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The Test of Taber Abrasion Tester

Chloee 3 years ago 0

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Solargiga and Motech JV adding 600MW of solar module capacity in China

weijing3333 5 years ago 0

Major Taiwanese PV manufacturer Motech Industries is making an investment in a PV module manufacturing subsidiary of monocrystalline solar cell producer Solargiga Energy that will drive an additional 600MW of new capacity at the plant in China through 2016.

The PV module subsidiary of Solargiga is expected to expand PV module capacity by 400MW and enter volume production in February 2016. A second phase of expansion totalling 200MW is follow and start ramping in the third quarter of 2016.

According to Solargiga, annual production would total 1.2GW once the second phase of expansion was completed.

The company noted that the capacity expansion was needed to support customer demand and its PV project business.

Motech’s China-based operations, Motech (Suzhou) Renewable Energy Co is making the investment of RMB11.4 million (US$1.78 million) and will have a 19% stake in the module manufacturing subsidiary.

A further RMB8.6 million (US$1.34 million) is to be contributed by Solargiga subsidiary, Jinzhou Jinmao which owns the PV module company.

UGE International to acquire Endura Energy

weijing3333 5 years ago 0

Distributed renewable energy company UGE International is to acquire Toronto-based solar energy firm Endura Energy Project Corp.

UGE will use Endura’s project execution platform to accelerate deployment of projects in its focus markets including the US, Panama, the Philippines and China.

UGE also noted that the acquisition will give the company a leading market share in Ontario while Canada looks to acquire more progressive clean energy goals under its recently elected prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Under the agreement UGE will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Endura from a numbered company controlled by Cameron and Alison Steinman, the founders of Endura.

UGE shall pay CAD$1 million (US$746,000) in cash on closing of the acquisition, and shall issue 8,888,888 common shares of UGE to the numbered company.

Upon closing the acquisition, Cameron and Alison Steinman will become insiders of UGE and will hold around 32% of the issued and outstanding common shares of UGE indirectly through the numbered company.

Nick Blitterswyk, chief executive of UGE, said: “UGE is growing quickly in the commercial solar sector, both in North America and in key international markets. We have always been impressed with Endura’s professionalism and experience, and by combining our traditional strengths in sales, marketing and project finance with Endura’s strengths in engineering and project implementation, we are taking another significant step towards market leadership in this sector.”

Cameron Steinman, president of Endura, said: “UGE offers an unparalleled platform for working with businesses to lower their energy costs through distributed generation. In this fast growing industry, we’re proud to be aligned with UGE, and excited about the growth ahead.”


Karnataka announces 1.2GW solar tender

weijing3333 5 years ago 0

The energy ministry of the south Indian state of Karnataka has announced a 1.2GW ground-mount solar tender.

The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development (KREDL), am agency working under the state’s energy department, has issued a request for proposals for the capacity, which it wants to be implemented in 60 taluks - subdivisions of a district, such as a group of villages. The deadline for proposals is 2 December this year.

Proposed projects must be between 3MW to 20MW per taluk. Bidders can only submit one bid for each taluk.

Power purchase agreements will be signed with relevant utilities and vetted by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC). Developers will be responsible for design, finance, engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of projects. The developer is also responsible for power evacuation from the power plant to the nearest substation or delivery point.

In related news the deadline approaches for a KREDL tender for consultancy services to help develop shared infrastructure for the 2GW Pavagada Solar Park, spread over 4,450 hectares, which has been funded by the World Bank. This includes environmental and social impact assessment and preparation of environment management and resettlement action plan. Final submissions are due on 27 November. The park will be split into eight blocks of 250MW with minimum project capacities of 50MW.

In August, the Karnataka government also introduced an exemption from the VAT tax for Solar panels and inverters.

At Intersolar India last week, SunEdison's record low bid of 4.63/kWh for 500MW of solar capacity in an Andhra Pradesh solar park was high on the agenda with much speculation about how low bids will go for the forthcoming solar park tenders in Rajasthan as well as Karnataka.

MNRE joint secretary Traun Kapoor also announced that India would be implementing three or four 'Solar Zones' and is likely to see capacity commissioned in what could be the world's largest solar projects in solar parks within India next year.


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    Investment advisors Lazard hail competitivness of large-scale PV, lukewarm on rooftop

    weijing3333 5 years ago 0

    Large-scale solar and wind can already compete on price with traditional generation in some parts of the world, even with the price of natural gas falling, according to financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard.

    Lazard published two studies this week on the levelised cost of energy (LCOE), one for what it called “alternative energy” technologies which include solar PV, fuel cells, biomass and onshore wind, while the other study focused on developments in energy storage.

    The former is in its ninth annual edition, while the storage report is the first to be produced by the company. In 'Levelised Cost of Energy Analysis 9.0', Lazard highlights that utility-scale solar costs have fallen by 25% on average in just one year – a total fall of around 80% since 2009 – while large-scale wind has enjoyed a 60% drop in costs since then, price declines that Lazard described as “dramatic”.

