Some recent solar energy news we haven’t hit yet:
2. Kyocera has now launched “its highest-output solar module, the 80-cell KD 315,” the company notes. “The new module is ideal for large-scale installations like solar-covered parking, and is now available for U.S. customers.”
3. Polysilicon prices hit record low of $0.90 per watt in 2011 (from $1.80 per watt at the beginning of the year). However, expected to drop even lower, going below $0.70 per watt in 2012.
4. 50-MW solar thermal power plant now supplying electricity in Lebrija, Spain. Can power up to approximately 30,000 Spanish households.
5. GE to supply 23 megawatts (MW) of advanced solar equipment to Invenergy for Grand Ridge Solar in Illinois, which will be the largest solar farm in the Midwest when completed (project is currently under construction). Project sits next to 210-MW Grand Ridge Wind project, which uses GE wind turbines.
6. Japan’s Solar Frontier the clear market leader in CIGS thin-film solar panels (and just signed contract with enXco to provide it with up to a whopping 150 megawatts of solar panels). 2011 production numbers of top CIGS producers:
* Solar Frontier, 577 megawatts
* MiaSolé, 60 megawatts
* Solibro, 95 megawatts
* Avancis, 25 megawatts
* Global Solar, 19 megawatts
* Nanosolar, 20 megawatts
* Soltecture, 14 megawatts
7. Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited becomes first solar PV company in world to have carbon footprint lifecycle assessment conducted of its PV modules by TUV Rheinland. “According to the Assessment, the carbon dioxide emitted during the manufacturing phase is significantly less than that will be reduced during the 25-year usage phase,” but no specific numbers were given.
8. 18-MW solar power plant in Dunhuang, Gansu Province in west China now connected to the grid. “Located in the solar base of China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company in Dunhuang, the solar power plant covers an area of 400,000 square meters and JinkoSolar provided all 76,000 modules for the installation,” JinkSolar announces. “Solar power projects currently completed or under construction in Gansu exceed 100MW, about one-eighth of China’s total solar capacity of 768MW.”
9. SunEdison in talks with Japan about $4.6-billion plan for solar farms in the country. “US solar developer SunEdison has confirmed it is working on plans to deploy 1GW of new solar capacity in Japan at an estimated cost of Y350bn ($4.6bn),” Business Green reports.
10. GE pitching solar panels to go with wind farms now. (See item #5 above.) Investors must diversify their investment portfolio. And we must diversify our electric grid. Right now, that is largely about adding wind and solar. “General Electric Co. is trying to convince developers that have bought its wind turbines to double down on clean energy by purchasing its solar panels as well, said Vic Abate, who runs the company’s renewables unit,” Business Week writes.
Solar panel installation via shutterstock