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PV projects

The solar tracker and fixed structures manufacturer reached agreements last January with 2 major French companies, for the construction of various projects located in the regions of Aquitaine, Languedoc-Roussillon, Champagne-Ardenne and Occitania during the first semester of this year. These projects were awarded by the French government in the CRE 4.1 and CRE 4.2 auctions.

In total, these plants will avoid the emission of about 50,000 T of CO2 anually for 30 years.

The largest project occupies an area of 37 and counts with 357 units of STI-H250TM DUAL-ROW trackers, and a power of 17 Mwp installed on an area of 37 hectares. It has been built on a former NATO military base that now belongs to the Department of Aube, and will produce power for more than 8,000 homes.

Another project has been built on an old landfill, and has required the development of a foundation solution adapted to the particularities of the project, on a surface of 6 hectares and 4 MWp of installed power will produce energy for about 2,200 homes.

On the other hand, the last two projects have the STI-F5TM bipost structure, are the first projects in France that use double-glazed bifacial modules and have required a specific adaptation of the structure minimizing shading on the back of the modules.

It should be noted that several of these projects have a participatory financing formula. Through a Crowdfunding strategy in diverse platforms allowed the inhabitants of the neighboring departments to collaborate on the financing of the projects.

Ingeteam has supplied 2 GW of power for solar PV plants throughout the world during the first half of 2019. This means that the company’s technology will be capable of supplying renewable energy to more than 400,000 homes once commissioned. In total, the Spanish company has reached a cumulative power of 14.5 GW throughout the world, which could satisfy the energy demand of about 3 M homes. In 2019, the key markets in which the company has grown its solar business are the Middle East region, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Chile and France.

Ingeteam closed 2018 with a new record of 3.85 GW supplied, for solar PV installations worldwide. So far this year, Ingeteam has already exceeded half this figure and the company is expected to pass the barrier of 4 GW in 2019.

The Ingeteam Group is one of the world’s leading suppliers of technological solutions for PV plants, control, monitoring and automation systems as well as energy storage systems. In this regard, this year Ingeteam has been entrusted with the supply, commissioning and provision of services for the largest solar PV project in Europe, now being built in the region of Murcia, Spain. The company was awarded the contract for the Mula project, which will achieve an installed power capacity of 500 MWp, to become the largest plant in Spain and Europe.

It is estimated that, by the end of 2019, the plant could be operating through the connection point at the El Palmar substation, a strategic hub for the power transmission grid in the region of Murcia.

Energy storage

Energy storage is a key sector for Ingeteam, where the company is positioning itself for the considerable development expected in the short and medium term for systems of this type, both at a residential level and also on a large scale. In fact, Ingeteam is marketing its battery converters for both segments and, in 2018, the company supplied this equipment primarily for hybrid systems that combine PV generation with energy storage. Sales in this sector were principally made to countries such as the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, India, Poland and the French overseas departments.

Global leader in the provision of Operation & Maintenance Services

Furthermore, the company has achieved a new annual record for maintained power, exceeding 15 GW of renewable power across the globe, of which 6.1 GW correspond to solar power in more than 550 PV plants. This means that, at present, Ingeteam’s operation and maintenance division is strengthening its position as a global leader in the provision of O&M services at energy generation plants.

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On Tuesday 11 December, Aremur, the Renewable Energy and Energy Saving Business Association of Murcia held the first seminars in the Region of Murcia on large PV projects with the collaboration of the Regional Federation of Metal Companies of Murcia (FREMM) and Soltec, Europe’s largest solar tracker manufacturer. Entitled “Solar Plants in the Region of Murcia”, the leading players in the PV sector came together in the FREMM conference hall. The event was inaugurated by Javier Celdrán, Minister for Employment and the Environment, José Marín, Chairman of Aremur and Raúl Morales, CEO of Soltec, and involved three round table discussions which addressed the most important aspects of the implementation process of a PV plant.

After the opening introduction, Esther Marín, General Manager of Energía y Actividad Industrial y Minera, gave a presentation on the future of PV energy.