    Conversely, Lazard claimed that rooftop solar still requires subsidies in much of the world to be competitive, due partly to the difficulty of building scale from smaller installations and also the complexity of the development and installation process relative to PV at larger scales.

    While community solar installations – shared arrays that are either ground mounted or rooftop – offer a better scope for scaling up, Lazard sounded a note of caution that in both instances, utility-scale remains much cheaper. Even so, utility-scale projects of all types – including conventional and nuclear generation – face challenges to their development including policy uncertainty and high absolute costs.

    LCOE metrics

    The levelised cost of energy is a metric that has been used frequently in the US to compare various technologies and tech applications and aims to take into account as many variables contributing to the overall cost of energy. In solar PV, for example, some LCOE methodologies take into account permitting and other “soft costs”.

    For Lazard’s study, the firm determined the cost per megawatt-hour of energy in US dollars required to give equity holders a return on their investment equal to the cost of equity capital. It kept the equity structure consistent across different scenarios in order to compare competing technologies, not “the benefits of financial engineering”, the report said.

    While Lazard appears to be joining a number of other financial institutions in hailing the growing competitiveness of renewables, the firm claimed that it does not foresee conventional generation being pushed out of the baseload mix in the near future. Instead, the report claimed, using alternative energy generation as a complement to traditional power sources will be “the optimal solution” in “many regions”.

    In particular, the report was sceptical on the short-term competitiveness of rooftop solar and even said that regions with support schemes favouring rooftop solar over utility-scale through subsidies were causing “intelligent system-wide integrated resource planning and policy” to “distort”.

    'Cost-effective method of carbon abatement'

    While the authors refer to a global picture presented in both the alternative energy and energy storage reports, in reality much of the data and insights presented focused on the US.

    Externalities such as environmental impact of fossil fuels and the social benefits of distributed generation were not taken into account by Lazard’s study, however, even in those cases where alternative energies have already reached grid parity.

    Despite this the report did examine the costs of carbon abatement as a separate metric for comparison, and found that, especially compared to coal, utility-scale solar and wind could be a cost-effective way to limit emissions. Policies designed to promote these alternative energy technologies, Lazard said, “…could be a particularly cost-effective way of limiting carbon emissions”. The total cost per megawatt-hour of energy produced from a coal plant came in at US$320/MWh, for a LCOE of US$65/MWh, while the equivalent figures for crystalline utility-scale PV installations with single-axis tracking stood at US$283/MWh and US$58/MWh respectively.

    The study also did not look deeply at complementary technologies and the permutations of alternative business cases – for instance Lazard admitted that in taking into account the LCOE and therefore rate of return on investment for commercial and industrial rooftop solar, it did not consider the use of PV to mitigate demand charges.

    Either by using a self-consumption PV solution, such as an east-west rooftop PV array, or PV paired with batteries, businesses in regions where time-of-use and peak use charges are prevalent such as the USA are able to significantly reduce their bills. In the US, a demand charge bill can be as much as 50% of a business’ total electricity costs, making this use of batteries “increasingly compelling to certain large energy customers”, Lazard said.

    The firm did look at demand charge management in its energy storage report and indeed in the LCOE 9.0 report referred to the “virtuous cycle” of cost declines in energy storage driven by higher volumes of renewable energy deployment, which in turn were driving greater cost declines, covered in more detail in the storage report.

    Tenergie refinances 54MW of solar assets for €150 million

    weijing3333 5 years ago 0

    France-based renewable energy company Tenergie has successfully refinanced its 54.4MW of solar assets for €150 million (US$166 million) with a bank syndicate led by Credit Agricole Group.

    The transaction was initiated in May, including the following actors: Credit Agricole Group, Unifergie, LCL, Credit Agricole Alpes-Provence, Shore Investment, BPIFrance Financing and the Postal bank.

    Nicolas Jeuffrain, president of Tenergie, said: "This operation has allowed us to benefit from the current favourable market conditions. We have also been able to align our investment vehicles and standardise our solar projects.

    “This refinancing shows our ambition to be part of the leading independent producers in France. We continue our consolidation strategy, particularly through acquisitions."

    Rescue plan for India’s Discoms will ‘fail’ without tariff reform - Bridge to India

    weijing3333 5 years ago 0

    Plans to bolster India’s struggling power distribution companies, seen as critical to delivering the country’s ambitious solar plans, must also include an overhaul of electricity tariffs, experts have claimed.

    In a blog post, Bridge to India said missing from last week’s rescue plan for India’s Discoms was “serious discussion” of tariff reform, without which the consultancy said efforts to put the organisations on a stable financial footing would “fail”.

    The financial health of the Discoms is widely regarded to be a significant obstacle to India’s plans to deploy 100GW of solar in the next few years. With collective debt of some US$65 billion, Discoms are seen as unreliable off-takers for IPP-generated power and therefore and an impediment to development.

    Towards the end of last week, the government published a package of measures to solve the Discom problem by easing their debt burdens over the coming year. State governments will be encouraged to take on up to 75% of the Discoms’ debt obligations.

    Responding to the measures, Bridge to India welcomed the proposal for state governments to assume Discom debt. It said the move would force states to directly bear the cost of Discoms’ operating inefficiencies and tariff subsidies.

