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Foundation of a wind turbine

GES, an integral supplier of engineering, construction and maintenance for renewable energy projects (wind, solar and hydroelectric) will build the Valdejalón wind portfolio consisting of 5 wind farms in Aragón, Spain. Once completed, the wind farms will have a total installed capacity of 231 MW. Construction is expected to be finalized in 2020 second quarter.

The project is divided into two phases: Valdejalón East which includes the wind farms El Cabezo (49 MW) and Portillo II Phase I (45.6 MW) and Phase II (38 MW), and Valdejalón West composed of Virgen de Rodanas I (49.4 MW) and Virgen de Rodanas II (49.4 MW).

The Valdejalón portfolio is fully owned by the Danish fund manager Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners P/S (CIP) through its fund Copenhagen Infrastructure III K/S (CI-III). CIP is a fund management company focused on energy infrastructure including offshore wind, onshore wind, solar PV, biomass and energy-from-waste, transmission and distribution, and other energy assets like reserve capacity and storage. The company operates in Europe, North America and Southeast Asia.

GES is responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the project. The company is already working in the detail engineering, and will be in charge of the complete BOP (Balance of Plant), both the civil work, with more than 60 km of roads and 61 foundations and platforms for the 85 m wind turbines to be installed in the park; and the electrical work, including the underground medium voltage network with more than 55 km of trenches and the 132 kV evacuation line of almost another 50 km, which will connect the two new substations to an existing interconnection substation.

Solarpack Corporación Tecnológica, SA (the “Company” or “Solarpack”) announces the closing of the acquisition of 90.5% of the solar photovoltaic (” FV “) projects Tacna Solar and Panamericana Solar (the “Projects”) with TAWA SOLAR FUND LP and the rest of the Projects’ shareholders, for US$ 51.5 million. With this milestone, the Company has become the owner of 100% of the Projects, since prior to the transaction it had 9.5% of the shares of the special purpose vehicles (“SPVs”) owning the assets: Tacna Solar SAC and Panamericana Solar SAC.

The Projects, which were developed and built by Solarpack in 2012 in association with Gestamp Asetym Solar (now X-ELIO), are located in southern Peru and have a total combined installed capacity of 43 MW. Both Projects have a long-term power purchase agreement (“PPA”) in US$ in place with the Peruvian Ministry of Energy, as a result of the first renewable energy resources (“RER”) tender held in Peru in 2010, and have more than 13 years of remaining contractual life under their respective PPAs.

The Projects have a long-term non-recourse project financing granted by Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), had a net financial debt of 113 MM$ as of February 28, 2019 and booked a joint EBITDA (Pro forma EBITDA 2018 considered the acquisition of the c. 13 MW in Spain as if it had happened on January 1, 2018, and was 25.2 MM€) of 21 MM$ in 2018.

In order to partly finance the acquisition of the Projects, Solarpack has disbursed a bridge loan granted by Banco Santander for 30 MM$. For the amortization of the bridge loan, the Company contemplates several options that may involve the entry of a minority partner in the Projects or, alternatively, maintaining full ownership of the assets.

The transaction is part of Solarpack’s strategy to selectively acquire operating assets that offer attractive returns and clear value creation opportunities from operational or other types of synergies. With this acquisition, the Company accelerates the original growth plan with which it went public in December 2018.

Installed capacity of renewable power in Colombia is expected to rise from 2% in 2018 to 14% in 2025, with a further rise to 21% by 2030. Renewable capacity in the country is slated to increase fivefold to reach 5.9 GW at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.4%. This growth can be attributed to new government policies facilitating funds for renewable energy projects, energy efficiency measures and announcement of renewable energy auctions in 2018, says GlobalData.

However, GlobalData’s latest report, “Colombia Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations and Competitive Landscape, also reveals that the country’s coal-based capacity will increase by 43% between 2018 and 2030 to reach 2.4GW while gas-based power will contribute 14% of total capacity.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects will handle the demand side management in the near future. The country’s onshore wind capacity is expected to increase from 19.5 MW in 2018 to 3.4 GW in 2030, representing the country’s largest growth among its renewable sources. PV capacity is expected to reach 1.7 GW in 2030 from 172.6 MW in 2019 at 23% CAGR, while the biopower segment will see growth of 7% CAGR to reach 719 MW. To date, Colombia does not have any installed geothermal capacity but it is expected to have 50 MW installed by 2024, leading to 115 MW capacity in 2030 growing at 15% CAGR.”

