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electricity consumption

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The Energy Division of Acciona has developed a pioneering solution at global level in the field of hybridization between wind and photovoltaic power. It consists of covering a wind turbine tower with flexible organic panels to produce energy for the internal electricity consumption of the turbine. The innovative project will allow the study of the performance of the organic panels -an emerging photovoltaic technology- and their application to improve wind turbine efficiency.

The system has been installed in one of the turbines of the Breña Wind Farm (Albacete, Spain), which ACCIONA owns and operates. The turbine is an AW77/1500 of Nordex-Acciona Windpower technology, mounted on an 80-metre-high steel tower (hub height).

Installed on the tower are 120 solar panels facing southeast-southwest to capture the maximum of the sun’s rays throughout the day. They are distributed at eight different heights, occupying around 50 metres of the tower’s surface area. The photovoltaic modules, with an overall capacity of 9.36 kWp, are of Heliatek technology (HeliaSol 308-5986 model). They are only 1 mm thick, and each one has a surface area of 5,986 x 308 mm.

In contrast to the conventional technology used in the manufacture of photovoltaic models based on silicon, these organic panels use carbon as raw material and are characterized by their structural flexibility, which makes them adaptable to very different surfaces. Other key features are lower maintenance costs, less energy consumption during manufacture, easier logistics and the complete recycling of the materials used, although their efficiency is still below that of silicon modules.

The hybridization project in Breña means the optimization of the use of space for renewable energy production and it will enable us to test the efficiency of organic photovoltaics, a technology that we believe has one of the best improvement curves in terms of technological efficiency. That is why we have decided to pilot it”, says Belén Linares, Energy Innovation Director in Acciona.

Optimizing generation

The immediate application of the Breña project is to produce part of the energy that the internal systems of the wind turbine need. When the turbine is running, some of the energy generated is used to power the auxiliary systems. In shutdown mode, certain systems need to continue functioning so they are fed from the grid, which means that the wind turbine is registering a net consumption of energy.

The new photovoltaic system with panels on the tower will be able to cover, completely or partially, the energy demand related to the operation of the wind turbine when there is solar radiation, or even -in a possible later phase of the project- when the sun is not shining. This would be done through a battery storage system, leading to an improvement in the net production sent to the grid.

The organic panels are connected to two inverters that convert DC into AC for later connection to the grid which supplies the electrical equipment of the wind turbine.

The entire system is monitored with a view to evaluating it under real conditions, both from the point of view of energy production and degradation of the solar modules. Conceptually, it is a very innovative design in relation to previous experiences in wind power-photovoltaic hybridization, based on panels installed on the ground.

The idea is part of a wide-ranging innovation project driven by Acciona to study a number of emerging photovoltaic technologies, with the aim of pioneering the adoption of more efficient solutions in each case and consolidating its leadership as a PV developer. The company currently has over 1,200 MWp in operation or under construction in different parts of the world.

Source: Acciona

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Acciona will supply Telefónica with an estimated volume of renewable electricity of 345 GWh, i.e. 58% of the high-voltage energy measured with telemetry that the technology multinational will consume in Spain this year, and 23% of its total electricity consumption.

According to the contract awarded to Acciona, the company will supply 72 points located in large-scale data processing facilities, offices and other centres of Telefónica in Spain. It is the second successive contract for the sale of electricity to Telefónica awarded to Acciona, following the one signed for 2018.

Like all the energy marketed by Acciona, the electricity supplied to Telefónica will be certified 100% renewable by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC). The use of clean energy will avoid the emission of 107,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere, based on the energy mix of Spain.

Teléfonica: Also 100% renewable in other markets

The multinational is already fully renewable in other markets such as Germany, Brazil and the UK. This means that it is making progress towards its objective of 100% in all countries by 2030, which will mean a saving of around 6% on its energy bill, equivalent to 1.4% of its present revenues.

Worldwide, more than 50% of the electricity Telefónica uses is clean. It has stabilized its consumption despite a growth in traffic of 107% in the last three years, improving energy efficiency by 52% in the process, and this has been achieved two years before the target dates. In other words, the company is more efficient and consumes greener energy every year. This has led to Telefónica being part of “Lista A” del CDP, an organism that selects leading companies in the management of climate change.

