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solar power

At Intersolar Europe 2018 Wärtsilä introduces a new hybrid solar PV and storage solution, Wärtsilä Hybrid Solar, integrates solar PV generation and storage to deliver a true renewables as baseload solution that is not only climate-friendly, increases resilience and efficiencies but can be supported by a power producer’s existing grid infrastructure.

The IEA estimates that by 2040, total global generation capacity will increase by 60 percent, and renewable energy sources, like solar, wind and hydro, will make up more than 45 percent of that total. As the world moves towards 100% renewable energy, utilities, independent power producers (IPPs) and other energy providers are motivated to harness its potential.

A critical component in maximising the value of the hybrid solution is the software and controls platform that optimizes its performance. Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä company, develops and deploys the GEMS platform, now in its fifth-generation. GEMS enables intelligent energy applications that focus on monitoring and operating energy storage power plants and hybrid power plants formed by energy storage, thermal generation, and renewable sources. GEMS ensures system optimization of both energy storage and generation assets through changes in market conditions and rate structures.

This is just the latest hybrid energy solution offering Wärtsilä has brought to the market. Most recently, Wärtsilä delivered a 15 MW solar PV hybrid power plant – the largest in the world – to Essakane Solar SAS in Burkina Faso, which operates with 55 MW Wärtsilä thermal power plant. The solar PV plant and the engine power plant are now controlled and operated in synchronisation, thus forming the largest engine-solar PV hybrid power plant in Africa. The ability to control and optimise the usage of engines and solar power will enable the mine to decrease its fuel consumption by approximately 6 million litres per year and to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 18,500 tons.

Source: Wärtsilä

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African Development Bank, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Africa50 investment fund has signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the Desert to Power programme on the sidelines of the Bank’s Annual Meetings, Busan, Korea.

The Desert to Power programme, initiated by the Bank, aims to develop 10,000 MW of solar energy across the Sahel region. It is intended to provide solar generated electricity to 250 million people, including 90 million through off grid solutions, thereby enabling the development of agriculture and other economic activities.

The three institutions agreed that they will share ideas and resources about opportunities to make solar power available throughout the Sahel region, transforming African deserts into new sources of renewable energy.

The African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina welcomed GCF’s support to the initiative, which he said has the potential – with investment from the private sector – to become the world’s largest solar power zone. “The Desert to Power programme will transform countries in the Sahel region by accelerating their access to energy through solar power. To realize this ambition, strong collaboration is needed. Therefore the partnership with the Green Climate Fund and Africa 50 is a great milestone and will help us deliver at scale.

GCF Executive Director, Howard Bamsey highlighted the potential of Desert to Power: “Sahel countries have identified the potential of solar power to bring green energy to people across the region. Renewable energy investment is a priority in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement,” he added, referring to the action plans national governments are developing to tackle climate change.

Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, stated: “Africa50 is about leveraging partnerships to contribute to the continent’s growth through developing and funding high impact private and PPP infrastructure projects. This agreement allows us to leverage our project development capabilities and build a bigger pipeline of bankable projects that will provide millions of people and businesses on the continent with clean and affordable energy.”

Source: African Development Bank

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With the theme of “Conquering the Grid Parity Paramount”, JinkoSolar has showcased six of its blockbuster products, leading the charge towards a new wave of industry innovations and illustrating the strength of the company’s brand. At SNEC, JinkoSolar revealed, for the first time, its JinkoSolar 410W Cheetah PV module that is reinventing the market standard for high performance. In addition, JinkoSolar also showcased its 310 W bifacial module, redefining the application boundaries of solar. Beyond the Cheetah and bifacial series, JinkoSolar also introduced, for the first time, its gold framed module designed to meet the need for elegant luxury in the Chinese residential PV market.

Showcased for the first time in the world at SNEC, JinkoSolar 410 W Cheetah PV module is the world’s highest-performing commercially mass-produced monofacial module, bringing the industry into the new age of PV 4.0 with mainstream module output of over 400 W. The module is designed to meet the needs of the ultra-high performance market segments, such as the likes of China’s “Super Top Runner Program”.

All JinkoSolar Cheetah series modules are produced in the company’s next-gen ultra-smart P5 super factory and represents the most cutting-edge technology in solar module manufacturing. Utilizing an all new wafer and cell design, the Cheetah series has erected a new benchmark for ultra-high performing modules with its industry leading performance in metrics such as, but not limited to, output, limited degradation, shade tolerance, and durability. The module’s 410 Wp and 72 cells performance is over 30 Wp higher than that of comparable products in the industry. The Cheetah series’ range topping conversion efficiency of 20.38% makes it the ideal solution for tender-based large scale PV projects and projects with ultra-high technical requirements such as those in China’s Super Top Runner program.

In regards to the widely discussed N-type and P-type bifacial modules, JinkoSolar is the only tier 1 module manufacturer to offer both types of bifacial modules. JinkoSolar 380 W 72-cell monocrystalline bifacial module has expanded the application boundaries of PV module installation. Traditionally, modules were largely installed in a horizontally flat or near flat manner. However, bifacial modules has opened the possibilities of installing modules in a vertical manner, drastically lowering the amount of space needed in PV projects.

