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Published on January 26th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Clean Links: Solar for Agriculture, New Solar Inverters, Chinese Solar Companies Flooding U.S. Market, Big Wind Farms, & More…

January 26th, 2012 by  

Some more cleantech stories of the day:

greenvolts solar

ISD Installs GreenVolts in California's Coachella Valley (Photo: Business Wire)


1. GreenVolts has “announced a strategic partnership with Independent Solar Developers (ISD), a turnkey solar system developer, owner, and operator that specializes in providing solar energy solutions for Southern California agricultural applications.” GreenVolts is the “provider of the industry’s first and only complete and fully integrated solar system,” the company notes.  “Using solar energy for agriculture is a large and untapped opportunity. In California alone, agricultural businesses require over 2,000 MW of capacity and use more than 10 TWh annually. These businesses have plenty of land and sun, ideal for solar energy, and are very interested in lowering their cost of electricity, which can exceed 20 percent of production costs.”

2. Solar Edge has launched a new line of North American inverters. “SolarEdge inverters once again top the CEC list with an industry leading  98% weighted average efficiency. The new range of inverters are designed for North American installations, and can be ordered with an extended operating temperature range of -40°F – 140°F (-40°C – 60°C).”

3. Chinese solar technology producers are flooding the U.S. market in anticipation of U.S. government duties that could soon be imposed on such imports, according to an evaluation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection data released yesterday by the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM). According to CASM, these Chinese solar companies “have more than doubled imports of crystalline silicon solar cells and modules” in the past several months. Of course, CASM “alleges that the recent 110 percent surge in import volume since July 2011 is further proof of illegal dumping and subsidies by Chinese solar producers and warrants a finding of critical circumstances that would apply retroactive duties to Chinese imports.”

4. Wells Fargo and Enfinity announce $100-million solar fund. The joint program will have Wells Fargo providing $100 million to projects developed by Enfinity, “one of North America’s leading solar energy companies for commercial, municipal, educational and utility-scale customers,” naturally. Enfinity America Corporation’s CEO, Rafael Dobrzynski, said, “The solar industry landscape is fast-changing; solar developers can no longer rely on incentives like Treasury’s cash grant program to make their projects viable. Enfinity has always been able to call upon its highly effective network of financing relationships – and this latest partnership with Wells Fargo will enable us to apply secure, robust financing to the many commercial, industrial and municipal solar energy opportunities in the United States.”


1. American Electric Power has signed long-term power purchase agreements for wind projects totaling 358.65 megawatts (MW) of capacity in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. American Electric Power is a subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO). “Together with a 49.2-MW agreement signed by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, SWEPCO and its affiliates have exceeded the 400-MW renewable energy commitment in a recent settlement of legal issues involving the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant.”

2. Iberdrola has just started construction on a 22-MW wind farm in Sierra de las Cabras, Spain. “The company is to invest € 22 million on commissioning this wind farm, which is scheduled to be connected to the grid by the end of 2012.” The wind farm will be located in Jumilla and will use 11 Gamesa wind turbines (capacity of 2 megawatts each). Iberdrola has six wind farms in operation in Sierra de las Cabras, totaling 140 megawatts of capacity.

Clean Cars

1. Oorja Protonics is working on a “range extender” for electric vehicles which involves its hybrid approach of using a methanol fuel cell to provide energy to ensure that batteries have sufficient charge to run. The company has traditionally teamed up fuel cells with forklifts, and is looking to build on its success there. “Fuel cells are very good for steady power. We have a hybrid approach where the battery provides the peak power requirements and the fuel cell can be a steady energy supply on board,” CEO Sanjiv Malhotra.

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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