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Qatari energy distributor Kahramaa has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding granting approval for Qatar Foundation’s Solar Smart Grid Project Connectivity to be connected to Kahramaa’s main grid.
The global market for energy storage in PV is forecast to grow to US$19 billion by 2017 from just $200 million last year, according to research by IHS.
Renewable energy feed-in tariffs in Africa could boost its economy whilst combating climate change, finds a new study developed for the World Future Council.
The government of Kerala, India, has released a draft solar policy, effective 1 April 2013, having set itself a target of 500MW to be achieved by 2017 and 1,500MW by 2030.
Terna responsible for developing the national electricity transmission grid has received authorization to shut off distributed generation systems in case of emergency.
The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has released data stating that the new feed-in tariffs to be implemented in July will increase household electricity bills by 1.2%. METI estimates that consumers will pay an additional ¥87 (USD$1.10) per month.
As victor in the recent bidding for the contractor role, Conergy will again team up with Stadtwerke Trier to construct Mehring IV, a 2.2MW project to be based in the greater Trier region of Germany. The 2.2MW will consist of one 1.2MW plant beside federal motorway A1 and another 1MW plant located on former military terrain between Trier and Bitburg.
With an increase in the number of utility-scale PV power plants being built, as well as on a wider geographical basis, quality standards across the industry have come into question, according to TÜV Rheinland. In a breakthrough attempt to provide the highest possible standards from design through to commissioning system supplier, Conergy is the first to partner with the testing services provider to provide best practices in the PV power plant sector.
SunEdison has embarked upon a rural electrification program that will see the solar company install and manage distributed-generation solar power plants in villages in India that until now have not had access to electricity. Dubbed the ‘Eradication of Darkness’, the program’s upcoming phase will see the installation of the systems in 29 villages in the Guna District.
Swiss-based VHF-Technologies, better known under its product branding as Flexcell has stopped production of its flexible thin-film products and reduced its headcount to around 50. The move is designed to preserve cash, after being thrown a financial lifeline by Capricorn Capital to the tune of CHF8.5 million (US$8.9 million).
Forming over one third of the 604.89MW of PV power dedicated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at last week’s India Solar Investment & Technology Summit (ISIT) event in Gujarat, the state’s 214MW Charanka PV park was also opened at the event and now represents Asia’s largest PV power plant.
Specialist PV system monitoring firm, Solare Datensysteme said that sales had reached almost €7 million in the first quarter of 2012, a 118% increase over the same quarter in 2011. The company guided sales in the second quarter of 2012 would be inline with the first quarter. The increase in sales was said to be due to sales success in a wider number of countries, including Canada and the US.
Joined by the Mayor of Grimmen and repeat private investor, Stephan Johannsen, Conergy officially connected its 8MW solar plant near Stralsund to the grid, making it one of the largest solar parks in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to achieve such status. The company noted that all of the projects components were from its domestic manufacturing facilities. The project has been installed on over 20 hectare and uses around 35,000 Conergy PowerPlus modules from its Oder facility. It is expected to generate nearly 8 million kWh of solar power per year.
SunPower and GRID Alternatives have worked together for the past six years helping low-income families through volunteer hours, philanthropic gifts, equipment donations and sales. Recently, the two companies installed a rooftop solar system on a low-income home in San Francisco, a feat that both organizations note is just one of the many ventures they plan to complete together under their continued 2012 partnership.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has revealed that it has commissioned a total of 13MW of grid-connected solar power plants throughout India for the current financial year. All of the projects that make up this 13MW total have been commissioned on an EPC basis, and include a 3MW plant in Raichur, Karnataka; a 5MW plant in Rajasthan; two 2MW plants in Maharashtra and over 1MW in the Lakshadweep Islands.
JinkoSolar has announced that it has connected China Guangdong Nuclear Solar Energy Development’s 18MW PV power plant to China’s grid. The plant, located in Dunhuang, Gansu Province in west China, consists of 76,000 of JinkoSolar’s modules on a plot area of 400,000m2.
PDI Global will provide an electric energy storage system to a social housing project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With the intention to supply at least 300,000 homes with solar power, a contract with Korea-based Leo Motors has been concluded. Leo Motors will supply 20,000 units of e-Box to the project.
Having achieved the largest rooftop installation in the UK, Lightsource Renewable Energy has now branched out to the rest of the world. They have teamed up with SolarAid to provide solar power to communities in Malawi.
At the Solar Power International Expo this October 2011, technology pioneer OutBack Power Technologies will demonstrate their off-grid power conversion components. And Ameresco Solar, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company has reached an agreement to provide BP Solar International’s small area module (SAM) line of solar panels that range from 5 watts to 180 watts under the Ameresco Solar brand.