Iberdrola and REE, the Spanish electrical grid, gave their perspective on the new regulation on access and electricity connection. There was also a round table discussion on administrative matters regarding the authorisation for implementing PV plants in the Autonomous Community of Murcia.
Lastly, the event addressed the technical aspects of designing a utility-scale solar plant, as well as the advances and innovations on the subject, with contributions from JinkoSolar, Power Electronics and Soltec.

Soltec is currently constructing a 84.7 MW solar plant in the Region of Murcia. As part of the project’s corporate social responsibility actions, the company has signed a collaboration agreement with the Totana Town Hall through which they have undertaken to employ people with intellectual disabilities. In this way, users of the “Princess Letizia” Day Centre for People with Mental Illness and the “José Moyá” Day Centre for People with Intellectual Disability will be responsible for the pre-assembly of the screws destined for this PV plant.

The agreement, signed by the mayor of Totana, Andrés García Cánovas, the regional manager of Soltec in Spain, Luis Hernández, and by Ana García Vera, director of the José Moyá Centre, will provide the users of this centre with technical training in the pre-assembly of the screws, thereby fostering their personal and professional development.

In total, 2,900 units of the SF7 single-axis solar tracker will be installed in this plant that will make use of the region’s high level of solar irradiation. Once operational, the plant will avoid the emission into the atmosphere of 63,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent to that produced by 15,000 vehicles.

Soltec’s global operations and a workforce of over 750 people bring together experience and innovation. The company has manufacturing centres in Brazil, China and Spain; and offices in Australia, Denmark, Chile, Egypt, the US, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico and Peru. Firmly committed to renewable energies and the environment, Soltec supports product standardisation and the success of its clients.

The multinational corporation OPDEnergy – specializing in the production of energy assets and in the management of all related phases (development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance) – will build 500 MW distributed in various PV projects located in Spain, Chile and Mexico next year. The investment for the aforementioned projects will be of approximately €500 million, financed through the Project Finance Scheme with various financial institutions.

With regards to the projects that OPDEnergy will build in Spain, there are seven PV plants totalling 300 MW of power and they are scheduled to start operating by the end of 2019. These projects are located in: Extremadura, with 50 MW in the La Fernandina solar plant; Andalucia, with 100 MW distributed in two 50 MW plants located in Puerto Real (Cadiz) and Alcala de Guadaira (Seville); and Aragon, with a further 148 MW distributed among the new photovoltaic solar plants in Los Belos (Zaragoza) and Montesol (Teruel) and their respective extensions, which will add a total power of 61 MW in Zaragoza and 87 MW in Teruel.

On the other hand in Chile, in the 2016 public energy tender, OPDEnergy was awarded a 176 GWh/year block of energy, therefore in 2019 and within the framework of this award, the construction of 50 MW will begin. In addition to this, the multinational corporation is currently developing various projects in the Chilean market in the fields of wind, hydro and solar energy.

Apart from the said projects in Spain and Chile, OPDEnergy will start the construction of two PV plants in Mexico with a total capacity of 144 MW in 2019. It is the “Andalucía” solar plant with 107 MW of power and located in the State of Coahuila de Zaragoza and a 37 MW solar plant in the State of Aguascalientes, both projects to be included within the power allocation made by the Mexican government in 2016.

The projects that OPDEnergy has in these three markets (Spain, Mexico and Chile), will allow the multinational corporation to reach a total of 500 MW built throughout 2019. Besides, OPDEnergy is developing various projects in other markets, such as the United States and Italy.

The Spanish firm OPDEnergy has become a key speaker and one of the main international players in the renewable energy sector, thanks to a business model driven by on-going expansion and evolution throughout its 13 years of history. During this period the multinational corporation has invested 1,100 million Euros in projects completed in Spain, Italy and England.

As far as the Spanish market is concerned, it is worth highlighting that OPDEnergy was awarded 200 MW in the most recent tender put out by the Spanish Government, thus becoming the first private equity company -apart from business groups listed on the stock exchange or in the hands of investment funds-, to be awarded more MWs (taking a sixth position in the total allocation ranking).

Recently the multinational corporation launched its new brand “opdenergy” and renewed its corporate image. With the renewal of its identity, the organization intends to strengthen its strategic positioning in the market, “justified by the increase of our international presence, our diversification in new sources of energy and by the growth of our portfolio“, concludes Luis CID, company CEO.

