Other than the many solar energy stories we’ve covered in more depth this month, here are quick summaries of 10 more:
1. India Has Appointed Its Former Nuclear Boss as the Head of Its National Solar Mission. “Manmohan Singh announced he has appointed Anil Kakodkar, former head of the country’s nuclear programme, as the new chair of the recently launched Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI),” Business Green reports. “The SECI has been formed to oversee the government’s long-promised Solar Mission, which aims to deliver 20GW of installed solar capacity by 2020 at an estimated cost of up to $20bn.”
2. One of North Carolina’s Largest Solar Farms Debuts in Kings Mountain. 22,000 new solar panels are now generating power in Cleveland County, N.C. “The facility, named Kings Mountain Solar, was developed by Chapel Hill-based Strata Solar. It joins a growing list of projects in North Carolina, and is one of the largest in the state. Under a 20-year contract, Duke Energy Carolinas will purchase all of the energy and renewable energy credits generated from the site,” Duke Energy reports.
3. PSEG Solar Source Purchases 25.2 MW Solar Project in Arizona from juwi. “The PSEG Queen Creek Solar Farm is expected to begin construction in January 2012 and be completed in the 3rd quarter of 2012. The project will be located on 158 acres of land approximately 30 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona. PSEG Solar Source paid approximately $75 million for the project,” PSEG reports. “The PSEG Queen Creek Solar Farm will use crystalline panels and a single axis tracking system. In September 2011, the Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District entered into a long term power purchase agreement to acquire all of the solar energy generated by the project for 20 years.”
4. Rec Successfully Completes and Finances One of the Largest Solar Plants in the UK. “REC Systems, a business unit of REC, has successfully developed, constructed, financed, sold and received the 25-year feed-in tariff accreditation for the 5MW Durrants solar power plant located on the Isle of Wight, UK,” REC reports. “The Durrants solar power plant will produce 5400 MWh of electricity yearly and includes more than 19,000 high performance REC Peak Energy modules. The installation will offset 3,500 tons of CO2 per year and provide enough energy to support 1,450 four person homes per year.” OK, it’s not HUGE, but it’s the UK….
5. IKEA Solar Presence in U.S. Approaches 85% with Plans to Install Solar Panels on Five Locations in Midwestern U.S. Continuing on with its awesome solar power installation streak, IKEA has now “announced plans to install solar energy panels on five more of its United States locations – all of them in the Midwestern U.S.,” it reported at the end of last week.Pending governmental permits, installation can begin this Winter, with completion expected in Summer 2012. Implementation of these projects will extend the IKEA solar presence to nearly 85% of its U.S. locations. Collectively, the five stores will total 4.8 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity, approximately 20,400 panels, and an annual output of 5.62 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity – the equivalent to reducing 4,273 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) – equal to eliminating the emissions of 760 cars or providing electricity for 484 homes yearly (calculating clean energy equivalents at http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).”
6. EnviroMission Solar Tower Project Finance Commitment. EnviroMission (you know, that huge Arizona solar tower) has reportedly “received a formal commitment to provide the entire development and construction capital for EnviroMission’s first Solar Tower power station being developed in La Paz County Arizona to deliver the terms of a power purchase agreement with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA),” the company notes. “EnviroMission expects to be able to inform the market of the final terms and timing of the financing early in 2012.”
7. CEE Acquires Two Solar Parks from Gehrlicher Solar. “The Hamburger investment company CEE (Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien Holding GmbH & Co. KGaA) is acquiring two new photovoltaic ground-mounted systems, continuing the consistent expansion of its solar portfolio,” Gehrlicher Solar reports. “With this purchase, the total power capacity of the portfolio will increase to more than 70 megawatts. One of the new solar parks is located in Ebern in Lower Franconia, where CEE already operates a PV park, and the other in Rohr, in southern Thuringia. Both projects have been commissioned in December, 2011 and are close to completion. In Ebern a nominal capacity of about 7.1 megawatts of solar power will be supplied to the local grid and about 4.3 megawatts in Rohr. In the park in Ebern, First Solar modules have been used and in the Rohr park, Sunowe modules. Both parks have been equipped with Siemens inverters.”
8. Chinese PV Equipment Suppliers Grab Further Market-Share Gains. “Ambitious PV manufacturing capacity investments across the Asia Pacific region during 2011 have provided substantial revenue growth for local PV equipment suppliers, according to the latest NPD Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly report,” Solarbuzz reports. Going on:
Beneficiaries of these record investments include Japanese wire-saw producer Komatsu-NTC and an emerging group of Chinese tool suppliers that includes (Fujian) Apollo, 48th Research Institute (CETC-48), (Zhejiang) Jinggong, and Jingyuntong (JYT). Collectively, these four Chinese companies have posted a CAGR metric in excess of 200% for PV-specific equipment revenues covering the period from 2008 to 2011.
Many European equipment suppliers with a strong track record within the PV industry (Centrotherm, Meyer Burger, Schmid, RENA, Amtech-Tempress and DEK-Solar) are also forecast to post record PV tool revenues for 2011.
This is contrasted by other European suppliers that have seen their PV market share eroded by the new Chinese competition. Consolidated PV revenues of Roth & Rau, Manz, ALD-Vacuum, and PVA-TePla for 2011 are estimated to have been less than 50% of this grouping’s PV share in 2008.
9. 25-MW Solar PV Project Commissioned in Guajarat, India. “The 25 MW Project, of which 13 MW of high quality solar modules were supplied by China Sunergy, was completed in partnership with Visual Percept Solar Projects Pvt. Ltd (“Visual Percept”),” China Sunergy, which supplied 13 MW of solar panels for the project, announced today.
10. Eight19 Looks to Expand “Pay as You Go” Solar across Africa. “UK solar start-up Eight19 and charity SolarAid are looking for donations to help extend the company’s “pay as you go” solar system to communities across Africa,” Business Green reported today. The two organisations have jointly established the new KickStart Sustainable Energy Fund with a combined $200,000 to provide working capital to drive the rollout of the IndiGo system in rural, off-grid communities.”
Solar panels & globe via shutterstock