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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.

Powertis, a company that invests in the development, structuring, financing, construction and operation of large-scale solar PV projects, is developing a 765 MW photovoltaic solar portfolio in the states of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo, in Brazil. The portfolio consists of one project of 495 MW and three projects of 90 MW each. The Spanish company Soltec will be responsible for supplying solar trackers in all plants and facilitating installation and construction services. These projects will need an investment of B$2.500 MB$ (552 M€) approximately and will supply the energy needed for more than 1,150,000 households.

This portfolio has energy sales contracts (or PPAs – Power Purchase Agreements) with two Brazilian frontline off-takers that will allow the operation of the plant by Powertis until the end of 2041. The projects will begin operations in January 2021 and January 2022.

The projects will be financed by BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social) and BNB (Banco do Nordeste), with an expected financial closing date in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.

Their strategic and financial advisor is BTG Pactual, a leading bank in Brazil in the area of M&A and financing in the energy sector.

Powertis expects that the construction of these solar plants will create more than 7,200 direct and indirect jobs during installation and construction phases, which will be complemented by more than 160 permanent direct and indirect jobs when the plant is in operation.

The company has become one of the main PV investors in Brazil after the acquisition of more than 700 MW in solar projects, and a leader in the ACL and bilateral PPAs markets. “With the construction of these four projects, Powertis continues to strengthen its position in the Brazilian market and also contributes to the generation of jobs through the implementation of clean energy”, says Pablo Otín, CEO of Powertis.

Source: Powertis

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.

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Nclave has designed a new single axis tracker with two rows designed to mitigate the dynamic and aero-elastic risks inherent in large trackers. With this new solar tracker the company has the largest portfolio of products in the photovoltaic industry: single axis tracker mono-row SP160 and single axis tracker multi-row SP1000, fixed structure and the new twin tracker SP240.

One of the main advantages of this tracker is the allowance to a better optimization of the ground (GCR) since it enables more power installation on a smaller surface. It should be noted its great adaptability when installed on terrains with high/changing slopes.

Its configuration in two rows eases the access for maintenance and cleaning works which lets it endorse both the advantages of multi-row and mono-row trackers. All this grants savings in installation, operation and maintenance costs; decrease of commercial components by more than 25% / Mw and a reduction in assembly time of up to 65% / Mw compared with competitors.

With more than 15 years of experience, 3.5 GW deployed and offices and production centers in five continents, Nclave, is a leading company in the development, design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of fixed tilt structures and solar trackers, including the design and execution of any foundation solution. Nclave offers solutions with the lowest installation costs on the one hand, and, during the life of the project, operation and maintenance.

Source: Nclave

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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Trina Solar has received a top rating in the latest annual PV module and solar inverter bankability report issued by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). With this report, Trina Solar is now the only module manufacturer to be rated as fully bankable for four consecutive years by 100% of the experts participating in the BNEF survey.

The BNEF report has been a valuable reference for business credit at numerous financial institutions. According to the report, corporate financial health, track record of its modules in the field, and manufacturer warranties are important metrics for financial institutions in their evaluation of PV manufacturers’ bankability. Banks are comfortable providing non-recourse loans to solar projects that use PV modules from a bankable manufacturer.

For its survey, BNEF reached out to banks, funds, EPCs, independent power providers (IPPs), and technical advisors worldwide. It also engaged in in-depth interviews with quality inspectors and technology experts. These experts represent an installed PV capacity of 29GW globally.

Trina Solar Executive Vice President Yin Rongfang said, “We are very proud of the great result Trina Solar has achieved once again in this renowned industry report. The report confirms our solid financial condition, proven product quality and good corporate reputation, as well as recognizes our ongoing commitment to long-term sustainability. Trina Solar is committed to creating long-term and robust return on investment for our global customers with higher-value PV modules and integrated solutions.

The latest BNEF report also quotes the annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard, published this year by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), where Trina Solar has been named a “Top Performer” for its outstanding module reliability and power generation performance among global module manufacturers for the fifth time in a row. The scorecard provides the most comprehensive comparison of publicly-available PV module reliability test results.