The ability of the bifacial modules to generate power on both sides has increases its practicality, creating new PV applications such as on highway fencing, greenhouses, sunrooms, and other building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Depending on the type of tracker utilized, module installation angles, and the installation environment, one can expect an additional 5-25% power generation from bifacial modules relative to that of monofacial modules. JinkoSolar 385 W N-type bifacial module shares all the unique performance attributes of the P-type bifacial module and has the additional advantage of having lower degradation than that of the P-type bifacial module.

With the residential PV market growing at a breakneck pace, at SNEC, JinkoSolar also introduced its 320 W 60-cell golden framed module for the first time. Studies have shown that residential PV end-users, on average, are financially well off and are early adopters of new lifestyles and products. As such, these end-users have higher requirements for product personalization and quality. Combining a high efficiency of 19.37% and elegantly luxurious design, JinkoSolar golden frame module is the ideal solution for the residential PV market.

Given its frameless and extreme anti-PID characteristics, JinkoSolar 335 W dual glass black silicone polycrystalline module has also garners substantial attention at the SNEC. The dual glass design provides the module, particularly in areas of high temperature and humidity, with great weather protection. The dual glass modules enables stable PV system operations in extreme weather environments.

Source: JinkoSolar

Yesterday, May 22nd, Gransolar Group obtained the MIREC Award for “Breakthrough Company of 2018” in Mexico City, a category in which Neoen and Energía Libre were the other nominees. The awards ceremony is part of MIREC Week, the largest renewable energy congress in Mexico, which is attended by 1,800 professionals.

Francisco García, Country Manager of Gransolar Group in Mexico, received the award. “I would like to thank the organization and everyone who is here”, he said in his speech. “We want to dedicate this award to all the people who are part of the group in more than 17 countries, and especially to the ones who are working in Spain, who are far away but have made this real”.

The visitors of the MIREC Awards website decided this outcome with their votes. Gransolar Group would like to thank everyone who voted for its “Breakthrough Company” nomination and made it possible. It is a very valuable recognition in Mexico, a market in which Gransolar Group has been a pioneer and has experienced an enormous growth. After only four years of operations in this country, the projects by Gransolar Group in Mexico already add up to almost 200 MW, and it is among the leaders in solar energy.

An even bigger growth is expected for Gransolar Group in Mexico, and that is why they moved to bigger and better located headquarters in the capital city.


JA Solar one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance solar power products, has announced that it will supply 8.1 MW of its high-efficiency mono PERC modules to the first solar power plant utilizing PERC modules in Brazil.

Located in Minas Gerais, this project marks the country’s first ground-mounted utility-scale solar power plant to adopt PERC technology. The solar plant was acquired by Sindustrial, a leading construction and electrical panel manufacture company, and Solatio Energia, the largest solar project developer in Brazil. The solar power plant, which is situated in a semi-desert area, will be powered by JA Solar’s high-efficiency mono PERC modules. These high-performance solar modules can ensure high power and stable output under extreme environmental conditions including high temperature and drought, optimizing profits generated from the solar plant for our customers.

Separately, JA Solar’s high-efficiency mono PERC modules are also well received by the distribution channels in Brazil. WEG, one of the leading Brazilian electric power companies, recently ordered 7.8 MW of JA Solar’s mono PERC modules for distribution to maintain its competitive position in the marketplace.

Mr. Cao Bo, Vice President of JA Solar, commented: “Brazil has abundant solar energy resources and represents a promising market for solar energy. JA Solar entered the Brazilian market in 2015, and provided a total of 254MW of solar modules for the country’s biggest solar plant in 2016. Additionally, we established our Brazilian subsidiary last year, expanding our presence and further supporting our customers and partners in the region. JA Solar is committed to our R&D efforts to develop high-performance solar modules. As a PERC patent holder, JA Solar is capable of providing our Brazilian customers with more reliable products and services.

Source: JA Solar

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Grupo T-Solar a portfolio company of I Squared Capital, has signed agreements to acquire three operating photovoltaic solar plants in Spain with a combined installed capacity of 5.6 megawatts from multiple sellers.

The transaction increases the company’s global portfolio to 392 megawatts of installed capacity.

Located in Badajoz, Seville and Toledo, the plants use tracker technology and can generate over 11 gigawatt-hours of clean energy per year. Combined with its recent transaction for 100 megawatts of concentrated solar power plants, T-Solar holds a leading position in Spanish solar generation and reaches global portfolio of 292 megawatts of photovoltaic solar power plants.

In the last twelve months, Grupo T-Solar has increased its portfolio by 37 percent, refinanced a 34-megawatt portfolio in Spain with a €118.4 million project bond and diversified its generation base with a different solar technology. With these additions, T-Solar is projected to generate approximately 641 gigawatt-hours of clean electricity per year—and displace over 155,370 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

“Spain is our natural market and these acquisitions, together with our development projects, continue our investment strategy to expand our portfolio of clean power generation across South Europe,” said Marta Martínez Queimadelos, Chief Executive Officer of Grupo T-Solar.

