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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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SolarPower Europe and the European programme GET.invest have announced a new partnership to contribute to broad and sustained market development for renewable energy in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) region. The partnership comes under the umbrella of support from the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria for GET.invest to promote private sector action for building sustainable energy markets in partner countries.

SolarPower Europe will use its network to mobilise European and ACP solar energy companies for joint business development; this includes capacity building and support of industry associations in ACP renewable energy markets, as well as increasing visibility of related projects.

For this endeavour, SolarPower Europe will draw on the knowledge of GET.invest, a programme supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria. GET.invest offers several services to renewable energy project developers and businesses. To date, GET.invest has supported over 100 transactions in the market throughout sub-Saharan Africa with a total projected investment volume of over 1 Billion USD.

Only with the support of the private sector can the race against climate change be won and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG7, reached. The EU supports companies investing in sustainable energy through its External Investment Plan.

The partnership between SolarPower Europe and GET.invest aims to better inform the private sector, connecting companies and investors in partner countries.

Building on SolarPower Europe’s previous collaboration with GET.invest’s predecessor, the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), the new partnership includes activities such as information events, capacity building for national associations, partner exchanges, outreach and mobilisation, as well as general private sector capacity building.

Source: SolarPower Europe

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Este mapa muestra la tecnología con el LCOE de referencia más bajo en cada mercado, excluyendo subsidios o créditos fiscales. CCGT: turbina de gas en ciclo combinado / This map shows the technology with the lowest benchmark LCOE in each market, excluding subsidies or tax credits. CCGT: Combined-cycle gas turbine. Fuente/Source: BloombergNEF.

Every half year, BloombergNEF runs its Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) Update, a worldwide assessment of the cost-competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies – excluding subsidies. BNEF latest Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) figures show a global benchmark LCOE for onshore wind and PV projects at $47 and $51/MWh. The numbers are down 6% and 11% respectively from six months ago, mainly owing to cheaper equipment. The offshore wind LCOE benchmark sits at $78/MWh down 32% from from last year.

These are the key, high-level results for the second half of 2019:

New solar and onshore wind power plants have now reached parity with average wholesale prices in California and parts of Europe. In China, their levelized costs are now below the average regulated coal power price, the reference price tag in the country. These technologies are winning the race as the cheapest sources of new generation with two-thirds of the global population living in countries where PV or wind are cheaper than coal and gas power plants.

BNEF’s global benchmark levelized cost figures for onshore wind and PV projects financed in the last six months are at $47 and $51/MWh, down 6% and 11% respectively compared to the first half of 2019. For wind this is mainly due the fall in the price of wind turbines, 7% lower on average globally compared to the end of 2018. In China, the world’s largest solar market, the capex of utility-scale PV plants has dropped 11% in the last six months, reaching $0.57 million per MW. Weak demand for new plants in China has left developers and engineering, procurement and construction firms eager for business, and this has put pressure on capex.

BNEF estimates that some of the cheapest PV projects financed recently will be able to achieve an LCOE of $27-36/MWh, assuming competitive returns for their equity investors. Those can be found in India, Chile and Australia. Best-in-class onshore wind farms in Brazil, India, Mexico and Texas can reach levelized costs as low as $26-31/MWh already.

Offshore wind has seen the fastest cost declines, down 32% from just a year ago and 12% compared to the first half of 2019. BNEF’s current global benchmark LCOE estimate is $78/MWh. New offshore wind projects throughout Europe now deploy turbines with power ratings up to 10 MW, unlocking capex and opex savings. In Denmark and the Netherlands, we expect the most recent projects financed to achieve $53-64/MWh excluding transmission.

Source: BNEF

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The multinational Nclave will supply its single axis solar tracker mono-row SP160 in two different PV projects of 110 and 103 MW of power respectively in Chile, as well as another project of 100 MW in United States. In addition, there is a fourth project of 27 MW located on the other side of the Atlantic, in one of the areas with more solar radiation in Colombia, whose sponsor is Trina Solar Energy Spain. These PV projects make Nclave keep the lead in the Chilean market and embark on large projects in United States and Colombia, markets in which Nclave will strengthen its position over the next few years.

Nclave has the widest range of products in the market; fixed structures, single axis tracker mono-row SP160 and multi-row SP1000 and twin tracker SP240, – the latest design to be incorporated, which has recently received the UL3703 certification, granted by the UL LLC, besides the one already obtained for the mono-row and multi-row models and UL2703 certification for fixed tilt structures. Nclave also has the CE marking, renewed last June due to the integration of the EN 1090 standard for structural component requirements, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, IEC 62817, ISO 14064 and TÜV-NORD certifications (structural security of fixed structures) and DNV-GL (bancability).

Nclave will end 2019 with over 4.5 GW supplied worldwide. With more than 15 years of experience and offices and production centers on 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

Prodiel and Power China have been selected by Spanish company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) to build its second solar energy facility, Potrero Solar, with a capacity of 296 MW, in Mexico. The project will be located in Lagos de Moreno, in the state of Jalisco, and construction is to begin in October 2019 on a site measuring 640 hectares.

The contract is based on the Full EPC model and includes engineering, construction of the facility and the building of a 400 kV substation, as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) during the first two years of the facility’s life. In addition, this project will encourage the economic development of the area and the creation of employment opportunities, by generating over 1,500 jobs during the execution phase for the facility.

