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Soltec, a leading company in the manufacture and supply of solar trackers, already has a track record of close to 8 GW. The Spanish company has been expanding its business into countries worldwide with projects of up to 500 MW.

Its expertise and commitment to innovation are the two main axes driving this company that has become a reference in the PV energy market. Its almost 8 GW in solar projects positions Soltec in third place in the world in terms of solar trackers, according to the PV market study published by Wood Mackenzie.

In addition to projects in countries such as Australia, Italy and Thailand, Soltec is also the leader in Latin American countries such as Brazil and enjoys a major presence in other nations including Chile and Mexico.

In its commitment to supplying the highest quality products that carry the Soltec seal of distinction, this Murcia-based company now boasts offices in twenty countries as well as factories in Spain and Brazil. These manufacturing centres make the tracking units for which the company is known. The manufacturing processes continue to be improved day after day to achieve enhanced quality and performance for clients.

The solar trackers are made and subjected to in-depth examinations to guarantee quality in every process, as well as in Soltec’s end product. Whether at the PV plant or during manufacturing, Soltec experts have all the resources readily available to respond to any incident that may occur, for both prevention and urgent response.

Solhub is the point from where the manufactured product is packaged and distributed to every project, no matter their location in the world, thanks to a first-class logistics team and standardised processes that benefit from exhaustive product checking.

The quality of its products and delivery, in addition to the commitment of its team, has resulting in a significant increase in sales year after year, since its foundation in 2004 to positioning itself as one of the companies with the highest market share in the global PV sector. Soltec already has an extensive track record in utility-scale projects and a wide portfolio of international clients.

In 2017, company was listed on the Financial Times FT1000, ranked first among solar companies and fourth among all 31 energy companies including in this listing.

In addition to its exponential growth with projects around the world, Soltec has also grown as regards its workforce. Its team comprises over 1,500 professionals in projects and subsidiaries worldwide.

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Enel Green Power España (EGPE), Endesa’s renewable energy subsidiary, has connected six new 42-megawatt photovoltaic solar plants (252 MW), it has built in Extremadura, to the grid, for an overall investment of 200 million euros. All the solar projects awarded to Endesa in the 2017 energy auction (339 MW) are now connected. These comprise six plants in Extremadura and one in Totana (Murcia), which went live in September.

EGPE was awarded 540 MW of wind power and 339 MW of solar energy at the government auctions held in May 2017, with a total investment of more than 800 million euros. The company has now connected 389 MW (339 solar and 50 wind) to the grid and is finalising the construction and connection of the remaining 490 MW of wind generation facilities, which will be complete by the end of this year.

This renewable capacity is in line with Endesa’s strategy of decarbonising its generation mix. The first milestone will be to reach 8.4 GW of renewable installed capacity by 2021, compared to the current 6.5 GW, with a total investment of about 2,000 million euros.

Each of Endesa’s three photovoltaic installations in Logrosán – Baylio, Dehesa de los Guadalupes and Furatena – comprise more than 42 megawatts of capacity each (127 MW in total). The facilities cost around 100 million euros to build. These solar installations are composed of around 372,000 modules, and can generate more than 240 GWh per year, avoiding annual emissions of approximately 158,000 tons of CO 2 into the atmosphere.

In the meantime, Endesa’s three solar plants in Casas de Don Pedro and Talarrubias – Navalvillar, Valdecaballero and Castilblanco-, which cost approximately 100 million euros to build, have more than 42 MW of installed capacity each. These solar farms, composed of more than 372,000 modules, can generate approximately 250 GWh per year, avoiding the annual emission of more than 164,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

These power plants have been built based on the “Sustainable Construction Site” model implemented by Enel Green Power, which uses renewable energy during construction. This is provided by a photovoltaic system that covers the energy needs of the works, as well as the implementation of initiatives designed to involve the local population in the execution of the project.

Endesa follows a facility development model that encompasses actions to create social value for the environments in which they are built, the so-called Creating Shared Value (CSV) model. Specifically, CSV projects implemented in Extremadura have boosted employment and improved employability in Extremadura, prioritising employment of local labour to build the plants, as well as the use of local workforce for tasks related to the site, catering and accommodation services for workers, renewable energy training courses for local residents, and other local associations.

