- Industry Roundup
- Fab & Facilities
- Cell Processing
- Thin Film
- PV Modules
- Power Generation
Premier Power Renewable Energy announced that they have finalized a US$27.6 million agreement with the US subsidiary of Shanghai Solar Energy Science and Technology, Chaori Solar US, to build a number of utility-scale solar power plants in the United States.
Former president Bill Clinton and NRG Energy’s president David Crane visited Haiti to examine the progress of the solar power installations built in partnership with the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). NRG invested US$1 million through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), with the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund adding an additional US$500,000 to the investment in several projects in Haiti’s Central Plateau.
Tioga Energy advised that it had completed the installation of a 249kW solar system at BJ Wholesale Club’s Deer park, New York location. This is the first of two projects Tioga is developing through an incentive from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Combined, the two projects will provide 850kW of renewable energy.
The Daily Yomiuri has reported that the Iwanuma city government plans to build a solar plant on farmland damaged beyond feasible repair by salt water and subsidence from last year’s earthquake and tsunami. According to the report, the plant will generate 15,000kW of electricity, with an annual power generation of 18 million kWh.
In the second year of its “7 Continents in 7 Years” sustainability initiative, Viridian Energy went to Ghana where it provided solar installations for residents in the Atiwa District, specifically in the villages of Asonafo, Abrenya and Wekpeti. Partnering with World Joy and Empower Playgrounds, Viridian sent 34 independent sales associates and corporate team members to install the solar panels on schools, health clinics and community libraries.
SPI Solar is to partner with local manufacturer ExelGroup in order to enter into the Greek market. ExelGroup has agreed to supply SPI Solar with its Exel G2 mounting structures for three installations in Thrace.
PsomasFMG and NRG Solar announced a plan to combine forces and develop a joint portfolio of solar projects totalling over 11MW. Of the five initial projects, the two largest will be a 7.3MW project at William S. Hart School District in Santa Clarita and a with 3.3MW installation in Orange County, California.
Following on from the sale of the 48MW Serenissima PV plant in Italy to an unnamed investor at the end of December 2011, SAG Solarstrom has revealed the conclusion of an €118 million loan agreement for long-term project financing of the plant.
The call for tender, organized by the French power regulatory authority, Commission de Régulation de l’Energie, has received bids from CPV manufacturer Heliotrop’s clients for more than 70MWp. To be constructed in France, the company states the installations will include over 20MW of its 1024-sun CPV units.
The Ashalim Sun PV consortium has successfully bid for the construction and development of a 30MW PV plant to be located in the Negev desert, southern Israel, according to a Reuters report. Scheduled to commence operation in early 2015, the plant will be constructed adjacent to two solar thermal plants in Ashalim, each of which will generate 110MW.
Germany-based solarhybrid is predicting a gloomy outlook due to the amendments to the EEG bill for proposed cuts to the country’s feed-in tariff. The company has announced that these cuts will jeopardize the completion of its projects in Neuhardenberg, Fürstenwalde and Allstadt
Schott Solar and Canopy advised that their 2.2MW Ucciani solar park had been completed. The solar park uses nearly 10,000 Schott PV modules from the company’s Perform Poly series and is connected to the national grid, providing around 2.86GWh of solar energy.
Premier Power Renewable Energy advised that construction on its 16.2MWp Zdravetz utility-scale solar plant in Bulgaria has begun with completion expected during Q2 2012. The company originally entered into an agreement, along with its JV with Plaan Czech, in September 2011 to build the solar plants in Bulgaria. The project is being installed on land that was once a coal mine and will receive around US$0.30 for every kWh generated over the next 20 years from the energy administration.
Q-Cells and Getec have begun construction of a 28MWp photovoltaic power plant in Amsdorf near Halle, Saxony-Anhalt. The site is approximately 55 hectares in size and Q-Cells will supply about 123,000 of its polycrystalline modules which will be in place by April 2012. The official sod-turning ceremony took place in early March with the premier of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haselhoff, in attendance.
Construction of a new solar project on New Jersey’s Rutgers University is underway with financing being provided by Key Equipment Finance and KeyCorp. SunDurance Energy is the solar integrator for the project, which will use over 40,000 high-efficiency panels mounted on canopy structures over two large surface parking areas on the Livingston Campus.
The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) issued a RFO on March 2 for the pursuit of a second solar PV project ranging in size from 8 to 10MW. The RFO was issued to landowners for sites to host the PV project and to PV project developers who have a project and site identified and can propose a turnkey construction solution to KIUC.
Following the closure of escrow on the purchase of a 109-acre plot in Desert Hot Springs, California, GDT Tek has outlined its plans to construct a 20MW PV park and an accompanying pilot solar thermal installation in the region. The intention is to illustrate the efficiency of the company’s technology approach versus ‘conventional’ PV power, a generation/co-generation technology that is based on the Organic Rankin Cycle principle that harnesses waste heat to extract its electrical generation capabilities.