Colombia’s Generation and Transmission Expansion Plan 2015-2029 is expected to accommodate high volumes of renewable energy in the near future. The anticipated grid expansion and modernization of 4.2GW to 6.7GW, which is aimed to support 1GW coal and 1.5 GW hydro, will involve huge investment in grid infrastructure industry. This, in turn, is likely to open up new markets for energy storage and energy efficiency systems to enable steady supply of power when adequate renewable energy is unavailable.

Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (“MIDIS”), on behalf of its European and Asian insurance company clients, today announced a new transaction in the Spanish renewables sector, with a 38 M€ debt investment in a portfolio of solar farms.

The portfolio is owned and managed by Q-Energy, a leading European investor and asset manager in the renewable energy sector. Comprised of six operational PV plants in south-eastern Spain, the portfolio totals 13.6MWp in installed capacity. MIDIS refinanced the portfolio’s existing debt with 21-year, amortising, floating rate, senior secured bonds, and structured an orphan interest rate swap facility to support the transaction, provided by Goldman Sachs International.

MIDIS continues to explore opportunities in the Spanish renewables market, seeking to match long-dated liabilities with investments that generate stable, long-term cash flows. In the last twelve months, MIDIS has deployed over 150 M€ into the Spanish solar sector to help meet the evolving demand through a combination of separately managed accounts and its Macquarie Global Infrastructure Debt Fund strategy.

MIDIS and Q-Energy completed the transaction on a bilateral basis, with Banco Sabadell and Santander acting as arrangers. Goldman Sachs International provided the interest rate hedging to the issuer.

Since 2012, MIDIS has invested 2.100 M€ of infrastructure debt across more than 30 renewable energy projects with total installed capacity of approximately 6.8GW.

Source: Macquarie

Iberdrola continues to move forward with its renewables strategy in Spain with four new photovoltaic projects, with an installed capacity of 250 megawatts (MW), already submitted for official approval in Castilla-La Mancha, as stated in the Official State Gazette (BOE) and the Official Journals of the Castilla-La Mancha regional government.

Two of the projects, Romeral and Olmedilla, each with a capacity of 50 MW, are located in Cuenca province, in the towns of Uclés and Valverdejo, respectively. In Toledo province, Iberdrola is planning the Barcience photovoltaic plant (50 MW) in Bargas; and in Ciudad Real province, it will develop a unique project in the municipality of Puertollano, with a capacity of 100 MW.

Puertollano II combines several innovative elements, both in the technology used and the storage capacity of this renewable project:

  • The installation will have bifacial panels, which will allow for greater production, as they have two light-sensitive surfaces, providing a longer service life;
  • The plant has been designed with daisy-chained inverters to improve performance and permit greater use of the surface area;
  • The project will have a storage system that will make the plant more manageable and optimise the control strategies. The battery system (with a power of 5 MW) will have a storage capacity of 20 MWh.
  • The start of the development of these projects increases the MW that Iberdrola has under construction and awaiting approval in Spain to more than 2,200: 75% of the capacity the company plans to install by 2022.

Plan to relaunch clean energy in Spain

These actions are part of the company’s commitment to strengthening its investment in clean energy generation in Spain, with the installation of 3,000 new MW up to 2022, 52% more than its current wind and solar capacity. Up to 2030, the forecasts point to the installation of 10,000 new MW. The plan will create jobs for 20,000 people.

Iberdrola is committed to leading the transition towards a completely carbon-free economy by promoting renewable energies and speeding up its investment in Spain, where it intends to spend 8.000 M€ between 2018 and 2022.

Iberdrola is the most prolific producer of wind power in Spain, with an installed capacity of 5,770 MW, while its total installed renewable capacity, including both wind and hydroelectric power, is 15,828 MW. The company operates renewables with a capacity of 2,229 MW in Castilla-La Mancha, mainly wind power, making it the autonomous region with the second highest total of ‘green’ MW installed by Iberdrola.