Fast disappearing are the days that PV modules can be marketed in isolation of a host of other ancillaries. The ever present pressure on module costs and prices diverts attention to system costs and where other savings can be made. Coupled to fierce competition throughout the supply chain - offering more than just modules for residential, commercial and utility markets - is the new name in the game.
Labelled the Alsace region’s second-largest PV roof system in the area, Gehrlicher Solar France’s 2.9MWp solar power plant in Hombourg near Mulhouse, east France was connected to the grid in mid-August 2011.
SAG Solarstrom said the 48MWp Serenissima photovoltaic project in northern Italy was connected to the grid on schedule to meet the Aug. 31 deadline. The plant, the largest in the company’s history, features more than 200,000 ground-mounted solar modules and will produce more than 64 million KWh annually, enough to provide energy to more than 14,000 households.
A 48MW project in Northern Italy worth several hundred million Euro is close to being sold by project developer SAG Solarstrom, after a 12MW section of the PV power plant was connected to the Italian grid via a new transformer substation specifically for the project. Italian Terna, which has already performed the technical acceptance and commissioning, is said to be planning to purchase the substation.
Parabel’s latest solar power plant in Hohenwulsch, Germany has been successfully completed and connected to the grid. The 1MW rooftop solar project, which was installed on a trade and logistics company’s roof space, has prompted Parabel to offer a 4.94MWp project portfolio with an annual energy production of 863kWh.
Solar Nation has installed and commissioned a 876kW solar power system on the rooftop of Sunham Home Fashions distribution center in New Providence, New Jersey. The 130,000 square foot system , which was designed, engineered and installed by Solar Nation, utilizes 3,575 SolarWorld 245W solar panels, two SMA American inverters and a Draker Laboratories web-based monitoring system.
ABB Solar has been hired by Emmeesseenne to provide three high-efficiency turnkey PV systems near Foggia, Italy. The US$33 million contract was booked during 2010’s fourth quarter with the three plants anticipated to be operational by 2011’s third quarter. De Nittis 1, 2 and 3 will all be constructed on adjoining sites and will collectively produce 39MW of solar electricity.
Bisol has completed a 1MW rooftop solar power plant installation in the Koroška region, a northern part of Slovenia. Working with Intereuropa and Volksbank International the company began the PV system installation in November 2010 and, as noted during the system’s opening ceremony last week, was able to connect the solar project to the grid a month and a half later.
Yingli Green Energy’s Americas unit has signed a new PV module supply agreement with Borrego Solar Systems. Under the terms of the deal, 20MW of Yingli Solar crystalline-silicon modules will be provided to the San Diego-based PV systems installer in 2011. Borrego plans to use the panels for commercial projects across the U.S.
San Diego Gas & Electric has entered into a 25-year contract with NRG Solar to buy 26MW of solar energy from a proposed facility in San Diego County, CA. The new project, said to be the largest solar PV site that the utility has signed for within its service area, will be located in Borrego Springs.
Utility-scale developer SolarReserve has been awarded its final Certificates of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) from the Arizona Corporation Commission for its 150MW Crossroads Solar Energy Project to be built near Gila Bend. The approval includes the associated transmission line connecting the CSP project to Arizona Public Service’s transmission grid.
Making progress on its goal of having 250MW of commercial rooftop PV power deployed within the next four years, Southern California Edison has interconnected seven new distributed-generation solar plants. The systems, located on more than 3.36 million square feet of ProLogis-owned warehouse roof space in the Southern California cities of Ontario and Redlands, have a combined installed generating capacity of 12.5MW (AC).
Thirty-one sites across the Douglas County School District (DCSD) in Douglas County, CO, will soon be generating solar-powered electricity. Construction is under way on systems totaling approximately 3.1MW in a project funded and financed by REgeneration Finance under the terms of a power purchase agreement with the school district.
Two of IKEA’s German stores have recently been fitted with solar installations and connected to the grid thanks to the partnership between the home furnishing company and REC Solar. IKEA selected REC Solar out of 200 solar installation providers, who then provided the modules and installed the solar systems on IKEA’s store roofs.
The Tar Heel State has just activated the final phases of a new 17.2MW (DC) solar farm in Davidson County, courtesy of a partnership between Duke Energy and SunEdison. The solar project was built in five phases on over 200 acres of land using more than 63,000 solar PV panels. It is anticipated the plant will produce 28 million kWh of solar-generated electrcity per year.
Solar Universe has completed its US$7 million Series B funding round, which was led by RockPort Capital Partners and further supported by returning investors. With the funds from the Series B funding round, Solar Universe expects to expand its business into new regions and increase its product offerings. In addition, the company has welcomed Kevin Daughtery as executive vice president of operations and Laurie Anthony Baggio as chief development officer.
