Top solar energy news from around the interwebs:
“Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) along with Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Wakachiku Construction Co., Ltd. announced that the companies are working to install 675kW of Kyocera’s solar power generating systems at schools and other public facilities in the island nation of the Republic of Maldives (also known as the Maldive Islands) located in the Indian Ocean. The Project for Clean Energy Promotion in Malé is being funded by the Japanese government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) — provided through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan International Cooperation System (JICS) — to promote the utilization of solar energy as an alternate and renewable energy resource and to undertake measures against climate change.”
“An investment vehicle launched [this week] expects to raise €600m (£485m) from pension funds and insurance companies to finance up to 400MW of European renewable energy assets.
“Prime Renewables GmbH, structured by Frankfurt-based financier Prime Capital AG, is targeting institutional investors through the issuance of 25-year profit-participation notes.”
“First Solar [this week] announced it will design, construct and maintain two utility-scale solar photovoltaic power projects totaling 159 megawatts for AGL Energy Limited as part of Australia’s Solar Flagships Program. AGL was selected as the successful proponent in the solar PV category of the program and will receive federal and state government funding to help deliver on its commitment to greater investment in renewable electricity generation.”
“Chint/Astronergy today announced its completion of a solar PV power plant with a total installed capacity of 50MWp in Bulgaria. The commercial operation date of the solar power plant is on June 12, 2012.”
“SPI Solar, a photovoltaic solar developer, has acquired the rights to co-develop and construct 68 solar energy projects in Hawaii totaling approximately 29 MW dc. The sites are distributed across the islands of Oahu, Kona and Maui and are predominately ground mount photovoltaic systems with some rooftop and shade structures. All of the projects are feeding directly into Hawaii’s utility power grids. In addition to the 68 projects, the agreement also allows SPI to pursue an additional 10 megawatts of projects that are currently in the Hawaiian Public Utility Commission’s reserve queue. As part of SPI’s global practices and its commitment to local economies, the projects will employ local trade people during their construction.”
“Europe is set to dominate the own consumption segment, with growth of up to 150 GWp by 2020. More than half of all installed solar capacity worldwide could be for own consumption by the end of the decade, according to a recent McKinsey study. Germany is already the global frontrunner in solar power, accounting for approximately half of the world’s photovoltaic capacity. The country’s industry is well positioned for the next growth phase, according to Germany Trade & Invest experts at this year’s Intersolar Europe in Munich from June 13-15.”
“Those companies who survive the current consolidation wave will experience a bright future. Especially the rooftop segment and downstream business models are expected to drive the industry forward,” stated Tobias Rothacher, photovoltaic industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.
IKEA has “announced plans to install solar energy panels on two more of its United States locations – both of them distribution centers in the Eastern U.S. Installation will occur this Summer on the IKEA Distribution Center in Perryville, Maryland and Westampton, New Jersey. Both projects will rank among the largest commercial rooftop solar installations in the U.S., and their implementation will extend the IKEA solar presence to nearly 89% of its U.S. locations.”
IKEA has also “announced that, as part of its goal to only use renewable energy to power its buildings, it will partner with Hanergy, one of China’s leading clean energy companies, to install solar photovoltaic panels on IKEA owned buildings in China. Once complete, the solar panels will provide both 10-15 percent of all electricity needed to run IKEA stores and 100 percent of the electricity needs of IKEA distribution centres in China, saving around 6,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. In addition to helping to power IKEA operations in China, the project is also being extended to the company’s suppliers in China. The solar panels will be manufactured and installed by Hanergy over the next three years.”
“SolarCity, a national leader in clean energy products and services, and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) [yesterday] announced their largest renewable energy tax equity fund to finance up to $250 million in residential solar power and commercial solar power projects for homeowners, businesses, schools, and government buildings. This is the sixth and largest fund created by the two companies since they partnered three years ago to make solar power systems affordable and accessible.”
Solar Power Policy
“California Governor Jerry Brown wants 12,000 megawatts of distributed generation (DG) to be part of the 20,000-plus megawatts of renewable capacity the state’s utilities have been ordered to put in place by 2020. That’s a lot of rooftop and ground-mounted solar, small and community wind, small biomass/biogas production, combined heat and power and other such local renewables.”
“The countries most affected by the Eurocrisis could reduce their debts substantially with concessions for renewable energy. Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland have excellent conditions for harvesting energy from the sun, wind and geothermal sources. They could give their creditors concessions for large scale investment programs in renewable energy that offer enough long-term financial profit….