Acciona: The biggest marketer of exclusively renewable energy

Through this contract, Acciona strengthens its business of the sale of energy to large clients in the Iberian Peninsula market, where is it already the biggest supplier of exclusively renewable energy with over 500 clients and 2,700 supply points. The associated volume of energy was 5,900 GWh in 2018, 11.3% up on the previous year.

Among Acciona’s renewable energy clients in the Iberian market are, as well as Telefónica, reference companies in a range of sectors such as Unilever, Bosch, Adif, Inditex, Basf, RTVE, Kellogs, Merck, Bimbo, Roca, Aena, Heinz, Asics, BT, Agrolimen, Volkswagen and the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.

Source: Acciona

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Planned and designed at European level to be an incentive to the development of renewable energies, the Guarantee of Origin system begins to gain importance with the increase of its demand and its price. According to AleaSoft, the price of certificates will tend to rise and will be important in the development of new renewable projects.

Renewable energy producers can apply to the CNMC for a certificate of the energy generated. These certificates show that those kWh were generated from renewable energy sources. There are also Guarantees of Origin for high efficiency cogeneration. These certificates can be transferred to electricity retail companies so that they can justify to their customers the renewable origin of the energy supplied.

Guarantees of Origin were conceived as a tool to provide transparency and guarantee the origin of the electricity generated, and thus encourage the development of renewable technologies. Based on the European directive that mandated the states to ensure that “the origin of electricity produced from renewable energy sources can be guaranteed as such according to objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria”, each country of the European Union has regulated the issuance and transfer of Guarantee of Origin certificates.

In 2017, the CNMC issued Guarantees of Origin for 76,683 GWh from renewable sources and 1,803 GWh for high efficiency cogeneration, 81.2% of which were transferred to marketers to cover all or part of their retailed energy.

The mix of energy sources of each retailer will depend on the fraction of their energy covered with the certificates received. With the rest of the energy produced and not covered by Guarantees of Origin, the CNMC calculates a generic mix for the rest of the retailers.

In Spain, the issuance of Guarantees of Origin by the CNMC is free of charge, but the regulation does not allow renewable facilities that receive state subsidies to profit from their transfer. Consequently, in Spain the market of Guarantees of Origin has been traditionally unattractive and with prices of few cents of euro per MWh, very low compared with other European countries where the prices were around 0.20 ‑ 0.30 €/MWh. But this has been changing as there are more renewable plants to market without economic incentives and with the affiliation of the CNMC to the AIB (Association of Issuing Bodies) that manages the trade of Guarantees of Origin in Europe. According to AleaSoft, the Guarantees of Origin will have an important role as an incentive in the new renewable projects since their price will tend to increase in the coming years.

But not everybody thinks that the Guarantees of Origin system is perfect. Its detractors denounce that it is usually used in a deceptive way to confuse the consumer about the origin of the electricity that physically arrives at its meter. Since the issuance and acquisition of certificates does not influence the pool energy mix, which will only depend on the availability of renewable resources at each moment, it is implied that it does not encourage the installation of more renewable power.

What is certain is that the Guarantees of Origin provide transparency for the consumers that allows them to know the environmental impact associated with the energy consumed, and provides more resources to choose the retailer. In addition, for the market, it represents an indication of the demand that exists among consumers to be supplied with renewable energy. And we are not only talking about domestic consumers who are aware of climate change. Since major consumers of electricity such as Google, Facebook and Apple began to announce that they would work to make their electricity consumption 100% from renewable sources, a “green wave” worldwide is leading large companies to also propose a total green electricity consumption. And this “green wave” will continue to spread in cascade as these companies begin to also ask for green certifications to their suppliers. All this has already made the demand for Guarantees of Origin to grow and, consequently, also their price, which, according to AleaSoft, will continue to rise in the medium and long term.

