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capacity

Acciona Energía will easily double its renewable energy capacity in Latin America to over 2,000 MW by 2020, all owned and operated by the company. This was highlighted in the opening ceremony for the El Romero Solar PV plant in the Atacama Desert (Chile), a 246 MWp capacity facility – the biggest in Latin America – that symbolizes the company’s strategic commitment to one of the areas of the planet with the best growth prospects for clean energies.

The event was attended Chilean Energy Minister Andrés Rebolledo and Acciona President José Manuel Entrecanales, as well as many other personalities from the country’s institutional, business, academic and financial fields.

The company currently owns 897 MW of wind and PV power capacity in the region (in Chile, Mexico and Costa Rica). In the last trimester of this year another 700 MW will be under construction and come on stream in 2018 and 2019, plus other projects at very advanced stage of development that are expected to be completed in 2020.

Chile meets all the conditions to be a leader in the development of renewable energy in the world and our El Romero Solar plant is a perfect example of it” said Acciona President José Manuel Entrecanales who added that Acciona hopes to continue contributing to the maturity of the industry in other Latin American countries. “What has been termed as non-conventional renewable energies today are in fact the energies that are going to become the conventional ones because they will be the ones that are imposed on all other generation technologies,” he stated.

Energy for electricity distributors and for Google

El Romero Solar was grid connected one year ago after being built in record time: 13 months. Located in Vallenar, around 645 kilometers north of Santiago, it covers 280 hectares in the Atacama Desert. Its 246 MWp (196 MW nominal capacity) can produce clean energy equivalent to the electricity demand of 240,000 Chilean homes, avoiding the emission of around 475,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations every year.

The plant consists of 776,000 photovoltaic modules with a solar capture surface area of over 1.5 million m2. Fully owned by Acciona, it is connected to the Chilean Central Interconnected System (SIC) grid.

The plant has been supplying renewable-based energy to Google since January this year to cover all the multinational’s electricity consumption in Chile, in particular its data center. The contract will run until 2030. From 1 January 2018 the plant will start supplying electricity to the distributors in the SIC under contracts arising from the 2013/03-2 tender – awarded in December 2014 – in which ACCIONA was allocated up to 600 GWh per annum over 15 years.

New wind power project in Chile

El Romero Solar is the second facility owned and operated by Acciona Energía in Chile after the 45 MW Punta Palmeras wind farm in the region of Coquimbo, which entered service in October 2014. As well as supplying energy to the Chilean power grid, in July this year the company signed a contract with the Falabella group, a leading retail distributor in Chile, to supply renewable energy to almost one hundred of its premises.

In the last quarter of this year Acciona is constructing a 183 MW wind farm (San Gabriel) in La Araucanía to cover the supply of 506 GWh awarded to the company by the Chilean Energy Commission (CNE) in August 2016.

The renewables sector in Chile offers some of the best prospects in Latin America, which also means at global level. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Chile can reach – including conventional hydroelectric power – a 50% share of renewable energy in its energy mix in just five years (2022) compared with 39% in 2016. This will be done with 5.2 additional GW of non-conventional renewable energies expected to come on stream in that period.

Source: Acciona

BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche today announced joint venture Ionity that will develop and implement a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe. Launching approximately 400 HPC stations by 2020, Ionity will make long-distance journeys easier and marks an important step for electric vehicles.

Based in Munich, Germany, the joint venture is led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Hajesch and Chief Operating Officer Marcus Groll, with a growing team, set to number 50 by the start of 2018.

“The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles. Ionity will deliver our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel,” said Hajesch.

Creation of 20 charging stations starting in 2017

A total of 20 stations will be opened to the public this year, located on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120 km, through partnerships with “Tank & Rast”, “Circle K” and “OMV”. Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different manufacturer cars, to charge their vehicles simultaneously.

With a capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System to significantly reduce charging times compared to existing systems. The brand-agnostic approach and Europe-wide distribution is expected to help make electrified vehicles more appealing.

Choosing the best locations takes into account potential integration with existing charging technologies and Ionity is negotiating with existing infrastructure initiatives, including those supported by the participating companies as well as political institutions. The investment underlines the commitment that the participating manufacturers are making in electric vehicles and relies on international co-operation across the industry.

The founding partners, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, have equal shares in the joint venture, while other automotive manufacturers are invited to help expand the network.

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Acciona Energía will build and own three identical PV plants in a 50-50 alliance with its partner in the region Swicorp (Saudi Arabia) using its Renewable Energy Platform, Enara Bahrain Spv Wll (“ENARA”). Their total rated capacity will be 150 MW (186 MW-peak) and the project will represent a total investment of approximately 180 million US dollars. Located in the Benban complex created by the Egyptian Government in the region of Aswan, it will be Acciona Energía’s first renewables project in Egypt.