Source: Endesa

Foto cortesía de/Photo courtesy of: Toyota

At Digital Solar & Storage 2019, SolarPower Europe launched a new report on solar mobility, thought to be the first of its kind, which explores the potential of clean mobility solutions and solar power. The report documents various solar mobility business models, illustrating the experience of European and global pioneers with detailed case studies. Three solar mobility models are highlighted: (1) solar-powered mobility, (2) solar smart charging, and (3) vehicle-integrated PV, all of which can lead to vast carbon reductions in the transport sector.

Decarbonising the transport sector, responsible for one quarter of European CO2 emissions, is a crucial step in achieving the European Union’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Electrification, direct and indirect, appears clearly as the fastest and most cost-efficient technological solution to decarbonise transport. EV battery costs have achieved important cost reduction in the past years, with prices decreasing by 85% between 2010 and 2018, allowing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of small and medium electric vehicles to be the same as conventional vehicles by 2024. Technology improvements and investments in fuel cells and electrolysis technologies have enabled a reduction in vehicle and fuel costs that could support the future cost-competitiveness of indirect electrification for certain segments of transport.

The electrification of transport makes even more sense when done in parallel with the deployment of renewables in the EU electricity mix. Without significant additons of renewable capacities in Europe, the full potential of electrification to reduce CO2 emissions in transport cannot be harvested. A study from the Paul Scherrer Institute shows that electric vehicles charging on fossil fuel-based electricity (e.g gas or coal) do not lead to an optimum reduction in CO2 emissions compared with conventional gasoline and diesel cars, while the CO2 emissions decrease by 50% with electric vehicles driving on CO2 -free electricity. The electrification of transport must therefore be thought of in synergy with the deployment of renewables in the power mix.

Solar energy is the ideal candidate to fuel green, electric mobility. As an illustration, in light road transport only, a typical rooftop, 5-kW PV module can easily produce the daily amount of electricity needed for the average commute of an electric vehicle, even though the adequacy of the PV system will depend on its geographical location and on time variations, including seasonal.

Solar energy is also a cost-competitive fuel for transport. It has achieved important cost reductions in the past years. The LCOE has reached €0.04/kWh worldwide and keeps decreasing, as a result of decreasing manufacturing costs and increasing cell performance. The deployment of solar can therefore support a cost-efficient energy transition with limited public support. Furthermore, in many countries, direct sourcing of solar energy is already cheaper than grid electricity.

Solar installations are modular and can adapt perfectly to the energy needs of the end-consumer or various means of transportation. Small solar installations can therefore fit well in urban landscapes, on rooftops, parking lots, rail infrastructure, etc. and can be installed as close as possible to the consumption point, be it a charging point or a refuelling station, thereby reducing reliance on the power grid.

Looking at the physics, solar is complementary to electric mobility, particularly in certain use cases like day charging at work places or combined with battery capacity at home. Solar has a predictable generation curve and produces electricity during the day. This PV generation curve matches well with the time at which the majority of electric vehicles are parked and can be charged, for instance at workplaces or public parking – a match that can be optimised with smart charging devices. Solar generation also matches perfectly the load curve of trains, trams or metros that run and consume energy during the day, making them good candidates for solar consumption.

Finally, recent surveys show that solar is the most popular source of energy and can support the public acceptance for sustainable transport policies. In Europe, solar has the highest level of support among citizens. Solar empowers consumers to invest into their own energy transition and gives them a sense of independence. As a result, one can easily observe the mutually reinforced dynamic between solar energy and electromobility: a recent survey by EuPD Research on electric-mobility has shown that for 77% of the respondents, the main reason to purchase an electric car was to charge it using their own solar energy, making it the most important motivator for purchase.

The synergies between solar and clean mobility can unlock significant benefits to accelerate the European energy and transport transition. The solar industry must therefore be imaginative and forward-looking to exploit these synergies and offer solutions to consumers that wish to drive on solar energy.