For AleaSoft, the current scenario presents a future where Guarantees of Origin are going to play an important role in the Energy Transition, thanks to the new renewable projects to meet the emission reduction objectives and the increasingly widespread awareness of consumers and retailers about the environmental impact of electricity production.

The National Mining Company of Chile (ENAMI) has awarded ACCIONA Energía its electricity supplies from renewable energy sources starting in April 2018, under a long-term deal. The PPA contract will cover 100% of the electricity consumption of ENAMI’s plants, for which ACCIONA will build a new photovoltaic plant in the north of the country.

Power will be supplied to the plants that ENAMI operates in the regions of Antofagasta, Atacama and Coquimbo, and the agreement also covers the consumption related to the modernization of the Fundición Hernán Videla Lira foundry located in the town of Paipote, starting in 2022.

The energy purchase and sale contract was signed yesterday in the El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant – owned by ACCIONA – by representatives of the two companies in the presence of authorities from the Region of Atacama. Among those present were the Mayor Alexandra Nuñez and the regional Ministerial Secretaries (Seremis) of Mining and Energy.

In 2022, when all ENAMI’s plants will be supplied by ACCIONA, the 100% renewable energy will avoid the emission of more than 300,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere equivalent to emissions from thermal power plants, based on the country’s energy mix.

“Helping the National Mining Company of Chile to achieve 100% renewable consumption gives us great satisfaction, due to the importance of the client, the sector it operates in, and because it strengthens our position in the corporate PPA market in the country”, says ACCIONA Energía CEO for South America Ignacio Escobar. “The agreement also enables us to increase our photovoltaic capacity in Chile, which represents a major milestone in our development activity”, he adds.

Jaime Pérez de Arce, Executive Vice-president of ENAMI, states that “this contract is part of the modernization that we are driving forward in ENAMI. This is very important for us, as it demonstrates our commitment to the sustainable development of the Company and the country”. He adds that “the new emission-control technology that we will incorporate in the foundry at Paipote, plus the fact that all our plants are supplied with clean energies, places us among the companies with highest environmental standards in the sector”. 

ACCIONA has two renewable facilities currently in operation in Chile: the 246-MWp photovoltaic plant in the Atacama Desert and the 45-MW Punta Palmeras wind farm in the region of Coquimbo. It is now building a second wind farm – San Gabriel, with a capacity of 183 MW- in Araucanía.

The agreement with ENAMI took place following the award of a public tender in which 14 power generation companies took part. The energy to be supplied by ACCIONA will come from new photovoltaic facilities that the company will build in Chile. The assigned plant (or plants) will be selected from the portfolio of photovoltaic projects that ACCIONA has in the northern zone, giving priority to those located in the region of Atacama.

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The private sector accounts for around half of Europe’s electricity consumption. Powering corporate consumers with renewable energy could deliver massive reductions in CO2 emissions, save businesses money and make it easier for people to invest in renewables.

Large energy consumers such as chemical and aluminium producers, ICT and food & drink companies gathered in Brussels last October, 11, with renewable energy producers to consider how to unlock this potential. The RE-Source 2017 event brought together industry leaders such as Google, Mars, IKEA and Alcoa with energy players EDF Energies Nouvelles, ENEL Green Power, Envision and Vestas with policy makers.

The volume of ’Corporate Renewable Power Purchase Agreements’ (PPAs) – which allow companies to purchase renewable energy directly from an energy generator – almost tripled in Europe in 2016, with over 1 GW of capacity contracted. Globally, more than 100 top companies have now committed to procure 100% renewable electricity via the RE100 initiative,together accounting for 150 TWh of yearly consumption.

Yet, in Europe, only a limited number of large corporates are involved in renewables sourcing and do so in only a handful of European countries, mainly Scandinavia and the UK.

Getting the EU’s Clean Energy Package right will be key to unlocking the massive growth potential of PPAs. Companies wanting zero-carbon power need to be able to trace the supply and prove that it’s renewable. They also need to value additionality criteria if they have been explicitly investing in new RES capacities, therefore contributing to the achievement of EU’s overall targets. To do this they need functioning Guarantees of Origin (GOs) that are effectively linked with RES producers and a system that values investments in additional renewable capacities. The European Commission’s proposal for a Renewable Energy Directive is insufficient in this regard, and this must be tackled by the European Parliament and Council in the next phase of the negotiations.