“DEGERenergie enables energy customers to be independent of the grid by offering solar energy systems with stable electricity prices – for the next 25 years
“The sensation is perfect: DEGERenergie renders energy customers independent of the public grid. The global market leader for solar tracking systems, DEGERenergie combines its tried and tested MLD technology with a new storage solution suitable for everyday use: a battery management system. The innovative end-to-end solution will celebrate its world premiere at Intersolar Europe in Munich.”
“Trina Solar Limited (NYSE: TSL), a leading integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic (PV) products from the production of ingots, wafers and cells to the assembly of PV modules, is presenting at this year’s Intersolar Europe trade fair its new Honey Ultra world record technology as well as Trinasmart, a module-integrated solution that optimizes the energy output of PV systems….
“Honey Ultra, the second generation of Trina Solar’s Honey technology, to the company’s best knowledge, has achieved a new world record for multicrystalline modules. The standard-size Honey Ultra module (1650x992mm) reached 284.7 watts peak power output in May 2012, which has been confirmed by TUV Rheinland.”
“SOLON Corporation, one of the largest providers of turnkey solar power plants and photovoltaic (PV) products in the U.S., today announced it has been selected as the winner of the prestigious Intersolar AWARD 2012 in the Photovoltaic category, recognizing SOLON’s patent pending SOLquickTM commercial rooftop system as one of the most pioneering technologies and innovations of 2012.”
bSolar has announced that new “high-power, high-efficiency, bifacial, photovoltaic (PV), crystalline silicon solar cells” are now commercially available. “Bifacial cells utilize the cells’ rear side to collect reflected and diffused sunlight and generate additional electricity. bSolar cells are produced using p-type wafers, standard equipment and production processes, giving them a mass market appeal.”
“The new cells provide 10-30% higher energy (KWH) per KWp installed in standard applications and up to 50% in vertical installations, resulting in an equivalent cell efficiency of 21%-24% in standard applications and a total module power of 280-325 Watts for 60 cell modules. This unprecedented efficiency and power are amongst the industry highest for mono crystalline silicon cells.”
“First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) and Intermolecular, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMI) [this week] announced a collaboration and licensing agreement aimed at accelerating the efficiency roadmap for First Solar’s cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) technology….
Under a newly signed collaborative development program, First Solar will leverage Intermolecular’s High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) platform in the development of its advanced, CdTe-based, thin film PV manufacturing technology. The program addresses new opportunities in certain critical materials and processes that may significantly influence the conversion efficiency of CdTe technology. Technical work is to be performed jointly at Intermolecular’s San Jose, Calif., facility and in First Solar’s research and development labs.”
“Looking for a big summer project? We found something you might love: Instructables user MacOSJoey has drafted plans for creating a home solar system, starting with something small — a 10-watt charger for his laptop — and building up to an expandable system that now charges the family’s cell phones, laptops and some lights.
“The system uses parts you can easily find anywhere from online stores to hardware stores to stuff laying around in the garage. While the instructables is interesting for inspiration to create your own system, the best part about it is watching the maker come up with solutions, troubleshoot for new applications for the system, and in general DIY a solar system that works for the family’s needs. Pretty great project to check out!”
“Stephanie McCorkle, Director of Communications of the California Independent System Operator, noted that a new record was set on June 8 with 849 megawatts of solar generation on the system.”
“Distributed Energy Research & Solutions, Inc. (d/b/a EnergySage: www.EnergySage.com) today announced it received one of ten Department of Energy SunShot Incubator investments aimed at reducing soft costs associated with solar energy installations. EnergySage will use the $500,000 investment to develop and implement a web-based solar photovoltaic (PV) comparison-shopping platform that will provide pricing transparency and facilitate open market interactions between property owners and solar PV installers. EnergySage is the only direct consumer-facing solution for reducing customer acquisition costs and the only East Coast company to receive an award.”
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Solar Mosaic a $2 million grant to help take solar mainstream. The company is building an online crowdfunding platform for Americans to create and fund solar projects. The award comes through the SunShot Initiative.
“A year ago, Mike Larsen and Linda Nelson left their beloved urban Minneapolis home and moved to the prairie in southeast Minnesota near Altura to live in a way more connected to the land. In this story, Mike writes about how they came to the decision to build their off-the-grid home.”
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