions. The firm’s investigation seeks to determine whether Canadian Solar and its Board made false and misleading statements in violation of federal securities law.
On June 1, 2010, Canadian Solar disclosed the postponement of their first quarter 2010 financial results in response to the SEC investigation. The company also stated that it may need to revise earnings from the fourth quarter 2009 due to their accounting practices of recognizing sales before receiving full cash payments “from certain customers” and due to “certain subsequent return of goods after the quarter end.” Canadian Solar and its Board may have violated federal securities law by failing to disclose their overstated financial results, failing to properly account for certain goods returned after the end of the fourth quarter of 2009, and failing to implement adequate internal and financial controls.
Goldfarb Branham is investigating certain officers and directors at Akeena Solar, Inc. for shareholders of the company because of allegedly false and misleading statements made about Akeena’s financial condition.
According to a class action complaint filed against the company, Akeena Solar concealed for a year that a purported increase in a credit line from $7.5 million to $25 million was a mere cash collateralization agreement, whereby Akeena Solar agreed to maintain a cash deposit of the same amount. Akeena then reported it had significantly missed the sales backlog by more than 20 percent. When the truth emerged, Akeena’s stock price plummeted, erasing tens of millions of dollars in market capitalization.
Goldfarb Branham is investigating a derivative lawsuit against company executives for allowing this scheme to occur. Derivative lawsuits often lead to restored confidence in companies involved in financial scandal and a resulting increase in shareholder value.
MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc., a global leader in the manufacture and sale of wafers to the semiconductor and solar industries, announced that it has completed the acquisition of privately held Solaicx.
At closing, MEMC paid the initial merger consideration of $66 million in cash, plus an additional amount in cash of approximately $10 million that is equal to amounts that have recently been invested in Solaicx by its existing security holders. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings per share in 2011.
Solaicx, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA has approximately 80 employees and a large-scale production facility in Portland, OR.
As a result of the acquisition, MEMC now has proprietary continuous crystal growth manufacturing technology that yields low-cost, high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon wafers for the PV solar industry. MEMC also has low-cost polysilicon and crystal operations in North America, with support offices around the world that provide customers with industry-leading customer service. The acquisition advances MEMC’s ability to drive solar industry toward grid parity.
First Solar, Inc. announced it has completed the acquisition of NextLight Renewable Power, LLC, a solar development firm formed by the inaugural fund of Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in North America’s energy infrastructure.
With the NextLight acquisition, First Solar now has power purchase agreements for 2.2 gigawatts of utility-scale solar projects in North America. The transaction represents another strategic step in First Solar’s expansion in the U.S. utility-scale power market, which began in 2007 with the acquisition of Turner Renewable Energy and continued with the acquisitions of solar project pipelines form OptiSolar in 2009 and Edison Mission Group in 2010. NextLight’s team of project developers and other staff have joined First Solar.
The first project developed by NextLight that is expected to start construction by First Solar is the 290 MW Agua Caliente Solar Project in Yuma County, AZ. The California Public Utilities Commission on June 3 approved the project’s power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the appeal period expired without challenge on July 7. Construction is expected to start this year.
First Solar acquired NextLight in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $297 million, subject to finalization of the estimated closing date adjustments.
Alstom, a global leader in equipment and services for power generation said that it will complement its strong portfolio in renewables through a partnership with BrightSource Energy Inc. to enter the high-growth solar energy market. Alstom announced it is investing up to $55 million in BrightSource Energy Inc., with an equity stake that positions Alstom as one of the main shareholders in the company. This operation takes place as part of a capital increase of $150 million organized by BrightSource. This privately-owned company is a specialist in designing, building and operating tower based solar thermal power plants with operations in the U.S. Israel and Australia.
BrightSource’s technology employs thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a central receiver atop a tower to produce high temperature steam at the highest levels of solar efficiency. The steam is then piped to a steam turbine and generator which produce electricity. Because BrightSource’s tower technology can operate at the highest steam temperature ranges, the system benefits from the highest efficiency, performance and therefore lowest cost-per-MW among solar technologies.
BrightSource has contracts for a total of 2,600 MW with PG&E and Southern California Edison – California’s two largest utilities. To meet this demand, the company intends to build 14 solar power plants in the U.S. southwest by 2016. BrightSource’s first U.S. power project, the 392 MW Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System, is currently under development in San Bernardino County, CA.
JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. a leading manufacturer of high-performance solar power products announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares of Shanghai Jinglong Solar Technology Co., Ltd. from Ningjin Jinglong PV Investment Co., Ltd., a company controlled by JA Solar’s Chairman, Mr. Baofang Jin.
Located in the Minhang Export Processing Zone within the Fengxian district of Shanghai , Shanghai Jinglong Solar Technology Co., Ltd. owns the land, building and facility currently being leased by JA Solar for its module production operation in Fengxian, Shanghai. Through the acquisition, JA Solar would acquire approximately 206,590 square meters of land, 58,706 square meters of buildings and related facilities. Under the terms of the agreement, JA Solar will acquire Shanghai Jinglong Solar Technology Co., Ltd. for a cash consideration of RMB 198.96 million (U.S. $29.3 million), representing the fair value of the company based on an independent third party valuation. The acquisitions will enhance JA Solar’s ability to further expand its manufacturing operation to better support customers’ growing requirements.
NRG Energy, Inc. through its wholly subsidiary, NRG Solar, has entered into a definitive agreement with US Solar, an affiliate of Arclight Capital Partners LLC, to acquire a portfolio of solar development projects on nine sites in California and Arizona. The purchase price is subject to a confidentiality agreement between the parties.
The development projects acquired range in size from 20 MW to 99 MW with the potential to be operational between 2011 and 2013. The acquisition nearly doubles NRG Solar’s projects under development to 1,150 MW.
NRG is developing solar capacity at sites with strong solar resources, potential for long-term power offtake agreements with load-serving entities and established, easily accessible connections to power grids. These solar projects support NRG’s commitment to increase its portfolio of low and no carbon generation assets with diverse technologies including new nuclear generation, onshore and offshore wind, biomass projects and a commercial-scale carbon capture project for fossil-fueled generation.
NRG Solar is responsible for developing, constructing, financing and operating a multi-technology portfolio of solar power assets in North America. NRG now operates the largest PV solar project in California, a 21 MW facility in Blythe.
China Sunergy Co., Ltd. a leading solar cell and module manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, announced an update regarding the company’s recently announced acquisition of two module manufacturers, CEEG (Shanghai) Solar Science & Technology Co., Ltd. and CEEG (Nan Jing) New Energy Co., Ltd.
In the interest of seeking maximum value for shareholders, the company has entered into a renegotiation process as concern over the two targeted companies’ margin performance arises due to recent economic fluctuation.
“The renegotiation reflects China Sunergy’s dedication and responsibility to our shareholders,” commented Mr. Lu Tingxiu, Chairman of China Sunergy. “As always our goal is to maximize shareholder value.”
SunLink Corporation, a leading provider of commercial PV mounting solutions has announced the acquisition of Blue Oak PV Products, LLC, manufacturer of HomeRun™ Solar Combiner Boxes and Disconnecting Combiner Boxes. SunLink will now provide combiner boxes in addition to its flagship commercial Roof Mount System and Ground Mount System. Blue Oak Energy, the PV system design and engineering firm, was not affected by this acquisition.
Blue Oak PV Products, LLC was founded in 2006 by leaders of Blue Oak Energy to address the safety needs and long term reliability of solar electric systems. Homerun Combined Boxes and Disconnecting Combiner Boxes have been installed on over 65 MW of PV installations at hundreds of sites across the country including the 2.42 MW FedEx rooftop installation in Woodbridge, NJ and the Ricoh PV-powered billboard at Times Square in New York. Blue Oak Disconnecting Combiner Boxes, introduced in mid 2009, were the first UL 1741 safety listed solar combiner boxes available with an integrated load-break rated disconnect.
SunLink’s commercial roof and ground mount systems are available in multiple tilt angles and non-penetrating options for a wide-variety of solar panels, guaranteeing flexible system design and high performance. The company also offers prepanelization services for its rooftop product that reduce installation costs and maximize labor efficiency.
GoSolarUSA Inc. disclosed that the company has reached an understanding with PREE™ regarding the terms and future participation between the two companies in the development, delivery and marketing of the new PREE™ product line. PREE™ owns a breakthrough technology that uses wireless internet signals and solar energy to keep Smartphones constantly charged without having to be plugged in. After encountering a flood of inquiries regarding PREE™ product details, possible PREE™ distributorships and interest in investment, GSLO management decided to fast-track their deal with PREE™.
The PREE™ technology is designed for use with a wide range of Smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and Google’s Android. GSLO is anticipating significant market demand for PREE™ product.
Smartphone users often find that their batteries can’t keep up with power-hungry applications. A typical Smartphone battery will lose 5 percent to 10 percent of its life every hour. As a result (before the PREE™) users had to plug their phones into a charger at least once a day or more. The PREE™ product is a device being configured to empower users to disconnect from the plug and go wireless for as long as they need to use their applications. This exciting device converts inbound wireless LAN waves and solar energy into an electrical charge powerful enough to keep the Smartphone charges.
XcelPlus Global Holdings Inc. will receive its first shipment of solar hot water systems in July and has already entered negotiations for additional units, following through on its plan announced recently to diversify the company’s customer base and product lines.
“XcelPlus Global is a green energy company at its core, so expansion into the solar segment is a natural evolution,” said Chief Operating Officer David Poston. “Our near-term goal is to install several units and verify the performance. Longer term, we are in negotiation for purchase of additional units or possibly acquiring the supplier, though nothing is final.” The solar systems are designed for home and light commercial/industrial applications. The Federal government currently provides a 30 percent tax credit for the purchase of a home solar unit. States may offer additional incentives.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialization and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions, has appointed the bidding consortium of Total and Abengoa Solar as a partner to own, build and operate Shams 1, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant and the first of its kind in the Middle East.
One of Masdar’s flagship projects, Shams 1 will directly contribute towards Abu Dhabi’s target of achieving 7 percent renewable energy power generation capacity by the year 2020.
The joint venture between Masdar (60 percent), total (20 percent) and Abengoa Solar (20 percent) will develop, build, operate and maintain the plant which will be located in Madinat Zayed, approximately 120 kilometers southwest of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Shams 1 will be the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world, extending over an area of 2.5 km2, with a capacity of approximately 100 MW and a solar field consisting of 768 parabolic trough collectors to be supplied by Abengoa Solar. Construction is set to begin during third quarter 2010 and is expected to take approximately two years.
Shams 1 is registered as a project under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and is eligible for carbon credits. It is to be the first CSP plant registered under the CDM and the second project registered for Masdar. The plant will displace approximately 175,000 tons of CO2 per year.
elQ Energy Inc. and SoloPower Inc., also of San Jose, will provide an integrated solar energy product package that combines elQ Energy’s Parallel Solar array wiring technology and SoloPower’s innovative lightweight flexible CIGS PV modules.
The combined offering has been pre-verified for interoperability, and allows purchasers to obtain a single price quote for a solar array’s entire electrical system, including PV modules, custom pre-fabricated wiring, and elQ Energy’s vBoost DC-to-DC converter modules, which enable parallel wiring.
In addition to convenience, the SoloPower-elQ Energy combination provides superior power density, and greater energy harvest due to the integrated MPPT and elimination of panel interactions provided by the Parallel Solar approach. This technology also cuts system costs by eliminating significant quantities of cabling and combiner boxes, and reducing the labor needed during system installation.
SoloPower modules are fabricated on a thin, flexible foil substrate, which reduces costs while creating a finished product that is far more versatile than traditional glass modules.SoloPower modules can be mounted in locations with low weight-bearing ability, and are available in multiple sizes for efficient filling of irregularly shaped roofs. They are also installed at zero tilt, which increases the system’s coverage ratio and therefore power density.
elQ Energy’s Parallel Solar approach uses advanced DC power management technology, incorporated in the vBoost DC-to-DC converter modules, to allow easy connection of solar panels in parallel rather than in series. This approach allows the connection of an unprecedented number of panels on a single cable, greatly reducing up-front solar array costs and providing much more design flexibility, while also boosting lifetime energy harvest with distributed MPPT. The vComm module combines multiple cable runs into a unified feed to the central inverter, and also utilizes power-bus wiring to collect real-time performance data from each vBoost, for use in the Parallel Solar Monitoring System data analysis software.
Petra Solar, the clean tech company that links Smart Grid and solar and that pioneered grid-tied, pole-mounted, distributed solar generation systems for utilities, and Flextronics, a leading global electronics manufacturing services provider, announced Flextronics will build Petra Solar’s SunWave™ smart energy modules for deployment around the world.
The partnership will enhance Petra Solar’s ability to supply its SunWave pole-mounted solar energy systems to international customers, giving the company the flexibility and scalability to quickly meet the growing demands for its SunWave product and expand into new global markets. This is in keeping with its commitment to create jobs local to its customers, through the manufacturing services provided by Flextronics.
Petra Solar’s SunWave is a distributed solar power generation and management system. Utilities that deploy SunWave on their poles generate solar power cost effectively and benefit from a smart grid communications system and grid reliability enhancement tools that are unique to the SunWave system. The SunWave smart grid communications system provides three main functions. First, it monitors and reports on the operation and health of the SunWave units. This function consists of recording how much energy is generated and sending maintenance and repair alerts to the utility control center. Second, the communications system provides a tool for remote command and control of the SunWave units. A remote command can, for instance, enable the generation of relative power, a feature that increases power efficiency and helps stabilize voltage levels on the power lines. Third, the communications system provides a cost effective backbone for other smart grid initiatives such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and load management or demand response programs. The SunWave technology also provides utilities with grid reliability tools. The systems constantly monitor and provide real time status updates on critical operating parameters such as voltage and frequency thereby enabling automatic power outage detection and faster response time.
National Semiconductor Corp. and QC Solar, a leader in manufacturing PV connecting systems, have signed a sales agreement to integrate National’s award-winning SolarMagic™ technology into QC Solar’s SmartTrack™ product line, including intelligent junction boxes. The move comes one year after the two companies formed a strategic partnership and marks the successful completion of extensive tests of National’s technology in QC Solar’s products.
As part of the initial agreement between National and QC Solar, QC Solar developed an intelligent junction box that applied National’s proven distributed maximum power point tracking (MPPT) technology with QC Solar’s reliable and high performance solar electronics to dramatically increase energy harvest. QC Solar will manufacture and market two types of junction boxes in its SmartTrack line; one will feature integrated MPPT IC and diode pass protection and the other will offer independent MPPT IC.
National Semiconductor Corp. and Huber+Suhner AG, a leading global supplier of components and systems for electrical and optical connectivity, are debuting Huber+Suhner’s next-generation of solar junction boxes with National Semiconductor’s award-winning SolarMagic™ technology inside.
National’s SolarMagicpower optimizers distribute smart electronics throughout a solar array to maximize the energy harvest of installations at the panel or string level. By integrating power electronics with enhanced performance management, National and Huber+Suhner offer a smart panel junction box solution that efficiently and cost-effectively boosts system performance. The strategic relationship brings more than 200 years of collective electronics design, development and manufacturing experience to the solar market.
National Semiconductor Corp. and Shoals Technologies Group, providers of energy solutions that create and maintain clean and sustainable energy, have developed the first in a series of new “smart” Shoals products: junction boxes with National Semiconductor’s SolarMagic™ power optimization technology inside.
National’s award-winning SolarMagic suite of products are intelligent power electronics that maximize energy output capture at either the panel or string level. Coupling this technology with Shoals’ offerings – which include junction boxes, combiner boxes, “plug-and-play” harness solutions, PV monitoring systems and racking – provides system integrators a complete smart panel solution that cost-effectively optimizes solar energy system performance.
Apollo Solar Energy, Inc. a refiner and producer of high purity tellurium (Te), tellurium-based compounds and other metals for the solar PV industry and specific segments of the electronic materials market worldwide announced that the company has entered into a non-binding collaboration agreement with China Energy Conservation Solar Energy Technologies, Inc. to build scale thin-film solar energy power stations.
According to the non-binding collaboration agreement, both parties anticipate working jointly in three ways: first, Apollo Solar intends to provide CECS with thin-film solar panels, upon request, on a long-term basis, which panels the parties intend to use in the construction of thin scaled film solar power stations and PV grid-connected systems, second, the parties intend to work jointly to construct thin scaled film solar energy power stations; and third, CECS intends to acquire the thin-film solar energy power stations that may be built independently by Apollo Solar through its separate financing and technology.
JA Solar Holdings co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of high-performance solar power products announced at Intersolar Europe that it has partnered with the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) to introduce the metal wrap through (MWT) solar cell and module technology into production.
Through this partnership, JA Solar and ECN will work together to produce cost-effective, high-efficiency solar modules that have the promise to reduce the cost of electricity, generated through solar energy. The MWT technology minimizes shading loss at the front cell surface, resulting in an increased active front surface area of the solar cell. Modules can be assembled in a fully automated process with Eurotron equipment. This technology allows handling of thin solar cells at high throughput and yield. ECN has recently successfully manufactured high-efficiency MWT solar modules, achieving a world record efficiency in 2009 of 17.0 percent (aperture area) for PV modules with multi-crystalline silicon cells.
Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC announced the expansion of operations in Ontario, Canada with the formation of Nautilus Solar Canada Limited Partnership. Nautilus Solar Canada LP has an initial portfolio of 2.75 MW AC of rooftop projects under contract from the Ontario Power Authority. Nautilus Solar CEO James M. Rice said, “We are pleased to move forward with the construction and financing of our first rooftop projects in Ontario, and look forward to replicating the success we have achieved in the U.S.”
Nautilus Solar is partnering with Bright Power Inc., an Ontario-based solar developer. Bright Power’s management team has operated multi-national alternative energy business units for Fortune 500 companies and developed power and alternative energy projects with some of the largest utility organizations in the world. Bright Power and Nautilus Solar are in a partnership to develop and finance 10 MW of rooftop solar projects in Ontario in 2010.
JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. a leading manufacturer of high-performance solar power products announced that it has signed strategic agreements with Innovalight, Inc.
JA Solar signed a three-year supply agreement for silicon nanoparticle ink from Innovalight for the production of JA Solar’s recently announced SECIUM high efficiency solar cells. Pilot production of the SECIUM cells began in May with commercial volume production planned in the second half of 2010.
JA Solar has achieved conversion efficiency of 18.9 percent for its SECIUM solar cells and these results have been independently certified by The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany. The new cost effective, high efficiency solar cells enable substantially better spectral response at short wavelengths in comparison with standard solar cells and therefore have higher conversion efficiency than conventional solar cells from other manufacturers.
JA Solar and Innovalight also announced that they have signed a strategic agreement to co-develop solar cells with conversion efficiencies exceeding 20 percent. Development will be performed at both Innovalight’s headquarters in California and at JA Solar’s R&D center in China.
Innovalight manufactures a proprietary nanotechnology-based silicon ink and licenses a proprietary platform process which allows a simple upgrade a to solar cell manufacturing production lines to boost performance of solar cells and lower production costs.
Key Equipment Finance, one of the nation’s largest bank-held equipment finance companies and an affiliate of KeyCorp and Abound Solar, a leading manufacturer of cadmium telluride thin-film PV solar modules announced the establishment of a new program to fund commercial-scale solar PV systems for Abound Solar’s customers in the U.S.
The relationship with Key Equipment Finance will enable Abound Solar’s integrators to offer flexible financing of complete PV systems using the company’s solar modules, including cost of the balance of systems components and installation services. By offering a finance option, Abound Solar is enabling customers to match the expected cost savings from the solar panels to the cost of the payments, while allowing the end-user to retain tax benefits of system ownership. The program can accommodate a variety of transaction sizes ranging from $100,000 to millions of dollars.
Abound Solar noted Key Equipment Finance’s knowledge of the energy industry, experience implementing finance programs for solar equipment manufacturers and the ability to team up with another Colorado-based company as primary reasons for selecting Key Equipment Finance as its finance partner.
Day4 Energy Inc., a leading supplier of high performance, cost-effective solar electric solutions announced that Gebaude-Solarsysteme GmbH (GSS) of Thuringia, Germany is the second PV company to join Day4’s proprietary manufacturing platform. GSS is the oldest and a highly respected PV company in Germany, and is focused on development and sales of roof-integrated PV solutions and other building integrated PV products. The company has a particularly strong market presence in France and Belgium where roof integrated PV systems are strongly supported by the local subsidy programs.
This is the second license agreement signed by Day4 since the introduction of this business segment in May. At current market prices and full capacity utilization the 15 MW line is expected to provide over €700,000 per year in royalty revenue to Day4.
Bloo Solar, a West Sacramento renewable solar energy company announced the selection of CVD Equipment Corporation to develop and manufacture the equipment for its unique third generation three dimensional architecture, thin-film, solar module.
Bloo Solar, has started its “Solar Brush” wafer development production run which it plans to bring to market with initial commercial modules in 2012.
Bloo Solar’s “Solar Brush” is a third generation technology that has many fundamental advantages over existing PV technologies that rely on traditional planar solar cells. The three dimensional single junction architecture provides more surface area, superior light trapping and minimum recombination to provide higher efficiency and a total power output up to 1.5 to 3 times higher than current technologies.
By selecting CVD as its partner, Bloo Solar will develop a key process for Transparent Conductive Oxide coating. CVD Equipment provides offline and online CVDgCoat™ APCVD for fluorine doped SnO2 (SnO2:F) coating and offline LPCVD for ZnO coating.
The Spanish company Titan Tracker has just signed a license contract with DongFang Electric and DongFang Turbine, including all the solar tracking technologies such as flat PV, CPV and CSP central receiver and Stirling dish.
With the principal of “Green power, benefit mankind” DongFang Electric continues its innovation and active cooperation relationships with leading technology providers in the energy sector such as Hitachi, Mitsubishi in Japan; ABB, Alstom and Foxboro in France; Repower in Germany, Windtec in Austria and now with the Spanish firm Titan Tracker in the solar market.
Titan Tracker’s patented technology is characterized, among other aspects, by scarce deformations of its 3D structure, independence of driving and structure, geometry with five supports and location of the driving in the outer sides. Thanks to these features, Titan Tracker achieves high cost efficiency and optimal performance in both flat photovoltaics, high concentrating photovoltaics and concentrating solar power.
Global MobileTech, Inc. (GLMB) a diversified renewable energy, mobile communications and advertising company announced the appointment of Powernique Technology Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian corporation, as its strategic partner in the management and implementation of solar-wind hybrid power generation for rural/remote island electrification and cell towers secured by GLMB in Asia.
Our partnership with Powernique will enhance our ability to provide renewable energy, mobile Voice over Internet Protocol and mobile advertising services to a bigger consumer base not connected to grid electricity in Asia. Currently, more than 800 million people in Asia have no access to telecommunications services and energy, and nearly 1.8 billion people still rely on traditional biomass fuels to meet their cooking and heating needs.