Acciona has created a hub in its El Romero Solar plant (Atacama, Chile) to test new photovoltaic technologies that will improve the efficiency and performance of solar energy facilities.
The hub will focus on the mechanical and energy capacity of double-sided crystalline, split-cell and thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) technologies, all of them in the development phase, with the intention of shaping PV energy’s evolution. The solar modules have been produced by JA Solar and First Solar, and a variety of solar trackers will be used, manufactured by STI Nordland and Soltec.

The innovation center, in which two of the three tracker zones have already been installed, will have a power generation facility with a total capacity of 492 kWp (180 kW rated) consisting of 1,280 modules in three series of trackers connected to nine inverters. These will be assisted by other equipment to measure and monitor parameters such as incident and reflected solar radiation, ambient temperature or the production temperature of each kind of module, among others.

Unlike conventional solar modules, which only have photovoltaic cells on one side, the double-sided modules have cells on both sides of the panel to capture reflected solar radiation and increase output per surface unit occupied.

In split-cell modules each cell is divided into two parts. This reduces energy losses and improves the durability of the panel.

Finally, the thin-film modules are made from semi-conductive materials as alternatives to conventional crystalline silicon –such as cadmium telluride- that reduce both manufacturing costs and their carbon footprint during their working life.

Advanced technologies

Advanced technologies in photovoltaic solar are one of the main strategic approaches that guide Acciona’s innovation activities in the field of clean energies. One of the most innovative projects to date is the hybridization of organic photovoltaic panels in a wind turbine tower to power a turbine in the Breña wind farm (Albacete, Spain).

El Romero Solar is one of the biggest photovoltaic plants owned and operated by Acciona, with a capacity of 246 MWp. Located in the Atacama Desert in Chile, an area with some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, it produces energy equivalent to the consumption of around 240,000 Chilean households. Part of its capacity will be used to supply Google’s data center in the country.

Silicon wafer accounts for 30%-40% of the cost of a solar module. Larger wafer size increase the area exposed to light, increasing power and reducing cost. So that, since 2H-2018, the industry has continued to develop larger size wafers, leading to various specifications.

LONGi Solar has launched recently a press release stressesing the need for consistency in standards for PV wafers size. As the press release states, according to Professor Shen Wenzhong, Director, Solar Energy Research Institute of Shanghai Jiaotong University: “The 166 mm wafer has reached the allowable limit of production equipment which is difficult to overcome. This would be the upper limit of the standard for a considerable period.”

Li Zhenguo, President of LONGi Group considers that these different wafer sizes will lead to a mismatch in processes and standards in the supply chain, according to. “If manufacturers cannot reach an agreement on a size standard, it will restrict the development of the whole industry.” said.

Shen Wenzhong also said: “Existing crystal drawing and slicing equipment are compatible with 166 mm size silicon wafer. Production equipment for cell and module needs to be modified, though the costs are lower and easier to achieve. Calculated by “flux”, cell and module production line using 166 mm wafer will increase capacity by 13% as compared with the 156 mm size”.

The order books for LONGi’s Hi-MO4 modules using M6 monocrystalline silicon wafers, 166 mm, have exceeded 2 GW, so that large-scale production will commence the third quarter of 2019.

By the end of 2020, LONGi will upgrade its existing cell and module lines and transform them for production with 166 mm wafer. New lines – such as the 5 GW monocrystalline cell line in Yinchuan – will be designed for the 166 mm size from the start.

LONGi announced the price of its M6 monocrystalline silicon wafer in May-2019 at 3.47 RMB/piece, which is only a small 0.4 RMB premium compared to its M2 wafer. According to LONGi, the compatibility of wafer production lines with M6 would ensure large-scale supply in 2019, thereby reducing the price differential to less than 0.2 RMB.

Source: LONGi

LONGi Solar, a subsidiary of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd, has achieved AA-Rating status, in the first quarterly release of PV-Tech’s new PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings. LONGi Solar is one of only four PV module suppliers that qualifies within the top-performing rating category of AA across the sector.

The PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings system is the solar industry’s first qualified tool that allows investors to understand and benchmark PV module suppliers; the analysis tracks a wide range of manufacturing and financial performance metrics, combining these to generate an overall bankability score between 0 and 10. Companies are then graded across nine risk categories from AAA-Rated (most bankable) to C-Rated (high risk).