The plant will be made up of bifacial photovoltaic modules and therefore upon completion it will be one of the largest photovoltaic facilities with this technology in the world. It is estimated that production at the plant will be 750 GWh/year, which would be equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 350,000 Mexican households. When Potrero Solar is fully operational it will prevent emissions of 345,000 T of CO2 to the atmosphere every year.

Potrero Solar is FRV’s first 100% merchant-financed project in Mexico, which is a milestone in the country as it is not associated with a long-term energy auction price.

Last Friday, Septemeber, 20, Google announced its biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history. This purchase is made up of a 1,600-MW package of agreements and includes 18 new energy deals. Together, these deals will increase Google’s worldwide portfolio of wind and solar agreements by more than 40 percent, to 5,500 MW—equivalent to the capacity of a million solar rooftops. Once all these projects come online, the company’s carbon-free energy portfolio will produce more electricity than places like Washington D.C. or entire countries like Lithuania or Uruguay use each year.

These agreements will also spur the construction of more than $2 billion in new energy infrastructure, including millions of PV modules and hundreds of wind turbines spread across three continents. In all, Google’s renewable energy fleet now stands at 52 projects, driving more than $7 billion in new construction and thousands of related jobs.

To ensure maximum impact, all of these latest deals meet the rigorous “additionality” criteria Google sets out long ago for its energy purchases. This means not only buying power from existing wind and solar farms but instead making long-term purchase commitments that result in the development of new projects. Bringing incremental renewable energy to the grids where the company consumes energy is a critical component of pursuing 24×7 carbon-free energy for all of its operations.

These 18 new deals span the globe, and include investments in the U.S., Chile and Europe. In the U.S., Google will purchase energy from 720 MW of solar farms in North Carolina (155 MW), South Carolina (75 MW), and Texas (490 MW)—more than doubling the capacity of its global solar portfolio to date. In South America, Google is adding 125 MW of renewable energy capacity to the grid that supplies its data center in Chile. Finally, almost half (793 MW) of the new renewable energy capacity purchased will be located in Europe, specifically Finland (255 MW), Sweden (286 MW), Belgium (92 MW), and Denmark (160 MW).

These renewable energy purchases aren’t only notable for their size. Up to now, most of Google’s renewable energy purchases in the U.S. have been wind-driven, but the declining cost of solar (down more than 80 percent in the past decade) has made harnessing the sun increasingly cost-effective. Meanwhile, our Chile deal marks the first time Google will buy power in a hybrid technology deal that combines solar and wind.

Beyond its own operations, Google is working to make clean energy mainstream and break down the barriers for those who want to purchase renewable energy. So they announced two new grants from Google.org to provide further support for organizations that expand access to clean energy for all businesses: a $500,000 grant to Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) in the U.S. and a 500,000 euro grant to RE-Source in Europe. These grants will help fund the development of new purchasing models, provide training and resources for consumers, and enable more widespread access to clean power.

Source: Google

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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

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and a leading global developer of renewable utility-scale projects, has announced the financial close for Potrero Solar (296 MW dc), the Company’s second solar farm in Mexico.

FRV reached financial close last March with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior (Bancomext), and it is expected that the plant which began construction in late May, will be completed by mid- 2020.

Potrero Solar is FRV’s first project in Mexico to be financed before having any of its products (energy, CELs or capacity) committed in the tender schemes, and one of the largest merchant PV projects worldwide. It is also one of the world’s largest PV projects to use bifacial technology. Once operational, the plant will trade the electricity generated as well as the associated clean energy certificates at the country’s energy market.

With an approximate area of 700 ha, Potrero Solar will be located in Lagos de Moreno, in the state of Jalisco, and will use bifacial PV modules, a new technology that has the ability to capture both direct sunlight from both the front and reflected light from the rear side.

The solar power farm will generate around 700 GWh of clean energy each year, enough to supply around 350,000 average Mexican homes and reduce the emission of 345,000 T/year of CO2. In addition, Potrero, which will be built by a consortium formed by multinationals Power China and Prodiel under an EPC contract, will boost the economic development of the local community including the potential of around 1,500 jobs during its construction phase.

Fernando Salinas, Managing Director of FRV Mexico and Central America, highlights: “Mexico is a country that offers numerous opportunities for both FRV and international investors, due to its favorable market and weather conditions for renewable energy projects. Potrero’s financial close marks a milestone as the largest bifacial plant in the world and FRV’s first fully merchant project in Mexico. By carrying out this flagship project that will lead the way for other large-scale bifacial PV plants and that is also one of the largest PV merchant projects worldwide, FRV demonstrates its leadership once again and its ability to be a spearhead in the wider renewable energy industry.”

Bancomext assures that “Potrero Solar has all the features a financial institution looks for during a transaction: an experienced, highly professional sponsor, high-quality technology, an EPC provider with a well-proven track-record and a solid financial structure. With this project, Bancomext reaffirms its leading position in the Mexican market, supporting renewable energies under the ‘spot market price’ scheme and fostering job creation in the country during the construction and operation phases.”

Fady Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, said: “At Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, we are delighted to move forward to the next phase of the Potrero project. Potrero confirms FRV’s positioning as one of the leaders in the global renewable energy sector and further reinforces our long-term commitment to Mexico’s drive for clean energy. Mexico is a strong and promising market for FRV and Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, and we look forward to seeing Potrero spearhead the development of the sector in the country and further afield.”

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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.

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