Aik Fun Chong, President and CEO of Global Mobile Tech, commented “We believe that solar-wind power generation will be a major force in the future and this is a very opportune time for us to enter this developing segment of the renewable energy market. GLMB’s partnership with Powernique is a milestone towards both companies’ goal in delivering solar-wind hybrid power that is cost competitive with fossil fuel based energy.”
Negotiations with several mobile operators and government agencies are currently in progress. The company hopes to secure its first contract for the supply of solar-wind power generation solutions during the third quarter of 2010.
Astroenergy (also known as Chint Solar) announced a supply agreement with California-based SPG Solar, where it will be providing 2.2 MW of polycrystalline silicon modules for SPG’s solar rooftop project in Florida. Module shipment will begin in July.
This agreement represents Astroenergy’s successful entrance into the Florida PV market. The companies will provide the varied projects with high quality solar modules, including their monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and high-efficiency thin-film modules.
Standard Solar, Inc., a full-service developer, integrator and installer of solar electric systems for academic, commercial, government, utility and residential customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic announced a formal joint venture with Perpetual Energy Systems, a nationwide developer and financier of renewable energy systems using the power purchase agreement. The joint venture has been organized as “Perpetual Standard Solar, LLC.” Through this joint venture, Standard Solar and Perpetual provide a complete turnkey solution to customers interested in benefitting from renewable energy without having to outlay the large amount of capital required to design, engineer, construct, maintain and operate commercial-scale solar systems. The combined resources of Standard Solar and Perpetual also uniquely position the joint venture to develop large-scale projects across the country.
Through this relationship, Standard Solar expands its addressable market by providing commercial customers access to solar energy systems without the upfront capital investment. It also opens access to conventional debt and tax credit equity sources of capital to deploy for the benefit of commercial, institutional, academic and industrial organizations looking for a means to host renewable energy without expanding their own capital resources or borrowing power, thereby making solar energy a financially feasible and environmentally attractive solution to hosting clean power.
“Without an understanding of financing options, many companies and institutions may mistakenly believe that they cannot afford to utilize on-site solar power. However, through the use of PPAs, and the funding sources brought to bear by companies such as Standard Solar and Perpetual, those that desire solar energy, but may not otherwise find it feasible to allocate significant capital resources are now able to go solar – often with energy cost savings over time,” said Scott Wiater, President of Standard Solar.
Satcon Technology Corporation®, a leading provider of utility scale power solutions for the renewable energy market announced that it has entered into a $12 million subordinated debt facility with Horizon Technology Finance. The company will utilize the proceeds of this transaction to further strengthen its working capital as it plans for continued worldwide growth.
“We are pleased to close this subordinated debt financing with Horizon,” said Donald R. Peck, Satcon’s Chief Financial Officer. “Over the past 12 months, the large scale solar market has passed an inflection point with extensive growth in the volume and scope of utility grade solar installations worldwide. This resulting increase in demand for our best in class utility ready solutions has positioned Satcon as the leader in large scale solar power conditioning solutions, as evidenced by our recently announced project wins in China, North America and Europe and our announcement of over $80 million in backlog as of early May.”
Peck continued, “By bolstering our ongoing cash position with the proceeds of this debt offering, we are strengthening our balance sheet and can assure our customers and our investors that we have the financial resources available to satisfy the increasing demand for our solutions, to continue to develop and deliver the world’s most advanced and efficient power conditioning solutions, and to successfully execute on our growth plans.”
Via:Sys Intelligent Video Analytics and Surveillance Grid Company have announced a partnership to protect North America’s commercial solar power industry with a comprehensive video surveillance system armed with state-of-the-art video analytic technology developed by Via:Sys Surveillance Grid will deploy the same proven Perimeter Security system that is installed throughout Europe’s emerging solar industry and is accepted by leading insurance companies as commercial grade security protection. Via:Sys and Surveillance Grid will be exhibiting at Intersolar North America 2010 in San Francisco.
Via:Sys products are currently used to protect solar power facilities, producing approximately 180 MW of solar generated energy.
Founded in 1998, Via:Sys is the worldwide leader in outdoor perimeter security systems and has operated within the context of solar power security for five years. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to detect intruders in any outdoor environment and maximize security while reducing costly false alarms, all within a price range suitable for the mass market.
Founded in 2009, Surveillance Grid delivers state-of-the-art IP-based “seamless Security” solutions to the public safety, enterprise and energy industry. Their services provide comprehensive installation and integration of security systems which allows the combination of legacy systems to be brought forward and integrated with the latest IP-based technology. Surveillance Grid’s Senior Management has over thirty-five years of combined experience in high tech networking, security and engineering solutions.
International Automated Systems, Inc. announced that it intends to explore the viability of entering into a financial partnership with a well established company and/or entity having substantial financial resources available for large-scale utility deployment of its new breakthrough solar technology, IAUS has developed a new and unique solar technology that can be produced at a cost significantly lower than traditional solar power technologies and the only solar technology that IAUS believes has the versatility and price point to replace oil. IAUS currently has solar power plant projects in the works at various stages of development.
While IAUS has already been approached and has begun discussions with various entities, the company wishes to expand its options by opening up the playing field to others who might be interested as well and currently welcomes solicitations both foreign and domestic. IAUS has worked tirelessly to remain autonomous over the past decade while prudently completing the development of its patented and patent pending technology. However, as the company has now been transitioning from the development stage of its product to deployment, IAUS believes it would be important to investigate how an alliance with a substantial financial partner might propel the company in its efforts to move forward.
Due to the many advantages of IAUS’s remarkable breakthrough solar technology, the company believes it is favorably positioned for a strong financial partner. IAUS currently has the capability of manufacturing approximately 350 MW of its solar panels per year with the ability to quickly expand. In comparison, it can cost as much as $700-$800 million to construct a PV solar manufacturing plant to match IAUS’s current annual solar panel production capabilities.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited announced that its affiliate, Yingli Group Company Limited has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with the Heibei Branch of China Development Bank, a government policy bank solely owned by China’s central government, which contemplates potential credit facilities in the aggregate maximum amount of RMB 36 billion to be granted to Yingli Group and its affiliates, including three PRC subsidiaries of Yingli Green Energy – Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co., Ltd., a 74 percent –owned subsidiary of Yingli Green Energy, Yingli Energy (China) Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Yingli Green Energy, and Fine Silicon Co., Ltd. a wholly owned subsidiary of Yingli Green Energy.
Under the terms of the strategic cooperation agreement, subject to internal procedures to be conducted in accordance with its risk management and operational regulations, CDB expects to grant, among other credit facilities, credit facilities with an aggregate maximum amount of RMB 36 billion to support Yingli Group and its affiliates, in particular, Tianwei Yingli, Yingli China and Fine Silicon, three PRC subsidiaries of Yingli Green Energy, in their PV industry-related domestic and overseas investments. In addition to the internal procedures to be conducted by CDB, detailed terms of the credit facilities and related credit agreements will need to be negotiated before the relevant credit facilities may be granted. Therefore, no assurance can be given that the credit facilities will be eventually granted as currently contemplated in the strategic cooperation agreement or at all.
Pro-Tech Energy Solutions LLC, a self-funded energy services company serving the Mid-Atlantic region’s commercial properties announced a strategic partnership with AmeriSus, the building industry’s newest answer for providing a smart, fast-track approach to home construction based on the values of affordability, efficiency and sustainability.
Under this agreement, Pro-Tech will be an integral part of the AmeriSus team, ensuring that solar installations will not simply be add-ons but instead designed, optimized and installed as a part of a total home package to clients electing to use solar. Each installation will range in size from two to six kW, depending on the size of the home and is anticipated to recover the initial investment in less than five years.
An AmeriSus home ranges in size from 1,100 to 2,200 square feet and is created with unprecedented attention to design, engineering and systems integration, which allows builders – large and small – to erect a home of superior quality and value in as little as eight weeks. The company’s proprietary Ready Build System™ brings a refreshing new approach to designing and building homes, enabling builders to get back to building with a truly “green” homebuilding process from start to finish.
Solar Power! Schuco and iQ Power, two solar industry leaders, have come together at an important time.
iQ Power with its rapidly expanding retail presence will sell and distribute Schuco’s German-engineered line of solar energy products. The growth of solar energy is remarkable, with an annual increase of 42 percent a year since 2002. Together iQ Power and Schuco are forging ahead to promote a cleaner, progressive solar environment.
Helmut Gehle, Schuco VP of Sales, indicates, “iQ Power has shown growth by an innovative business model and the ability to communicate the benefits of solar thermal and solar PV to homeowners. I am delighted that iQ Power has selected Schuco to be their sole supplier of domestic hot water and solar electric systems.”
Concentrix Solar, a leading supplier of Concentrator CPV systems and a division of the Soitec Group announced that it has joined the Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) as Associated Partner. With this announcement, Concentrix Solar is paving the way to utility-scale CPV projects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The Dii was launched in July 2009 to provide a framework for investments to supply the MENA region and Europe with power produced using solar and wind energy sources.
CPV systems produce power with very high efficiency and output in hot, arid locations, thereby achieving a low levelized cost of energy. Since they track the sun, they provide a consistent electricity production profile throughout the day. CPV power plants can be commissioned in phases, producing electricity as soon as the first systems are connected to the grid. These advantages, combined with their minimal space and water requirements, make CPV systems of particular interest for an ambitious, long-range project like Desertec.
Desertec Industries is a unique initiative which was launched as the ‘Desertec Industrial Initiative’ in July 2009. The initiative was founded to pave the way for the establishment of a framework for investments to supply the MENA region and Europe with power produced using solar and wind energy sources. The long-term goal is to satisfy a substantial part of the energy needs of the MENA countries and meet as much as 15 percent of Europe’s electricity demand by 2050. Desertec Industries was founded under German law as a GmbH (limited liability company) in Munich on October 30, 2009. The company currently consists of 17 shareholders from eight countries and is supported by associated partners from all industry sectors.
Ontility, one of the fastest growing solar distributors and solar trainers in the U.S., and PowerMyCampus™, a leader in proprietary renewable energy solutions to not-for-profit organizations, including the SmartPPA™, announced a strategic partnership that will provide solar power and innovative finance solutions to not-for-profit organizations.
The partnership allows Ontility to provide its large Certified Partner™ and dealer/installer network with a unique solar program created for not-for-profit clients. This partnership is especially important due to the fact that many not-for-profit clients do not qualify for Federal, State or utility solar rebates and or incentives. Additionally, the partnership will enhance PowerMyCampus™ ability to service not-for-profits with affordable, best-in-class renewable energy equipment, and expand its network of contractors and integrators qualified to install systems.
According to PowerMyCampus™ Co-founder, Scott Van Kerkhove, not-for-profit institutions across the country are eager to install clean, renewable solutions, but up until now, faced financial, technical, regulatory and operational barriers. “The alliance formed with Ontility further enhances our goal to bring an all-star team together to service our not-for-profit clients. We have developed a unique system specifically designed for funding, installing and operating installations for not-for-profit institutions, and sourcing the right equipment and installers are key components of our success.”
Raser Technologies, Inc., an energy technology company, and global manufacturing giant Hyundai Heavy Industries announced that the two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understand for the joint development of renewable energy and electric vehicles. The agreement sets into play the first two projects that are intended to lead to a broader long-term relationship to develop renewable energy in the western U.S. utilizing Raser’s resource portfolio and HHI’s renewable energy equipment manufacturing capabilities. The agreement also sets forth the first phase of commercial production of electric fleet vehicles utilizing HHI’s high tech engineering and manufacturing capability and Raser’s powertrain technology.
The “Well-to-Wheels” demonstration projects, identified in this initial MOU, consist of a 5 MW solar power generation project, and the production of the first 3 extended range electric trucks for U.S. fleet customers.
The proposed solar power project will be built at Raser’s Thermo site in southern Utah, using PV solar panels and transmission equipment manufactured by HHI. The solar power plant will be co-located with Raser’s geothermal power plant to enable the demonstration of a unique new zero emissions blended renewable development by Raser.
“When completed, the project will be the first phase in demonstrating the potential value of HHI and Raser’s relationship in developing renewable energy projects on Raser’s sizeable holdings where all three renewable resources, geothermal, solar and wind coexist in close proximity to existing transmission lines in a unique ‘Triple Play’ area of Utah’s renewable energy zone, where Raser holds a large property portfolio,” commented Raser Executive Vice President Richard Clayton.
In subsequent phases of the project, solar and wind power will be blended with Raser’s base-load geothermal energy enabling better availability and reliability preferred by utilities.
JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd, announced at Intersolar Europe that it is introducing a new family of high performance solar cells, dubbed “SECIUM.”
The new cost effective, high efficiency SECIUM solar cells enable substantially better spectral response at short wavelengths in comparison with standards solar cells. Additional highlights include an increased open circuit voltage, increased short circuit current and a reduction in recombination losses. The SECIUM cells also demonstrate a higher fill factor and have higher power output than those of conventional solar cells.
Pilot production of the SECIUM cells began in May with commercial volume production anticipated in the second half of 2010. The 18.9 percent conversion efficiency results have been independently certified by The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany.
Satcon Technology Corporation®, a leading provider of utility scale power solutions for the renewable energy market introduced its next generation utility ready solar PV inverter solution, Satcon™ Equinox™. With its unparalleled system wide intelligence, Edge MPPT performance optimization and industrial-grade engineering, Satcon’s Equinox solutions deliver a best in class efficiency of 98.5 percent and offer the highest levels of system wide performance, uptime and reliability.
The Equinox solution comes complete with a NEMA 3R/IP54 enclosure and is available in three separate climate packages, enabling the industry’s widest thermal operating range with fully rated performance at temperatures as high as 55 Celsius/131 degrees Fahrenheit, and as low as -20 Celsius/-4 degrees Fahrenheit.
Building upon Satcon’s industry leading PowerGate® inverter family, the world’s most widely deployed large scale solutions, Equinox improves system wide energy harvest and solar plant yield, enabling the large scale solar industry’s lowest Levelized Cost of Energy. Equinox’s advanced utility ready features enable remote control of real and reactive power, ride through and power factor control. The solution provides for simplified grid interconnection and can be easily integrated into SCADA systems through standardized communication interfaces.
RayTracker, Inc., a manufacturer of Utility Grade PV tracking systems with industry-leading bankability, announced that it has more than tripled quarter-over-quarter revenue in the last two successive quarters, with a strong pipeline of demand well into 2011. As the PV industry grows and matures, achieving optimal economics is more of a focus than ever. RayTracker improves the Internal Rate of Return of solar projects by up to 12 percent and Net Present Value by up to 33 percent compared with non-tracking systems. With RayTracker, project developers can achieve the lowest cost of energy of any solar technology available. Additionally, projects using RayTracker GC single-axis solar trackers have lower initial costs or increased lifetime energy than non-tracking systems. For project developers interested in improving the economics of a non-tracking system, adding RayTracker to a project generates up to 40 percent return on additional investment.
Thus far, RayTracker has received purchase orders for 11 projects in 2010, and is expecting strong sales throughout the second half of the year. The company’s pipeline of quoted projects is now well over 1.5GW and it is continuing to ramp production throughout the rest of this year and into 2011 to meet expanding demand. Customers such as Martifer Solar, REC Solar, groSolar and others have included RayTracker in their 2010 projects.
RayTracker offers the only Utility Grade horizontal single-axis tracker with Distributed Actuation Architecture™, where each row is independently controlled. Similar to the reasons why computer server farms long ago replaced mainframe computers, this architecture was developed and chosen by RayTracker for its fundamentally stable system-level energy output. Distributed Actuation Architecture also offers fewer moving components, lower gearing loads, and tighter verified array-level tracking accuracy vs. alternative architectures.
SOLIVIA solar inverters produced for the North American market will be presented for the first time to the public at the Intersolar tradeshow in San Francisco.
The high-frequency grid-connected SOLIVIA solar inverters from Delta are suitable for all commonly used solar modules – also for thin-film and rear-side contact PV modules – due to the implemented galvanic isolation and the integrated DC wiring box that accommodates either positive or negative DC grounding. All models incorporate an integrated lockable DC disconnect which is mandatory for many local authorities, leading to reduced installation efforts and expenses as it eliminates the need for an external 600 Vdc disconnect switch. The high-frequency grid-connected solar inverters for the North American market operate within a wide temperature range, up to 50 degrees C with full power output (without derating). This ensures high yields even for installations in warmer climates. With its intelligent MPP tracking the inverters get maximum energy harvesting from the solar modules under all operating conditions.
The SOLIVIA inverters feature a lightweight, compact design and simplified installation by using the unique mounting plate that is provided. In addition, the SOLIVIA inverters are NEMA4/IP65 enclosure rated for dust-tight operation, completely safe to touch and protected against moisture, allowing the models to be installed indoors as well as in protected outdoor areas. All relevant status messages and stored data can be recalled either via the integrated display or via a PC connected to the RS485 communication interface.
Enecsys Limited announced the launch of the first solar PV grid-connected micro-inverter for both the European and North American markets. A solar PV system based on Enecsys micro-inverters will have improved energy harvest and therefore cut the cost of harvested power by up to 20 percent over the lifetime of the installation compared with a conventional system using string inverters. The Enecsys solar micro-inverter is also designed for high reliability operation and to have a life expectancy of at least 25 years, thereby matching the life of solar modules to which they are directly connected. In addition, PV systems using Enecsys micro-inverters are simpler to plan, easier to install and intrinsically safer as power conversion from DC to AC is performed at each solar module, eliminating the need for high voltage DC wiring and specialized practices or equipment.
Three product versions are available, one for 200W maximum inverter input power, one for 240W and one for 280W.
The Enecsys micro-inverters operate with both European (220-240Vac, 50Hz) and North American (110-120Vac, 60Hz) electricity grids. Products are presently CE certified and country specific requirements, including VDE V 0126-1: 2006 compliance, are achieved through the use of specific Enecsys installation products. The North American market certification, UL 1741, was expected recently.
The exceptional reliability of the Enecsys micro-inverter is achieved through a patented design that embodies three key attributes: a rugged topology, a component set based on high temperature rating and reliability, and a unique patented energy control technique. The Enecsys micro-inverter is first to use thin-film capacitors instead of less reliable electrolytic capacitors and eliminates the use of opto-couplers, which are also known to have relatively poor reliability. Reliability has been verified through industry-standard accelerated life tests including temperature cycling to IEC61215, the same methodology used to evaluate solar PV modules. It is the only inverter specified to maintain full performance from -40 degrees to +85 degrees C, and achieves peak efficiency of 94.1 percent over this temperature range.
The Enecsys micro-inverter is equipped with a robust built-in ZigBee wireless communication system that connects to the Internet via a gateway. It provides detailed information on the performance of each solar module, a capability not available with string inverters. This comprehensive monitoring system uniquely gives users and installers detailed real-time information to ensure that the solar system is operating with optimized performance over the life of the installation.
The Enecsys micro-inverter is currently in field trials with a limited number of lead customers. The micro-inverter system, including monitoring and a 20-year warranty will be priced competitively. Its full commercial launch is expected later this year, at which time pricing information will be available.
Solar Metrology, a global provider of X-Ray Fluorescence analysis tools, expands its portfolio of System SMX thin-film composition and thickness measurement tools with the introduction of model SMX-ILH.
The SMX-ILH (In-Line X-ray Head) tool is designed for in-line composition and thickness control of CIGS and CdTe PV thin-film depositions. It offers a full (600 x 1200 mm) lateral range of measurement and can be inserted into printed, electrochemical and thermal film deposition processes.
SMX-ILH provides process control for active, contact and TCO layers in PV thin-film stacks, and is capable of analyzing rigid glass, flexible stainless steel and polyimide roll-to-roll substrates. An optional proprietary thermal shield allows for film control at panel temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius.
Offering fast and repeatable Copper-to-Gallium ratio determination and both cross-web and cross-panel gradient analysis capability, SMX-ILH tools enable CIGS and CdTe PV panel manufacturers to realize significant yield improvements and conversion efficiency gains in production.
Solar Metrology’s SMX Measurement System provides a production-ready suite of thin-film thickness and composition measurement tools for research and process development, in-process monitoring and post-process quality control.
Fluitecnik, Inc. is pleased to announce the latest addition to its family of PV Modules. The 240 Watt Monocrystalline module is constructed of 10 strings of 6 monocrystalline cells and is available in either the standard white back sheet with a silver aluminum frame or for the esthetically conscious customer, it is available with a black back sheet and black aluminum frame. The black back sheet and black frame combination allows for a more integrated look and feel for residential or commercial rooftop projects. With an efficiency rating peaking out at 15.1 percent respectively, this module should prove to be a great value.
All of Fluitecnik’s PV modules are UL 1703, IEC 61730, IEC 61215, IEC 61730 and CEC (California) certified. Fluitecnik has applied for and expects to have FSEC (Florida) certification in the coming months. If you would like information about any of Fluitecnik’s PV modules feel free to reference their website via the URL below or email them directly.
Fluitecnik Inc. is a manufacturer of high quality mono and polycrystalline PV panels that carry a 25 year warranty. With over 12 years experience in the renewable energy market, our quality, attention to detail and customer service is of the highest level. For 2010 Fluitecnik is pleased to announce the introduction o the 240 Watt Monocrystalline PV Panel. The panel’s high efficiency rating and black frame/black back sheet option will make it a popular choice for residential installations.
Unistrut International Corporation’s Energy Solutions division now offers pre-engineered racking systems, demonstrating a cost-effective support structure for PV panels in a wide variety of solar applications, including rooftop, ground and ballast-mounted installations. PV panels can be mounted in a portrait or landscape format.
“Pre-engineered solutions provide labor and material savings to the marketplace,” said David Devine, National Sales Manager. Four new designs will meet the wind load, snow load, dead load and seismic requirements of approximately 75 to 80 percent of all commercial solar applications. “With minor modifications, the system can be customized to meet more specific requirements,” added Devine.
With a pre-engineered solution, contractors and solar integrators no longer have to wait for an engineering analysis. Accurate costs can also be generated in a matter of days. The company estimates a 30-35 percent savings over custom racking systems.
Unistrut is unique in that it manufactures, designs, fabricates and installs solar racking systems. Fabrication, pre-assembly, engineering and installation services make Unistrut a convenient one-stop shop.
Cooper Industries plc, a global provider of electrical products and solutions announced it will exhibit its solar mounting and wiring, power management, and circuit management and protection solutions at Intersolar North America.
Building on its history of expertise and innovation, Cooper develops solutions that help decrease overall installation an ongoing maintenance costs of solar systems.
As Cooper’s latest solar offering, Cooper B-Line will introduce the ARISTA™ commercial rooftop mounting system at the event. This cost-effective and easy to install solar PV mounting system features standard electrical components and no loose hardware. The ARISTA™ system’s pre-assembled frames effectively angle solar PV panels in the optimal position for maximum performance. With a high degree of flexibility, the ARISTA™ system can be used for landscape or portrait mounting of PV panels for both ballasted and positively tied solutions. In addition to ARISTA™, Cooper B-Line offers a comprehensive set of custom engineered solution for mounting solar PV panels in ground, commercial roof and open-structure applications. Also, a designated Cooper B-Line Solar Team is available to help customers to meet their cost per watt requirements for various solar energy applications.