Building further on the reversal of nuclear dependency in the country, Japan’s Kyoto City’s officials have accepted a bid by Kyocera and Softbank to develop and operate a 4.2MW solar power plant in the city. Upon completion, the plant – which will consist of two 2.1MW facilities installed in Fushimi-ku – will be the first of its kind and thus the largest in the Kyoto Prefecture.
GE Energy Financial Services announced that over the past year, the company has more than doubled its global solar power investment commitments to US$1.4 billion, leading to nearly US$ 5 billion in projects. The company notes that its 1GW portfolio spans 48 solar power plants in six countries, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the US.
Vancouver, Canada-based P2 Solar has revealed that it has signed a binding agreement for the construction and ownership of a 4.95MW solar farm in the Vratsa Province of north-west Bulgaria. The company has assigned a 20-year gross revenue of €31 million to the project with a net cash flow of €13.6 million.
Arizona Public Service (APS) has made a Request for Proposal (RFP) to come into play on March 15, which will be followed by a bidder’s webinar on March 22. The RFP will invite proposals from solar developers and installers for the construction of a 14MW solar park in the state, which will be funded by APS through the company’s AZ Sun Program.
The joint venture between Innotech Solar, Jendra Power and Energie Wasser Bern has been completed. The 4.3MWp solar power installation is located near the Andalusian municipalities of Atarfe and Moclin, Spain. Covering 62,000m2 across several greenhouses, it is estimated to be able to supply around 2,500 households with electricity each year.
DST Output, located in El Dorado Hills, a suburb of Sacramento, advised that its facility is sporting a rooftop solar project across its 588,000 square foot production facility. The project spans 3.15 acres and is anticipated to produce over 1.4 million kWh of energy per year. Although the system’s specific size was not specified, DST Output did note that the project is designed to use cylindrical solar collectors instead of the more typical flat panels.
An installation initiated by Israeli pro-peace scientists and funded by German company Comet-ME is under threat following claims by Israeli authorities that building work, started last August, was constructed illegally. Germany , which has already invested €400,000, is concerned this could lead to international outrage.
Blue Sky Energy clean tech products have received Military Standard 810 certification awarded by the US Department of Defence. Blue Sky Energy’s charge controller, a key component of Solar Stik’s newly certified Hybrid System Package, meets the DoD’s environmental engineering considerations and laboratory tests.
Yingli Americas has renewed its strategic partnership with Oakland-based non-profit solar installer, GRID Alternatives. Yingli will be supplying another 1MW of solar energy this year through a combination of donated and fair-market priced modules, claiming a donation larger than it did last year. This will provide electricity to 800 low-income families, expanding into Colorado.
MPX advised that it is petitioning SEMACE to upgrade the license issued for the Taúa solar power plant to 50MW. Last year, the company began the first 1MW phase and subsequently announced an increase to 2MW after a partnership with GE. In six months of commercial operation, the plant has produced 808,369MWh of electricity.
According to Bloomberg, Alex Green Energy has won the bid to develop a 5MW solar project in India’s eastern Odisha state. The company vouched to supply power at a record-low rate and, according to a statement from PK Mohan, CEO of Odisha Renewable Energy, has the option to develop the remaining 20MW of PV capacity from the solar auction before it is offered to other bidders.
SolarServer has reported that Helios Strategia announced plans to pursue the development of 7MW of rooftop PV plants in the Ukraine during 2012. Elena Skrypnyk, Helios Strategia director of Sales, commented that the country’s ground-mounted PV sector is on the brink of large increase in installations in the next two years.
Martifer Solar announced the completion of its 2.07MW ground-mounted Les Mées, solar plant. The PV installation was built across 4 hectares with Martifer Solar overseeing the EPC and supplying all PV equipment. The company will also be providing the operation and maintenance of the plant, which is to be operated by Leonidas Associates IV.
Greek energy firm Protergia has completed and interconnected three new photovoltaic parks situated in the Marathia/Kambi, Arta, Goureza/Dafni, Tanagra and Vonitsa, Aktion municipalities of Greece, with a total combined capacity of 11.5MW. The investment for the construction of the three parks stands at €23.5 million. The three PV parks are expected to produce a total of 14,600MWh of electricity annually.
Moose Power has chosen Advanced Energy Industries to provide its Solaron 500 utility-scale PV inverters and PVP250kW commercial inverters for six projects in Ontario, Canada. In order to complete the projects, Moose Power collaborated with Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) and Nautilus Solar Energy.