Furthermore, in many countries including Germany, it’s a grey area as to whether the law actually allows for PPAs. The new Renewables Directive would require governments to remove legal barriers to PPAs. A better legal framework would help PPAs spread into other markets, whilst more flexible contracts catering to the needs of SMEs would enable PPAs to flourish beyond the major corporates.

Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said in this morning’s welcome session: “Wind energy producers can supply cheap power today thanks to significant reductions in technology and operating costs in recent years. Renewable PPAs help companies source the affordable power they want and at fixed prices reducing their exposure to volatile fossil fuel costs. But there are still barriers to PPAs. The Clean Energy Package is an opportunity to remove these and ensure PPAs can really flourish”.

Dr James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “Corporates are increasingly looking to buy solar power as a cost-effective and competitive source of energy across Europe. We must act now to encourage corporates and solar companies to work together, to accelerate the European energy transition and facilitate the growth of European solar power.

Source: WindEurope

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Group ACS, through Dragados Offshore, has been awarded with the development, construction and supply of the HVDC electric power converter platform for Dolwin 6 project in the North Sea. This project will be developed in partnership with Siemens, and it will be able to transmit enough electricity to initially supply one million German homes.

The system with 900 megawatts of power consists of a HVDC offshore converter platform in the German North Sea and an onshore HVDC substation, in Emden area.


Particularly, Dragados Offshore will be in charge of the design, supply, construction, transportation and installation of the platform, while Siemens will cope with the design and supply of HVDC equipment for both substations, and the development of the onshore substation. They will together commission the facilities so as to test them and put them to work.

The offshore conversion platform transforms the electrical energy of incoming wind turbines by high-voltage 155 kV AC power cables to high voltage direct current of 320 kV, exporting it to the ground substation. The platform will be connected to the existing Dolwin Beta platform.

The contract is considered as an important milestone for ACS, and subsequently for Dragados Offshore, as it strength’s their activities in the providing of platforms for the offshore wind industry by building a state-of-the-art megaproject in its sector, consolidating it in a Leading position in the offshore market.

On March 23, at exactly 11:19 in the morning, the combined output of California’s copious solar panels and wind farms briefly supplied 49.2 percent of the state’s power demand for the first time. The record was a good omen for America’s most populous state, which is striving to use renewables for half of its electricity consumption by 2030.

But this laudable goal comes with a few hurdles. Customers want their electricity always on, but the wind can weaken and, even in California, the sun hides behind a cloud. “It’s not always possible to meet the full demand with renewables in the mix,” says Selma Kivran, a general manager for aeroderivatives at GE Power Services. “You need something else to fill the gap.”


In the absence of grid-scale batteries to bridge supply gaps (batteries remain expensive and limited in use) natural-gas-burning turbines can quickly ramp up and pick up the slack when renewables drop off. But even the fastest machines take several minutes to reach full power, forcing operators to run them at minimum load to keep them ready, burn gas and put more wear on the machines. “This is inefficient combustion that needs extra fuel, costs money and generates unnecessary greenhouse emissions,” Kivran says. “It’s not the ideal, and not the only possible solution.”

That’s why Kivran and her colleagues at GE Energy Connections decided to bring peakers and batteries together and wrap them in a single, efficient package with sophisticated power management software. With this hybrid system, the gas turbine can be turned off, and the battery will respond instantly.

Southern California Edison (SCE) is deploying the solution — the first of its kind in the world — at two sites near Los Angeles. “The battery is quick and clean, and the gas turbine is giving you the power you need. It’s reliable power because it’s always there, and you also get the environmental benefits,” says Mirko Molinari, general manager for digital grid at Grid Solutions from GE Energy Connections.