Source: OPDEnergy

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Foto cortesía: China Solar

The move by China in May this year to slash subsidies for domestic utility-scale solar projects will ultimately benefit developers in the US who rely on imported solar panels to revive projects and jobs, says GlobalData.

Solar power developers in the US have been struggling since early 2018 due to two separate policy decisions announced in the US and China. In January 2018, the US government imposed tariffs of 30% on imports of solar products to safeguard the interests of local manufacturers.

Hit by higher costs of imports, many developers announced cancelation of their projects. Utility-scale solar developers like Cypress Creek Renewables, LLC and Southern Current cancelled or deferred projects worth more than $2.5bn. Some developers even started negotiations to restructure their power purchase agreements due to higher costs resulting from tariffs.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US solar industry employs more than 250,000 people with about 40% in the installation sector and 20% in the manufacturing sector. Since the majority of them were employed by project developers, the industry started witnessing job cuts after the implementation of import tariffs.

On the other hand in May 2018 China, which has been struggling to build infrastructure to link the solar projects to the grid, announced a cut in the feed-in-tariff subsidy to reduce the surge in solar installations. Subsidy cuts in China have resulted in reduced demand for solar products within the country. Local Chinese manufacturers are now looking to export more panels, resulting in an oversupply in the global solar PV module market, which will further reduce the prices.

As a result, developers such as Inovateus Solar have become more optimistic. The company has closed a deal to develop a 6 MW solar PV plant in the city of Pratt, Kansas. Pine Gate Renewables, a North Carolina-based solar installer, has welcomed the move, since the lower prices will help the economics of projects already in the pipeline.

Following the announcement made in China, many developers will revive their hiring plans and the industry will witness an influx of jobs. So the drop in prices globally and in the US will help developers to revive projects and jobs which were put on hold after the import tariffs levied previously.

Source: GlobalData

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In the latest “2018 PV Module Brand Bankability Report”, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) ranks LONGi Solar the top 3 most bankable PV module brand with 1,025MW of loan-financed PV projects in the past two years. LONGi Solar’s ranking rose four places from the last year.

The ranking demonstrates LONGi strengthening bankability as more banks provide non-recourse loans for the PV projects specified with the company’s modules. Solar project developers now have the ability and favorable conditions to finance their solar projects with LONGi Solar high efficiency modules.

BNEF’s ranking is based on its database containing 25,455 PV financing projects, involving 57 PV module brands worldwide.

The “2018 PV Module Brand Bankability Report”, BNEF also provided Altman-Z scores of the world’s largest PV module makers in 2018-Q1. LONGi Solar ranks ahead of its rivals in the manufacturer credit ratings.

In the same report, BNEF has also featured the “PV Module Reliability Scorecard” released by the authoritative certification institution DNV GL. LONGi Solar is recognized as a “TOP PERFORMER” module maker by DNV GL for two consecutive years.

Mr. Wenxue Li, President of LONGi Solar, added, “Strong financials and bankability that are independently verified by Bloomberg NEF is one of many validations of LONGi as a reliable company with reliable products. Our strength in product, technology and financial health provides the best guarantee for our customers.

Source: LONGi Solar

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Soltec, a leading manufacturer of solar trackers, is launching the Solteach Pro training program, aimed at solar industry companies and workers specifically regarding PV tracker application in large projects. Solteach Pro is imparted by Soltec’s highly experienced engineers and project managers to train and certify individuals or companies in the optimal application of the unique SF7 Single-Axis Tracker, from plant design to commissioning. Specifically, the Solteach Pro program is aimed at companies (subcontractors or customers) as well as workers, whether they are engineers, supervisors or assemblers.

SF7 is the ideal solar tracker for large-scale PV tracking projects with its features of high yield-gain performance and agile application. SF7 has incorporated a screwless and tool-free module installation which requires zero maintenance. SF7 reduces the number of parts, resulting in faster, easier and more efficient installation. Those features combined with extreme supply and service performance have driven Soltec and SF7 to the top-tier globally.