Billed as one of the largest PV power plants so far built in Thailand, a 7.5MW project, know as the Nakhon Ratchasima Solar Farm in Khorat region, northeastern Thailand has been completed by project developer Sonnedix using First Solar’s CdTe thin-film modules. The project is also the first in Thailand undertaken by Sonnedix with support of Assyce Fotovoltaica and Ch. Karnchang Group.
Having already announced that it will ship approximately 12MW of its a-Si thin-film modules for use in Japan-based projects this year, NexPower Technology Corporation has said that the first project in Kansai, Japan has started construction. The 200kW power system is the first to use its 160W modules in the country, according to the company. NexPower’s Japanese distributor is Marubun Corporation.
Following a disappointing financial performance in 2011, COLEXON Energy to streamline its business continues. The company has sold two further solar project companies in southern Germany and Italy.
SPI Solar, US-based EPC services provider, has announced its third Greek venture, having acquired the necessary paperwork. Working alongside local partners SDL Solar and Global Energy Services, the installation is expected to be a 1MW fixed-ground-mount solar facility, located in Rhodope Prefecture, north-eastern Greece. The electricity will be purchased by Greek Public Power Corporation through a 20-year PPA.
Scandinavia is to receive 5MWp in equipment for solar projects from Premier Power Renewable Energy. The plants will be funded through an agreement with Danish firm, Viasol. Equipment will be shipped out this month, with all systems scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.
Mars Chocolate, North America, has announced the installation of a solar garden at its Henderson chocolate factory, providing 100% of the factory’s electrical energy. The solar garden features 2,112 ground-mounted solar panels on 4.4 acres. Mars claims its installation as the largest by a food manufacturer in Nevada.
According to Canadian Solar, a 605kW rooftop system in the Danish city of Virum, which employed 2,800 modules, is currently Demark’s largest rooftop installation. German firm, SRU Solar, constructed the system on two roofs of an office complex located in collaboration with Danish energy company Greengo Energy. The rooftop system was connected in January, 2012.
Following-on from a €25 million project partnership between Tenesol and Morocco’s National Electricity Office for PV power systems to be deployed across 26,000 rural homes in Morocco, the SunPower subsidiary is also currently working on a €4.5 million solar telecoms project in Morocco. The company is supplying more than 4,500 PV panels to Maroc Telecom for use at 42 sites across the country. Overall, Tenesol claims to have installed 3,000 systems for the telecoms industry.
Through collaboration with international charitable organization WorldVenture, South Sudan is now the fourth country in which Eight19’s pay-as-you-go off-grid PV system is in operation. The plan is to deploy 1,000 units in the first half of 2012 in South Sudan and a total of 3,000 units of its small flexible OPV modules in Kenya, Zambia and Malawi.
As part of its utility-scale project pipeline in Imperial Valley, California, 8minutenergy Renewables has signed a 25-year contract to sell 200MW (AC) from the planned Mount Signal Solar project to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The Mount Signal Solar project is expected to begin supply to SDG&E in mid-2013 and has an 18-month construction time, employing 450 direct jobs and more than 500 indirect jobs in Imperial County. The contract is pending approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
NRG Solar, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, advised that its December 2011 module supply agreement with Solar Frontier had been shipped and delivered recently. Per the module supply agreement, Solar Frontier provided NRG Energy with 13.2MW of its CIS thin-film solar modules.
Solar Frontier provided 10MW of its CIS thin-film solar modules to power the Mt. Komekura Solar Power Plant in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, which started operations on January 27. Shigeaki Kameda, president of Solar Frontier, was in attendance for the plant’s opening celebration.
A 7.5MW solar plant, worth €22.8million has been built in the north-west province of Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
Investors Mohr Davidow Ventures and OnPoint Technologies alongside aeris CAPITAL have pumped US$20 million into thin-film company, Nanosolar, to aid expansion. At the beginning of this year, there was a great deal of media speculation surrounding the company’s ability to produce a competitive product amid management changes.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has announced it is awaiting approval from the California Public Utilities Commission for two long-term contracts to purchase a total of 300MW of renewable energy.
At the beginning of this week we reported that S.A.G. Solarstrom’s increased project financing has made a hefty dent in its 2011 profits. However the company has now announced it has expanded its current power plant portfolio by about 1MWp, effective December 31, 2011.
The 6th PV Fab Managers Forum on March 25-27 in Berlin will present the third edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV). Solar industry decision-makers as well as scientists and experts from research institutes and universities will gather to hear from leading European, American and Asian manufacturers of silicon wafers, solar cells and modules, who will contribute to the latest roadmap updates.
The journal Nature Photonics reports that researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and UCLA’s California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) have significantly enhanced polymer solar cells’ performance. They have used a device with a new “tandem” structure that combines multiple cells with different absorption bands. The device had a certified power-conversion efficiency of 8.62% and set a world record in July 2011.