Under the hood of GE’s California grid-scale hybrid, there’s the company’s LM6000 gas turbine — a nimble peaker with jet engine technology at its core that can reach 50 MW in just 5 minutes — and a 10 MW battery assembled from lithium-ion cells that lasts up to 30 minutes. When a wind farm output drops, the battery can kick in immediately and give the turbine the time to start up without cutting off from the grid.

GE engineers developed software that allows the utility to manage in the most optimal way how fast the battery discharges and how quickly the turbine needs to ramp up from full stop. “Anybody can put a battery next to a turbine,” Molinari says. “The magic is in integrating the controls.”

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) already has software that is always listening to what’s happening on the grid. When it detects that the power line frequency is dropping, it will send a signal to the battery-turbine hybrid to get ready and also the utility’s central control room. It will keep the amount of power racing through the lines the same even after the renewable source drops off.

Besides fighting dips in renewables production, the solution could be also useful in fighting the dreaded California duck — the nickname for the duck-like curve that describes the sharp difference between power supply and demand after the sun sets and the state’s plentiful solar panels stop producing electricity. “This solution is scalable,” Kivran says. “We’ve optimized the energy storage to meet desired cost proforma, but given its design is modular, there is no reason why we could not go to 100 MW or more.”

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Acciona Energía now covers all the electricity consumption of Google’s installations in Chile under a long-term supply contract signed by the two companies, with energy generated in its El Romero Solar photovoltaic solar plant. This helps the company to achieve Google’s objective of supplying all its operations worldwide with 100% renewable energy by 2017.

Acciona’s supplies to Google in Chile will continue until 2030, with an option for a five-year extension at the client’s discretion. The contract covers the supply of up to 80 MW of electric power per annum through Chile’s main power grid, the Central Interconnected System (SIC), to which the photovoltaic plant and Google’s data center in Quilicura are both connected. It is one of the 13 Google’s data centers worldwide and the only one located in the Southern hemisphere.


The start of supplies to Google visualizes one of Acciona Energía’s strategic lines of business, i.e. working with major corporate clients that wish to reduce their carbon footprint through the supply of 100% renewable energy.

In operation

El Romero Solar is located in Vallenar in the Atacama Desert (around 645 kilometers north of Santiago), one of the areas of the world with the highest solar radiation. It gradually entered service towards the end of 2016 and is now in commercial operation after a record-breaking 13 months’ construction period.

With a maximum capacity of 246 MWp, the plant consists of 776,000 photovoltaic modules with a solar capture area of more than 1.5 million m2.

The biggest photovoltaic plant built, owned and operated by Acciona to date represented an investment of around 343 million US dollars. Its average annual production is estimated at 493 GWh, equivalent to the electricity demand of 240,000 Chilean homes, and avoiding the emission of around 475,000 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere from conventional coal-fired power stations.

Presence in Chile

El Romero Solar is the second asset owned by Acciona Energía in Chile after the Punta Palmeras wind farm (45 MW) located in the region of Coquimbo, which entered service in October 2014. The company, awarded a total of 1,116 GWh in the last two electric power auctions in Chile, now has 270 MW in wind power projects to be built in the near future and a strong portfolio of wind power and photovoltaic projects under development.

Source: Acciona Energía

HP Inc. bolstered its longtime commitment to sustainability by pledging to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity usage in global operations. As part of this goal, HP is joining RE100, a global initiative of top businesses committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. Led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, RE100 works with companies like HP to help businesses transition to renewable energy sources and accelerate the transformation of the global energy market to a low carbon economy.

As an important step to achieving this ambitious goal, HP plans to reach the 40 percent renewable electricity mark by 2020 in its global operations. This new goal reinforces HP’s dedication to integrating sustainability into its core business strategy.

“Joining RE100 represents a significant milestone for our company as we continue to move toward a business that is powered entirely by renewable electricity,” said Nate Hurst, HP’s Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer. “As we continue to reinvent a more sustainable business and society, both cost-effective and low carbon sources of energy are essential to the future and the growth of HP’s business. This commitment is guided by our belief in a world where technology and sustainability can combine to become a powerful force for innovation, helping reinvent how businesses, communities, and individuals can thrive.”