The energy sale contracts (PPAs) for these projects and the corresponding network connection contracts (NCCs) were signed in Cairo in the presence of the Egyptian Prime Minister, Sherif Ismail, and the Ministers of Electricity & Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr. Representing ACCIONA were the Group’s Executive President, Mr. José Manuel Entrecanales, and Mr. Rafael Mateo, CEO of the Energy Division, while ENARA Bahrain was represented by Mr. Kamel Lazaar, Chairman of Swicorp, and Mr. Rabeaa Fattal, Executive Director of Swicorp and Head of the ENARA Renewable Energy Platform along with ENARA key founding partners represented by Mr. Walid Al Shoaibi, Executive Chairman of Shoaibi Group and Mr. Mong Ik Chung, CEO & President of KCC Corporation. The ambassador of Spain in Egypt, Arturo Díez del Corral, has also attended the event.

The three projects come under a feed-in tariff regime set up by the Egyptian Administration in call for tender Round 2, launched in October 2016. Overall, they will produce clean energy equivalent to the consumption of around 150,000 Egyptian homes, avoiding the emission of 297,000 tonnes of CO2 from fuel-oil power plants every year.

25-year PPA

The energy generated will be supplied to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) under a long-term purchase and sale contract (25 years) according to the terms set in Round 2. The financing of the operation has been closed with International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank institution specialized in funding private projects in emerging countries, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) a multilateral bank which is also specialized in supporting projects in those regions.

Three identical plants

Specifically, the project consists of three identical 50 MW (62 MW peak capacity) PV plants, all located in the Benban complex in the Aswan region (Upper Egypt) 40 kilometers north-west of the city of Aswan and around 15 kilometers west of the River Nile.

Construction work is expected to start in December 2017, with entry into service planned 12 months after. Each plant will be equipped with 190,774 polycrystalline silicon modules of Jinko Solar technology, mounted on horizontal-axis tracking structures made by STI Norland.

A 41-plant complex

The Benban photovoltaic complex covers 37.2 km2 on a site developed by the Egyptian Administration through its New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA). It has the infrastructure needed to evacuate power from 41 privately-owned plants, with an overall capacity of 1,800 MW. It is expected to be completed in 2018, when it will become one of the biggest photovoltaic complexes in the world.

Benban is a key part of the Egyptian Government’s policy to develop renewable energy sources to diversify its electric power generation mix, which currently depends on oil and gas (the latter imported) to 90%, and to support economic growth, estimated at higher than 4% per annum in the medium term. Egypt has set itself a strategic target of covering 20% of its electricity demand with renewables in 2022 (8% in 2015). This would mean achieving a capacity of 2,800 MW from operational photovoltaic power by that date, according to forecasts by the NREA.

With these projects, ACCIONA Energía strengthens its position in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It will increase its renewable capacity by 60% over five years to more than 40 GW, mainly through new photovoltaic projects, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Source: Acciona Energía

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Electro Power Systems S.A. (“EPS”) announces the signing with Endesa of an EPC contract for the design, construction and commissioning of a 20 MW utility-scale storage system.

EPS will deliver a unique turnkey solution for serving Endesa’s thermoelectric plant Carboneras located in Almeria, Spain. The storage system will be the largest in Spain and will be composed by 24 inverters, 16 containers of which 8 for PCS and 8 for Li-ion storage, with a total installed capacity of 20 MW/11.7 MWh.

 

The installation of this utility-scale system aims to make the plant more flexible and improve its response to the load fluctuations in the current electricity system resulting from the intermittency caused by an increased penetration of renewables. The addition of storage is also expected to reduce maintenance costs for the plant’s main components and extend their useful life.

The project is part of the general evolution of the Carboneras coal plant to better serve the current electricity system. A significant penetration of intermittent renewable energies, mainly wind power, are forcing the plant to adjust its production and implement backup functions to meet electricity demand at all times.

The project is scheduled to enter into operation in June 2018.

Source: EPS

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PV energy worldwide has once again set a new record for installed capacity in 2016, connecting 76.8 GW and representing a growth of 50% on the amount installed the previous year. The PV market has experienced an important change in recent years, going from being an essentially European market, motivated by environmental issues, to undertaking most projects in emerging markets where the motivation is price competitiveness and guaranteed supply.