The benefits of solar mobility are vast, and include significant improvements in air quality for European citizens, as well as the reduction of noise pollution. Smart mobility strategies that rely on the increasing deployment of solar energy can lead to a more affordable and reliable solar electricity supply. This has the effect of optimising grid integration of future vehicles, unlocking new flexibility sources, and ultimately creating new business models for solar prosumers, EV owners, and charging station operators. Further, solar mobility and all of its related technologies can help Europe lead the global energy transition.

This aim of the report – the first of its kind developed by SolarPower Europe’s Solar Mobility Taskforce – is to look at existing and promising business cases of solar mobility and draw a first benchmark of renewable mobility models. It features existing case studies and pioneering projects.

Source: SolarPower Europe

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At the Hydrogen for Climate Conference, EU companies Hydrogenics (BE), Meyer Burger (DE), Ecosolifer (HU), and European Energy (DK) presented their joint proposal for the European Union’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

The project proposal entitled ‘Silver Frog’ foresees the construction of a cutting-edge 2 GW/year solar PV manufacturing facility. This factory would provide over 10 GW of installed PV capacity, also including wind, for the production of 100% renewable hydrogen, transported by gas pipelines to hard-to-decarbonise industries, such as steel and chemicals. Over a period of eight years, the project is estimated to produce 800,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen, and reduce 8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, each year – approximately the CO2 footprint of the whole city of Brussels. At least 6,000 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the project.

In the proposal, Belgium’s Hydrogenics Europe would supply the water electrolysis technology, Germany’s Meyer Burger would supply the solar PV manufacturing line, Hungary’s Ecosolifer would produce the modules and focus on heterojunction technology (HJT), while Denmark’s European Energy would act as the energy developer. SolarPower Europe would offer support to its members throughout the project.

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe said: “Solar is crucial in delivering fully renewable electricity throughout Europe. The ‘Silver Frog’ project reveals how solar can facilitate the development of renewable hydrogen. Further, this project’s emphasis on the integration of PV manufacturing facilities sends a strong signal to the European Commission that any discussions surrounding renewable hydrogen will require a robust renewable industrial strategy.

Thomas Hengst, Head of Global Sales at Meyer Burger commented: “The ‘Silver Frog’ project has the aim of helping to deliver the EU’s Green Deal, with a focus on hard-to-decarbonise sectors. The crucial element of our project is to develop a new European manufacturing capacity for solar PV cells and modules. The new technology has been developed in Europe and has the potential to establish sustainable and globally-competitive solar cell and module production thanks to its very high efficiency. By focusing on the production and transportation of renewable hydrogen, we can address existing and future demand, as well as offering the concept as an integrated solution.

The notion of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) is laid down in Art. 107(3)(b) TFEU as part of the State aid rules. An IPCEI is a specific possibility to find aid compatible with the internal market.

The IPCEI on hydrogen includes eight ambitious proposals, all of which aim to develop the hydrogen sector, with projects surrounding the generation, transportation, and innovation of green hydrogen. The final selection for the IPCEI will take place in 2020.

Source: SolarPower Europe

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The installation of solar PV systems on homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities is set to take off over the next five years, transforming the way electricity is generated and consumed, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest renewable energy market forecast. These applications – known collectively as distributed PV – are the focus of the IEA’s Renewables 2019 market report, recently released.

The report forecasts that the world’s total renewable-based power capacity will grow by 50% between 2019 and 2024. This increase of 1,200 GW – equivalent to the current total power capacity of the United States – is driven by cost reductions and concerted government policy efforts. Solar PV accounts for 60% of the rise. The share of renewables in global power generation is set to rise from 26% today to 30% in 2024.

The expected growth comes after renewable capacity additions stalled last year for the first time in almost two decades. The renewed expansion remains well below what is needed to meet global sustainable energy targets, however.

The report highlights the three main challenges that need to be overcome to speed up the deployment of renewables: policy and regulatory uncertainty, high investment risks and system integration of wind and solar PV.