Adding to Cooper’s range of solar options, Cooper Bussmann and Cooper Crouse-Hinds offer combiner box solutions that provide the housing to combine and connect the conductors from several arrays or solar panels into one main bus or feed.
For larger commercial and utility-scale projects, count of Cooper Power Systems to reliably and efficiently deliver power to the utility grid. Cooper Power Systems offers high efficiency solar GSU transformers, cooled with Envirotemp FR3 soy oil based dielectric fluid; specially designed with inverter technology and energy harvest in mind. In addition to medium-voltage transformers, a full line of molded rubber parts and substation products such as capacitors, arresters, relays, switchgear, and automation communication systems ensure that the quality of the electricity generated meets the grid interconnection requirements.
Finally, for remote applications, solar kits from Cooper Crouse-Hinds eliminate the need for expensive utility power investments. Solar kits are installed in weatherproof enclosures to withstand harsh weather conditions and high wind loads.
Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. and PV Powered announced the introduction of new PV inverter products and an expanded service offering at the Intersolar 2010 show. These new offerings are part of Advanced Energy’s strategy to provide customers with a complete portfolio of inverter solutions that address the entire power range of the fast-growing solar inverter market. With these new introductions, the company is well-positioned to be one of the leading worldwide suppliers of solar PV inverters with its Solaron and PV Powered inverter product lines.
During the show; the company will unveil complementary, next-generation 500kW solar inverters for utility scale, large commercial, and ground mount grid-tied PV installations. The combined product family includes the Solaron 500kW 600V bipolar, 500kW 1000V, and PV Powered 500kW 600V transformer-based designs that enable customers to optimize the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) through superior performance, industry-leading efficiency, site-wide reductions in BoS costs, and comprehensive ongoing services for O&M.
The company’s SiteGuard PV Solar Maintenance Service, featuring the SafeGuard® 99 percent uptime guarantee, has been extended to cover all of the company’s commercial grid-tied inverter products, including the recently acquired PV Powered product line. The innovative SiteGuard program leverages the company’s unmatched PV technology and systems expertise to boost uptime and reduce LCOE for entire PV solar array sites.
New PV Powered 35kW and 50kW commercial inverters are designed to deliver high efficiency and ease of installation and maintenance. These unique-sized models are the perfect solution for small-to-midrange commercial applications. The new systems allow installers and designers the flexibility to work within site-specific space limitations and provide an essential building block to complete larger projects. Like all PV Powered commercial inverters, the PVP35kW and PVP50kW have a simple, high-reliability design to deliver 20+ year operating lifetimes, highest efficiencies, and the lowest cost of ownership in their class.
Sulfurcell, one of the leading manufacturers of CIS/CIGSe-based thin-film solar modules in the world announced the initiation of U.S. operations. Sulfurcell’s full line of highly aesthetic Germany-made CIS thin-film modules is now available in the U.S. for a variety of rooftop and building integrated applications. The Berlin based company, which is partly financed by Intel Capital, plans to develop a robust network of system integrators and installers throughout North America in the coming months.
Sulfurcell’s North American operations will be run out of new offices in Los Angeles, CA.
Sulfurcell’s copper-indium-sulfide (CIS) thin-film solar power modules have a smooth black appearance and a compact format. The combination of color, size and quality make them a very attractive building integrated PV choice for leading architects and discerning property owners. An excellent temperature co-efficient ensures high yields at hot locations, making them an ideal choice for desert utility-scale projects. The company’s product offering includes framed, frameless, and roof-integrated modules.
Sulfurcell thin-film modules were first made available to the European market in 2005. The modules are IEC-certified and exceed standards. For example, they maintain their performance not only when aged for the standard 1,000 hours at 85°C and 85 percent humidity but also after 2,000 hours. Sulfurcell’s CIS-based production process enables substantially thinner PV modules and requires only half the energy used for manufacturing conventional solar modules.
Since initiating commercial-scale production in 2005, the company has manufactured and sold over 100,000 modules, making it one of the three largest manufacturers of CIS/CIGSe-based thin-film modules in the world. In 2008, Sulfurcell was provided €85MM (U.S. $110) in growth financing by renowned international investors, including Intel Capital and the BEU fund supported by Vattenfall Europe and Gas de France. This capital was utilized for constructing new production facilities and for research and development.
Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum (OLV), an ISO9001 certified company, offers vacuum pumps, research coating systems, leak detectors and related components for use in PV manufacturing. Their process experiences include vacuum generation for supporting crystal pulling and casting of silicon, deposition of thin-film coatings and lamination for today’s solar modules.
OLV recently announced the introduction of a second generation industrial dry-compressing screw-type vacuum pump line called DRYVAC®. The new DRYVAC has evolved from one design platform comprised of models 650 S, 650 S-I and 5000 RS-i. Multiple pumping system combinations are also possible for gaining increased pumping speeds and vacuum levels by incorporating the RUVAC® WH line of vacuum boosters. Both DRYVAC and the RUVAC WH offer improvements in leak tightness, energy efficiency and physical stature over competitive brands.
Solar Trust of America, LLC, an integrated industrial solar solutions company announced that the new Helio Trough parabolic trough collector developed by its sister company, Flagsol GmbH, received the CSP Innovation Award at the just concluded 4th Annual Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Summit in San Francisco.
The next-generation collector was recognized by conference attendees who voted for the award for its innovative design, increased thermal output efficiency and reduced component costs.
The Helio Trough collector is one third larger than its predecessor, Skal-Et, and requires fewer collectors to produce the same amount of energy. Combined with an optimized structure geometry the Helio trough reduces the investments cost by nearly 20 percent in comparison to current collector designs. In addition, the efficiency level of the parabolic trough mirrors was increased by nearly 10 percent.
The Helio Trough collector was developed along with partners by Flagsol GmbH Cologne, a technology subsidiary of Solar Millennium and Ferrostaal. Prior to installing a 2,624-foot demonstration loop at a solar thermal power plant in the U.S., the new collector was first tested in a factor hall in Germany to test the innovative assembly concept and verify the geometric precision. The early phases of the research and development project were promoted by the German Federal Environment Ministry, whereas the demonstration project in California is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
A new solar simulator chamber for PV module testing is currently being developed for Westpak, Inc., an independent testing laboratory in San Jose, CA. The chamber, manufactured by ESPEC North America, is designed to control the temperature of the solar modules as they are tested for their performance under simulated sun light.
Westpak has purchased this system in order to help clients assess the performance of their modules at hot or cold temperatures that occur naturally in the field. The new system can simulate winter temperatures as low as -35 degrees C (-30 degrees F) and summer temperatures as high as 85 degrees C (185 degrees F), extremes which modules might realistically experience when exposed on a rooftop. To recreate these temperatures, the chamber has a six-foot by nine-foot solar light exposure area, large enough for several PV panels to be tested at a single time, thereby reducing the total testing duration and cost. Six metal halide luminaries will provide simulated solar light exposure, and the chamber will be capable of conducting light simulation as required by the relevant IEC (and similar) module tests.
Besides the capacity to operate at different temperatures, the test chamber also features the necessary ability to remove the excess heat generated by its powerful sun simulator lamps. In addition to the lamps’ own cooling capability, ESPEC has designed the system with a 15-hp refrigeration system and 4,000 CFM air circulation to ensure that the optimum air temperature in the chamber is maintained.
Littelfuse, Inc. announced the release of the SPFR Series 1000 VDC Solar Fuse and the associated SPFRHD Series 1000 VDC Solar Fuseholder. The two new products expand on the recently introduced SPF Solar Series and deliver a broad-range protection to meet the higher amperage and voltage requirements of a number of PV applications.
Since solar requirements continue to evolve as the segment grows, the SPFR Series 1000 VDC Solar Fuse is offered in four different ampere ratings – 250, 300, 350 and 400 amperes. “Littelfuse is actively developing new products to meet the constantly changing solar industry standards and regulations,” says Swaim.
A key advantage of the SPFR Series 1000 VCD Solar Fuse is its standardized case size, which meets UL Class H Dimensions. The fuse also meets European system and North American utility scale requirements; and its RoHS Compliance minimizes environmental impact.
Also now available from Littelfuse is the lug-termination SPFRHD Series 1000 VDC Solar Fuseholder, which accepts the SPFR 1000 VDC Series Fuse. Both fuse and fuseholder are UL-Recognized to 1000 V.
SolarTech announced the release of an extensive report on publicly available solar financial calculators. This is a major step forward in SolarTech’s efforts to drive down financial transaction costs for solar PV with a comprehensive survey of the “state of the art.” This work was sponsored by SolarTech Finance committee in partnership with the Gary J. Sbona Honors Program at San Jose State University (SJSU) School of Business, and a California Energy Commission PIER Grant.
All solar projects come down to three simple questions: 1. what is the resulting cost per kilo watt-hour as compared to other procurement options; 2. what is the expected return on investment; and 3. what cash-flows or payback period can we promise investors? To facilitate the answers to these questions numerous calculators have been developed, both public and private. However, these calculators don’t often agree on the resulting electrical production and financial payback claims. “When customers receive conflicting quotes from different project sponsors this causes confusion in the buying process,” said Todd Grenich, Managing Partner, Grenich Capital, LLC and Finance Committee Chair. “The industry needs tools and methods that are predictable and build customer confidence in what is still a nascent growing industry.”
A survey of existing financial calculators in the public domain is step one in developing an understanding of the “state of the art”, then offering recommendations to tool developers that would be helpful improvement for users. SolarTech engaged the Accounting and Finance department at SJSU to study the various financial calculators available in the public domain. A team of three students in the Sbona Honors Program agreed to conduct a survey and analysis as part of their senior class project requirement. After considerable research, including interviews with industry experts, the leading contender was NREL’s Solar Advisor Model. The Clean Power Estimator, RETScreen, and the NCSC Solar PV Financial Calculator were close seconds. More important are the lessons in best practices and model capabilities that next generation tool developers can derive from an examination of all of the available calculators. Each estimator had one or two superior elements and the ideal tool would pull ideas from all of them.
Financial payback in solar is very critical to an accurate estimation of the production potential of the proposed solar PV project. The SolarTech Performance committee has been working on this closely related issue and will be introducing the industry’s first Solar Energy Estimate Report at the Intersolar North American conference.
Sirius Integrator Inc. announced that it has added new Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) Solar Charge Controllers to the DOD eMall.
In many cases solar panels are not keeping batteries charged and mission-critical devices including video cameras, industrial and transportation sensors and detectors, emergency lighting, pumps, and communication configurations are shutting off due to no low sunlight. MPPT Solar Chargers can greatly improve any of these remote configuration’s reliability & availability. The MPPT solar charger is a very small incremental investment and maintains all of the existing off-grid solar panel systems.
The major features of the MPPT Solar Charge Controllers are:
Sirius Integrator delivers standalone and solar hybrid remote power solutions that keep remote devices powered for days to months. Sirius offers two exclusive remote power solutions; the SFC EFOY Pro Model 600 (25w) Direct Methanol Fuel Cell and a a1300 wh Lithium-Ion Battery Management System, each under $3,000, purchasable with a government credit card.
Sirius Integrator offers customized Lithium-Ion Battery Management systems scalable from 1300 to 13000 whs (watt hours). They are used in applications where lighter, more efficient, faster charging, safe, remotely manageable longer life batteries are need. In-vehicle Lithium-Ion systems could optionally utilize an alternator/regulator to allow a vehicle to quickly recharge the Lithium-Ion BMS. Solar panels, mountable, rollable and foldable, are available to trickle charge these batteries. Mobile and stationary custom enclosures are also offered.
Evergreen Solar, Inc. a manufacturer of String Ribbon™ solar panels with its proprietary silicon wafer technology was to unveil its upcoming line of higher efficiency solar panels featuring its newly developed BOOST™ Cell Technology, at Salon des Energies Renouvelables in Paris, France, June 16-18, 2010.
The new ES-D and ES-E series of panels for residential and commercial markets feature Evergreen’s new Boost Cell Technology that uses micro wires instead of conventional bus-bars to reduce cell shading, improve current collection and ultimately increase the overall panel efficiency. This innovative new cell technology gives our new panels a superior aesthetic, positioning them well in the French building integrated market where aesthetics are of primary concern. The new panels will begin to be available commercially from fourth quarter 2010.
The ES-D series panels, designed primarily for residential roofs, are lighter weight for ease of installation and smaller in size to ensure a better fit of the panels to any shape or size of roof. The ES-D series will be produced with two sets of specifications.
The ES-E series panels will be the most powerful Evergreen Solar panels ever made, with a larger panel design to meet the needs of commercial applications where the larger size helps to minimize installation costs. The ES-E series panels will be available in 220, 225 and 230W power grades.
The new ES-D and ES-E series panels will continue to be manufactured using Evergreen Solar’s proprietary wafer manufacturing technology which is the most environmentally-friendly process in the industry with virtually no wasted silicon. The carbon footprint of these panels is up to 30 percent smaller than that of its competitors and they also have the quickest energy payback in the industry, now less than 12 months.
Centrosolar is now expanding its CentroPack™ line with its new range of 225W and 230W E Series PV modules, engineered with a black anodized frame which is aesthetically more pleasing for residential rooftop installations. CentroPack™ grid tied systems provide installers a superior PV packaged option, complete with Centrosolar branded PV panels, best in class mounting systems, inverters and all balance of system electrical or mechanical components.
Centrosolar offers many system packages tailored to suit every roof type, designed in accordance with NEC and building code standards, suitable for residential as well as small commercial applications. CentroPack™ systems are pre-packaged and engineered for superior performance, and eliminate second sourcing for long lead and specialty components.
Centrosolar America has now expanded its national sales team in several new U.S. states, including New Jersey, Florida and New Mexico. Its national solar training program – Centroschool – already trained over 200 contractors in 2010 till date. Centrosolar is also expanding its distribution center in Scottsdale, AZ and now plans its third U.S. sales and distribution office in the state of New Jersey, which will also serve as its warehouse for markets in the East School.
Xiris Automation Inc., a 20 year veteran in the machine vision industry, has developed TFI-FLEX, an inspection system used for detecting defects in Flexible Thin Film Photovoltaic Cells. Designed for in-line quality control use by manufacturers of flexible Thin Film Cells, TFI-FLEX is capable of detecting defects in surface quality and chemical deposition of cells at multiple points along a production line.
The TFI-FLEX Inspection System performs visual checks on the activated side of a flexible thin film cell, looking for defects that are specific to quality issues arising from the handling and manufacture of thin film cells, including topological defects such as scratches, bumps and dents; and print/deposition defects such as chemical deposition flaws, stains, spots, watermarks, fingerprints, and color variations.
The system uses a proprietary method of acquiring images with very low optical distortion in color and/or monochrome mode, detecting defects that are much smaller than 1mm in size. TFI-FLEX is an important new tool for inspecting cells after deposition, after laser etching, after printing, and after final environmental coating of the cells. The system can easily be retrofitted into existing lines and can be configured to include multiple inspection modules (each with a solution-optimized design).
Xiris Automation Inc. specializes in developing high-end machine vision systems used for Quality Control inspection applications in the Optical Media, Tube and Pipe and PV industries. Operating globally, our major focus in the PV industry is in providing a number of machine vision products, including product inspection and classification for both thin film and crystalline silicon cell manufacturing.
Intevac, Inc. announced that the company will have a booth presence at the Intersolar Trade Show.
Intevac will promote LEAN SOLAR™, a high-productivity, multi-step processing system that offers precise film property control in a small footprint. LEAN SOLAR can be configured for specific requirements and can run multiple applications including CIGS on glass or stainless steel substrates, and silicon-based applications including metal contact, ARC and TCO.
Intevac will also introduce NanoVista™, a high-sensitivity photoluminescence inspection system for cell quality and efficiency monitoring. NanoVista captures high resolution photoluminescence images of in-process and finished cells at up to 3,600 cells per hour.
Geosis Corporation will be unveiled its new and unique solar light converter this year at Intersolar North America 2010 in San Francisco’s Moscone Center West Hall from July 13-15. Geosis’ Yosemite Series Solar Light is another innovative product under the brand name Sunmia Solar Lighting Solutions.
“The Yosemite Series is not only original but also ingeniously unique in its own way. It leads the industry in solar lighting converters,” said Ms. Nadarajan, Director of Marketing at Geosis Corporation. She refers to the capabilities of the Yosemite Series to convert an existing lamp post into a solar powered light with minimal assembly. “The Yosemite series is designed to provide users an easy alternative to becoming green. With the new Sunmia product, old commercial and residential lights can be converted into solar lights without incurring additional installation costs while reducing energy the way it was intended.”
Geosis Corporation recently completed trial installations in several locations throughout the U.S., proving that the Yosemite series is an easy way to convert residential and commercial lighting into solar powered lights. Geosis will feature the Yosemite fixture along with other Sunmia Solar Lights.
The Sunmia Yosemite Light fixture is designed to fit any lamp post with a 3” diameter. The solar panel assembly is designed to be adjustable at three different angles to maximize sunlight exposure. This feature allows users to mount the Yosemite fixture on lamp posts that were originally place in shaded areas thus allowing it to be converted into a solar powered light despite its location.
Schneider Electric’s Renewable Energies Business, leaders in developing, manufacturing and marketing advanced power electronic products and systems for renewable markets, is pleased to announce they will be exhibiting at Intersolar North America.
Schneider Electric has a number of global solutions for a wide array of PV markets including solar farms, large commercial, residential, off-grid and backup power. These solutions range from inverters, switch gear, monitoring to security products from Schneider Electric’s vast offering of electrical and energy management solutions. One of the products that will be features is the Schneider Electric Xantrex™ GT500 which has a competitive price and performance ratio and features Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithm to maximum the energy harvested from the PV array.
Also featured is the 30 kW high-performance, transformerless Schneider Electric Xantrex GT30 grid-tie solar inverter that makes utility-interactive installations easier and more cost effective. This unit offers superior PV energy harvest, easy installation, and a compact, ultra-lightweight design.
Among its residential solutions, Schneider Electric will exhibit its Xantrex XW Hybrid inverter/charger and Xantrex GT grid-tie single-phase inverter. The Schneider Electric Xantrex XW features sine-wave power and advanced battery charging technology. This product can be used in either a grid-tied with battery backup or off-grid application to suit a wide variety of installations. The single-phase GT offers a high efficiency, clean aesthetics, reliability, and a low installed cost, through ease of installations and integrated features.
Inspired Solar Technologies, Inc. (IST), a leading developer of advanced tracking systems for the solar power industry, announced that it will exhibiting at Intersolar North America. The company will exhibit its ARRAYBOT™ solar trackers, offering a full line of tracking solutions. As a result of the innovative design of the ARRAYBOT™, IST was chosen as one of the top ten finalists for the Intersolar Award 2010, designating this year’s most innovative and groundbreaking companies in the area of photovoltaics.
IST’s ARRAYBOT™ solar trackers combine proven hydraulic actuators with patent pending feed-forward robotic control systems to produce tracking solutions designed to deliver an unmatched combination of strength, reliability, durability, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. Solar trackers optimize the output of solar panels by keeping them on a precise axis with the sun throughout the day. Major benefits of the ARRAYBOT™ include the following:
SRS Energy, leading developer of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) products announced that its Sole Power Tile has obtained an Intertek ETL Listing for UL 1703 certification, the industry stamp of approval for product safety. Additionally, the Solar Power Tile (pronounced so-lay) has been recognized on the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) list of Eligible SBI Guideline Compliant Photovoltaic Modules. Designed to seamlessly integrate with mission-style clay roofing products, the Solar Power Tile is the first curved solar module in the U.S. to meet the requirements for this recognition.
Established in 2002, ANSI/UL 1703 is the industry standard for ensuring the safety of PV modules. In 2007, the CEC Eligible Modules list created. Customers applying for financial support from the state are required to purchase CEC approved modules. While California is home to over 80 percent of the solar power installed in the U.S., additional states have also benchmarked the specification of CEC approved modules as a prerequisite for incentive support.
Introduced in 2009, the Sole Power Tile is a designer solar product, fusing the financial and environmental benefits of solar power with elegance and durability. SRS Energy and US tile, the largest manufacturer of clay tile in North America, have partnered to launch the Sole Power Tile system in select California markets with a nationwide rollout of the product to follow.
Lumeta, Inc. announced that it was awarded CSA International certification for its patented PowerPly™ roof integrated PV solar module in accordance with UL 1703.
The PowerPly 400W module combines a DuPont™ Tefzel front sheet and lightweight composite substrate with high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells to maximize power density, eliminating the glass and aluminum frame structure of conventional modules. PowerPly is designed for low slope applications; it adheres directly to the roof without racking, reducing system weight and eliminating wind loading issues. With no roof penetrations, PowerPly prevents water leaks and costly roof maintenance while significantly reducing installation time and costs.
Lumeta PowerPly is being manufactured in Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.’s specialized building-integrated photovoltaic facility in Wuxi, China; Suntech is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of PV cells and modules.
Cleantech startup Sunnovations Inc. announced the commercial availability of its breakthrough solar hot water system for American homes. Solar hot water, a clean and free power source, is an incredibly underexploited technology in the U.S., despite the fact that homeowners can save up to 75 percent on their water heating bill and remediate several tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year, all the while having the same usage experience as a regular water heating system. Sunnovations and its passive “geyser-pump” system removes many of the real and perceived barriers to entry for homeowners, allowing for maintenance-free operation suitable for all climate zones.
Sunnovations Chief Executive Officer Matt Carlson stated, “the cost saving and environmental remediation opportunity that solar hot water represents has been sorely underappreciated in the U.S. Sunnovations has set out to change that by bringing clarity to the cost-saving and environmental benefits to the homeowner as well as standardization and simplicity to the technology behind solar hot water systems.”
Xinyi Glass has six manufacturing bases, with manufacturing floor areas well over 20 million square feet. Three Solar Glass manufacturing facilities, with four designated lines for solar glass production, are located at Dongguan, Wuhu and Tianjin.
Xinyi Glass is expanding its existing solar glass production capacity, which is capable of supporting over 2GW PV module manufacturing, to over 4.5GW by end of 2010, making Xinyi Glass one of the leading solar glass manufacturers worldwide.
With over 10 float glass lines, Xinyi glass is a secured source of supply for fully finished clear tempered glass for use as Back Glass for PV modules.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. announced that it has received a contract for engineering and implementing production tooling for the Fisker Karma solar PV roof module. Under this contract Quantum and its German solar affiliate Asola Advanced and Automotive Solar Systems GmbH will design and procure production tooling to enable production of solar roof modules beginning in fourth quarter 2010. Under the terms of an already executed supply arrangement, Quantum will be the exclusive supplier of solar roof modules for the Fisker Karma.