The Solteach Pro one-day program is structured with general content and two specific parts: Solteach Professional and Solteach Projects. Solteach Professional is designed to impart supply and installation skills with factory hands-on or online training where participants will learn best-practices in project supply and tracker installation to best leverage the Soltec offer. The contents of this training include factory service packages, construction planning, installation steps and commissioning of the plant.

On the other hand, Solteach Projects is focused on engineering application with Soltec’s dynamic PV plant design training and the objective to leverage SF7 Single-Axis Tracker features of yield-density and agile application. The contents of this training are: characteristics and advantages of the SF7, SF7 configurations, subfield design and plant design with AutoCAD.

Soltec CEO Raul Morales said, “Solteach Pro helps customers get the most out Soltec’s complete offer of a remarkable product and team dedication to finding success amongst challenges.

Solteach Pro complements Soltec’s Onsite Services. Those services include advisory, logistics, commissioning, and regionally available installation and O&M contracting.

The Onsite Advisory Plan service is cost-effective for many of Soltec’s customers. Onsite Soltec staff guide customers’ team through the details of logistics, site-work, and equipment installation in construction, leaving field team the additional scope of supervision, execution, and management. Onsite Advisory services combine strengths between project partners to reduce costs.
Soltec is prepared to take additional supervisory and task-scope across the range of Soltec Service Plans that standardize customer experience options.

Soltec’s Pull Testing Service is not common amongst tracker suppliers but has become the usual choice of Soltec customers to most simply reduce investment risk and conform with due diligence criteria in the pre-construction phase.

Soltec’s global operations and workforce of over 750 people blend experience with innovation. The company has manufacturing facilities in Argentina, Brazil, China, and Spain, as well as offices in Australia, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Peru, and the United States. With a strong commitment to renewable energy and the environment, the company is dedicated to innovation, product standardization, and customer success.

Source: Soltec

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Gamesa Electric will be the supplier of PV solar power stations for six projects that OPDE will build in Spain. The total power of these projects is 300 MW.

The scope of supply for each of these projects is 9 x 5,2 MVA PV Solar Power Stations. Each one includes two of our high efficiency Gamesa E-2.5 MVA-SB-I PV Inverters at 1500Vdc, which scores one of the highest efficiencies in the PV market (99.0% maximum efficiency; 98.8% European efficiency). In addition, each PV Solar Power Station integrates a step-up transformer and a medium voltage protection switchgear.

gamesa_opde-2All these will be integrated within a prefabricated concrete solution with all the connections fully wired and factory tested, for ease of both field assembly and installation.

The construction works for these projects will start by last quarter of this year. A total of 200MW are part of the project package won by OPDE in the renewable energy auction celebrated in 2017, with a commissioning date before end of 2019.

Source: Gamesa Electric

The use of solar trackers in utility-scale PV projects is growing rapidly around the world. According to the GTM Research report “Global Solar PV Tracker Market Shares and Shipments 2018”, tracker shipments grew by 44% globally in 2017. GTM also found that Latin American countries were the largest markets for solar trackers, followed by the US. Indeed, GTM expects 80-90% of all utility-scale PV projects deployed in Latin America this year to use tracker systems. Independent consultancy TÜV Rheinland PTL has recently published a report, commissioned by solar tracker manufacturer Array Technologies, on the economic and risk analysis of the two main tracker architectures (centralised and decentralised). This article sets out the main conclusions of this report, and their significance for Latin America due to the extensive range of climatic challenges facing trackers in this region.

It has been proven that solar trackers increase the utility-scale production of PV energy. Moreover, the economic benefits of using a solar tracking system is greater in areas of high irradiation, which correspond to rapidly growing PV markets, such as Latin America, the MENA and APAC regions, where solar trackers are increasing their market share in large plants over fixed tilt mounting systems.

