Emma Hughes is Photovoltaics International's News & Features Editor; she has been with us since June 2009. In that time Emma has launched Tariff Watch as well as editing UK sister website solarpowerportal.co.uk and the BIPV focused design-buildsolar.com. Emma came to Photovoltaics International from online technology publication, The Inquirer where she worked as a freelance writer since graduating with honours in English Literature & Philosophy.
Bringing over 15 years of executive and technology experience to the role, Dr. Omid Shojaei joins Indeotec as its new chief executive officer. In his new position Shojaei hopes to build upon the company’s PECVD platform for R&D and pilot production for both c-Si and TF-Si.
The first day of August, which we have all been talking about since early March, is finally here. Marking the beginning of new, lower feed-in tariff rates for all photovoltaic installations over 50kW, today signifies the end of the UK’s solar industry as we know it.
US-based inverter manufacturer Solectria Renewables has delivered four 266kW SGI 266 smartgrid inverters to BlueChip Energy for what will be the largest PV rooftop installation in Florida. The inverters will power the first 1.5MW stage of the 10MW Rinehart Solar Farm project located in Lake Mary, Florida.
Peter Mak, Trina Solar’s independent director and chairman of the audit committee has resigned from his post, effective July 10, in order to focus on other personal and professional pursuits. Jerome Corcoran and Qian Zhao, independent directors for the company, have been appointed chairman of the audit committee and member of the corporate governance and nominating committee respectively.
Less than two weeks after Australia’s Capital Territory small-scale feed-in tariff was revived, the state has closed the scheme – again – to new participants. Having reached full capacity by midnight on the July 13, the program shutters were pulled down for what looks to be the final time.
The Indian state of Karnataka has published its updated solar policy, which includes a target for 350MW of solar projects by 2016. The Government will allocate 40MW worth of projects for direct sale to the different distribution companies in the state, commonly known as ESCOMS, up to the amount of 200MW. A total of 50MW of bundled solar thermal power will be allotted to state-owned utilities for development. The split between photovoltaic and concentrated solar power (CSP) has not yet been defined.
Spanish solar developer Proinso has revealed a 33MW pipeline of solar installations in the city of Charakana, in the Patan District of Gujarat, and in Maharastra. Signing off on two new agreements, the company will start work immediately for completion in December 2011.
Following months of tense negotiation between the minority Labour Government and the Green and independent MPs, Australia’s prime minister Julia Gillard yesterday revealed the ‘Strong Growth, Low Pollution’ report, which models how the country’s economy can continue to grow at the same time as reducing carbon pollution with a carbon price. The new tax, which will come into effect from July next year, will hit Australia’s top 500 emitters with an AUD$23 per tonne carbon tax.
Dow Chemical Company and Ube Industries have formed joint venture Advanced Electrolyte Technologies to manufacture and market formulated electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in energy storage applications. The equal partnership is expected to be finalized later this year, pending regulatory approval.
SolarWorld has expanded its management board with the appointment of Colette Rückert-Hennen, who will join the company in the function of chief human resources and brand officer, effective July 1, 2011.
Australia’s Capital Territory will go through yet more feed-in tariff policy changes as the ACT Greens and Canberra Liberals push through a Bill to allow new connections of small-scale home solar power systems to receive the same rate as the medium generator category. This move comes just one month after Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell closed the scheme to new microgeneration connections.
Yet more uncertainty overshadowed Australia’s solar industry at the end of last week as the South Australian Government discussed the future of the state’s feed-in tariff. Having originally planned to increase the incentive rate from 44c to 54c, plus a mandatory additional contribution from electricity retailers, the Government is now tipped to keep the tariff at 44c until the end of September for solar households entering the scheme.
Belgian rail network operator Infrabel has opened its new Paris to Amsterdam high-speed rail link tunnel, which features 16,000 solar panels on its 3.4km rooftop. The plant will produce electricity for the railway infrastructure on the Antwerp North-South junction, including signaling, lighting and heating railway stations, as well as powering the trains.
Centrosolar has delivered ~300 modules for what will be the third largest solar power project in East Africa. An SOS Children’s Village in Mombasa, Kenya, is to benefit from the 60kWp system, which is part of the Renewable Energies Export Initiative run by the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology (BMWi).
Canadian Solar has become an official sponsor of the New York Yankees, enhancing the baseball team’s environmental commitments while increasing the photovoltaic product manufacturer’s presence in the US.