Quantum and Asola have developed one of the largest monolithic automotive solar roofs in the world that involves complex double curvature, for the Karma. The Quantum-Asola team has developed proprietary technologies and processes to integrate high efficiency solar cells on extreme curvature substrates, while ensuring product durability under the demanding automotive service conditions. The solar roof module is designed to generate approximately 130 watts of clean renewable electricity, that helps keep Karma’s interior cool while parked in the sun, and trickle charge a 12V ancillary battery when the car is parked for long durations.
The French retailer Casino Group and SunPower Corp. announced that SunPower will supply an additional 20 MW of high-efficiency solar PV panels for solar power installations on Casino Group properties in mainland France. The agreement, which builds on a similar 15 MW agreement between the two companies last year, will enable Casino Group to turn under-utilized roof space and parking area into power plants to produce renewable electricity and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
SunPower will supply Casino with its SunPower E19 Series solar panels, which offer a world record efficiency of 19 percent or greater. The modules feature larger, more powerful all-back contact solar cells that deliver three percent more surface area per cell, boosting panel efficiency by reducing unutilized space. The panels also have an anti-reflective coating that allow for more diffuse off-angle light to be captured, generating more energy per rated watt than a conventional solar panel.
The combined 35 MW agreement will result in solar power systems at 18 of the company’s properties, on rooftops and parking lots. In-store monitoring displays at Casino’s facilities with solar power systems will provide customers and employees with information o how much solar power is being generated on site.
Casino Group includes 11,000 stores in 9 countries making it one of the largest French retail networks, and consists of more than 20 different brands of stores.
Universal Solar Technology Inc., a developer of solar grade ingot, wafers and high efficiency solar PV modules, announced the signing of a sales contract for $32,600,000 with CEZ Group, part of the largest electricity producer in the Czech Republic. The contract calls for the delivery of 20 MW of monocrystalline solar modules to be delivered by the end of 2010.
Wensheng Chen, Chairman and CEO stated, “This large contract confirms that Universal Solar’s products are of international standards and reinforces our business expectations. We have focused our marketing efforts on sales in China, India and the EU. With its expertise, new factory and production equipment, we expect UNSS will grow quickly becoming a highly efficient supplier to a very rapidly growing market for solar PV products.”
LDK Solar Co., Ltd. a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers and PV products, announced that it has signed a contract to supply solar modules to Spain-based Gestamp Asetym Solar, S.L., a subsidiary of Gestamp Corporation. Under terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will deliver 15.8 MW of solar modules to Gestamp Solar during the third quarter.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, a leading solar energy company and one of the world’s largest vertically integrated PV manufacturers, which holds the brand “Yingli Solar,” announced that its U.S. subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Americas, Inc. has signed a strategic PV module supply agreement with DC Power Systems through the end of 2010. This is one of the largest U.S. agreements for Yingli Green Energy Americas this year, and is also the largest contract between the companies to date.
Yingli Green Energy Americas’ solar panels have been sold to the residential market through DC Power and other solar distributors. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, residential grid-tied PV installations are showing particularly strong growth, increasing by 100 percent in 2009 in the U.S.
Trina Solar Limited, announced that its subsidiary, Trina Solar (U.S.) Inc., has signed a supply agreement with Southern California Edison, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S. Initial shipments commenced in May 2010.
Under the terms of the agreement, Trina Solar is expected to supply SCE with 45 MW of PV modules at agreed prices with deliveries taking place between the second quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. The modules are expected to be used in SCE’s large solar PV installation program, otherwise known as the SCE Solar PV Program.
SCE, authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission, plans to cover up to 65 million square feet of unused Southern California commercial rooftops with 250 MW of the latest PV technology, which has sufficient capacity to meet the needs of approximately 162,000 U.S. homes.
Satcon Technology Corporation®, a leading provider of utility scale power solutions for the renewable energy market announced that they have been selected by Q-Cells for multiple large scale solar PV power plants in Ontario. Once completed, these projects will rank among the largest solar PV installations in North America.
Q-Cells will deploy twenty 1 MW Prism™ solutions, Satcon’s™ fully integrated utility platform that comes complete with factory integrated medium voltage transformers, switchgear, and electronics. Each 1 MW Prism solution is delivered complete in an all-climate outdoor enclosure and ready to connect to the PV array and utility grid, enabling rapid installation through a module prepackaged design.
These projects are contracted under the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program developed and overseen by the Ontario Power Authority and will connect to local utility PUC Distribution Inc. They are scheduled to be operational in the third quarter 2010.
JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. a leading manufacturer of high-performance solar power products announced it has entered into supply agreements with Solar-Fabrik AG. Under the terms of the agreements, JA Solar is expected to supply Solar-Fabrik with approximately 70 MW of PV products. Shipment has already started and will continue through the end of 2010.
The supply agreements further strengthen the strong partnership between the two companies that began in 2008. Both JA Solar and Solar-Fabrik are committed to work together for future growth.
LDK Solar Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of solar wafers and PV products announced that it has signed a contract to supply solar modules to the Power Systems division of Italy-based ABB SpA, a subsidiary of ABB Group. Under the terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will deliver 13 MW of solar modules to ABB in the third quarter of 2010. A wider cooperation agreement is under negotiation to supply ABB with larger volumes of solar modules in the remainder of 2010 and 2011.
LDK Solar Co., announced that it has signed a module supply contract with Italy-based Enel.Si S.r.l., a wholly owned subsidiary of Enel S.p.A. Under terms of the agreement, LDK Solar will supply Enel with LDK Solar branded modules totaling 50 MW with 30 MW deliverable in this quarter and an option for an additional 20 MW in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a developer of state of the art flexible thin-film solar modules announced that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected their team for an award under the Low-Cost Lightweight Portable PV (PoP) solicitation. The ASTI-led program, entitled “Flexible High-performance Tandem-junction PV Array,” consists of three gated phases, the first of which is 18 months and has an approximate contract value of $3.8 million. The entire program is anticipated to continue over the next 54 months. The goal of PoP is to demonstrate low-cost, lightweight PV that can stand up to battle conditions and environmental extremes while delivering a power conversion efficiency of 20 percent or greater by the end of the program.
ASTI leads a highly-talented team of small businesses (ITN Energy Systems, Little, CO, Cambrios Technologies Company, Sunnyvale, CA, Brewer Science, Rolla, MO), large business (QinetiQ North America-TSG, Boston, MA) and academia (Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC), Newark, DE) partners to leverage their collective expertise with dedicated funding from DARPA to meet the highly aggressive goals of the PoP program.
“We are excited that DARPA selected our team for the PoP project,” stated Farhad Moghadam, President and CEO of Ascent Solar. “In order to meet the aggressive goals of performance, capacity, and military toughness, our team has put together a definitive plan that combines our flexible CIGS production experience and existing MILSTD 810G military product, advanced high-temperature substrates from QinetiQ, the combined expertise in multijunction thin-film technology from ASTI and IEC, films for optical and electrical enhancement from Brewer an Cambrios, and enhanced packaging technologies being developed by ITN and ASTI. The outcome of the program dovetails nicely with our existing technology improvement pathway for our flexible thin-film monolithically integrated CIGS-based PV modules at 20 percent module efficiency for the Department of Defense.”
Kyocera Corporation announced that the company has started supplying solar modules for “Toyota Solar Panels,” which are to be installed in recreational boats manufactured and sold by Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota Solar Panels can also be installed as an optional unit on recreational boats manufactured by other companies.
This solar module was exhibited in the Kyocera booth at PV Japan 2010, the solar energy trade exhibition, held at Pacifico Yokohama, Japan from June 30 through July 2, 2010.
Electricity generated by the solar modules can be used to charge a battery to provide a supplemental, durable power source for the various electronics and appliances installed on recreational boats. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, the solar charging system prevents a battery from deteriorating during extended periods of non-use while docked.
This new marine application follows the introduction of Kyocera solar modules as an optional feature on the Toyota Prius beginning in May 2009.
President Obama announced that DOE has offered a conditional commitment for a $1.45 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar, Inc. the loan will support the construction and start-up of Solana, a 250 net MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Arizona.
Solana will include six hours of molten salt thermal energy storage capability, which will allow energy to be dispatched as needed during cloudy periods and after sunset. With this capability, Solana will be able to generate electricity well into the evening to help meet the summer peak demand. The plant will be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, AZ. Solana will produce enough energy to serve 70,000 households.
Abengoa Solar’s Arizona Vice President Kate Maracas stated that “the building of Solana will also create between 1,600-1,700 new construction jobs, and operation of the plant will add another 85 permanent jobs. These construction and operating jobs will create a few thousand additional indirect jobs. Taken together, 98 percent of the jobs created by Solana will be American jobs – primarily from Arizona, and a smaller portion from neighboring states.”
Abengoa Solar signed a power purchase agreement with APS, the state’s largest electric utility, to sell the energy produced by Solana for a period of 30 years.
As a direct consequence of the construction of Solana, a mirror manufacturing factory will be built in Surprise, AZ. The mirror factory will employ almost 180 people, adding to the number of direct jobs created by Solana. This new facility will provide Arizona with the foundation upon which to expand its solar energy technology manufacturing capabilities and to support future CSP projects.
Foster Wheeler AG announced that a subsidiary of its Global Power Group has been awarded a contract to design, supply and provide site advisory services for two sets of solar steam generators (preheaters, kettle type evaporators, superheaters and reheaters) as well as low pressure and high pressure feedwater heaters. The contract was awarded by the project’s EPC contractor, a joint venture created by the Spanish companies SENER and COBRA.
The equipment will be integrated into the Valle 1 & Valle 2 Solar Thermal Power Plants, located in San José del Valle (Cadiz, Spain). The plants, which are owned by Torresol Energy, a company created by the Spanish SENER (60 percent) and the Abu Dhabi-based company Masdar (40 percent), will have an installed power capacity of 50 MWe each.
Foster Wheeler has received a full notice to proceed on this contract. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the contract value was included in the company’s first-quarter 2010 bookings. The equipment delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2011.
The plants will use SENER’s concentrated parabolic trough technology (SENERtrough) and will have energy storage by means of molten salt tanks that is designed to provide up to 7 hours of plant operation without sun radiation. The plants are expected to operate approximately 3,500 hours/year, with the potential to eliminate 95,000 tons/year of CO2 emissions.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted initiative advancing the development, commercialization and deployment of renewable and alternative energy technologies and solutions, has appointed the bidding consortium of Total and Abengoa Solar as a partner to own, build and operate Shams 1, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant- the first of its kind in the Middle East.
One of Masdar’s flagship projects, Shams 1 will contribute towards Abu Dhabi’s target of achieving 7 percent renewable energy power generation capacity by 2020.
The joint venture between Masdar (60 percent), Total (20 percent) and Abengoa Solar (20 percent) will develop, build, operate and maintain the plant to be located in Madinat Zayed, 120 kilometers southwest of Abu Dhabi.
Shams 1 will be the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, extending over an area of 2.5 km2, with a capacity of approximately 100 MW and a solar field consisting of 768 parabolic trough collectors to be supplied by Abengoa Solar. Construction is set to begin during third quarter 2010 and is expected to take approximately two years.
EDF EN Canada Inc. – an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company announced that construction has commenced on three solar PV projects totaling 36 MW(dc).
The Elmsey Solar Project, located near Lombardy in the Township of Rideau Lakes, comprises two 12 MW(dc) sites utilizing Suntech panels. The 12 MW(dc) St. Isidore Project is located near the town of St. Isidore in the Municipality of the nation and will consist of First Solar panels. All three sites are being developed under the Government of Ontario’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program, which encourages renewable energy production to help replace coal-fired generation.
Together these projects will generate clean electricity for nearly 10,500 homes and employ approximately 350 people during the design, engineering and construction process. The projects will deliver local electricity service via connections to the Hydro One distribution grid, expected by the end of 2010.
Jon Kieran, Director of Solar Development for EDF EN Canada, said, “We are pleased to launch the construction phase of these valuable projects. Once again, EDF EN Canada is applying its resources and expertise to help Ontario achieve renewable energy goals. These projects follow on the success of the Arnprior Solar Project in Ottawa, which went into service in 2009. When all five RESOP sites are completed we will have contributed about 60 MW(dc) of solar energy to the distribution grid. We look forward to a successful partnership with White Construction Canada Corp, our general contractor, to bring these projects to completion.”
The construction works for the joint solar thermal power plant Andasol 3 are on schedule. Now one important construction progress, the assembly of the parabolic trough collectors for the solar field of Andasol 3, has been completed. A total of 7,296 collectors was assembled and anchored in the solar field. Each collector unit is 12 meters long and weighs approximately 2.5 tons. The power plant extends over a surface of about two square kilometers – equaling more or less the area of the Principality of Monaco. Andasol 3 is being realized by Stadtwerke München, RWE Innogy, RheinEnergie Ferrostaal and Solar Millenium.
The construction of the power plant block is also n schedule. At the moment, the turbine pedestal, which will later support the steam turbine, is being completed. The turbine itself is currently undergoing final inspection at the manufacturer MAN Diesel & Turbo. It consists of a high-pressure and a low-pressure module and was especially developed and optimized for the use in the Andasol power plant. “As opposed to conventional power plants, a solar-powered turbine has to be designed to allow being started and shut down on a daily basis, depending on the availability of steam,” Herbert Spelleken, the responsible project manager at Flagsol, the joint venture of Ferrostaal and Solar Millennium, explains the distinctive features of the system. In late June, the enormous machine weighing 160 tons will commence its journey to Spain per ship and truck in order to be installed in the power plant block. At the same time, the tubing and cabling work continues at the solar field. In mid 2011, the power plant is expected to start feeding solar electricity into the Spanish grid.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has signed multiple 20-year power purchase agreements with Recurrent Energy, an independent power producer and a leading developer of solar power projects, for 60 MW of solar power to be developed in the southern portion of Sacramento County. These are the first agreements to come out of the utility’s feed-in tariff program (FIT) introduced in January of this year.
SMUD’s standard tariff for qualifying renewable and combined heat and power generating facilities received applications that exceeded the program’s 100 MW capacity. All applications received offered a solar PV technology.
Recurrent Energy will develop 12 individual 5 MW projects at locations in Galt, CA and Elk Grove, CA. All the projects are expected to be installed and operational by fall 2012.
The FIT program is designed to remove barriers to interconnection with the utility by providing standard rates and contract conditions thus making it easier for SMUD and its power-generating customers to do business. It will also benefit the region by protecting the environment, saving money, reducing climate impacts of electrical generation and providing local economic benefit.
Recurrent Energy, an independent power producer and a leading developer of solar power projects, and Redavia, a French solar development and advisory firm announced a joint development agreement, in which Redavia will act on Recurrent Energy’s behalf to identify ground-based PV projects that are under development in France – and which Recurrent Energy may consider for acquisition.
Recurrent Energy’s global experience in developing distributed-solar PV power plants, such as 4.8 MW in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, 60 MW in Northern California, U.S. 50 MW in Southern California, U.S. and 177 MW in Ontario, Canada, compliments Redavia’s extensive local expertise in the French solar market. As such, the two companies will offer ground-mount solar power developers an attractive option for bringing their pipelines to fruition.
Recurrent Energy also announced a joint development agreement with Greensol Alternative Energy Ltd., an Israeli solar power systems developer, to finance, build, and operate distributed-scale rooftop and ground-mount solar PV power plants across Israel.
Greensol’s local development expertise in Israel and Recurrent Energy’s global experience in the financing and engineering of distributed PV power plants will provide commercial and industrial building land owners in Israel with the option to lease out and utilize their unused rooftop or land as sites for solar power systems.
Under the terms of the agreement, Greensol will pursue opportunities to develop ground-mount and rooftop-based solar power projects on government, kibbutz and privately-owned land across Israel. Recurrent Energy will finance, own and operate the solar power systems once contracts are in place. The renewable electricity generated by the distributed power plants will be fed back into the local utility grid, for which Recurrent Energy will be paid a feed-in tariff in accordance with Israeli renewable energy policy. Recurrent Energy and Greensol are committed to working together on the first 50 MW of joint projects secured over three years. Details on equipment providers, specific locations, financial details and economic impacts are not available at this time.
Satcon Technology Corporation® a leading provider of utility scale power solutions for the renewable energy market announced that they have been selected by Enfinity® , one of the world’s leading PV solar energy development companies, for two power stations at one of France’s largest PV solar farm in Les Mees, Alpes-Haute-Provence.
For these sites, Enfinity has chosen Satcon’s™ PowerGate Plus® 500 kilowatt solutions, the world’s most widely deployed utility ready solar PV inverter with over 600 MW booked since its introduction in 2005. All of Satcon’s solutions include advanced utility ready features to enable simplified grid interconnection and can be easily integrated into SCADA systems through standardized communication interfaces.
Upon completion, the two sites will produce approximately 23,400,000 kWh of power.
Les Mees is scheduled for completion in October 2010.
Pacific Blue Energy Corp., a publicly traded developer of renewable energy projects, is pleased to announce that it has secured the option to purchase 807 acres of solar energy zoned land inn Gila Bend, AZ. The option to purchase is the next important step in the company’s progress as a developer of clean, affordable renewable energy.
Located only thirty miles west of downtown Phoenix, the three noncontiguous parcels comprise an ideal site for a solar energy farm. The parcels are relatively flat, have no drainage problems and are within a quarter mile of an electrical substation. The property has already been zoned for solar energy by the local municipal authority and three other solar projects are under construction in the area.
Once the land is secured, the company will seek construction permits and – once approved – begin construction of the project. Franklin also noted that with the resources and management team recently put in place, Pacific Blue Energy Corp. can proceed simultaneously with its current Sunshine Solar Farm project near Flagstaff, AZ as well as the construction of the new much larger Gila Bend solar project.
For the second time in three weeks, Duke Energy announced the financing of assets in its commercial renewable power portfolio to help fund investments in additional clean energy projects.
Duke Energy Generation (DEGS), a Duke Energy Commercial Businesses unit that owns and develops renewable power assets, has raised approximately $45 million by leveraging its ownership of the 14 MW (16 MW direct current) Blue Wing Solar Project, currently under construction in San Antonio, TX. Prudential Capital Group provided the 25-year loan.
When completed later this year, Blue Wind will consist of 214,500 ground-mounted First Solar thin-film panels, making it the largest PV project in Texas.
DEGS purchased the 139-acre project from Boulder, CO based juwi solar in the first quarter of 2010. Juwi solar is the construction contractor for the project. The acquisition came with a 30-year power purchase agreement to sell all of the output from the solar farm and associated renewable energy credits to San Antonio-based CPS Energy, one of the largest municipality-owned utilities in the U.S.
Blue Wind will be DEGS’ second commercial PV solar project. The company already owns and operates a 1 MW solar farm in Shelby, N.C., and is developing other potential solar projects across the U.S.
Yingli Green Energy Americas, Inc. has been selected to provide 15 MW of solar modules for 16 solar power systems at multiple Kaiser Permanente hospitals and office facilities across California.
Nearly 65,000 Yingli Solar multicrystalline modules are being delivered between now and mid-year 2011. The modules were chosen by the project’s designer and installer, Swinerton Renewable Energy, a San Francisco-based green building leader, as well as the plant’s owner and operator, Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco-based independent power producer. The projects will generate approximately 180 union and green jobs in California.
Florida Power & Light Company was recognized by the Southeastern Electric Exchange with its highest honor for outstanding performance in constructing the largest solar PV power plant in the U.S. – the 25 MW DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center. The special Chairman’s Award is given annually by the Exchange to the project it deems “best of the best” among all entrants in its 11 award categories.
The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center was completed months ahead of schedule and more than $22 million under budget. The facility uses more than 90,000 PV panels that turn the sun’s rays into electricity to power more than 3,000 homes.
The project created hundreds of well-paying construction jobs and will generate more than $2 million in property tax revenue for DeSoto County in its first full year of operation.
Sustainable Energy Capital Partners (SECP), a California-based developer of renewable energy projects, announced a joint venture partnership with KISCO Corporation to build large-scale solar farms in Southern California. The partnership allows for both companies to jointly develop up to five solar projects and to incorporate KISCO, with their industry-leading GETWATT thin-film PV modules, as one of the module suppliers.
The first of five solar projects has already received a 20-year power purchase agreement from Southern California Edison for the development of a 20 MW solar farm. Parsons Corporation, an international engineering, construction, technical, and management services firm, has been contracted to build the project. Construction is scheduled to take place during the second half of the year and is expected to create numerous jobs for the local community.
eSolar, Inc. and its project team member, Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc. (B&W PGG), have been selected to receive up to $10.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to design, build and test a modular, baseload molten salt power plant using concentrated solar power (CSP). B&W PGG is a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Company.
B&W PGG’s scope includes a single, full-scale modular molten salt receiver specially designed to fit with eSolar’s technology; molten salt to steam heat exchangers; and a hot/cold molten salt storage system. The program’s goal is to achieve the lowest levelized electricity cost of any utility-scale CSP plant.
The plant uses a field of mirrors to focus solar energy on a tower-mounted receiver. Molten salt is used to transfer the heat energy concentrated on the receiver to a steam generator, which produces steam used to generate electricity. Molten salt can also be stored for later use during periods when the sun’s energy is not available, allowing the plant to generate power up to 18 hours a day.
B&W PGG’s approach to the plant’s design will reduce the cost of deploying a full-scale molten salt power plant by allowing plant components to be built in a factory and shipped fully assembled to the plant site and by simplifying the plant permitting process.
The project is expected to take approximately 2 ½ years to design, build and test.
Pacific Blue Energy Corp., a publicly traded developer of renewable energy projects, will be partnering with Siliken Renewable Energy to build the Sunshine Solar Farm. Together, the companies will submit a bid to a local utility to develop a 15 MW solar farm on 154.3 acres near Flagstaff, AZ. As a leading designer and builder of some of the world’s largest PV solar farms, Siliken has made its mark as a leading manufacturer of PV modules for stand-alone and grid-connected installations for residential and commercial projects.
The Sunshine Solar Farm is located 30 miles east of Flagstaff in Coconino County. The site can support as much as 20 MW of solar electricity generation – using either a fixed tilt or a single axis tracking system, both of which have been developed by Siliken.
At an elevation of 5,300 feet, the Sunshine Solar Farm land benefits from cooler, high desert temperatures that can increase the PV efficiencies of solar panels. Soil tests show that the land is well suited to support the foundations for a solar panel racking system – with minimal costs. For every 5 MW, a solar farm requires roughly 25,000 PV panels on racks.
Mercator Gold plc is pleased to announce that it has entered into a partnership with Remote Energy Solutions, LLC, an established renewable energy developer, in relation to the Warm Springs solar power project in New Mexico, U.S. The Warm Springs project is being developed in close proximity to the Copper Flat copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project by Mercator’s subsidiary Warm Springs Renewable Energy Corporation.
The initial objective of the Warm Springs project is the construction of a 20 MW solar power plant, with permitting targeted for completion by the end of 2010 and construction targeted to commence during 2011 subject to ongoing feasibility work. Feasibility and permitting is expected to cost up to U.S. $750,000.
