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photovoltaic energy

SolarCity is the latest solar company to partner with a smart home technology provider in an effort to deepen relationships with customers.

This morning, SolarCity, the country’s biggest residential solar installer, announced that it will offer 10,000 Nest thermostats to customers in California. The goal, say the companies, will be to monitor how pairing smart thermostats with photovoltaics can make systems more valuable for homeowners and the grid.

SolarCity is the first solar provider to integrate energy services through Nest. The company will offer “seasonal savings” to customers by slightly adjusting temperatures over the course of a few weeks during shoulder seasons, thus “teaching” the thermostat to stay at a more efficient (but comfortable) temperature during the peak of winter or summer.

SolarCity will integrate Nest data into its MySolarCity app to help homeowners visualize energy consumption. Over the coming months, SolarCity will start integrating with other devices in the home through the “Works With Nest” developer platform — potentially allowing it to link up with appliances, LED lights or home-wide control systems.

An Inter-Institutional Cooperation Agreement has been signed between the Ministry for Hydrocarbons and Energy, ENDE Corporation and the Governor of Tarija. Signature took place in the city of Tarija and covers the performance of the following projects: Huacata hydroelectric; the La Ventolera wind farm; and the Yunchará solar plant.

Today the demand of the province amounts to 63 MW with the city of Tarija needing 33 MW. So with 50 MW generated from renewables, we can cover the provincial capital and send the excess power to the SIN, the National Interconnected System”, commented Minister Sánchez.

Detail of the projects

The Huacata hydroelectric project is situated in the province of Eustaquio Méndez. US$6M has been invested to achieve a total capacity of 5.8 MW and it is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

La Ventolera is a wind power project located 31km from Tarija along the Bermejo road, with an investment of US$108M for a capacity of 48 MW. Its commissioning is estimated for 2018.

Solar Yunchará is a PV project situated at 4,000 metres above sea level in the municipality of Yunchará, Tarija, with an investment amounting to US$11M. Its capacity is expected to achieve 5 MW and it will be commissioned in 2017.

The pre-investment for all these projects will be paid for by ENDE Corporation through its subsidiaries and once the studies have been carried out, the proportion of investment allocated to each entity to undertake the work will be established.

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2014 marked the consolidation of photovoltaic energy at global level. Beyond its environmental benefits, photovoltaic energy has reached maturity thanks to its economic competitiveness. Well-known investment houses such as Lazard and UBS advise their clients that the new photovoltaic industry, that has reduced its costs by 85% since 2007 to date, has now overtaken nuclear and gas technologies in economic terms. And these costs are expected to continue to fall by about 3% per annum, as could be seen at the I Spanish Solar Forum that took place at the end of 2014.

The change in energy model towards clean energy is already a reality, proof of which can be seen in the fact that the investments made in renewables in 2014 exceeded 300Bn$ worldwide, 16% up on 2013. A recent study published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance highlighted that in 2014 solar accounted for almost half of these investments, the biggest growth in its history. Specifically, 2014 broke a historic record in new installed PV capacity in the world, exceeding 50,000 new MW.

And everything is pointing to the fact that solar power’s trajectory has only just. According to consultants IHS, photovoltaic demand will grow by around 25% in 2015. The International Energy Agency, the entity that has traditionally made downwards forecasts as regards growth in photovoltaic energy, has gone further by predicting that solar will be the main source of energy by 2050, representing 17% of the total energy produced at global level.

José Donoso Alonso
General Manager of UNEF,the Spanish Photovoltaic Union

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2015

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The photovoltaic industry is currently witnessing a period of rapid growth in alternative technologies to offset the depletion of fossil fuels. In the coming years, the industry estimates growth of 20% in solar facilities worldwide and the solar energy sector is expected to become a 100 billion dollar industry in 2015.

In this article, we analyse some of the technologies that continue to facilitate the rapid development of photovoltaic energy, thanks to the growth in applications for both domestic and business markets.

Although still in their embryo stages, there are some advances in photovoltaic technology that represent an excellent development opportunity for anyone who is seeking viable and sustainable alternatives to the current economic and social model. In the not-too-distant future, these could represent one of the essential escape routes from the inevitable collapse of an obsolete system towards a new model in which both the roles and the benefits of the manufacturer and the consumer are interchangeable. This could also eliminate the enormous obstacle that the excessive number of intermediaries, bureaucrats, creators of artificial needs and the like represents for the productive economy, not to mention the waste of resources caused by the current energy model that is based on the abusive use of fossil fuels.

Carmen Pérez Atanet
CEO at Interbiomasa

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Enel Green Power (EGP) has completed two new photovoltaic plants in Chile, Lalackama and Chañares. Both are now linked to the grid and the company has also brought the final 4 MW of Diego de Almagro plant online. The solar parks, located in the regions of Antofagasta and Atacama, with a global installed capacity of 136 MW, required a total investment of some US$240m.

Lalackama, with an installed capacity of 60 MW, is EGP’s largest photovoltaic plant, capable of generating up to 160 GWh a year, equivalent to the consumption needs of around 90,000 Chilean households. Building the solar park required an investment of almost US$110m.

The Chañares plant, close to the Diego de Almagro solar park, with an installed capacity of 40 MW is capable of generating up to 94 GWh a year, equivalent to the consumption of about 53,000 homes. The construction of this park involved an investment of about US$70m.

By bringing online the final 4 MW, the Diego de Almagro plant is now fully operational. It has a total installed capacity of 36 MW and consists of some 225,000 thin-film modules manufactured in the EGP factory in Catania, Sicily. The solar park is capable of generating up to 80 GWh a year and responds to the needs of around 45,000 Chilean households, thus avoiding the emission into the atmosphere of over 50,000 tonnes of CO₂.

These projects are accompanied by long-term contracts for the sale of the electric power generated and delivered to the Chile’s regional grid, the SIC (Central Interconnected System).

Growatt
SAJ Electric
AERZEN
COMEVAL