The 30MW (AC) Cimarron Solar Facility in Colfax County, New Mexico has reached completion and began its commercial operation in early December 2010. The solar project was developed and built by First Solar, who also supplied 500,000 CdTe solar modules for the solar plant, which is constructed over 364 acres. Southern Company and Ted Turner cooperated with each other for the acquisition of the project from First Solar in March 2010. First Solar will continue to provide maintenance and operation services under a long-term contract for the facility.
California’s Fremont Recycling & Transfer Station is the first solar-powered material recovery and solid waste transfer facility in Alameda County thanks to the collaboration between Solar Power and BLT Enterprises. The 398kW solar PV system includes rooftop racking and parking shade structures, which are set to produce over 587,000kWh of electricity every year. Solar Power oversaw the design and construction of the solar project.
Semiconductor capital equipment supplier Tegal and consultancy se2quel Partners have formed sequel Power, a new company focused on the development and operation of very large-scale solar photovoltaic-based utilities in the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. At least 10 projects in the range of 750MW (DC) to 1.1GW (DC) are in various stages of negotiation, and all are located in high-insolation regions, according to company sources.
Tucson Electric Power (TEP), in collaboration with Solon, has completed a 1.6MW solar power plant in Tucson, Arizona. Located at the University of Arizona’s Science and Technology Park, Solon oversaw the engineering, procurement and construction services for the installation. Built over 14 acres and featuring Solon’s Velocity MW Solar System with 11 single-axis trackers and 5,808 275W high-efficiency solar modules, the solar project will produce around 3 million kWh of energy in its first year and around 60 million kWh over the next 20 years.
Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) is in the early development stages for its second large-scale solar facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. The 4.2MW solar project will use around 17,000 solar panels and be built over a capped landfill. WMECo did not release any contract details of the project, nor what modules or balance system elements will be used.
Dominion North Carolina Power recently signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with 510nano for a 1.4MW solar PV system. The solar project will be installed over seven acres in Northampton County, North Carolina and construction will begin this March. At its completion, the power plant is expected to be the largest solar-powered facility for Dominion’s electric grid.
One of the largest photovoltaic power plant projects in First Solar’s North American pipeline moved another step closer to buildout, as the environmental impact report for the AV Solar Ranch One has become final and is no longer subject to appeal. Principal construction should begin on the 230MW (AC) site in northeast Los Angeles County in Q3 2011, according to company sources.
Glimcher Realty Trust plans to develop what’s being called the largest single-rooftop solar system in North America. The 4.8MW array will be built on the roof of the Jersey Gardens mall in Elizabeth, NJ, and will offset about 11% of the site’s electrical consumption. SunPower will design, install, and maintain the system.
Just before the end of 2010, IBC Solar completed its 13.8MW installation at its solar park located in Breitenguessbach, Germany. Construction took place on over 74 acres near Breitenguessbach, Bavaria, with the power plant using more than 60,100 polycrystalline modules and 14 central inverters to harvest and convert the solar energy. IBC Solar oversaw the technical planning, development and construction of the solar park and will continue to manage its maintenance, monitoring and operational management for 20-years.
Siemens Energy has been commissioned by BrightSource Energy to deliver its SPPA-T3000 instrumentation & controls (I&C) system along with two steam-turbine-generators for the Ivanpah solar thermal power plant in California’s Mojave Desert. This is the first use of the I&C system in a solar tower power plant of Ivanpah’s size; the total installed capacity will be around 400MW.
KDC Solar will be collaborating with United Stationers Supply and The Sudler Companies for the development of a 3.25MW roof-mounted solar system at United Stationers Cranbury, New Jersey distribution center. KDC will design, install, own and operate the solar installation, which is anticipated to generate around 3,450,000kWh of electricity every year. The installation is set to begin construction early this year and be fully operational before year end.
IBC Solar has sold its 11.2MW facility in Manzano, Italy to Allianz Specialised Investments. With 47,000 polycrystalline and 3,600 thin-film hybrid modules, the Udine-based park is one of IBC’s largest developments and was connected to the grid on December 7, 2010.
Development of a 100MW solar facility in New South Wales, Australia has been given the green light by the state’s government. The plant, which is a joint venture between Infigen Energy and Suntech Australia, is to be based in the town of Nyngan and is likely to cost around AUS$300 million.
The end of 2010 saw the launch of two new China Everbright International PV plants in Jiangsu, China. The 3.5MW ground-mounted project in Zhenjiang opened on December 24 with the 1.85MW rooftop facility in Suqian being connected to the grid three days later.
Plutonic Power and GE Energy Financial Services have agreed to buy three of First Solar’s power plants in Ontario, Canada. Permitting for the projects, which have a combined capacity of 50MW, is expected to take place this spring and construction scheduled to start in June.