The estimated construction cost of a 20 MW facility is in the range of U.S. $60-80 million. It is anticipated that this capital requirement will be met by means of project-level debt and equity financing. Numerous innovative potential financing mechanisms taking advantage of available development incentives and tax schemes have been identified and are being evaluated in order to select the most advantageous solution.
Discussions have been initiated with a number of solar power plant constructors and technology providers. Both traditional flat plate PV and newer concentrating solar technologies are being evaluated.
WSREC believes that there may be potential for the expansion of the initial 20 MW facility to 80 MW capacity.
In addition to the sale of electricity, WSREC is exploring the potential for the sale of Renewable Energy Certificates, demand for which is expected to grow considerably in the U.S. as under Renewable Portfolio Standard regulations, utilities are increasingly required to generate a substantial proportion of the electricity they sell from renewable sources. The purchase of RECs allows utilities to satisfy their RPS obligations.
The Warm Springs project will be operated and financed independently of Copper Flat, and Mercator’s interest in WSREC and the Warm Springs project is unaffected by the sale of the company’s exclusive option to acquire a 100 percent interest in Copper flat to THEMAC Resources Group Ltd.
The Warm Springs project will be located, along with the Copper Flat project, in a rural area of New Mexico, and can be expected to boost local economic growth and aid economic diversification. This aligns with regional and national efforts to foster the development of renewable energy sources, and may provide additional opportunities for the Warm Springs project to qualify for federal development incentives.
Array Technologies announced that its DuraTrack™ HZ solar tracker has been selected by American Capital Energy (ACE) for use in a 20 MW DC solar PV power plant being constructed near Searchlight, NV 55 miles south of Las Vegas.
The project is the result of an agreement between ACE and NV Energy to assist NV Energy in meeting Nevada’s portfolio standard. The standard requires that 25 percent of energy be generated by renewable resources and energy efficiency and conservation programs by 2025.
Construction of the project will further help develop Nevada’s burgeoning renewable energy workforce by creating more than 120 full-time temporary jobs ranging from engineering and consulting to general labor and the electrical trades.
Array has installed over 60 MW DC utility-scale tracking systems world-wide, throughout Spain, Italy, China, Korea and the U.S.
Headquartered in Massachusetts with offices across the country, American Capital Energy Provides full-service project development and construction services for large-scale solar energy projects.
Kittitas County cleared the way for the Teanaway Solar Reserve to advance to the final step in the permitting process. The Office of Community Development Services issued a “Mitigated Declaration of Non-Significance,” finding TSR has taken sufficient steps to avoid or mitigate for any significant environmental impacts caused by the construction and operation of the project.
Howard Trott, TSR Managing Director, said, “I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the decision. It represents literally thousands of hours of work from our team of engineers and scientists, and coordination with the county and various state agencies, to develop a comprehensive plan for moving forward with a project that will provide renewable energy and jobs while permanently safeguarding the environment.”
Once constructed, TSR will be one of the largest PV solar generators in the world. The project, which is proposed at a location just outside the town of Cle Elum, Washington (90 miles east of Seattle), has earned the support of a vast majority of stakeholders at the local, county and state levels.
TSR Project Overview
Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC announced the completion and close of the agreement to finance the construction and operation of the first 3 MW of a 3.5 MW solar energy project on the William Paterson University campus in Wayne, N.J. The project, when complete, will be among the largest university solar installations in the U.S.
The construction and term financing for the project is provided in part through a $5 million, 10-year loan with New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
The project will include rooftop and parking lot solar installations and is expected to go on-line during the summer of 2010. Nautilus Solar will own and operate the solar facility under a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement, through which WPU will purchase a renewable energy source at a reduced rate without any upfront costs. The solar power system is expected to reduce WPU’s energy costs by $4.3 million over the 15-year term and will be constructed by SunDurance Energy, a leading New Jersey – based solar system installer.
SunEdison, a division of MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. announced its purchase of two ground-mount solar PV development projects in Ontario from TransAlta, Canada’s largest publicly traded generator and marketer of electricity and renewable power. This acquisition is part of SunEdison’s ongoing activities to accelerate the development of solar PV projects in Ontario.
Under the terms of the sale, SunEdison acquired more than 300 acres of land across two sites near Sandhurst, Ontario (south of Napanee). The first site will be used to develop and construct a 10-MW Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP) project. The second site will be developed for Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff program.
SunEdison will finance, build, own, operate, monitor and maintain the solar energy systems. The Ontario Power Authority will purchase the energy produced under the terms of Ontario’s RESOP and FIT programs, both enabled by Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
SunEdison will work with Hydro One, Greater Napenee officials, and the local community to begin construction on the RESOP project in early 2011. It is estimated the system will offset more than 50 million kilograms of CO2 over the initial 20 years of operation. The timing for the deployment of the FIT project will be determined at a later date.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company officially celebrated completion of its Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, the flagship project of a major new solar energy program launched by the utility.
The 2 MW Vaca-Dixon Solar Station, named after the electrical substation it neighbors, is the pilot project under a five-year plan for the utility to develop up to 250 MW of new solar PV power in the state. PG&E’s program also calls for independent developers to build up to 250 MW of additional solar PV facilities.
All projects in the combined 500-MW program will be 20 MW or less in size, which should require less time to plan and build than large solar plants that often face lengthy delays.
The Vaca-Dixon Solar Station encompasses nearly 16 acres. Leveraging the skills of state and local workers, businesses, diverse suppliers and international expertise, it took four months to physically construct.
Solon Corporation, a U.S. –based subsidiary of Germany’s Solon SE, was selected by PG&E through a competitive solicitation as the primary contractor for the project. ALB Inc., a minority-owned company working in conjunction with Operating Engineers Local Union Number 3, prepared the site for construction. Silverwood Energy, a California disabled veteran-owned business enterprise, built the facility with labor provided by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245.
The Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) hosted local and state representatives to officially open a 1.1 MW solar array near its Yankee substation in Washington Township, Montgomery County, OH. Construction of the array began in December 2009.
The state’s energy legislation calls for 25 percent of all energy consumed by Ohioans to be from alternative energy by 2025. Of that, 5 percent must be solar energy.
DP&L’s Yankee solar array consists of 9,120 solar panels constructed over 7 acres, and generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 150 homes a year. The array cost approximately $5 million to build.
DP&L’s Yankee solar facility was constructed in partnership with a number of regional companies led by Ameridian Specialty Services, Inc. of Cincinnati. Ameridian’s team included:
Fidelis Energy Inc. is pleased to report on the progress of the 5 MW Solar Energy Facility near Jaisalmer, India. The 5 MW project is part of a larger proposed 100 MW project and will be the first of its kind in India.
The Detailed Project Report and the Feasibility Study are both well underway. We have engineers both here and in India compiling the data required. The company has a planned presentation date of July 31, 2010, to present these reports to the government officials in Rajasthan. These reports are the base documents for planning and implementing the project in Rajasthan.
The team, including a number of Indian government officials, targeted the land most suited for the project. The location is perfectly suited for the project because it is located in the Thar desert. The region basks in an average of 330 days of sunshine per year and receives up to 6.2KW per hour of solar energy per square meter everyday, which is the highest in the world. The entire 960 acres are secured by deposit and being purchased from a syndicate of landowners at a cost of approximately $3.7 million. This site is approximately 5 kilometers to the nearest government substation connecting to the electrical grid system.
The company is currently in negotiations with 6 separate entities interested in additional funding for this project. Three of which are well known financial institutions looking for solar projects and the other three are very well known solar companies. Management feels that a Letter of Intent from one or more of these sources could be signed within the next 15 days. The company has already secured a $30 million financing with Swiss-based Empres Voss Capital announced early this year on January 19, 2010.
This project will be the largest Solar Energy Facility India. Phase I-A calls for the construction of 5 MW of power at a construction cost of approximately $25 million U.S. currently all of India has a total of approximately 3.2 MW of installed grid-interacitve Solar Power capacity. Just this first phase is almost twice more solar power than currently installed. It will provide enough electricity to power approximately 18,000 homes.
Day4 Energy Inc. announced it has completed the construction of two turnkey, ground-mounted PV power plants in Germany totaling over 2.5 MW.
Built for a repeat customer of Day4 Energy, the 1.8 MW Solarfarm Fischbach project in Niedereschach-Fischbach consists of 9,792 Day4 Energy 48 MC-S panels. Designed to produce enough power for over 500 households, this project will contribute to the reduction of approximately 1,170 tons of carbon-dioxide annually.
The second project recently competed was a 715 kW installation built for Kreissparkasse Rottweil, a local savings bank in Germany. Comprising 3,920 Day4 Energy 48MC-S panels, the Energiepark Zimmern will produce enough electrical power for 200 households and will yield an annual education of approximately 464 tons of carbon-dioxide.
Solar company Ingenero announced it will be developing and installing the largest flat panel solar facility in Australia at the University of Queensland (UQ). In addition to the rooftop project, Ingenero will be installing a SolFocus ground-mounted solar array, based on advanced high-efficiency Concentrator (CPV) technology. In combination, this activity will provide clean energy to the university as well as a training and research platform for assessing multiple leading-edge technologies.
The project will be deployed at the University’s St. Lucia campus in Brisbane. It is a 1.2 MW solar system installed across four rooftops. The system will incorporate over 5,000 polycrystalline silicon solar panels manufactured by Trina Solar. Befitting its soon-to-be home in the sunshine state, the large-scale solar energy system will not only provide UQ with a significant source of clean green energy but will also supply invaluable data on the positive effect that embedded solar generators can have within power distribution networks. It is the latest project in a range of renewable energy-based research projects Ingenero and UQ have closely collaborated on over the last two years. In recognition of the importance of energy-based research, Ingenero is also donating a CPV system from its equipment supplier SolFocus. This SF-1100S array is rated at 8.4kW, and will be part of a comprehensive research and training program at the University.
As part of the project, the SolFocus CPV system will serve educational purposes by providing research and teaching opportunities. Trina Solar will also contribute to UQ’s research activities by collaborating on several leading edge solar technology research projects.
This successful tender from Ingenero follows another significant milestone for the local Brisbane company who was also awarded a major solar project for the Alice Springs Airport. That 235 kW facility is the first SolFocus CPV power plant to be installed in the Southern Hemisphere and will generate up to 28 percent of the airport’s energy requirements.
Element Power announced that it has successfully secured a €18.5 million debt facility for its 3.51 MW PV solar project in Alicante, Spain.
The 17-year facility was provided by Triodos Bank following Element Power’s acquisition of the project, which commenced operations in August 2008. The project, built by Siliken Energy and comprising Siliken crystalline modules, generates clean renewable power under the Feed-in-Tariff governed by Spain’s Royal Decree 661/2007.
The project’s financing follows Element Power’s successful closing of a €71.2 million debt facility for the construction of its 49.4 MW wind farm in Lerida, Spain.
Day4 Energy Inc., a leading supplier of high performance, cost-effective solar electric solutions announced it has commenced the construction of a turnkey 1.8 MW ground-mounted PV power plant in Niedereschach-Fischbach Germany. The project is being built for a private investor group who is a repeat customer of Day4 Energy.
Day4 Energy has already completed the design, engineering works and has now begun construction of the PV power plant with the assistance of some of our leading German based channel partners. Once completed at the end of June, the plant is expected to include approximately 9800 48MC Day4 modules. Energy Park Fischbach will be built in the southwest of Germany, in the State of Baden Niedereschach-Fischbach within 8 km of the Day4 Energy offices. The energy produced at this solar plant will be sold to the local grid provider under the German FIT Law.
Cypress Semiconductor Corp CEO T.J. Rodgers declared that Cypress’s headquarters campus in San Jose, CA, will be independent from the public utility grid by the year 2015. The announcement was made as the company dedicated three new Bloom Energy fuel cell systems at the site. The Bloom Energy Servers, combined with existing rooftop solar panel installations, now supply approximately 75 percent of Cypress’s electric needs.
The three 100 kW Bloom Energy Servers installed at Cypress are expected to pay for themselves in five years, at which point they will be generating nearly “free” electricity for Cypress. The servers, about the size of an average parking space, convert air and renewable biogas into electricity via a clean electrochemical process. Each server contains thousands of Bloom’s fuel cells – flat, solid ceramic squares made from a sand-like powder – and generates enough power to meet the needs of approximately 100 average U.S. homes, or one small office building.
Solon Corporation, one of the largest crystalline silicon solar manufacturers in the U.S. and provider of turnkey solar power plants announced it secured a contract from Rivermoor Energy and Fischbach & Moore, on behalf of National Grid, a leading international energy deliver company, to supply its premium quality solar modules for a 1 MW solar PV project. National Grid’s project will provide a new “brightfield” to Haverhill, MA.
Construction on the Haverhill project has begun by solar developer Rivermoor Energy and electrical contractor, Fischbach & Moore. The project, which will be completed in the fall of 2010, is designed to generate 1,016 kW of direct current power or approximately 1,300 MWh per year. Energy production comes from 3,696 Solon ground-mounted panels on roughly five acres.
“By converting a former industrial site into a next-generation solar brightfield, National Grid is taking a leadership role in the utility industry. Rivermoor Energy and our a\partner, Fischbach & Moore, are pleased to utilize Solon solar modules in this project, which will advance clean, renewable energy in Massachusetts,” said John Tourtelotte, managing director, Rivermoor Energy.
Air Products will build a 12-acre solar farm at its corporate headquarters in Allentown, PA., capable of generating 1.5 MW of electricity. The 1.5 MW is enough to serve the energy needs of nearly half of Air Products’ administration buildings. The project is expected to begin construction this fall and be onstream in the spring of 2011.
Air Products has been supplying critical gases and materials to PV manufacturers who make solar panels for many years as part of its leadership in the electronics industry, and more recently, as been focusing on reducing PV manufacturing costs with its broad SunSource Solutions offerings.
The solar farm is made possible through investment by Air Products and a $1 million grant from Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of its 2008 Alternative Energy Funding Bill. Funding is administered by Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority.
Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc., a global leader in the development, design, engineering and construction of solar power systems for commercial, government, and utility markets in the U.S. and Europe announced that the third in a series of 1.0 MW solar power plants it designed and constructed for customers in Italy is operational and was connected to the power grid on June 30.
“San Giorgio Jonico is the third in a series of 1.0 MW Italian solar power plant projects, following the Laterza 1 and Monteparano plants, which we connected to the Italian power grid before the end of the first half of 2010,” said Dean R. Marks, chief executive officer of Premier Power. “The experience we’ve obtained from these projects has been invaluable,” he added.
Similar to the Monteparano solar power plant that was connected to the power grid on June 29, Premier Power Italy, SpA has connected the San Giorgio Jonico solar power plant to the Enel electric power grid. With a presence in 23 countries, Ente Nazionale per l’Energia eLettica, or Enel SpA, is Italy’s largest power company and provides more than 40,000 MW of generating power to serve over 32 million customers in Italy.
This project is a part of the series of solar projects being developed by Premier Power for clients in Italy. San Giorgio Jonico is a 1.0 MW power plant connected to a 20 kilovolt (kV) medium voltage Enel line.
To produce electric power at San Giorgio Jonico, 230 watt crystalline silicon (cSi) modules fabricated by Canadian Solar and 330 kW Aurora Inverters manufactured by Power One were selected. Employing Premier Power’s “leave no trace” philosophy, this project utilizes an environmentally friendly racking system attached to the ground using 1 meter (3 foot) long steel screws, ensuring minimal disruption to the land and surrounding environment.
Xcel Energy is now operating a first-of-its-kind demonstration of a hybrid solar-coal approach, using parabolic-trough solar technology integrated with a coal-fired power plant. The project, locate at Xcel Energy’s Cameo Generating Station near Grand Junction, CO, is designed to increase the plant’s efficiency, decrease the use of coal, test the commercial viability of concentrating solar power thermal integration, and lower carbon dioxide emissions. Abengoa Solar developed the parabolic-trough technology, which concentrates solar energy to provide heat for producing supplemental steam for electric power production.
Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc. announced it will build a 0.5 MW solar power plant for Mirrione Francesco Legnami SRL, a leader in the Italian timber industry, wholesaler of wood, raw construction materials, and homebuilder.
“The building of a new solar electric power plant by Mirrione Francesco Legnami is a wise decision, as it makes productive unused space available on rooftops in this region of Sicily best known for agriculture while producing clean electric power given the amount of high sun exposure,” said Dean R. Marks, Chief Executive Officer of Premier Power. “This project creates a reliable source of electricity for our customer as produced by the sun, and it expands our pipeline of Italian projects,” he added.
This project is a new addition to the series of solar projects being developed by Premier Power for clients in Italy. Located in the industrial zone in the town of Calatafimi in the province of Trapani, Sicily, this plant will have solar electric generating capacity of 0.5 MW, and build-out of the project will commence in the third quarter of 2010 This plant will feature a fully integrated installation, where in this instance, in addition to this solar system’s ability to generate power, the solar panels being installed also form a part of the roof and provide the same functionality as standard roofing materials. Given this system’s duality in function, it has been designed and enabled to receive the highest feed-in tariff.
Ellomay Capital Ltd. announced that it has entered into two additional Engineering Procurement & Construction Contracts with an Italian contractor, for the design, supply, construction, assembly and commissioning of photovoltaic plants of approximately 750 KWp each, to be located in the Marche Region in Italy, at an aggregate cost of approximately €5.6 million. Additional ancillary expenses in connection with the construction period of the EPC Project are expected to amount to approximately €0.15 million. The EPC Project is to be equipped with tracker technology and join the company’s two existing PV plants in the Marche Region that are currently under construction. The EPC Project requires the contractor to procure delivery of two fully operational PV plants, including the connection of the solar power plants to the Italian national grid, in order to sell the produced power to the Italian national energy handler (GSE). Time to connection to the national grid is estimated at approximately 150 days from first payment. Thereafter, it is intended that the contractor shall operate and maintain the EPC Project for an annual fee, with an additional bonus or penalty to be paid if the power output is above or below certain performance benchmarks. It is the company’s intention to finance the majority of the investment in connection with the EPC Project by obtaining financing from a financial institution.
Hydro’s Extrusion Americas unit has signed an agreement with Florida Power & Light to supply custom aluminum extrusions for the first hybrid solar/fossil fuel energy generating facility in the world. When it comes online in late 2010, the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center will produce 75 MW. It will be the world’s second-largest solar plant and the largest outside of California.
The Indiantown, Florida facility will employ concentrated solar power (CSP) technology to produce electricity. This process uses parabolic mirrors to capture solar heat, which produces steam that turns a generating turbine.
Hydro will produce the frames, supports, legs and connectors that will raise the 180,000 curved mirrors off the ground and allow them to track the sun throughout the day. Manufacturing plants in St. Augustine, FL and Belton, SC will supply the parts, provide fabricating and coordinate just-in-time deliveries for the frames used in the 500-acre collecting field.”
“Being in Florida was important to securing this agreement,” said Matt Dionne, Hydro’s southeast regional VP. “It means that less energy is used and fewer emissions released to transport parts to FPL’s location. It also helps focus the positive economic contribution from this project in Florida.”
The extruded aluminum frames are lightweight, yet provide enough torsional strength to withstand hurricanes. The manufacturing process allows the frames, which contain a high percentage of recycled aluminum, to be machined to precise tolerances for quick assembly.
The solar energy generation system will connect to FPL’s existing combined-cycle power plant, allowing the solar thermal capacity to directly displace fossil fuel. The plant will use less fossil fuel during daylight hours when the solar system is helping produce the steam needed to generate electricity. It will produce approximately 155,000 MWh of power annually, enough power to serve about 11,000 homes.
Pacific Energy Capital II, LLC, a non-utility subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, and SunRun Inc., the nation’s leading provider of home solar financing, announced a $100 million tax equity project financing agreement to fund SunRun’s installation of more than 3,500 new home solar installations across the nation. The investment, principally funded by PG&E Corporation shareholders through Pacific Energy Capital, creates the largest residential solar financing vehicle established to date. Under the agreement, Pacific Energy Capital will provide financing for the rooftop energy systems and both parties will receive payments from SunRun customers. SunRun will manage the projects.
SunRun offers home solar power without high upfront costs through power purchase agreements and solar leases. Through SunRun’s popular solar plans, homeowners pay as little as $0 upfront to get solar panels installed, followed by a low, monthly payment to have solar energy at home. SunRun provides complete solar maintenance, monitoring, repairs, insurance and money-back performance guarantee for all its customers, making it simple and affordable for homeowners to switch their home to clean solar electricity.
The solar systems funded under the agreement are expected to be installed in 2010 and 2011 in at least five states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. SunRun currently serves more than 4,000 customers in these five states, and is growing 500 percent year-over-year. SunRun now partners with 15 leading solar integrators that are located across the country and that collectively employ more than 2,500 solar workers.
Dow Jones & Company and SunPower Corp. announced that SunPower has been selected to install a high-efficiency solar power system totaling 4.1 MG at Dow Jones’ corporate offices in central New Jersey.
The system will include 3.5 MW of elevated solar panels above parking areas and a 522 kW rooftop installation. When completed early next year, the system will be one of the nation’s largest solar power installations operating at a corporate site, and is expected to generate the equivalent of 15 percent of current electricity needs for Dow Jones’ South Brunswick campus.
A publisher of news and business information around the globe, Dow Jones maintains a 200-acre campus on U.S. Route 1 in South Brunswick, N.J. Nearly 2,000 people work at the facility, Dow Jones’s largest.
At the site, SunPower is installing SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile, the solar industry’s first non-penetrating rooftop product that combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. Tilted at a five-degree angle, the T5 Roof Tile system approximately doubles the energy generated per square meter compared with other systems that are mounted flat onto commercial rooftops.
The system is being partially financed through PSE&G’s Solar Loan Program, through which PSE&G offers loans for solar power.
Skyline Solar, a manufacturer of High Gain Solar (HGS) arrays for commercial, industrial, government and utility markets announced he first commercial installation of its HGS 1000 system in a new municipal sola power plant in the tiny desert town of Nipton, CA. The 80 kW Nipton plant is an upgradeable solar power system that will provide roughly 85 percent of Nipton’s electricity needs – the highest percentage of solar electricity of any town in the U.S.
The HGS 1000 system brings a number of breakthrough innovations to the solar industry:
Healthcare manufacturer Thornton International, Inc. announced the completed installation of a solar panel system at their worldwide headquarters and production facility located in Norwalk, CT. Thornton’s conversion to solar power will enable the company to make its products using as much renewable energy as weather conditions permit. Thornton International paid for the project with a combination of internal corporate funds and federal grant monies the company was eligible for through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Thornton International manufactures a line of yarn-based interdental cleaning products designed for people with gum diseases and dental bridges and implants.
Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corporation and San Dieguito Union High School District announced the start of construction for a 2 MW solar project that is expected to save the district more than $10 million in energy savings over the life of the project.
The solar project is expected to produce more than 70 percent of the electricity needed at Canyon Crest Academy and La Costa Canyon High School. By reducing its purchase of utility power, it is anticipated that the district will reduce carbon emissions by more than 2,200 metric tons, equivalent to removing more than 400 cars from the road.