    “The scheme will therefore hopefully significantly alter the behaviour of state governments going forward and improve political will for DISCOM reforms,” Bridge to India said.

    But the consultancy highlighted the absence of discussion of tariff reform as a worrying omission. It said tariff reforms were being overlooked for politicial reasons but were needed to allow Discoms to charge prices that reflect cots of delivery, including a return on capital.

    “If this is not done, Discoms will always stay in a poor financial state,” Bridge to India said. “If the states are unwilling to swallow this bitter pill, this scheme will fail like the previous restructuring package announced in 2013.”

    Concluding, Bridge to India said the financial health of Discoms had “serious ramifications” for the continued growth of solar in India: “The economic case for solar power is becoming stronger by the day but off-take concerns can imperil the solar sector in much the same way as they have for the thermal power sector. A successful revival of the power distribution sector and tariff reforms will immensely benefit both utility scale and rooftop solar.”


    COP 21: Renewables-plus-storage can help developing world decarbonise, faces challenges

    weijing3333 5 years ago 0

    Renewables with energy storage can help build low carbon energy networks in the developing world – but the twin technologies still face competition from natural gas while they gradually mature, according to an electric power systems maker and integrator.

    Cleverson Takiguchi, of S&C Electric, a US-headquartered company which has worked in areas including storage integration, renewables interconnection to the grid and mircro grids, told PV Tech Storage yesterday that micro grids can increase access to electricity in economically poorer parts of the world, including some 400 million people on the African continent that have little to no access to electricity at all.

    Brazilian Takiguchi, who is moving from a role as business development director for S&C’s operations in Africa to represent the company in sales in the EMEA regions, has over 20 years’ experience in the industry.

    He said that there has been strong interest in Africa, especially in South Africa and in Latin America and the company has built a number of pilot projects to prove that energy storage, solar and micro grids can reliably serve a useful purpose.

    Some of the parameters being examined in these pilot projects include, Takiguchi said, finding out how various types of batteries react to the desert-like climate of northern South Africa, and the possibility of providing multiple grid services through energy storage facilities.

    Going forward, he said, there could be opportunities in a number of areas such as data centres, while he also mentioned that so far he sees flow batteries as a “very promising” technology for applications in both regions due to the low degradation the batteries suffer even from prolonged and intensive use.

    PV Tech Storage asked if, with the intergovernmental COP21 talks on climate change just a short time away in Paris, renewables-plus-storage offered a good hope for building lower carbon energy networks. Takiguchi said that it did, but still faced competition – although this too could be an opportunity.

    “Of course the opportunity [to lower carbon emissions] will be to use energy storage as an enabler for renewables interconnection, but then, of course, it will still face competition with lower carbon emissions type of generation like gas.

    “Gas, it is clear has much less emissions than the traditional coal-fired power plants. But this is still a very strong competition against renewables-plus-storage, so that’s where the opportunity lies.”

    Winning that competition with gas over time therefore, is a feasible aim, Takiguchi said, but the drawback is that investors and other sources of funding have had many years to familiarise themselves with gas and less time to think about newer technologies like solar with batteries. It would, however, take time.

    “The big challenge of course is that gas turbine is a well known technology, big track record so when you compare that with a solar plant, wind farm with energy storage, not all investors will look at it the same way as if you had, let’s say, a 1MW gas turbine and a 1MW solar PV or wind in combination with storage, they may not look the same. So this is where I say technology maturity will play its role.

    “I’d say that competition, between lower carbon generation versus renewables-plus-storage is something that will be in the market for some years, at least until the technology gets more mature,” Takiguchi said.


    COP21: Conergy to send 10 ‘future solar leaders’ to Paris climate talks

    weijing3333 5 years ago 0

    Global solar company Conergy is to send 10 American students to the COP21 climate change negotiations in Paris this December as part of its newly launched Future Solar Leaders programme.

    Conergy said the programme was designed to boost media coverage of solar policy and industry growth across the world as well as support the next wave of leaders in the solar market.

    Conergy sorted through nearly 300 applicants before choosing the ten students for the programme. The students were selected based on previous climate change leadership, proficiency in communication and the ability to operate in business networking environments.

    In Paris, the Future Leaders will interview United Nations delegates about solar and publish content on Conergy’s blog, with the aim of holding COP21 delegates accountable to strong renewable energy commitments.

    Yann Brandt, regional head of the Americas at Conergy, said: “We are thrilled to launch this programme and support the next generation of solar leaders in elevating the topic of solar at these ever-important climate negotiations.”

    The students chosen are Eric Beeler (George Washington University, Washington D.C.), Zach Bielak (Rice University, Houston, Texas), Rohith Desikan (Stanford University, Palo Alto, California), Emma Hutchinson (Stanford University, Palo Alto, California), Christina Cilento (Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois), Shana Gallagher (Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts), Jake Kornack (Willamette University, Salem, Oregon), Caroline Saunders (Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennesse), Salwa Shameem (University of Chicago, Illinois), Kyle Sundman (University of Denver, Colorado).