Source: Trina Solar

Energy Storage Solutions (E22) and Alencon Systems have partnered to offer a unique, turnkey DC-coupled Solar + Storage solution. The integrated solution, offered by E22, is called the DC Power Optimiser™. Both companies will officially launch the solution at SPI 2019.

The DC Power Optimiser™ consists of a DC to DC bidirectional converter, Alencon’s Bi-Directional Optimizer for Storage Systems – the BOSS™, connected to a battery, packaged in a single containerized package. This container includes control and communication equipment, a battery management system, and cooling and safety systems as well as Alencon’s BOSS. The unit is compliant with UL1741 and designed to UL9540A. These distributed systems can connect with string inverters sized up to 150 kW and 1,500 VDC. The system is controlled via E22’s ETER software, a proprietary energy management and system control software platform developed by E22.

E22’s DC Power Optimiser offers a truly turnkey DC-coupled solar + storage solution which provides users a number of powerful benefits over traditional AC coupled systems while eliminating the system configuration challenges and deployment limitations of other DC-coupled solutions. The DC Power Optimiser offers greater round-trip efficiency, while firming intermittent solar output to both extend solar production and turn solar into a truly dispatchable energy resource.

Including Alencon’s BOSS galvanically isolated, rack-level DC-DC converter in this container provides a myriad of benefits to project owners. The DC Power Optimiser can be easily connected to the grid via a string inverter, the first DC-coupled system to offer such a feature. This will allow PV plant owners to easily integrate storage into existing PV plants using string inverters. The inclusion of the BOSS also allows for superior system safety and maximum battery rack utilization by isolating each battery rack. By controlling the charge of the system at the rack level, the BOSS assures maximum utilization of each battery rack while at the same time improving system safety by minimizing the risk of fault currents and other safety risks. The battery rack level charge approach provided by the BOSS also greatly simplifies battery rack augmentation that will invariably need to occur over the life of a Solar + Storage project.

Each DC Power Optimiser can be sized to include up to 240 kWh of energy storage. Based on the C-Rate chosen, the duration of discharge of the battery is between two to four hours. The DC Power Optimiser contains all cooling, control, safety and isolation in the same unit. E22’s proprietary ETER software controls the interfaces with PV inverters to manage MPPT while providing control over the rest of the system. E22’s ETER software also communicates with the battery management system. For new deployments, the PV Inverter may be mounted on or next to each DC Power Optimiser minimizing additional hardware.

For larger PV installations, the DC Power Optimiser can be housed in a central container configuration to reduce parts count and simplify O&M.

Source: Energy Storage Solutions (E22)

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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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LONGi Solar, a subsidiary of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd, has recorded its highest-ever bankability rating in the recently released Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Solar Module & Inverter Bankability 2019.

BNEF surveyed banks, funds, developers, EPCs and technical due diligence firms which brands out of 48 modules manufacturers they considered bankable (i.e. can be used in solar projects with non-recourse debt). In the 2019 results, LONGi rose significantly to 91%, its highest ever, a clear indication of LONGi’s maturity as an established brand in the industry.

LONGi also received a “star” indicating it is a “Top Performer” PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) 2019 PV Module Reliability Scorecard. LONGi modules earned “Top Performer” among all 4 PVEL’s test categories of damp heat, thermal cycling, mechanical load and potential induced degradation (PID) tests.

BNEF also named the “Top 15 PV Module brands used in term loan financed projects” since July 1,2017. The leading 3 brands supplied almost 5GW of term financed deals. LONGI is the second most used brand with 1,447 MW deals financed.

LONGi has also ranked as the most creditworthy module manufacturer. BNEF uses the Altman-Z score – a combination of financial ratios – to access the creditworthiness of manufacturers. It is an indicator of the risk of a company filing for bankruptcy in the next 2 years. LONGi was accessed at a score of 3.1 which indicates strong financial health and bankruptcy to be highly unlikely. LONGi’s Altman-Z score is the highest among pure play module manufactures.

In addition to LONGi’s bankability and reliability, the firm is also operating at scale as one of the largest solar manufacturers both in terms of existing and planned production capacity. According to PV Tech’s on-going analysis of global capacity expansion announcements, LONGi Solar’s total nameplate module assembly capacity should exceed 13GW in 2019, becomes world’s largest module manufacturer with latest expansion.

Source: LONGi Solar

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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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