Distributed PV accounts for almost half of the growth in the overall solar PV market through 2024. Contrary to conventional wisdom, commercial and industrial applications rather than residential uses dominate distributed PV growth, accounting for three-quarters of new installations over the next five years. This is because economies of scale combined with better alignment of PV supply and electricity demand enable more self-consumption and bigger savings on electricity bills in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Still, the number of solar rooftop systems on homes is set to more than double to some 100 million by 2024, with the top markets on a per capita basis that year forecast to be Australia, Belgium, California, the Netherlands and Austria.

The cost of generating electricity from distributed solar PV systems is already below retail electricity prices in most countries. The IEA forecasts that these costs will decline by a further 15% to 35% by 2024, making the technology more attractive and spurring adoption worldwide.

The report warns, however, that important policy and tariff reforms are needed to ensure distributed PV’s growth is sustainable. Unmanaged growth could disrupt electricity markets by raising system costs, challenging the grid integration of renewables and reducing the revenues of network operators. By reforming retail tariffs and adapting policies, utilities and governments can attract investment in distributed PV while also securing enough revenues to pay for fixed network assets and ensuring that the cost burden is allocated fairly among all consumers.

According to the report’s Accelerated Case, improving economics, policy support and more effective regulation could push distributed PV’s global installed capacity above 600 GW by 2024, almost double Japan’s total power capacity today. Yet this accelerated growth is still only 6% of distributed PV’s technical potential based on total available rooftop area.

As in previous years, Renewables 2019 also offers forecasts for all sources of renewable energy. Renewable heat is set to expand by one-fifth between 2019 and 2024, driven by China, the European Union, India and the United States. The heat and power sectors become increasingly interconnected as renewable electricity used for heat rises by more than 40%. But overall, renewable heat potential remains vastly underexploited. The share of renewables in total heat demand is forecast to remain below 12% in 2024, calling for more ambitious targets and stronger policy support.

Biofuels currently represent some 90% of renewable energy in transport and their use is set to increase by 25% over the next five years. Growth is dominated by Asia, particularly China, and is driven by energy security and air pollution concerns. Despite the rapid expansion of electric vehicles, renewable electricity only accounts for one-tenth of renewable energy consumption in transport in 2024. And the share of renewables in total transport fuel demand still remains below 5%. The Accelerated Case sees renewables in transport growing by an additional 20% through 2024 on the assumption of higher quota levels and enhanced policy support that opens new markets in aviation and marine transport.

Source: AIE

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Ingeteam has revamped the equipment of the solar PV plant of Campillos, Málaga. Specifically nine aged units have been replaced with Ingeteam’s INGECON SUN 100TL inverters in order to avoid losses due to equipment availability, while extending the useful life of the plant.

This activity is in line with Sonnedix’s strategy as a long-term asset owner, managing and investing in guaranteeing the operational excellence of its plants. The new inverter model will improve the availability of the equipment, and thus the solar PV plant, and ensure the plant performs to its expected level.

This PV plant was inaugurated in 2008, the first one set up in the province of Málaga and owned by Sonnedix, occupying an area of 6.8 hectares, equivalent to approximately 7 football fields, and generating energy for some 3,000 homes per year.

The operation lasted 4 weeks and consisted in deploying nine INGECON SUN inverters of 100kWac. The main characteristic of this equipment is that they can deliver the nominal power up to 50ºC of ambient temperature. In addition, its high MPP voltage range (maximum power point), from 513 to 850 V, allows it to extract the expected performance of solar panels. Furthermore, these inverters integrate Wi-Fi communication as standard, facilitating and speeding up the work of local and remote monitoring.

The replacement of inverters has also included the reconfiguration of the strings of the photovoltaic plant in order to accommodate for the new MPPT operating window of the inverters while maintaining the original installed peak power.

At present, Ingeteam has several projects to improve and optimize photovoltaic plants that, due to the lack of performance, the disappearance of the manufacturers or the lack of after-sales service in Spain, has resulted in owners trusting the service and the consolidated product line of Ingeteam.

Source: Ingeteam

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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.

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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.

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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

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