“We’ve worked closely with HP and the company’s dedication to building sustainability into the business is clear,” said Amy Davidsen, Executive Director, North America at The Climate Group. “We welcome HP’s leadership following the Conference of Parties on the UN Climate Change negotiations and its dedication toward driving forward the clean revolution.”

HP Inc. is applying a three-phase strategy to reach this goal:

  1. Aggressively reduce energy consumption by optimizing operations/building efficiency and implementing new efficiency projects.
  2. Increase the use of on-site renewable power.
  3. Acquire or generate off-site renewable power to offset brown power emissions, including the use of renewable energy credits (RECs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs).

HP was one of the first technology companies to measure and publish its complete carbon footprint, and set carbon reduction goals across its entire value chain including its operations, products and supply chain.

Between 2015 and 2018, the Mexican government expects to achieve 6 GW from renewable sources with an estimated investment of US$14bn. The Government-s commitment for 2024 is to generate 35% of the country’s electric consumption from renewable sources, with a forecast of 12 GW from wind power and 3 GW from PV. With these targets in mind, the first long-term auction for clean energy generation and sales took place on 29 March.

The auction involved a total of 227 offers from 69 bidders. Following evaluation of the economic terms by CENACE (the National Energy Control Centre), some 5,402 GWh/year were awarded, corresponding to 18 offers from 11 bidders to which the respective Electricity Contacts will be allocated. These contracts must be effective by 12 July this year. The energy bid is equivalent to 1.9% of Mexico’s annual generation with projects ranging from 18 MW to the 500 MW that will be installed in Yucatán, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Aguascalientes and Baja California Sur. The auction also allocated 5,380,911 CELs/yr.

The successful companies were Aldesa Energía Renovable, Consorcio Energía Limpia 2010, Enel Green Power, Energía Renovable Península, Emergía Renovable del Istmo II, Jinkosolar Investment, Photoemeris Sustentable, Recurrent Energy México, Sol de Insurgentes, SunPower Systems and Vega Solar.

The projects awarded, corresponding to wind and photovoltaic energy, represent an additional capacity of 2,753 MW, with PV accounting for the lion’s share with a total of 2,191 MW awarded. The most important solar projects include the project awarded to the company Vega Solar 1 for the Ticul 1 solar plant (Yucatán) with 1,000 MW of total capacity.

Successful bids for Spanish companies

A few days after what is possibly the most important auction to have taken place to date, the names of the companies that are backing the successful bids were announced.

Via Energía Renovable del Itsmo II, Acciona Energía was awarded the supply of 585.7 GWh under a project for a 168 MW wind farm in the State of Tamaulipas. The El Cortijo wind power project, whose production was awarded together with the corresponding Clean Energy Certificates (CEL), will be located 40 kilometres south of the city of Reynosa. Comprising fifty-six 3 MW Acciona Windpower turbines, the wind farm will generate electricity equivalent to the consumption of around Mexican 350,000 homes, avoiding the emission of more than 563,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere from conventional coal-fired power stations. Construction work is expected to start in 2017, with the wind farm coming on line by mid-2018. The energy produced will be supplied to the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) under a long-term contract (15 years).

Alarde Sociedad de Energía, through the Consorcio Energía Limpia 2010 consortium, was awarded 5.4% of the energy supply. The company submitted a bid of 338 million pesos, as a result of which it was allocated 291,900 MWh with 291,900 CELs for a wind power project expected to be operational on 27 September 2018.

During the auction Aldesa Energías Renovables won 4.27% of the power supply corresponding to two projects: the Chacabal I and II wind farms with 230,000 MWh total capacity.

Alter Enersun, via Photoemeris Sustentable, was awarded a solar farm project in the Yucatán region with a capacity of 40 MW. A total project investment of €35.12m will be required to be ready to go prior to 1 January 2018. The management contract runs for 15 years with an estimated value of €52.7m for the whole period. Alter Enersun is currently very active as from the start of this year having finalised the purchase of the Globasol PV installations in Lobosillo (Murcia).

SAJ Electric