The ratings system evaluates the investment risk (or financiability) rating for all PV module manufacturers, which combined with manufacturing capacity and financial health scores. At present, no company has been rated AAA and the Top 4 companies are all rated AA.PV-Tech and the PV ModuleTech event brand are recognized as the most credible, independent third-party research bodies covering the solar photovoltaic (PV) segment; specifically related to solar PV module suppliers.

“LONGi has always insisted on technological innovation and continuously increased R&D investment in the past years” said by Zhong Baoshen, Chairman of LONGi: “We always pay attention to the sustainable development of LONGi and maintain the financial stability and healthy. In the future, LONGi will continue to devote itself to providing customers with more reliable products and services.”

According to head of research at PV-Tech, Dr. Finlay Colville: “LONGi Solar has moved rapidly from being a CCC-Rated supplier in 2014 to one of the most bankable module suppliers featuring in the top-performing AA-rated category today. The company is on a trajectory to reach AAA-Rated status within the next 12 months, reflecting strong financial and manufacturing operations.”

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Ireland is expected to attract massive investment as the country is set to add 5.8 GW of non-hydro renewable power capacity over the next decade to reach a total 9.6 GW by 2030 and account for 65% of the country’s installed capacity, according to the report from GlobalData, “Ireland Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2019 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape”. The report, reveals that to achieve a 9.6 GW non-hydro renewables capacity by 2030 Ireland will massively increase its investment in offshore wind and solar PV capacity.

During the forecast period, offshore wind capacity is set to increase from 25 MW to 1.9 GW at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.8%, and solar PV will rise from 25 MW to 1.3 GW at a CAGR of 43%. During the same period, power consumption in Ireland will see a minimal increase, reaching 31.4 TWh in 2030 from 27.9 TWh in 2019 (a marginal 1.1% CAGR).

Ireland’s offshore wind and solar PV capacity, has considerable potential, which will push the contribution of renewable power to installed capacity to 62% by 2025 and 65% by 2030. This will open up new markets for wind turbines and modules for solar plants, as well as associated equipment required for transmitting generated power to the grid. The market for laying cables under the sea will also be a key business opportunity in the country.

This addition to Ireland’s renewable power capacity is being driven by various government incentives and policies intended to fill the void left by the phasing out of coal in 2025.

Renewable capacity expansion will necessitate grid modernization in order to manage much higher volumes of renewable energy with inherent variability. This, in turn, will involve huge investment in grid infrastructure along with the introduction of energy storage systems to enable a steady supply of power when renewable energy is unavailable.

With a minimal increase in power consumption expected, Ireland’s gas-based power capacity, which provides the country’s base-load power demand, combined with those new renewable resources with integrated energy storage systems are well placed to meet the country’s power demands over the next decade.

Source: GlobalData

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Iberdrola has been awarded 149 MW of photovoltaic solar power in Portugal, which the company will use to start developing this type of technology in the country. This capacity is divided between two regions (the Algarve and the Tajo Valley), under a public auction by the Portuguese Ministry of the Environment and Energy Transition through the General Directorate of Energy and Geology and organised by Operador do Mercado Ibérico de Energia (OMIP).

Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galán said, after learning of the outcome of the biggest auction in the Portuguese energy sector in the last decade: “These new projects are an example of Iberdrola’s commitment to renewable energy sources as a way of contributing to the transition toward a decarbonised Europe”.

In this regard, Iberdrola has once again ratified its strong commitment to the transition toward a low carbon economy while consolidating its crucial role in the Portuguese energy market, where it is already leading the large consumer commercial sector with an almost 33% market share and a portfolio consisting of 300,000 electricity and natural gas customers (figures at the start of 2019).

The group is also making progress with thelarge-scale Támega project that consists of building three new plants (Gouvães, Daivões and Alto Támega), with total capacity of 1.158 MW and an investment in excess of 1,500 million euros.This important project is expected to be commissioned between 2021 and 2023, and will increase the companies installed power by 6%. It will be capable of supplying clean energy to 440,000 Portuguese homes.With the development of the Támega plant and the new solar capacity awarded, Iberdrola, which has succeeded in reducing its emissions in Europe by 75% since the year 2000, contributes to Portugal’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Source: Iberdrola

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