Santa Barbara selects EI Solutions, Tioga Energy for solar PV power project

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During ground-breaking ceremonies held today (Wednesday), the city of Santa Barbara, CA, announced that it has selected EI Solutions and Tioga
Energy to design, build, and fund a 384-KW DC (331-KW AC) solar
electric system, which will be located on available rooftop space in a municipal corporation yard in the city’s historic downtown area.

The roof-mounted PV system, designed and installed by EI Solutions, will
feature 1830 Suntech 210-watt multicrystalline-based solar panels and will offset a portion of the facility’s energy load, producing enough power to service the equivalent of 1040 area homes.
“The project required EI Solutions to give special
consideration during the design phase to the aesthetic aspects of the system,
given the installation’s location in historic downtown Santa Barbara,” according to company spokesman Stephan West.

Under the
terms of the SurePath Solar PPA (Tioga’s proprietary power
purchase agreement), the company will be responsible for the operation and
maintenance of the solar PV system for the contract’s 20-year term. Santa Barbara will buy green
energy produced by the system at rates competitive to those for
traditional electric service. The agreement guarantees a predetermined pricing schedule, acting as an energy hedge protecting the city from future utility rate
increases, according to Tioga.

Jim Dewey, the city’s facility and energy manager, told PV-Tech that structural upgrades at the site have been in progress for awhile, and the installation of the electrical systems, module racks, modules, and other elements would “roll out next week.” The system “will be completed by the beginning of November.”

By completing the project before the end of the year, the city will be able to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit, which will expire on Dec. 31 unless the US Congress acts to extend it. 

EI president Andrew Beebe said in an interview with PV-Tech that the company has “done a tremendous amount of design work already,” adding that “the whole city’s been a joy to work with.”

Beebe said that in addition to the Suntech modules, Satcon inverters will be deployed for the Santa Barbara project. He also pointed to the excellent record of Suntech panels, noting how the company’s “[low] level of returns and problems in the field have been extraordinary compared to the industry averages, which gives us alot of confidence.”

Santa Barbara may add more solar to its energy porfolio in the near future. Dewey said that the city is finishing up plans for a “quick turnaround rental-car facility,” to be built as part of the newly renovated airport in the next few years, which will tentatively incorporate a 200-KW-type PV power system in its parking lot.

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The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
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Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
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In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
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