Even though only 55 MW were installed in Spain last year, the sector has started to breathe winds of change. After five years of moratorium, the sector feels stronger and ready to change political risk for market risk. The lack of trust in government policies, the high competitive level achieved by the technology, the huge natural resource available in Spain, the liquidity existing in the financial markets and the possibility of obtaining additional revenue by taking part in auxiliary services are all reasons that encourage PV developers to test the possibility of going directly to the market.

 

However, this path is not without its obstacles. The first and most significant is the inadequacy of the marginal system of setting prices in the electricity markets. A system designed in the 1980s, based on costs variables, could not be more inappropriate for establishing the price of technologies that do not have such variables and that are enjoying an increasingly greater presence in the energy mix.
Read more…

José Donoso
Managing Director, UNEF, the Spanish Solar Association

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

The Brazilian energy agency, EPE and the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) have published the long-awaited 10-year Energy Expansion Plan, known as the PDE 2026 (Plano Decenal de Energia), with a provision of $430bn to help the country’s energy sector. According to PDE 2026, the domestic energy offer needed to drive the Brazilian economy to 2026 will be 351 Mtep. As a result, EPE forecasts that the installed capacity in the National Interconnected System (SIN) over the next decade will rise by 64 GW from 148 GW to 212 GW. Around 50% of this growth will come from non-conventional renewable sources. EPE forecasts that renewables, excluding hydropower, will achieve a 48% share of the energy mix by 2026.

Every year, Brazil publishes a 10-year proposal, the Energy Expansion Plan, which examines the estimated development of the country’s energy sector and offers a forecast of what will be achieved over the course of the decade. Due to changes in both the government and at EPE, there was no proposal last year, which is why publication of the current plan has been so eagerly anticipated.

 

Under the new reference scenario, the new PDE targets utility-scale solar to achieve 9,660 MW by 2026, rising from 21 MW in 2016. Combining these 9,660 MW with the deployment of 3.5 MW in distributed PV generation, total solar installations would exceed 13 GW by 2026. Read more...

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

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Siemens is now offering its SGT-800 industrial gas turbine with a power output of 57 MW and an electrical efficiency of more than 40% in simple cycle application. In a combined cycle configuration the power output is 163 MW at a net efficiency of more than 58.5%. The SGT-800 is now available with power output from 47.5 MW to 57 MW thanks to this upgrade, which will be offered onto the market in addition to the current ratings.

The most powerful SGT-800 to date is aimed primarily at industrial power producers and oil and gas companies that have a particularly high energy demand.

 

The 57 MW upgrade follows the design philosophy of taking small evolutionary fine tuning steps, while staying close to the commercially proven and reliable design of the SGT-800 industrial gas turbine. Only improvements of gas turbine parts using Siemens existing and mature core engine technologies have been made. The improved performance of the 57 MW rating has also been achieved through improved gear box and outlet casing/diffuser efficiencies. A reduced footprint of the gas turbine package has been achieved thanks to a shorter design, as well as a higher degree of preassembly for shorter installation time at site.

To date, more than 325 SGT-800 turbines have been sold worldwide. The Asia Pacific region is an especially important market for the machine, with more than 100 units sold, 71 of them in Thailand alone. Over the last five years the SGT-800 has been the market-leading gas turbine for combined cycle applications in its power range. The installed SGT-800 fleet has currently reached more than five million operating hours. The turbine, which was originally known under the product name GTX100, began development in 1994 and was launched in 1997.

Source: Siemens

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Acciona Energía has put the 78-MW capacity Bannur wind park into service in India. It is the fourth owned by the company in the country, taking its operational capacity there to 163.8 MW. Located in Mysore district in the state of Karnataka (south-west India), Bannur has twenty-six AW125/3000 Nordex-Acciona Windpower wind turbines (rotor diameter 125 metres) mounted on 120-metre high concrete towers.

The new facility will generate an estimated 242 GWh a year, equivalent to the consumption of over 224,000 Indian homes and avoiding the emission of 232,562 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations. The energy generated will be supplied to the utility Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), following the signing of a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).

 

More than 600 jobs

This project is the first directly developed and built by ACCIONA in the Indian market, highlighting its capacity to adapt to the specific conditions of the country. The construction of Bannur has created more than 600 direct jobs, contributing to local development in the eighth biggest state in the country in terms of population. The concrete towers on which the turbines will be mounted have been built close to the site in a purpose-built facility.

The turbine nacelles have mostly been assembled in the plant set up by Nordex-Acciona Windpower – a company partly owned by ACCIONA – in the city of Chennai (south-east India). This factory assembles the AW3000 wind turbine, a 3-MW machine in its class II and III versions, which are ideal for sites with the medium-to-low winds that prevail in India.