Chevron Energy Solutions designed the solar system and will build, operate, maintain, measure and guarantee the system’s performance for the district. The company is the largest installer of solar power in the U.S. education market and has developed hundreds of projects that improve energy efficiency and provide renewable power for education, government and business facilities. The project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the solar energy system also qualifies for more than $4 million in incentive payments.
Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc., a global leader in the development, design, engineering, and construction of solar power systems for commercial, government, and utility markets in the U.S. and Europe announced it will build 1.9 MW of solar electric generating capacity in greater Los Angeles at two locations for sportlifestyle leader PUMA North America, lessee of Brookvale International, LLC, in recognition of PUMA’s worldwide commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. The two buildings, in Carson and Torrance, are part of PUMA North America’s warehouse and distribution facilities.
Premier Power will design, engineer, and build these roof-mounted solar PV electric generating systems beginning in the third quarter and finishing in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Detroit Edison and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan have announced the signing of a 20-year agreement that will provide BCBSM and the utility’s customers with renewable energy generated from the sun.
The 200 kW, $1 million PV system will be installed on the roof of a BCBSM four-story parking structure at the corner of Congress and Beaubien in downtown Detroit. The solar array will cover 31,000 square feet of the 42,000 square-foot roof. It should be operational next spring after design and construction is completed.
The installation is part of Detroit Edison’s pilot SolarCurrents program that calls for PV systems to be installed on customer rooftops or property over the next five years to generate 15 MW of electricity throughout southeast Michigan.
Detroit Edison plans to invest more than $100 million in the program, which requires customers to participate for 20 years. The solar energy systems will be owned, installed, operated and maintained by the utility. In return, BCBSM and other customers that participate will get an annual credit on their energy bill, as well as a one-time, upfront construction payment to cover any inconvenience during installation.
Detroit Edison expects to invest nearly $2 billion in the coming years to add more than 1,200 MW of renewable energy to meet the state’s renewable energy goals. In addition to the solar installations, the company plans to acquire or build wind farms and other green energy facilities for half of that capacity, and contract with third party vendors for the rest.
Tampa Electric Company announced it has launched a pilot project evaluating “smart” solar energy systems mounted on utility and streetlight poles. The project is in collaboration with Petra Solar, a South Plainfield, N.J. based clean tech company whose trademarked SunWave™ solar PV systems not only generate solar power but also enhance Smart Grid capabilities and electric grid reliability. Both companies joined in making the announcement at the Edison Electric Institute’s Annual Convention/Expo.
Petra Solar’s SunWave systems are now installed on poles in a test facility at Tampa Electric, an investor-owned utility based in Tampa. The electric company is committed to supplementing its energy portfolio with renewable energy sources and is exploring options that are viable, cost-effective and enhance the company’s deliver of electric power to its 667,000 customers in an area of more than 2,000 square miles in West Central Florida.
This collaboration, the first step in establishing a commercial relationship, is one of several Petro Solar pilot projects underway in North America. The company is engaged with more than 40 additional utilities around the country and the world that have expressed interest in the SunWave system. Petra Solar also is currently fulfilling a $200 million contract with PSE&G, New Jersey’s largest utility company, to provide Sunwave systems for installation on 200,000 streetlight and utility poles. When completed in 2012, the project will contribute 40 MW to PSE&G’s generation capacity.
In order to evaluate the Petra Solar system, Tampa Electric installed the SunWave solar systems in its utility test yard. The panels, which weigh 55 to 65 pounds and can be installed in less than 30 minutes, were mounted to wood and concrete utility poles and aluminum streetlight poles. Tampa Electric apprentice linemen installed the solar panels.
SolarWorld is on track to supply about 1 MW of high-performance solar panels this year through a nation-leading, volunteer-driven, low-cost program that enables Oregon residents to more easily and affordably put solar power systems on their rooftops.
Under the Solarize program, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Energy Trust of Oregon, a non-profit promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy, support groups of residents as they join together to secure volume pricing for buying and installing solar power systems.
Two installation partners – Mr. Sun Solar for the Solarize resident group in Southwest Portland and Imagine Energy for Southeast Portland – each expect to install more than 400 kW of high-quality SolarWorld Sunmodules on homes. In a separate Solarize program orchestrated by the Eastern Oregon city of Pendleton, Livelight Energy expects to install more than 175 kW of Sunmodules. In all, SolarWorld’s monocrystalline PV product will provide power to about 425 homes.
In Hillsboro, located west of Portland, SolarWorld operates the largest solar technology factory in the Americas. There, the company is culminating an expansion to reach annual production capacity of 500 MW and 1,000 employees by year’s end.
SunEdison, a division of MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. announced that it will develop and build industrial and retail roof-top solar PV projects for LaSalle Investment Management, a leading global real estate investment manager based in Ontario.
Under the agreement, SunEdison will finance, build, own, operate, monitor and maintain PV solar energy systems with capacity totaling 2.1 MW. They will be hosted at LaSalle Investment Management facilities, and the Ontario Power Authority will purchase the energy produced under the terms of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Program. LaSalle Investment Management will receive lease revenue for roof-top space allocated to the projects, without any upfront capital equipment costs.
The eight rooftop PV systems will be launched starting in the late summer of 2010, with the majority of installations completed by the end of 2010. The majority of projects will be located in the Greater Toronto Area including Burlington, Toronto and Woodbridge, with additional systems located in both Lindsay and Kanata.
British Gas has unveiled an unprecedented £15 million pounds Sterling investment in solar technology for the nation’s schools.
The company will donate and install solar panels – worth between 20,000 and 40,000 pounds per school – in up to 750 schools. Each school will be able to generate its own free, green electricity, cutting as much as 20 percent off its annual electricity bill.
The energy produced by the panels is anticipated to create around 1.3 million pounds per year for the next 25 years. This will be reinvested in installing solar panels on yet more schools. This means that, in the next five years alone, British Gas could install free solar panels on a total of 1,100 schools.
The panels will also help the selected schools to meet their carbon reduction targets, reducing emissions by up to 1,400 tons per year, equivalent to taking almost 400 cars off the road.
The schools receiving solar panels will receive a British Gas smart meter, offering real time information so pupils can see the difference their solar panels are making. Specially created Generation Green lesson plans will help teachers engage their pupils in learning about renewable energy, and schools will be able to track their performance against others and share tips and advice via a specially designed website.
A dramatic surge in solar power system sales has depleted the rebate funds available from UniSource Energy Services (UES) to subsidize the installation of PV arrays at local homes and businesses.
UES customers are on track to install 500 solar power systems in 2010, exceeding the total number of systems completed over the previous seven years combined. Rebate requests received in June alone consumed nearly half of the company’s $5.2 million budget for up-front incentives in 2010.
“Interest in solar power systems has exceeded even our most optimistic projections, giving us a real boost toward achieving our renewable energy goals,” said David Hutchens, Vice President of Energy, Efficiency and Resource Planning for UniSource Energy Corporation UES’ parent company.
New requests for incentives are being placed on a waiting list until the Arizona Corporation Commission determines how the company should proceed. UES could wait until new resources are available next year, restore up-front rebates by tapping funds now preserved for performance-based incentives or raise additional resources through customer surcharges.
Increased demand for UES SunShare subsidies has been driven in part by reduced costs for solar power systems.
Tucson Electric Power, UES’s sister company, has experienced a similar surge in recent rebate applications that exhausted its 2010 funding for up-front commercial system rebates and prompted a request for lower residential incentives.
UES has asked the ACC to make $6.7 million available in 2011 for up-front incentives that would be reduced to reflect higher demand and lower PV prices. Residential customers would be eligible for rebates of $2.25 per watt –down from $3 per watt – while up-front incentives for commercial systems would be reduced from $2.50 to $2 per watt. The ACC is set to review that proposal later this year.
A surge in the popularity of solar energy systems has prompted Tucson Electric Power (TEP) to propose new, lower subsidies for residential customers who install PV arrays.
Nearly 1,100 local homeowners have reserved TEP SunShare rebates for PV systems this year, exceeding the total number of residential solar power systems completed over the previous nine years combined. Local businesses also have rushed to invest in solar power systems, draining the funds designated for up-front commercial incentives in 2010.
In response to this unprecedented demand, TEP has asked the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to reduce residential SunShare rebates from $3 to $2.25 per watt for grid-tied PV arrays. TEP has requested that the new, lower incentive level be applied to any applications received after the close of business on July 7, 2010.
“We’re hopeful that this new, lower rebate level will allow us to extend the availability of our SunShare incentives, which have been a key factor in the success of Tucson’s renewable energy marketplace,” said David Hutchens, Vice President of Energy Efficiency and Resource Planning for TEP and its parent company, UniSource Energy Corporation.
TEP proposed several alternatives for commercial customers, whose requests for up-front incentives are being placed on a waiting list until the ACC determines how to proceed. The company could wait until new resources are available next year, restore up-front rebates by tapping funds now preserved for performance-based incentives or raise additional resources through customer surcharges.
The surge in demand for TEP’s SunShare subsidies has been driven in part by reduced costs for solar power systems, Hutchens said. The prices of installed PV systems in the Tucson area have dropped to about $5 per watt from nearly $12 per watt in 2006, while TEP’s incentives have remained unchanged.
TEP’s residential customers have reserved more than $12.2 million of the $17.6 million in up-front SunShare incentives available this year for residential customers. Rebate requests from local businesses, meanwhile, have exceeded the $5 million budget for those up-front incentives.
The pace of reservations quickened after Phoenix-based utility Arizona Public Service reduced its PV incentive levels to $1.95 per watt in April, encouraging PV installers to step up their marketing efforts in Tucson.
Unirac Inc., North America’s leading manufacturer of solar PV mounting solutions, unveiled its SolarMount-I® system, an innovative new click-system mounting solution offering better value and installation ease for the residential PV market.
The SolarMount-I® solution is now available in two beam strengths, making the innovative PV mounting system applicable in most wind zones across the U.S. The SolarMount I-Series features an optimized I-beam design, demonstrating excellent strength to weight ratio while providing features that speed the installation process.
Engineered for flush mounting applications, SolarMount-I offers one of the lowest total installed cost and best value in the industry. With no drilling required and “click and secure” connections eliminating the need for nuts and bolts, SolarMount-I gets installers off the roof in nearly half the time when compared to competitive products.
Featuring an unprecedented number of attachments for tile and shingle roofs, SolarMount-I offers installation freedom and flexibility on a variety of roofing types and supports most PV modules.
Unistrut Energy Solutions division of Unistrut Canada Limited recently completed the installation of the mounting structure for a 100 kWh solar power project on the new 50,000 square foot Operations and Environmental Services building for the Town of Ajax. The selection of Ajax-based Unistrut helped the town meet the requirements of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program and certification as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building.
“This is a major solar installation and we’re pleased to be the local source for the manufacturing, engineering and installation of the mounting structure,” said Barry Catterall, national sales manager for Unistrut.
Planning was underway when the Ontario Provincial government passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act in May 2009. The town stood to benefit from the Act’s incentives for renewable energy producers. In this case, Ajax will earn 71.3 cents per kW in a guaranteed contract over a 20-year period.
Unistrut Canada has a 30,000 square foot fabrication and warehouse facility in Ajax, a design and technical services group, and 60-plus years of installation experience. Constructed of galvanized steel, the Unistrut mounting system boast superior strength, unmatched corrosion protection and flexibility. The support system designed for Ajax spans ten feet and reduces the number of penetrations to the roof. Its durable structure reduces material and labor costs.
Solar energy is coming to the valley in a whole new way for homeowners looking to save money on their electricity bills. Today, getting a solar power system for the home is just about as easy as purchasing a book on Amazon, and is more affordable than ever before. Sungevity, the Oakland-based company that’s behind the national campaign to get solar on the White House, has “virtually” arrived in Phoenix and Tucson to roll-out its one-of-a-kind online solar program.
In three easy steps, consumers can log onto Sungevity.com, receive a firm “iQuote,” see what the solar panels will look like on their roof using a mash-up of satellite and aerial imagery, sign a contract using electronic signatures and schedule an installation – all paid for with a no-money-down lease.
By using solar energy, Sungevity estimates that most homeowners can save 15 percent off their electricity bills from day one and have a new residential solar panel system on their roofs, giving owners the satisfaction of using clean energy technology. Sungevity pioneered the ability to accurately engineer and design a solar system for the home without making a site visit. The Sungevity approach uses satellite and aerial photos to size and design the solar system within 24 hours. Solar consultants from Sungevity are available to speak to potential customers 8:00a.m.-8:00p.m., seven days a week on freephone 866.SUN4ALL. Finally, local Sungevity partners then perform the installation.
Sungevity processes all the paperwork and takes all the hassle out of going solar, with an operating lease that includes a performance guarantee for the system plus complete maintenance including cleaning and insurance. In the Phoenix area leases will be for the shortest duration in the industry, which is a ten-year term; and in Tucson, they are 20 years to match the rebate program there. Moreover, Sungevity will soon be offering it’s hassle-free iQuote service online in a Spanish-language format designed to meet the needs of Hispanic homeowners in the Valley.
TrendSetter® Solar Products, Inc. announced the company has its reorganization which has positioned the company for expanded operations and financial opportunities.
Norman Ehrlich, Trendsetter’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, said that “with the completion of the reorganization the company has initiated an extensive marketing campaign to reflect the compelling economics of solar water hearing. Rebates have been added through the California Solar Initiative – thermal program. We have positioned the company over many years of experience as a significant supplier of SRCC (Solar Rating Certificate Corporation) approved solar thermal equipment. The California Solar initiative is funded through utility customer surcharges and is not subject to the California budget cuts. For those installing Trendsetter’s solar thermal hot water heater systems, the payback is now in the ranges of five years, compared to solar PV which has a payback of 15 plus years.”
NJR Clean Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources announced an agreement with Adler Development of Edison, NJ to lease space atop four, fully occupied buildings in central New Jersey for rooftop solar systems. The $17 million project, developed with United Solar’s technical expertise, will be capable of generating 3.9 MW of clean, renewable energy and offer lower costs to tenants while helping to reduce the facilities’ carbon footprint.
Adler, a New Jersey family-owned and operated development company specializing in warehouse and flex space, will lease over 900,000 square feet of roof space to NJRCEV for a period of 20 years, helping reduce its facilities’ carbon emissions by 3,200 tons per year. Tenants of the buildings will be offered a Power Purchase Agreement from NJRCEV that is lower than their current utility rates.
United Solar is a leading global manufacturer of UNI-SOLAR® bran light-weight, thin-film, low-impact and low-profile solar modules and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices. The building specific, roof-friendly project was developed using United Solar’s operational knowledge and technical proficiency as well as its thin-film technology.
Investments made by NJRCEV will quality for a 30 percent federal investment tax credit. In addition, the energy produced will be eligible for Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, which can be sold to Load Serving Entities in New Jersey to meet their renewable energy requirements. Additional return on investment will be provided by the Power Purchase Agreement payments from tenants.
It is estimated that up to 65 construction jobs will be created as a result of this project. The systems atop the four buildings are expected to be completed and in operation in September and October 2010.
One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), the nation’s largest solar group discount company, announced the launch of its first South New Jersey campaign, offering homeowners an easy and affordable way to buy solar power. 1BOG selected Freehold, New Jersey-based Trinity Solar as campaign partner to provide solar to 1BOG members, offering installations with an average payback time of four years.
Homeowners throughout South Jersey can now join the 1BOG community to be eligible for the group discount rate on solar panels, which reduces installation costs by around 15 percent. Each 1BOG member is assigned a personal advisor who manages the process of going solar from beginning to end at no cost, eliminating the work and coordination a homeowner used to have to do in order to go solar. 1BOG members also have access to industry-leading tools and educational materials to help them decide whether solar is right for their homes.
“Arguably, New Jersey is the best place in the U.S. for homeowners to go solar. The combination of 1BOG’s group discount, the state’s special SREC program and Trinity’s financing options make solar affordable upfront and an incredible return on investment,” said Dave Llorens, CEO 1BOG. “We are thrilled to partner with Trinity, New Jersey’s largest solar installer, to service the 1BOG community with top notch products, installation practices and warranties.”
1BOG also announced the launch of Philadelphia’s first solar group purchase program. Designed to reduce the cost and confusion typically associated with buying solar, 1BOG offers free impartial advice and a group discount rate for installation. Mercury Solar Systems was selected as 1BOG’s program partner and will service all member installations for the duration of the three-month program.
After a month-long process of vetting local installers, 1BOG selected Mercury Solar Systems for their excellent group pricing, knowledge and proven success in the local marketplace, extensive product offering, and its long-term warranties. Through the partnership, each Philadelphia-area homeowner can receive a 15 percent discount from standard rates and is eligible for zero down, interest-free financing for 18 months, at no additional cost.
Additionally 1BOG announced the launch of a new solar group purchase program in the Denver area. The program offers Denver homeowners a solution that reduces the cost and confusion traditionally associated with the solar buying process.
After an intensive selection process, 1BOG has selected REC Solar as partner to conduct the group’s solar system installations. Homeowners who join the 1BOG community are eligible for online and offline support, information and fixed discounted pricing. With zero down financing options, homeowners can install systems for free and save money from day one.
After a month-long process of vetting local installers, 1BOG selected REC for their excellent group pricing, proven record of successful installations nationwide, premium products and long-term warranties.
The 1BOG Denver solar program is available now to local homeowners from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs including the cities surrounding the Denver area through October 14, 2010.
1BOG announced the launch of the first Long Island solar group purchase campaign to make it easy and affordable for Long Island homeowners to go solar. 1BOG selected Mercury Solar Systems as campaign partner to service all members’ installations, offering a 15 percent discount from standard rates for an average payback time of less than five years. In addition, homeowners who join the group are eligible for zero down, interest-free financing for 18 months, at no additional cost.
After a month-long process of vetting local installers, 1BOG selected Mercury Solar Systems for their excellent group pricing; proven experience and history of successful solar energy installations throughout New York metropolitan area; extensive product offering; and its long-term warranties.
Solar Energy Systems, LLC (SES), Greenpoint Energy Partners, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) partnered with Broadway Stages, one of New York’s premier sound stage facilities, on a solar energy system that will reduce the film stage’s energy costs by more than $70,000 annually.
The solar PV system, designed, engineered, and installed by SES is projected to produce 32 percent of Broadway Stages power needs annually. This is equivalent to the power used by 120 single-family homes each year. Greenpoint Energy Partners, LLC is the project developer, and will arrange financing for the project. Broadway Stages, the site for production of feature films, television series, commercials and music videos, received nearly $900,000 in financial incentives from NYSERDA for this project.
Educational Testing Service (ETS) and SunPower Corp. announced the installation of solar power systems totaling 1.8 MW on three ETS office buildings in Ewing and Princeton, N.J.
ETS expects that the 1.8 MW installation will generate the equivalent of 10 percent of current electricity demand at the sites, delivering $1.5 million in cost savings over the next 20 years.
SunPower installed SunPower T5 Solar Rooftop systems on the roofs of ETS’s Lord and Messick halls in Princeton and Z Building in Ewing. The T5 Solar Roof Tile is the solar industry’s first non-penetrating rooftop product that combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system in to a single pre-engineered unit. Tilted at a five-degree angle, the T5 Roof Tile system approximately doubles the energy generated per square meter compared to other systems that are mounted flat onto commercial rooftops.
ETS financed the systems through a power purchase agreement with SunPower. Under the agreement, Wells Fargo owns the systems that SunPower designed, built, operates and maintains. ETS is hosting the systems and buying the electricity at prices below retail rates, providing not-for-profit ETS with a long-term hedge against rising power prices with no initial capital investment. ETS does not own the solar renewable energy credit or environmental benefits associated with the systems.
Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation announced that it will design and install a turn-key Solar PV System at the Albuquerque, NM Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System. The scope of the $20 million contract includes designing and installing a 3.2 MW PV system throughout the site, including car port and roof-mounted arrays, as well as implementing a building-integrated system to help reduce demand from the local utility grid. This will be the largest PV system in New Mexico.
“Eaton is now fully engaged in the sustainable energy market,” said Paul Cody, vice president and general manager, Electrical Service and Systems Division, Eaton Corporation. “This major project will combine our expertise in electrical components and power distribution with comprehensive solar power system design and installation.”
Eaton offers a spectrum of solutions designed to reduce energy consumption and leave a smaller footprint on the environment. By managing solar power through turn-key services and support, electrical balance of systems solutions and hydraulic positioning systems, Eaton provides strategic coordination of all the electrical equipment, design and installation services required to install a functioning solar power system.
This contract is one of several recent agreements that Eaton has reached with government organizations, including $8 million in electrical products and services for the San Antonio Military Medical Center on the fort Sam Houston Army base in Texas, supplying hybrid electric power systems for 35 fuel-efficient shuttle buses purchased by the U.S. General Services Administration for use on U.S. military bases and providing energy conservation at the U.S. Postal Service Eastern Facilities Service Office at postal facilities, NC, OH, PA and SC.
Albertsons a SuperValu Inc. company, and SunEdison, North America’s largest solar energy services provider and a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials announced the activation of rooftop solar power systems at three Albertsons grocery stores in Carlsbad, Oceanside and Alpine, CA. The solar installations were constructed by channel partner REC Solar.
SunEdison financed the solar power plants and will monitor and maintain the systems that will produce more than 12 million kWh of energy over the next 20 years.
Under the Solar Power Purchase Agreement with SunEdison, SuperValu will purchase the energy produced to offset their demand from the grid for 20 years. The solar power plants are the first activated between SuperValu and SunEdison. SunEdison worked closely with channel partner REC Solar, which has completed more than 35 commercial solar systems for national and local retailers, totaling 16 MW in the past 24 months.
Lennar Corporation, one of the leading U.S. builders of quality homes announced that the company is the first high-production homebuilder in the U.S. to successfully launch a solar lease program that virtually eliminates up-front costs and provides homeowners with below-market energy rates.
In partnership with SunPower Corporation, Lennar introduced the innovative leasing program last year with sales of energy-efficient Lennar homes in California. Under the program, called SunPower Access, Lennar homeowners lease a high-efficiency solar system that generates most of a home’s electricity at a cost below current utility rates for the average homeowner. As utility rates increase, so will savings – providing homeowners a hedge against soaring energy costs.
REC Solar, Inc. and Tigo Energy™ jointly announced that the two companies have reached a development agreement to offer the Tigo Energy Maximizer® Solution as part of REC Solar’s commercial and residential installations throughout the U.S.
REC Solar is one of the leading solar electric providers in the U.S., and Tigo Energy has developed a technology that increase power output efficiency, management and control in solar PV installations.
The Tigo Energy Maximizer solution creates smart modules that provide as much as 20 percent more energy production, active management capabilities and enhanced safety for utility, commercial and residential solar arrays.
