Published on December 22nd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan1
New Solar Energy Projects (10 More Big Ones)
There has been a LOT of solar project news in the past week or so. The bottom line: solar power continues to blow up around the world (India to China to Germany to France to North America to Peru to Palau). Here’s a run-down of the big projects that I’m aware of (other than what we’ve covered):
1. India’s state Rajasthan has opened bidding for 200 MW of solar energy projects. The state has India’s “second-most solar radiant exposure,” Bloomberg notes. “The state plans to auction contracts for 100 megawatts of photovoltaic plants and 100 megawatts of solar thermal plants, Naresh Pal Gangwar, chairman of the state-run Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corp.“ said by telephone on Monday.
2. Recurrent Energy announced that it had secured $250 million for 200 MW worth of solar projects. The financing will be for 20 solar PV projects in Ontario, Canada. “Recurrent Energy, a leading North American solar project developer, announced that it has secured a four-year construction revolver credit facility of $250 million from Mizuho Corporate Bank. The facility will support the construction of 20 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects throughout the province of Ontario, Canada. The credit facility is one of the largest nonrecourse solar financings for a solar PV portfolio in North America.”
3. Rena Solar completes construction of 20-MW solar project in Qinghai, China. Announcement of completion of the project and its grid connection was made on Monday. “The completion of our power plant in Qinghai marks our foray into the solar electricity generation business in China, where we see potential for high growth in the next few years,” Xianshou Li, ReneSola’s chief executive officer, commented. “Qinghai Province has an abundance of natural resources, including sunshine, through its high elevation on the Tibetan plateau. We continue to be excited by China’s transformation from a manufacturing hub of solar products into an increasingly important end-user market.”
4. 60-MW order made for solar power plants in Germany and France. “REC modules were selected for a 60MW module supplier agreement with the German project developer GP JOULE for solar power plant installations in France and Germany,” REC noted yesterday.
“REC will supply 60MW for free field solar power plants managed by the project developer GP JOULE. REC Peak Energy Series Modules will be installed on a 20MW free field installation in Germany and on one 40MW installation near Bordeaux, France. The first delivery will take place already in December and the rest over the next six months.”
5. Solar power project to be built on site of former airport in Germany. “On December 20, 2011, Gehrlicher Solar AG began the construction of the Perleberg Airport Solar Park with a symbolic start of the project,” Gehrlicher Solar announced on Tuesday.
“The largest solar power system in the company’s history, with a peak power capacity of 34 megawatts, is intended to produce yearly about 32.7 million kilowatt hours of solar power. This amount is sufficient to cover the needs of around 9,300 three-person households.”
The project is being built on 87 hectares of land in Brandenburg about halfway between Hamburg and Berlin where the previous military airport of Perleberg was. It’s expected the clean energy power plant will be connected to the grid in May 2012.
6. Solar project to go up on former gas power plant site. Okay, this isn’t a huge project, but it’s a cool one. “On the former premises of a gas power plant now more than 4,900 modules quietly produce clean energy. The 1.2 MWp installed capacity will cover the annual electricity need of 370 households,” SunEnergy Europe notes.
“SunEnergy Europe GmbH’s CEO, Hartwig Westphalen, has a vision of his own when it comes to regional and decentral energy production, seeing them as pulse generator for the energy transition ahead of us: ‘As early as seven years ago we successfully demonstrated that it is possible to turn something that costs money into something that brings money to the commune by building a PV Power Park on a former landfill in Lower Saxonian Neu-Wulmstorf. Given, areas like these are not the easiest to develop a project for, but benefits like we have in Gera show that it is well worth the effort.’”
7. TransCanada buying 86-MW solar project portfolio from Canadian Solar. (Yes, THAT TransCanada.) TransCanada is buying the portfolio for $470 million Canadian dollars. “Under the agreement, CSSI will provide TransCanada with 9 fully-operational and commissioned utility-scale solar projects across the Province of Ontario which are expected to come into service between late 2012 and mid-2013,” Canadian Solar announces.
“These projects are all contracted assets under Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff Program. In addition to securing construction finance, CSSI will provide turnkey engineering, procurement and construction services as well as being the supplier of major components to the projects. All solar PV modules used in the portfolio will be manufactured at Canadian Solar’s manufacturing facility in Guelph, Ontario.”
“We are proud of our association with TransCanada, one of North America’s strongest and most successful energy infrastructure companies, which have chosen to partner with us for their entry into the Solar PV space,” Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian Solar Inc. said.
8. Largest solar facility in New England completed. A new solar projected just completed in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield, Massachusetts is the largest solar facility in New England. “The facility features 8,200 solar panels and produces 2.3 megawatts (MW) of electricity,” Western Massachusetts Electric Company reported yesterday. Okay, 2.3 MW isn’t huge,.. but it’s New England!
“Seven months ago we were standing on a remediated brownfield site. Today, this site is now a tax-generating property and is home to the largest renewable energy facility in New England,” Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said at the event celebrating the facility’s completion.
9. 44-MW solar project in Peru gets $145 million in funding. T-Solar “has signed three loan agreements for a total of $145m to finance two photovoltaic power plants with an aggregate capacity of 44 MW in Peru,” the company reported today.
“The two plants will be the first large-scale solar photovoltaic energy projects in Latin America. 113,600 thinfilm amorphous hydrogenated-silicon modules produced by T-Solar’s Orense, Spain factory will be deployed over 206 hectares of land in the Arequipa region in southern Peru. Isolux Corsán, T-Solar’s parent company, has been retained as EPC contractor and will carry out construction works.
“The two solar plants are expected to produce 80 GWh a year, enough electricity to supply 80,000 people. Project construction will generate over 160 direct jobs amongst the local population. The plants are expected to be connected to the national grid by the second semester of 2012.”
10. Republic of Palau International Airport gets island nation’s largest solar power project. Kyocera, which supplied the solar panels, notes: “the 226.8kW solar installation is the largest to be completed on the island nation located roughly 500 miles east of the Philippines. The design and implementation of the parking lot solar project was a joint collaboration between Kyocera and Wakachiku Construction Co., Ltd., which was realized with funding by the Japanese government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to help contribute to the country’s growth.” Again, not a HUGE project, but a noteworthy one….