With the opening of Bannur, ACCIONA now operates and owns its fourth wind farm in India after Anabaru (16.5 MW), Arasinagundi (13.3 MW) and Tuppadahalli (56.1 MW), all of them also located in Karnataka. It was the first Spanish company to install a wind farm in the country, in 2007.

India is the fourth wind power market in the world in terms of installed capacity (only behind China, the USA and Germany), with 28,700 MW accumulated at the end of 2016, and it is one of the countries with the best prospects for growth in the sector. The Indian Government is aiming at 60,000 MW from wind power by 2022 as part of an overall target of 175,000 MW from renewables set for that year. This is in line with the great increase in forecast demand for electricity in the country, which will be 2.6 times higher by 2040 according to the core scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Source: Acciona Energía

Ingeteam has been awarded the O&M contract for a new rooftop PV plant in Mexico. The 35.5 MW plant is situated in the state of Chihuahua, in the northwest of the country on the border with New Mexico, in the city of Camargo. As a result of this new project, the solar capacity maintained by the company in
Mexico rises to 140 MW, equivalent to maintaining 55% of the country’s total installed capacity.

A leader in the Mexican wind sector, Ingeteam has now consolidated its positioning in the rest of the country’s renewables sectors thanks to this new PV contract and to the award of the services contract for two hydroelectric plants in the state of Jalisco.

 

To date, Ingeteam Service’s commitment to its clients used to start when the machine came on line, by undertaking its integrated maintenance and supporting the management and operation of the wind farm throughout its service life. Since 2016, Ingeteam has expanded its portfolio of services to include turbine assembly. Ingeteam was recently awarded the contract to assemble 20 wind turbines for the La Bufa and Puerto Peñasco wind farms in the regions of Zacatecas and Sonora. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2017

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According to GTM Research and SEIA’s U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, the United States solar market added 2,387 MWdc of new PV capacity in the second quarter of 2017. This is up 8 percent year-over-year. Utility PV accounted for 58% of Q2 2017 installations, which marks the seventh consecutive quarter that the utility-scale space added more than 1 GWdc.

Although all three segments of U.S. solar experienced quarter-over-quarter growth in Q2 2017, non-residential PV is the only segment expected to actually grow on annual basis this year.

 

Non-residential PV is expected to grow 9%, following a record-shattering 58% growth in 2016 after three consecutive years of flat demand before 2016. The continued growth in 2017 is partly due to community solar, which remains on track to add more than 400 MWdc, nearly doubling community solar installations from 2016.

Meanwhile, residential PV is still expected to fall year-over-year for the first time ever, after falling year-over-year for the first time on a quarterly basis in Q1 and Q2 2017. There are several factors behind this downturn. First, segment-wide customer acquisition challenges are constraining growth in major state markets.

Second, national residential solar companies have slowed operations and pursued more profitable sales channels at the expense of growth. Meanwhile, growth in emerging state markets has not made up for weakness across the top 10 state markets, seven of which fell year-over-year in Q2 2017.

Finally, utility solar’s downturn in 2017 has been softened by projects that pushed out their completion dates from 2016 as a result of the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit extension. These projects that have spilled over into 2017 represent more than 50% of this year’s utility PV forecast. Looking ahead, the recovery for utility solar is primarily driven by procurement outside Renewable Portfolio Standards, with more than 75% of the current pipeline coming from voluntary procurement, PURPA, off-site corporate procurement, and California-based community choice aggregators.

Altogether, U.S. solar is expected to fall year-over-year in 2017 and 2018 before rebounding in 2019, in large part due to trends in utility PV procurement. Throughout H1 2017, the majority of utility solicitations have focused on projects that can come on-line with a 30% federal ITC in 2019 or later by leveraging commence-construction rules.

The return to growth in 2019 will also come from a growing number of state markets achieving scale. By 2019, more than half of all states in the U.S. will be at least 100 MW annual state markets.

That demand diversification is a function of distributed and utility solar having reached tipping points in terms of economic attractiveness. For example, more than 30 states will have surpassed grid parity for residential PV. Meanwhile, over two-thirds of the utility PV pipeline comes from projects procured outside renewable portfolio standards, driven by the costcompetitiveness with natural gas alternatives.

Market Segment Trends

Residential PV

563 MWdc installed in Q2 2017
Up 1% from Q1 2017
Down 17% from Q2 2016

Non-Residential PV

437 MWdc installed in Q2 2017
Up 10% from Q1 2017
Up 31% from Q2 2016

Utility PV

1,387 MWdc installed in Q2 2017
7th consecutive quarter in which utility PV added over 1 GWdc
Contracted utility PV pipeline currently totals 23.0 GWdc

Source: GTM Research

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