REC Solar began offering Tigo’s Maximizer with its San Francisco Bay Area installations in February and has since extended this availability to its Los Angeles, San Diego and Colorado operations. REC Solar will further expand Maximizer availability this summer to all its territories in the U.S.
PV Trackers Inc. (PVT) announced that construction is ahead of schedule and under-budget on power plants consisting of 163 PVT 6.0DX dual-axis trackers on three sites in Northern California. “The PV Trackers team has designed a product that is an extremely cost-effective solution to maximize solar energy collection. The use of pier anchor foundations and easy-to-assemble components make installations a breeze,” says Butterfield Electric Inc. CEO Rick Butterfield, the project’s contractor.
The school district project will generate over 1,600 MW hours of electricity per year, beginning in the 2010 fall term. The environmentally friendly trackers will maximize the solar energy collected, allowing the school district to save money on panels. The rolling topography of the site, along the banks of a seasonal streambed, looks virtually untouched with native grasses still intact, and the pier anchor caps are barely visible. The tracker structures are assembled on site and lifted onto the foundation caps, secured by bolts. PV Trackers’ dual-axis tracker is the only tracker on the market that requires no concrete, welding or sheet metal screws.
Envision Solar International Inc., a leading solar planner, architect and inventor designing and deploying clean energy systems globally, announced the world’s first solar parking array with fully integrated and sun tracking ability through its EnvisionTrak™ technology.
Envision Solar’s Solar Tree® with EnvisionTrak™ is a parking lot solar array to incorporate solar tracking into the primary structure of its canopy. The dual-axis tracking Solar Tree has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.
By tracking the movement of the sun throughout the day, a Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak can produce a significant increase in energy output over traditional static solar arrays, which generate maximum output only when the sun is at its peak, generally between noon and 3 p.m.
EnvisionTrak’s first installation is part of an Axion Power Cube™ installation project, with funding recently approved by the state of Pennsylvania’s Solar Energy Program, which will analyze the amount of solar energy that can be generated by Envision’s solar Trees and then stored in Axion Power’s lead carbon PbC™ batteries. A Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak will deliver solar energy during the day with its output compared to that of an adjacent fixed Solar Tree. The energy will then be released to demonstrate how it can be delivered back to the grid during peak usage times.
1BOG, the nation’s largest group discount program for solar energy has announced the launch of a new Los Angeles solar campaign to offer local homeowners an easy and affordable way to go solar.
Now, homeowners throughout the greater LA area, including Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County and the Inland Empire, can take advantage of 1BOG’s 15 percent group discount on home solar panel installation. In addition, homeowners can receive impartial phone and online step-by-step support, educational tools, webinars and advocacy to guide them through the entire solar buying process.
1BOG has selected two installation companies to service the campaign communities: HelioPower and REC Solar. Both companies were selected for their excellent track records, top-quality installations and reliable warranties.
A new solar farm will soon enable Knox County officials to harvest sunshine to meet the hot water demands at the county’s 1,036-bed detention facility. Officials anticipate that the new solar thermal system, one of the nation’s largest for domestic hot water according to FLS Energy – the solar company with which Trane worked on the project – will save $60,000 a year in natural gas expenses and reduce CO2 emissions by 174 tons annually.
The solar hot water installation features 300 solar collectors and produces and stores nearly 14,000 gallons of hot water a day for domestic use. Funding for the $1.88 million solar farm was provided through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.
Soliant Energy, a leader in concentrated PV solar energy systems for commercial rooftops announced that the SE-500X, its flagship product has officially received the highly-esteemed UL Listing from Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Additionally, the SE-500X is the first product certified under the SU 8703 UL draft standard, a new comprehensive code defined specifically to test safety parameters of CPV products.
Traditional ground mount solar systems do not typically require the same safety measures as a rooftop system on an occupied building. Commercial rooftop products for CPV must comply to UL safety standards so that occupants are assured of their safety, and to comply with local building and city planning codes.
“The full commercial potential of rooftop CPV will only be reached when customers can install systems with the peace-of-mind that all safety standards have been met or exceeded. This new UL standard, SU 8703, ensures that rigorous safety standards have been met and is a critical enabler to the accelerated growth of our industry,” said Terry Bailey, chief executive of Soliant Energy, Inc.
Tests fall under three general categories: electrical safety, mechanical safety and fire safety. During the testing process, Soliant worked closely with UL to define a fire test method for CPV products to be used on commercial rooftops. The Soliant SE-500X is now fire rated for installation on a class C or better roof; class C is generally the lowest quality roof allowable by code.
OFM, one of the nation’s leading office and school furniture manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers, announced it has completed the first phase of its solar farm initiative. All of the brackets have been mounted on the roof of the company’s headquarters in Holly Springs, N.C. and the next phase will be installing the actual solar panels.
“Once the project is finished we’ll be completely carbon neutral and not a lot of companies can say that,” said Abel Zalcberg, co-founder and CEO of OFM. “This effort puts OFM one step closer to reaching many of our corporate social responsibility goals including becoming a greener company.”
In April of this year, OFM announced it was financing the installation of a 250-kW solar PV system made up of 1,042 solar panels on the roof of its main building in North Carolina. The 322,500 kW of energy generated each year through the solar farm system will be sold for 18 cents per kWh to Progress Energy, a Raleigh-based power company.
Zalcberg said the first phase of the project just completed where the mounting brackets were fitted on the roof and crews are working on the next phase, which will be installing the solar panels. Meanwhile, hired contractors and engineers are also working on interior wire installation that will enable OFM to collect the energy it produces. In addition, OFM is changing all of its interior warehouse lighting to be greener by using more efficient bulbs using less wattage.
OFM’s solar farm is part of Progress Energy’s SunSense Commercial Solar PV Program, a new initiative inspired by the North Carolina General Assembly, which mandates Progress Energy attain 12 percent of its power from renewable resources.
SunEdison, a division of MEMC Electronic Materials, announced its plans to produce racking equipment for its Canadian solar projects with Samco Solar, A Division of Samco Machinery Ltd., a Scarborough, Ontario based equipment and part manufacturer strongly focused on automotive.
Expected to directly and indirectly result in more than 100 green jobs in the province, this investment supports SunEdison’s continuing activities to accelerate the completion of solar PV projects in Ontario.
Since 2008, Samco has experienced a 63 percent decline in their automotive sales, traditionally an area of strength for the company, which resulted in a 37 percent decline in their workforce. This new contract with SunEdison will create a 25 percent increase in Samco’s labor force, generating force, generating 15 to 18 permanent and highly skilled jobs. The balance of the new jobs will stem from the build out of SunEdison’s commercial rooftop projects.
Retooling of the Samco plant has already begun. Using SunEdison’s proprietary design, which has been deployed globally on over 300 rooftops, the first solar racking is expected to come off the line in September 2010. SunEdison also foresees exporting the solar racking equipment to the U.S. market.
Eugene, OR based Grape Solar, Inc., a leading solar PV module solutions provider, announced it is selling one to 10 kW microFIT solar energy kits directly to Ontario, Canada residents to enable them to quickly and easily benefit from the Ontario Power authority microFIT program. The program is believed to provide the highest payment per kW of electricity generated from solar energy by any government in the world.
A streamlined initiative under the umbrella of the Feed-in Tariff Program, the microFIT program pays Ontario residents 80.2 cents per kWh generated by solar panels, guaranteed for 25 years. This rate applies to systems that are 10 kW or less.
Grape Solar sold its first microFIT system to Karl Chittka, a farmer in Dundalk, Ontario. Located 100 miles northwest of Toronto, Chittka’s farm now boasts the first 10 kW microFIT solar energy system in the region.
“I farm hay and grain,” Chittka stated. “But now, I’ve begun farming the sun instead of the land.”
Consumers can purchase the panels and inverters directly from Grape Solar or its dealer network. Buyers can fabricate (or purchase) and construct the racks themselves, and hire an electrician to connect the system to the grid. Or, they can request a complete installation by an approved Grape Solar installer in Ontario.
Chittka said his research revealed that other systems available in Ontario sell for $70K-$75K, and as high as $102K, if you include a tracking system. Many of these companies require consumers to purchase the entire system, including the racks, and require that they, the companies, perform the installation.
During the first six weeks Chittka’s system operated, it generated $1,600 in revenue. He expects his investment to be fully paid back within five to six years.
A 10 kW system is projected to provide income during the 20-year contract with the OPA of between $230,000 and $250,000 (or more depending on sun conditions).
PV Trackers, Inc. reported that energy production from a PV Trackers solar power system at Venida Packing, located in Visalia, CA exceeded the customer’s expectations and eliminated Venida’s entire utility bill. PV Trackers, Inc. recently completed a review of Venida’s system, which was installed in the third quarter 2009 and has been in operation continuously for over six months. Chris Tantau, Venida’s operations manager, could not be happier with his 114 tracker, 622 kW dual-axis solar power plant. “We chose the PV Tracker system because of its high quality construction, advanced design, and low cost to operate and maintain,” Tantau said. ‘We also liked that the trackers are designed and manufactured in the U.S.” PV Trackers CEO, Bill Taylor, added, “The dual-axis tracking design was a cost effective solution because the PV system needed fewer panels, inverters and wires to meet Venida’s power generation requirements.”
PV Trackers (PVT) can typically produce the same power as a fixed-tilt rack with 28 percent fewer panels, dramatically reducing up-front system costs. And the PVT dual-axis tracking system often out-produces estimates. When an installed capacity is targeted, PV Trackers will out-perform a fixed-tilt rack by 30-45 percent and a single-axis tracker of 15-20 percent (details provided upon request).
Venida Packing is a packing and cold storage operation for California treefruit, pomegranates, persimmons and kiwifruit. The solar net metering program combats their high peak season power pricing and lowers demand charges. Since the installation has been completed, Venida Packing has seen their image boosted with customers who appreciate their effort in maintaining “green” practices.
The Morris County Improvement Authority of New Jersey along with solar energy provider Tioga Energy and installation contractor SunDurance Energy recently celebrated the start of construction on a 1.57 MW solar project at the William G. Mennen Sports Arena. The kickoff event heralds the initiation of the county’s 3.2 MW renewable energy program pilot; which encompasses 19 local facilities and is being financed through a landmark public-private solar development model referred to as the “Morris Model.” Construction is starting just six months after the county announced their plans in January 2010.
The event ceremonially unveiled the first of the 14,000 solar panels to be installed at 19 schools and county government buildings throughout the county. When completed, the total project will result in an energy savings of more than $3.8 million. The Mennen Sports Arena solar system – which comprises installations on all three ice rink rooftops plus elevated solar structures covering more than 500 parking spaces – will produce 30 percent of the facility’s electricity.
Eliosolar officially have introduced a new line of Solar Thermal Shade products: Eliosolar Thermal shade Module Elements (ETME).
Made of recyclable aluminum, ETME contain an integrated invisible thermal solar collector and come in four sizes with standard steel wall anchors and posts in a contemporary industrial design style.
Available as off-the-shelf items for easy ordering and rapid installation, ETME can be assembled into Thermal Shade Structures (Sunshades, Façade Sun Shields, Canopies, Trellis, Patio cover, Carport, Walkways…) and installed on new constructions or retrofits.
Combining the benefits of passive and active solar concepts, Thermal Shade Structures protect building and occupants from solar heat with shade, reducing indoor temperature and a/c consumption while capturing the sun’s energy to generate free solar hot water for the building needs: domestic or commercial consumption, pool heating or radiant heating.
A perfect alternative to unsightly rooftop solar collectors, Thermal Shade Structures can also be manufactured to architect’s design specifications to fit seamlessly with the architecture of a building.
Envison Solar International, Inc., a leading solar planner, architect and inventor of clean energy systems, announced its newest solar innovation, the LifeVillage™, which offers rapid and widespread deployment of safe, system-built, solar-integrated buildings that provide shelter and clean energy in times of crises.
Using the most cutting-edge and efficient solar PV panels, Envision Solar’s LifeVillage offers clean energy and durable steel-framed buildings where traditional electrical power power generation and the associated transmission and distribution infrastructure cannot go. At 3,500 square feet of habitable area, the LifeVillage has the unique potential to provide a solar powered clinic and/or schoolhouse, residences, purified water, refrigeration and modern communications facilities.
The LifeVillage can also be tailored to an extensive array of applications, depending upon the situation and need. At up to 50kW of generation capacity, the LifeVillage can provide electricity to the surrounding community, offering power for such needs as charging cell phones, solar lanterns, and batteries for hundreds of families.
Integrated with large battery systems, the LifeVillage provides clean and reliable power at any hour of the day or night which is especially beneficial in times of crisis. These solar integrated buildings can be rapidly installed on site in just a few days by unskilled workers.
In an effort to build the best possible product that could be shipped to remote locations, Envision Solar partnered with Nuconsteel to frame each LifeVillage using light gauge steel. Envision Solar’s partnership with Nuconsteel includes access to the Mobile Framing Solution, roll former and light gauge steel technology, all of which offer a distinct and easily-deployable feature for the LifeVillage product.
By assembling the LifeVillage onsite, Envision Solar can cut down on the need for a manufacturing plant, costs, time, and labor significantly. Fabricating onsite also considerably reduces costs associated with shipping, and allows commoditized steel to be sourced in-country, if available.
Carmanah Technologies Corp. has been awarded a $1.5 million (CAD) contract by the Town of Markham, Ontario to supply, install, and commission a 250 kW solar PV grid-tie system. The system will be installed on the town’s newly re-located Emergency Operation Center.
The project is being funded by a combination of Markham’s own capital budget money and infrastructure stimulus funds provided through a funding partnership with the governments of Canada and Ontario. Once operational, the new solar PV grid-tie system will generate revenue through the contracted sale of energy from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) under the FIT program at a rate of $0.713/kWh. From the annual revenue received by the system under the OPA FIT contract, Markham will pay down its capital budget investment portion within the first five years of operation, the remaining 15 years of the contract revenues are proposed to be reinvested in future Markham energy projects. In concert with the revenue generation, the new system will also support Markham’s long-standing commitment to renewable energies and sustainable technology.
In selecting a solar grid-tie provider for the project, Carmanah Technologies was chosen over four competing candidates. Markham’s Manager of Climate Change and Energy and bid evaluation team member, Graham Seaman, comments that the decision to choose Carmanah Technologies was based on the company’s experience and success in similar commercial rooftop solar grid-tie system installations. “Carmanah earned their selection by scoring more points than its competitors making it the highest ranked proponent. Based on their past experience in similar projects and by having a more qualified design and project management team than the other bidders, the choice was clear,” said Seaman. Markham believes that implementing a large-scale solar project such as this will help to demonstrate its leadership in renewable energy generation and serve to increase its profile in the renewable energies field. Markham is already home to the head offices for high-tech giants Avaya, IBM, Motorola, Toshiba, Lucent, Sun Microsystems, Apple and AMEX.
FreeCleanSolar, Inc. announced the launch of SolarPanelsOnline.org, the renewable energy super store where you can shop for everything solar to make your own green power. Consumers, home and business owners can find all the top brands, compare solar prices, buy online and find solar installation professionals at one easy-to-use web site.
“Today’s solar panels are affordable and cost less than power from your local utility,” said Richard Goebel, CEO and Founder of FreeCleanSoalr. “At SolarPanelOnline.org you can shop and learn on your own terms, so you can save money with an unbiased, hassle-free and trusted source,” continued Goebel.
Whether you need a solar home kit or a pallet of solar panels, a solar-powered attic fan or solar yard lights, SolarPanelsOnline.org has big selection, low prices, expert help and the latest rebate information.
REC successfully won the 1 MW tender to supply PV panels for residential rooftop installations for HDB homes in 6 precincts against 13 other companies. This is currently the largest single solar panel procurement agreement Singapore has ever completed and will translate into PV panel installations for about 25 housing blocks covering 1.5 times the size of a football field. CEO of HDB, Tay Kim Poh stated “as the public housing agency for Singapore with a stock of over 9,000 residential blocks, HDB has a key role to play in supporting Singapore’s commitment to sustainable development. This is a huge step forward in our sustainable development efforts. HDB will continue to look into more ways to improve the living environment for residents through innovations and the optimization of environmental targets.” This is part of HDB’s solar capability building program which aims to build up expertise in solar energy generation, to achieve proficiency in design and installation, as well as cost-effectiveness and enhanced maintainability.
Installation of the REC Peak Energy Series modules will begin in the fourth quarter of 2010. “REC is honored to be selected as a supplier for HDB. This is a strong recognition of the commitment and the quality of the work of our organization in Singapore,” said John Andersen Jr., EVP and Group COO, REC.
As excitement mounts over the ongoing World Cup in Johannesburg, more than 2,000 residents formerly without access to electricity can plug into the soccer competition at 36 solar-operated television viewing points that SolarWolrd has installed in remote African villages.
The solar manufacturer’s Sun-TV project enables more fans in Swaziland, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa to participate in the mega-event taking place on their own continent. Long term, the stations also can present education media – for instance, information about HIV.
“Our Sun-TV viewing points show what you can do with solar technology,” says Frank H. Asbeck, chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. “For many people in Africa, it is the first real opportunity to participate. For us in the industrialized world, clean solar energy from our own roofs will be a natural part of our overall energy supply in the future.”
The solar-operated facilities are located in village squares or integrated into facilities such as community centers or churches. SolarWorld’s high-performance solar panels power the viewing points, which are equipped with DVD players. Each can receive sports, children’s and educational programs via satellite.
RLG Properties, Inc. recently introduced “The Mews in Atwater Village,” the first “small lot” development offering solar energy as a standard feature on all homes.
In December 2004, the City of Los Angeles adopted the Small Lot Ordinance, changing the zoning codes to allow the construction of these new small lot single family homes.
Each home comes with an integrated solar-energy system capable of generating one kW per hour of electricity, according to Jerry Hoffman, director sales for The Mews who pointed out that homeowners also have the option to upgrade to generate three kilowatts of electricity per hour.
Based on current increased rates from the LA Department of Water and Power, for every kW of electricity used per hour, the average charge is eighteen cents. The solar is expected to save 25-50 percent annually in electric costs.
All Mews homes are three bedrooms and two and a half baths with open floor plans and contemporary style with pricing less per square foot than the average standard neighborhood home sale.
This year, Oncor has nearly doubled incentives for residential systems and expanded customer eligibility to include businesses, organizations and public facilities for its 2010 Solar Water Heating Program.
Oncor’ Solar Water Heating (SWH) Program offers cash incentives for the purchase and installation of qualifying solar water heating systems. Oncor expects its customers to install about 1,000 new solar systems over the next three years through this $1.6 million incentive program. This program is funded out of Oncor’s $100 million commitment funds. Only properties served by Oncor are eligible.
A SWH system uses the sun’s energy to heat water for dishwashing, laundry, showers, food services, agricultural applications and industrial processes. While a SWH system cannot replace an electric water heater, it will drastically reduce the electricity consumed for hot water needs; typically by 40 to 85 percent. The sun’s energy is free and can cut a building’s electricity consumption in an environmentally friendly way.
New, professionally installed residential SWH systems typically cost between $4,000 and $8,000, based on the type of system installed. Oncor’s incentive reduces an installed system’s costs by roughly $1,400 to $2,700, depending on the system’s predicted energy performance.
Prices for commercial SWH systems vary. Oncor’s incentive can reduce a commercial system’s costs by up to $1,500 for smaller systems and up to $6,500 for larger systems, depending on the system’s predicted performance.
Illustrating its responsiveness to increasing consumer demand for renewable energy systems, at the Intersolar 2010 Conference, Boots on the roof will unveil its latest education and training innovation: three new Master Certificates in Renewable Energy programs. Training for each Master Certificate will be delivered via a first-of-its-kind accelerated program model, uniquely designed to provide instruction, hands-on experience, and post-certification assistance in putting graduates’ new skills to work.
When Boots on the Roof started offering course on the three major renewable energy technologies (solar PV, solar thermal, and wind) it was assumed that students would enroll only in the technologies that matched their experience. Plumbers & HVAC worker seemed like a natural fit for solar thermal training, while grid-connected systems like Solar PV and Wind made sense for people with electrical skills. It rapidly became apparent, however, that many people wanted to gain skills in multiple technologies in order to broaden their areas of specialization. Doing so would allow them to offer practical expertise in several renewable energy system types, and to tailor their services to meet each individual customer’s unique needs.
Boots on the Roof picked up on this desire immediately and, almost as quickly, three new Master Certificates were born:
According to Chuck Rames, program director at Boots on the Roof, “All the courses within the Master Certificate programs are successful stand-alone classes at Boots on the Roof, and will continue to be offered as such. Combining them into three seamless certification tracks was challenging from an operations and logistics standpoint, but we succeeded, and we are confident that each program track will prepare our Master Certificate graduates to make an immediate contribution to the renewable energy industry and its customers.”
STR Holdings, Inc. announced that the 1.0 GW expansion of its Malaysia plant has become operational to meet the growing global market demand for its industry-leading PhotoCap® solar encapsulant materials. Total production capacity at the Malaysia facility has now been doubled to 2.0 GW, bringing the company’s global installed capacity to 6.35 GW.
“Increasing the production capacity at our Malaysia facility is an important part of our strategic effort to grow our business in Asia and further our ‘One plus China’ growth strategy.” Said Dennis L. Jilot, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of STR Holdings, “We continue to experience strong growth in Asia; and our capacity expansion will aid in increasing our market share in this region, both with existing and new customers.”
The company also reports that it has place orders for an additional 1.0 GW of production capacity to be installed during the third quarter of 2011, bringing the total installed capacity in Malaysia to 3.0 GW. The company previously announced a building expansion to double the size of its existing production and warehouse space in Malaysia, providing floor space for total capacity of up to 4.0 GW. It is scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, a leading solar energy company and one of the world’s largest vertically integrated PV manufacturers, which holds the brand “Yingli Solar,” announced the initial production of its latest 400 MW capacity expansions. The new solar PV manufacturing lines include a 300 MW Panda monocrystalline silicon based production capacity at the company’s Baoding headquarters, and a 100 MW multicrystalline silicon based production capacity in Haikou, Hainan Province.
Suniva, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules announced that it has expanded its manufacturing capacity to 170 MW from 96 MW by adding a third cell line at its metro-Atlanta plant. The new solar cell manufacturing line is now in production and will help the company meet continually increasing worldwide demand for its product. Suniva has also experienced its workforce recently, creating more clean energy jobs in the U.S.
Suniva completed its first 32 MW manufacturing line in November 2008 and simultaneously announced an additional 64 MW line that was completed in 2009. With its expanding, diverse and skilled workforce, Suniva is producing world-class technology and generating record-setting screen printed solar cell efficiencies both in the lab and in manufacturing. The company’s cell production is sold out through 2010.
Solarfun Power Holdings co., Ltd, a vertically integrated manufacturer of silicon ingots, wafers and PV cells and modules in China announced its plan to increase its cell capacity by 50 MW through the enhancement of its manufacturing processes, and to convert 160 MW of its existing cell lines to high-efficiency selective emitter technology, both to be completed in the early first quarter of 2011.