While a variety of solar trackers are available, two predominate: centrally driven architecture (centralised) and individual row driven architecture (decentralised). A centralised architecture involves a system driven by a single motor linked by a rotating driveline to multiple tracker rows. In a decentralised architecture, each row operates as a self-contained unit.
Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY May 2018

The financing of two huge PV projects in the United Arab Emirates helped to drive a recovery in global clean energy investment to $64.8 billion in the second quarter of this year, the highest for any quarter since 2Q 2016. The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum III plant in Dubai and the Marubeni JinkoSolar and Adwea Sweihan project in Abu Dhabi, at 800 MW and 1.2 GW respectively, contributed $1.9 billion between them to the global investment total in 2Q 2017, according to the latest authoritative figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Other highlights of the data include bounce-backs in investment in the April-to-June quarter in China and the U.S., and sharply increased funding for projects in Mexico, Australia and Sweden. In addition, Egypt and Argentina, two new markets for renewables, saw record quarterly figures. The weakest feature was the U.K., where investment slumped more than 90% compared to 2Q 2016.

 

Overall, solar was the star sector in 2Q, notching up investment of $35.6 billion, up 19% year-on-year and 20% quarter-on-quarter. Wind had a weaker three months, seeing investment slip 29% year-on-year to $26.2 billion, although it was 43% higher than in the first quarter of this year.

The commitments made to both solar and wind were less in dollar terms per MW in 2Q 2017 than they would have been in previous years because of sharp reductions in costs. BNEF estimates that global capital costs for PV and onshore wind have dropped by 15% and 14% respectively in the last 12 months, in response to fierce competition in manufacturing, and technology improvements.

There were only two large offshore wind arrays financed in Europe in 2Q – the 200 MW Borkum West II and 112MW Albatros projects in German waters, at $918 million and $532 million. Other top project deals of the quarter were two Chinese 300 MW offshore wind arrays, Three Gorges Dafeng and Three Gorges Zhuanghe, costing an estimated $1.8 billion in total, the 396 MW Juchitan de Zaragoza onshore wind farm in Mexico, at $721 million, and the Avangrid La Joya onshore wind park in the U.S., at 400 MW and an estimated $620 million.

Outside solar and wind, other clean energy sectors saw modest flows in 2Q. Biomass and waste-to-energy had investment of $387 million, down 76% year-on-year; small hydro $595 million, down 20%; geothermal $423 million, down 24%; and investment in energy smart technology companies (in areas such as smart grid, energy storage and electric vehicles) was $1.5 billion, down 50% year-on-year.

Overall asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects was $51.7 billion in 2Q, down 13% on a year earlier but up 32% on 1Q 2017. Small-scale solar projects of less than 1 MW attracted $10.8 billion, up 8% year-on-year.

Public markets investment in specialist clean energy companies totaled $1.2 billion in the 2Q, down 65% year-on-year and 47% quarter-on-quarter. The largest equity raisings on stock markets were for two Chinese companies, project developer Huaneng Renewables ($281 million) and solar glass maker Xinyi Solar ($194 million).

Venture capital and private equity investment in clean energy continued its recent upswing, with $1.9 billion raised in 2Q, up 50% on the same period in 2016 and 15% on 1Q this year. The top VC/PE deals were $400 million for Microvast Power System, a Chinese maker of batteries for electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, $113 million for French solar developer EREN Renewable Energy and $100 million for U.S. energy-efficient window company View Inc.

Taking all those categories of investment together, country-level results for the second quarter included:

  • China $23.3 billion, down 16% compared to 2Q 2016, up 32% from 1Q 2017.
  • The U.S. $14.7 billion, up 6% year-on-year, up 51% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Europe $8.8 billion, down 49% year-on-year, up 10% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Germany $3.2 billion, down 34% year-on-year, down 7% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Japan $2.9 billion, up 12% year-on-year, down 11% quarter-on-quarter.
  • India $2.6 billion, up 11% year-on-year, down 4% quarter-on-quarter.
  • A.E. $2.1 billion, up from almost nothing in 2Q 2016 and 1Q 2017.
  • Brazil $1.9 billion, down 1% year-on-year, up 10% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Mexico $1.8 billion, up 261% year-on-year, down 10% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Australia $1.5 billion, up 77% year-on-year, down 29% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Sweden $887 million, up 213% year-on-year, and up from almost nothing in 1Q.
  • France $845 million, up 43% year-on-year, down 1% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Egypt $805 million, up from almost nothing in 2Q 2016 and 1Q 2017.
  • Argentina $464 million, up from almost nothing in 2Q 2016 and 1Q 2017.
  • The U.K. $407 million, down 93% year-on-year, down 60% quarter-on-quarter.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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