Dr. Peter Xie, President of Solarfun, commented, “We experienced robust demand from customers in the first half of 2010, and customer demand in the second half of 2010 turned out to be much stronger than what we had anticipated. We are largely sold out of existing capacity for the remainder of 2010. Our continued ramp-up in capacity is driven by increased visibility of demand from our key customers in the first half of 2011 and we want to be prepared to meet this additional demand.” Dr. Xie also noted, “The introduction of high-efficiency cell technology is a culmination of increased focus and aggressive investment in R&D, leading to a significant gain in cell efficiencies which are critical to reducing our costs and maintaining our competitive position.”
The company’s cell capacity is expected to reach 550 MW by the early first quarter of 2011. The addition of 50 MW incremental capacity will be achieved through debottlenecking and the enhancement of manufacturing processes without the purchase of any new cell lines.
Also by the early first quarter of 2011, the company plans to finish converting 160 MW of its existing cell capacity to high efficiency cell capacity through the introduction of selective emitter technology. The company’s approach is expected to realize efficiency targets exceeding 18.5 percent and 17.0 percent for monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells, respectively. According to Dr. Mohan Narayanan, Vice President of Technology, “We believe our selective emitter technology offers several advantages in addition to higher cell efficiencies, including lower capital and physical space requirements, better utilization of existing equipment and employee skills, and reduced costs and higher yields.”
GT Solar International, Inc., a global provider of polysilicon production technology, crystalline ingot growth systems and related PV manufacturing services for the solar industry, announced that it has begun installation of its new DSS450HP™ crystalline growth systems at GCL’s new wafer manufacturing facility. The new high performance crystalline growth systems are part of a large GCL purchase agreement reflected in the company’s fiscal year 2010 year-ending backlog.
“GCL is a significantly important customer for us as we are working with both their polysilicon production and PV manufacturing businesses,” said Tom Gutierrez, president and chief executive officer of GT Solar. “We are pleased that GCL has selected our new high performance DSS450HP crystalline growth system for their new wafer production line. We have put together an aggressive installation schedule and have allocated the necessary resources to meet GCL’s timeline for bringing all the units on line demonstrating that we have the experience and depth of resources capable of handling a project of this magnitude and in meeting GCL’s installation timeframe.”
GT Solar is leveraging its depth of service personnel located in China and its flexible manufacturing model to ramp production, ship and install the DSS450HP systems in GCL’s new wafer manufacturing facility. A dedicated team of field service personnel will rotate through GCL’s facility to ensure that installation and acceptance of the systems goes smoothly.
Stion, a manufacturer of high-efficiency thin-film solar panels, announced a production partnership with TSMC of Taiwan. Stion will commence a 100 MW expansion of its San Jose, CA facility following the close of its $70 million Series D financing. Stion had previously raised $44.6 in equity financing.
Stion’s panels are specifically designed for use in all major applications, including commercial/government, residential, utility and off-grid. The panels are produced using monolithically integrated circuits and offer a number of advantages over competing products, including high efficiency, a convenient form factor (2 ft. x 5 ft), improved performance in partial shading, and superb aesthetics.
As part of the expansion, Stion expects to bring more than 500 direct and indirect jobs to the region in 2010 and 2011.
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. announced that its German affiliate Asola, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint venture manufacturing plant in Ontario, Canada, to enable production and distribution of high quality solar modules in Canada. The Canadian partner, Evergreen Power Ltd., is a developer of renewable energy projects, with well-established relationships in the building industry. The planned initial production capacity is 30 MW per year of solar modules incorporating mono- and poly-crystalline silicon solar cells, with a potential to generate revenues in excess of $60 million annually. The joint venture company will market solar PV modules under the “Asola” brand. Quantum owns a 24.9 percent interest in Asola.
The manufacturing facility, located near Toronto, will replicate the proven equipment, processes and quality control measures employed at Asola’s state of the art 45 MW facility in Germany. The facility will build Asola modules incorporating proprietary technologies and the best practices from Germany, the largest solar market in the world. Key materials including silicon solar cells are expected to be centrally purchased by Asola in Germany, from global sources to benefit from economies of scale, in line with the global strategic plan of Quantum and Asola.
TrendSetter® Solar Products, Inc. announced the company’s intention to move its sourcing of thermal solar panel from China to the U.S.
Norman Ehrlich, Trendsetter’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, said, “We are planning to establish manufacturing of solar thermal collectors, together with the manufacture of its proprietary piggyback residential solar water heaters, in a strategic alliance with a major production facility. We plan to establish the manufacturing in northern Nevada with an established, major production company.
Since 2007 the Schunk Group has committed €65 million of capital investment in response to business growth in high-temperature applications. In the biggest plant expansion in its history, the company has added almost 140,000 square feet of new floor space and renovated a further 45,000 square feet at its headquarters plant in the German state of Hessen. This has enabled Schunk to increase its capacity for manufacturing, purifying and coating custom-made CFC (carbon fiber reinforced carbon) and graphite components for the solar, semiconductor, and polysilicon industries.
Thanks to this expansion in the composites segment, Schunk is now the only manufacturer in the world that can handle the entire process chain: from producing the basic materials, planning, developing and fabricating components, through to quality assurance and testing – even for large components measuring up to 10 feet by 6.5 feet. Thermal post-processing of the CFC materials takes place at the newly opened, 37,500-square-foot Thermal Technology Center. In terms of infrastructure and material flow, this facility has been specifically designed for producing carbon fiber reinforced composites. For the purification and coating processes, new reactors for chemical vapor deposition and infiltration (CVD/CVI) making pyrolitic carbon and silicon carbide coatings, along with high-temperature purification furnaces, have been installed in another 37,500-square-foot facility. As a result of the huge capital expenditure in this area, Schunk’s production capacity in the high temperatures material segment has quadrupled.
Solyndra, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of secured convertible promissory notes to certain of its existing investors in an aggregate principal amount of $175 million in a private placement. Proceeds from the sales of such notes will be used to fund the company’s existing operations and support its growth plans. “Given the ongoing uncertainties in the public capital markets, we elected to pursue alternative funding from our existing investor base. This funding allows us to address strong customer demand by maintaining our aggressive growth plans,” commented Dr. Chris Gronet, CEO of Solydra.
The company expects first production from its Fab 2 manufacturing complex to occur in the fourth quarter of 2010, approximately two months ahead of schedule. “Fab 2 can’t come on line a minute too soon,” according to Dr. Gronet. “We’ve now sold over 300,000 panels for deployment on commercial rooftop sites in a dozen countries. By the fourth quarter of 2011, we expect our annualized production to exceed 300 MW, enabling economies of scale that will substantially reduce our manufacturing costs.”
Solyndra also announced that it has submitted a request with the Securities and Exchange Commission to withdraw its Registration Statement on form S-1, which was originally filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 18, 2009. The company elected not to proceed with an initial public offering of shares of its common stock at this time due to adverse market conditions and the availability of alternative funding from existing investors. No shares of Solyndra’s common stock were sold pursuant to the Registration Statement.
Innovation goes into production as Odersun inaugurates its second solar factory “SunTwo.: At the opening ceremony, Economics Minister of the State of Brandenburg Ralf Christoffers received a new type of solar module as an example for the possibilities of individual solar design. The company had already stared ramping-up the production at its “SunTwo” facility in Fürstenwalde (Spree), Germany, when it achieved the IEC 61646 certification in January this year. Based on Odersun’s proprietary CISCuT-technology both standard as well as customized thin-film solar modules are produced in volume at the facility.
Presently 111 employees of Odersun AG work in four shifts in the fully integrated manufacturing of thin-film solar cells and modules in Fürstenwalde (Spree). At the end of this year the workforce will have increased up to 150 people. Initially the factory has a capacity of about 20 MW, which can be expanded to 30 MW by installing two additional production lines in the factory.
Odersun has invested close to €50 million for concept, planning, construction and equipment of the solar factory “SunTwo.” The facilities are situated on former army grounds, which now found a new use. On occasion of the ceremony Odersun donated modules for a solar installation on a port gym in Fürstenwalde.
Amonix CEO Brian Robertson released the following statement this morning after hearing of Nevada’s latest unemployment figures:
“The U.S. economy and job market face tough economic times, and that’s why Amonix is honored to have the opportunity to create hundreds of new jobs in Nevada this year. The key to creating new energy jobs has been Senator Harry Reid’s support of renewable energy initiatives.
“Efforts of Senator Reid and others were key to the establishment of manufacturing investment tax credits from the Recovery Act. Amonix was fortunate to received $5.9 million in tax credits to establish a new manufacturing facility in the Las Vegas area by the end of this year. I’m proud that when fully operational, the facility will employ more than 250 Nevadans. We are very close to securing the lease for this facility.
Amonix is a recognized leader in designing and manufacturing CPV solar power systems.
Ferro Corporation announced that it is expanding capability in its Suzhou, China, and Taipei, Taiwan, PV technology centers as part of a wide-ranging plan to support growth in the Asian marketplace. Ferro’s existing Technology Center in Suzhou is currently being expanded to meet the increased demand from solar cell manufacturers in China. The new Advanced Technology Center in Taiwan is expected to be completed by the end of 2010 and will be equipped with state-of-the-art solar cell printing and firing equipment. Both labs will be capable of building prototype solar cells and will be complemented by a complete range of solar cell characterization instruments. “These labs will provide for rapid product customization to meet evolving customer requirements,” said Steve Florio, Chief Technology Officer, Electronic Color and Glass Materials Group.
As a second part of an initiative to expand its PV technology capabilities in Asia, Ferro Electronic Materials has commissioned space in Singapore to open a Center for Excellence focused on new product development supporting Ferro’s rapidly growing solar materials product line in Southeast Asia. The facility will expand Ferro’s research and development capabilities for next generation materials. The center will be located in Singapore Science Park and will house a solar materials laboratory to perform basic research and development activities, as well as technology staff to support the rapidly emerging solar market in Southeast Asia.
Abound Solar, a manufacturer of low-cost, cadmium telluride, thin-film PV solar modules, announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment to the company for a $400 million, seven-year loan guarantee to expand its solar module manufacturing capabilities. Abound Solar will use the DOE funds to increase production of its thin-film PV modules at an existing manufacturing plant and to establish a second manufacturing plant that will create more than 1,200 high-tech jobs in Colorado and Indiana, while driving down the cost of solar power for its U.S. and international customers.
Abound Solar has raised approximately $200 million in venture capital and private equity since 2007, built its first production line in Longmont, CO, and begun commercial operations. Abound anticipates using $100 million of the loan proceeds to increase the capacity of its existing Longmont facility to 200 MW per year by the end of 2011. The company plans to invest the balance of the guaranteed loan to support the construction of a larger manufacturing facility in Tipton, IN. When both plants are complete, Abound Solar will be able to produce more than 840 MW of solar modules annually.
A new report published recently shows that biomass for heat and power holds a very large untapped potential for Europe as a cost-effective source of renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions. However, this potential is not being realized today.
The report is the work of a consortium of organizations representing many of the relevant stakeholders in the biomass debate (environmental organizations, the forest products industry, the utility industry), including the European Climate Foundation, Sveaskog, Södra, and Vattenfall. WWF was involved and extensively consulted in the development of the report, and endorses most of the main conclusions. Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company provided analytical support. The report provides a fact base on biomass as a fuel for heat and power production so that its advantages and disadvantages compared to alternative production technologies — principally fossil fuels — can be debated in an objective way.
The European Commission counts on biomass to grow in the same order of magnitude as all other sources of renewable energy together between now and 2020. If this growth is realized, biomass costs look likely to come down 15-40 percent, so that biomass becomes cost competitive versus fossil fuel alternatives at a CO2 price of 30-50 EUR/ton. However, the report highlights that this growth potential is not being realized today — biomass use for heat and power is currently growing at only a third of the pace foreseen by the European Commission to meet the 2020 targets. This presents a major challenge for Europe’s transition to a sustainable energy supply. To unlock growth, and avoid missing the biomass opportunity, policy makers and companies need to recognize that while biomass for heat and power is a proven technology, most supply chains are immature and face a number of barriers that need to be removed for the industry to scale up, e.g., lacking initial profitability.
As biomass for heat and power is only one of several products harvested from forests — and depends for its profitability on the other products also being harvested — the scale-up must be done in a way that does not jeopardize the rest of the industry. In addition, reinforced environmental frameworks and legislation will be needed to ensure such a development does not come at the expense of a sustainable use of natural resources.
Bob Cleaves, President and CEO of Biomass Power Association, addressed a misleading report released by the Environmental Working Group on biomass fuels. Cleaves emphasized that, contrary to implications in the report, the biomass industry — particularly the Biomass Power Association and its members — does not advocate harvesting trees for energy production. Rather, the vast majority of biomass facilities utilize wood waste material and industry by-products for clean energy production.
“The study has no relevance to how biomass power is generated in this country today and no relevance to how it will be generated in the foreseeable future,” said Bob Cleaves. “It uses misplaced assumptions, bad information and questionable carbon math in order to make a policy statement about a problem that does not exist.”
The Biomass Power Association is not aware of any facilities that use whole trees for energy. This is not an economically-sustainable approach to biomass, as the costs of cutting down one tree far outweigh the potential energy benefits.
Cleaves also disagreed with the Environmental Working Group’s assertion that biomass power would be unable to meet the 2025 renewable energy goals without harvesting trees. He cited Southern Alliance for Clean Energy projections that clean energy could double in the country by utilizing waste wood biofuels from just four southern states.
Cleaves challenged the notion contained in the report that the federal government provides tax incentives for using whole trees as biofuels, “Both the production tax credit and the investment tax credit passed by Congress last year are only available for waste wood products and other organic by-products — not merchantable timber.”
Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc. has signed a contract to replace a coal-fired boiler on the University of Missouri campus with a biomass boiler that will generate steam and electricity from clean, renewable biomass fuel. B&W PGG is a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Company.
B&W PGG will design, engineer and supply a 150,000 pound-per-hour bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) boiler designed to burn chipped hardwoods and various local opportunity fuels near the university campus. The new boiler will be retrofit within the university physical plant’s existing structure. The physical plant provides the university campus with electricity and steam for heating and other uses.
Engineering work is underway at B&W PGG’s Barberton, OH headquarters. Boiler delivery is scheduled for the summer, 2011.
Nexterra Systems Corp. (Nexterra), a leading biomass gasification company, announced that Catawba County’s Board of Commissioners has voted to proceed with a new biomass-fueled combined heat and power system (CHP System) developed by Nexterra in conjunction with GE Power & Water’s gas engine division.
This new CHP System, located at Catawba County’s award-winning EcoComplex, will produce 2 MW of clean, cost-effective green electricity for sale to a local utility. Waste heat from the engines will be used to dry biosolids produced at a new wastewater treatment facility. This unique bioenergy system will be the first of its kind in the United States.
Wood waste diverted from Catawba’s landfill will be gasified and converted into clean synthetic gas (or “syngas”) using Nexterra proprietary gasification technology. The syngas will be directly fired into a GE gas engine. The system will be capable of providing very high net efficiencies — up to 65 percent in CHIP mode — which makes it economic at small scale.
“This new CHP System represents a paradigm shift away from large, centralized biomass plants to a network of decentralized, smaller and more efficient biomass plants ideally suited for counties and municipalities,” said Barry Edwards, Director of Utilities and Engineering for Catawba County. “We are delighted to move forward on this project with Nexterra and GE. Not only will the system generate additional revenue for the County, but it will also reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, stimulate local economic development and extend the life of our landfill.”
Catawba County already produces 2.5 MW of electricity from landfill gas using GE Jenbacher gas engines. The new biomass CHP System will complement the existing landfill gas power system. It will use a similar Jenbacher gas engine except that it will operate on syngas produced by gasifying wood waste instead of landfill gas.
Clenergen Corporation announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Clenergen India Private Limited, has entered into an agreement to acquire an 18 MW/h biomass power plant, located 40 miles southeast of Chennai, India, and related land and other assets. The plant was one of the first and largest to be built in India and was upgraded from 12 MW/h to 18 MW/h in 2008, with the installation of a new generator and HTC steam turbine engine. The plant site has its own substation and transmits electricity generated by the plant directly into the India national power grid. The completion of the acquisition is subject to bank approvals of the assumption by Clenergen of outstanding bank loans relating to the plant and the release of such loans by the plant’s current owner. It is anticipated that these approvals will be obtained within the near future. The purchase will be funded through local bank financing and a cash transfer at closing.
The plant sells the electricity it produces through short-term power purchase agreements with direct end users at an average price of US$0.13-16 KW/h. Clenergen believes that, at such an average price, the plant will generate an estimated US$15 million in revenues per year, assuming a plant load factor of 80 percent is maintained. It is estimated that cash of surplus $3 million per annum will be generated at the projected load factor. The company retains the option to encompass the short-term power supply contracts under the 71 MW/h power purchase agreement entered into with Power Trading Corporation of India.
The plant converts wood chips and other forms of biomass into steam through a combustion steam process, which is then used to power the plant’s steam turbine engines. Biomass feedstock supply contracts are currently in place with local vendors. It is anticipated that a cost savings of up to 30 percent will be achieved from the use of Clenergen’s own proprietary biomass feedstock, which the company plans to implement over time, as its energy crop plantations production capacity grows. In addition, recovery of exhaust heat generated by the steam turbine can add as much as 2 MW/e to the output of the plant.
After signing the letter of intent in April 2010 with a fund specialized in renewable energies for the development of CHO-Power activities, Europlasma, the French group specialized in clean technologies and renewable energy production, is reporting on progress made with the project to develop the Morcenx biomass power production plant and is announcing various developments in relation to the strategic approach initially considered.
The CHO-Power production unit is a unique concept in the world of energy reclamation from residual waste and/or biomass, based on the gasification technique and improved with the technological advances enabled by the plasma torch.
Following the announcement on April 8th, 2010 concerning the signing of a letter of intent, the administrative due diligence processes have been finalized and the Board of Directors has validated the term sheet project with Europlasma’s financial partner. The next steps (in June 2010) were to focus on finalizing the legal and administrative procedures to ratify the partnership between Europlasma and the investment fund
At this stage, the principles retained for financing the project provide for a total of €36 million of resources over 30 months, with €12.7 million to be covered by Europlasma. More specifically, a part of the Europlasma contribution will enable the Group to have a 25 percent capital stake in CHO-Power Morcenx as soon as work begins to build the CHO-Power plant in Morcenx, a 12-MWe unit production capacity. In addition, under a performance incentive mechanism, Europlasma may increase its interest in CHO-Power Morcenx up to 45 percent. Meanwhile, the EPC contract (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) of the CHO-Power Morcenx plant will represent approximately €15 million of revenues in 2010 for Europlasma, with the civil work to have begun in July. The contribution of the capital financed by Europlasma is needed for the definitive sealing of the agreement and the project’s operational launch.
Overall the financing process will be dedicated to building CHO-Power production units with a capacity of 54 MWe over three years, with the option to extend this financing to cover the building of a total of 200 MWe over five years. As a result, the Group’s financial partner will be able to contribute €50 million.
ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC, through its wholly-owned affiliate Neoelectra Management, SLU, acquired 100 percent of the common stock of Fuente de Piedra Gestion, SAU and Biomasa Fuente de Piedra, SAU (owners of a 16.4-MW CHP and 8.9-MW biomass plant, respectively) from a wholly-owned affiliate of Grupo Aldesa. Madrid-based Aldesa is among Spain’s largest privately-owned real estate and construction companies, with more than 3,800 employees and total sales in excess of €1.5 billion at the end of 2008.
Neoelectra is a strategic platform company which ArcLight established in Spain in order to capitalize on the opportunity to aggregate a profitable portfolio of cogeneration and biomass plants through acquisitions from non-energy corporates looking to refocus on their core businesses. Neoelectra is actively pursuing other merger and acquisition opportunities within the Iberian Peninsula.
Public Service of New Hampshire has reached agreement with Laidlaw Berlin BioPower LLC, an affiliate of Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc. to purchase the energy from a proposed wood-fired power generation facility planned for New Hampshire’s North Country. When operational, the 70-MW gross capacity biomass facility in Berlin will be the largest wood-burning power plant in the state, and will move New Hampshire closer to its goal of 25 percent renewable energy by the year 2025.
When operational, the plant will consume local, clean, wood chips which are by-products of the local forest products industry and land management practices. “One of our key development strategies is to have Coös County become the renewable energy capital of Northern New England,” said Max Makaitis, Economic Development Director, Androscoggin Valley Economic Recovery Corporation (AVER). “We are particularly excited about biomass projects like Laidlaw’s, because they help create jobs, not only at the plant itself, but also in the forest, and in those services that support our foresters.”
As a generation source that utilizes biomass, the Laidlaw plant will produce not only “energy,” but also “renewable energy certificates” (RECs), which all providers of electricity in New Hampshire must obtain in order to comply with the state’s renewable energy law. PSNH’s agreement with Laidlaw calls for the utility to purchase the energy, the generating capacity, and the RECs produced by the biomass plant. PSNH expects that the amount of RECs purchased annually from Laidlaw will fulfill much of PSNH’s “Class I” REC requirements through 2015 and a majority of the company’s requirements over the next decade. The agreement between PSNH and Laidlaw runs for 20 years.
Verso Paper Corp. announced the launch of a $43-million Renewable Energy Project, which will position its mill in Quinnesec, MI to meet more than 95 percent of its energy needs using renewable biomass sources.
The project scope includes design upgrades to the Quinnesec Mill’s existing combination boiler, which burns biomass from waste wood sources, the addition of a new biomass handling system, and the installation of a new turbine generator supplied by Siemens. Verso is partnering with AMEC Engineering to begin detailed design for the project, which is estimated to start up by December 2011.
Delta Power Services, LLC (DPS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc., has signed a multi-year, renewable contract to provide operations and maintenance services for Rollcast Energy’s Piedmont Green Power biomass energy project in Barnesville, GA. B&W PGG is a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Company.
The 53.5-MW Piedmont Green Power plant is scheduled to go online in 2012. DPS will provide a variety of services for the facility both during construction and after the plant is operational, including selecting the site staff, managing day-to-day plant operations, performing equipment maintenance and repair services and administering project contracts.
CE2 Carbon Capital (CE2), one of the largest investors and owners of U.S. carbon commodities and carbon emissions reduction projects, has partnered with Dogwood Carbon Solutions (Dogwood), a developer of agriculture and forestry-based conservation projects, to develop high-quality carbon offsets from over 300,000 acres of privately-owned non-industrial forest in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
The program, named the Blue Willow Project, is part of a broader effort by CE2 aimed at helping private landowners implement sustainable forestry management practices and create new revenue streams by increasing carbon stocks in their forests. CE2 launched a similar program earlier this year, the Red Fern Project, targeting 300,000 acres of privately-owned forest in the Ozark mountain regions of Missouri and Arkansas.
CE2 Carbon Capital will provide funding for Blue Willow. Dogwood Carbon Solutions will manage all activities on the ground including landowner recruiting, forestry manageme