Grupo T-Solar was advised by Ernst & Young and Deloitte (financial, M&A and tax), Vector 4 (technical) and Watson Farley & Williams (legal) in these transactions.

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The Berlin-based company Valentin Software, which is well-known for its worldwide industry solutions, has adapted its market-leading design and simulation programs PV*SOL and T*SOL to the latest technical developments for 2018 and expanded them for the latest applications. With the updated versions, system designers and operators can design their solar systems according to the latest knowledge, simulate accurate yield calculations under site-specific conditions and thus also perform accurate financial calculations, taking state support measures into account. The company will be presenting its new products to the public in June at the world’s leading trade fair Intersolar Europe in Munich.

PV*SOL 2018 – Design of PV plants with 3D model import

The new version of the design software PV*SOL premium 2018 makes the design of photovoltaic systems even easier and more efficient.

For the input of object data, 3D models in different file formats can now be imported into the software via a new interface. This makes it possible to import realistic and detailed 3D objects created with photos taken from different perspectives (e.g. using a drone). This will add another important tool to the already existing possibility of importing floor plans, cadastral maps and screenshots from web-based satellite maps (e.g. Google Earth) directly into the 3D visualization and thus integrating them to scale into a project.

Flexibility has been significantly increased with regard to the subsequent configuration of the modules, which are automatically placed on an object. The new possibility of polystring configuration allows completely different strings to be connected in parallel or series to an MPP tracker. This is required, for example, to connect an east-west roof parallel to one MPP tracker. Even different modules in a string can now be interconnected, e.g. defective modules that are no longer available which need to be replaced by similar new ones. Modules with different orientations can now also be connected in one string via the integration of power optimizers (e.g. SolarEdge, Tigo). These new functionalities increase the flexibility of the design process enormously and allow even more detailed configuration and simulation of the PV system.

Other useful additions for the optimization of a system are the output of the I-V characteristics for each time step of the simulation, as well as an energy flow diagram representing the overall system including the battery system, consumers and also an electric vehicle.

The further the feed-in tariff decreases, the more important it is to consider the self-consumption of PV electricity for the profitability of a photovoltaic system. Since the self-consumption can be increased by storing the PV power in battery systems, the dimensioning of the battery system is also of great importance.

PV*SOL is a valuable tool for sizing a PV system correctly, as well as for determining profitability. A dimensioning aid for sizing the battery storage carries out the calculation of the battery for the user, thus facilitating project design.

Both PV*SOL and PV*SOL premium are available in German, English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.

T*SOL 2018 – Automatic dimensioning through parameter optimization

The new version T*SOL 2018 allows its users to enter and save complex heat storage parameters themselves. This makes the program even more flexible to use and more precisely observe and work out the economic efficiency that is so important for commercial applications. The automatic parameter optimization function with its economic target variables is ideal for this purpose. These include, for example, the capital value, the return and the heat price. Thus, it is possible to determine the influence of the size of various components of a solar thermal system, e.g. to optimize the size of a storage tank or the number of collectors for their impact on the economic efficiency.

A variety of tools are available for the evaluation of the results. The project report provides detailed simulation outputs, which are recognized by German government funding programs. Furthermore, graphs can be created with a wide range of temperature and energy data for more in-depth analysis. If an energy label is required according to EU directives, you can also create this with T*SOL.

Valentin Software has updated the extensive component databases in the new version and made them easier to use.

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Soltec ranks as the only solar tracker company, the second renewable energy company, and the fourth energy company of 31 energy companies listed

Soltec ranks first place among solar companies and fourth among all 31 energy companies in the Financial Times list of highest growth companies in 31 European countries.

The 2018 FT 1000 list compares revenue growth and compound annual growth rates from 2013 to 2016. With a revenue growth rate of 1,448 percent between 2013 and 2016, Soltec earned 75th place of all 1,000 companies on this prestigious list.

The list also discloses the employee growth over the three-year period. Founded in 2004 in Molina de Segura, Spain, Soltec added 623 jobs.

Repeat customers rely on us as project partners due to our ability to meet schedule, cost, and quality criteria. Our record-breaking growth is testament to the dedication of Soltec’s global team focused on large-scale supply capacity, cost-effective innovation, and technical leadership,” said Soltec CEO Raúl Morales. “We are proud of the results made known by the FT 1000. The results speak to our culture of innovation and technical leadership.

The FT 1000 recognizes the innovative companies that are a driving force behind Europe’s economy in the 21st century, generating high-wage jobs and sustaining competitiveness.

Source: Soltec

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Solar energy dominated global investment in new power generation like never before in 2017. The world installed a record 98 GW of new solar capacity, far more than the net additions of any other technology – renewable, fossil fuel or nuclear.

Solar power also attracted far more investment, at $160.8 billion, up 18 per cent, than any other technology. It made up 57 per cent of last year’s total for all renewables (excluding large hydro) of $279.8 billion, and it towered above new investment in coal and gas generation capacity, at an estimated $103 billion.

A driving power behind last year’s surge in solar was China, where an unprecedented boom saw some 53 GW added – more than half the global total – and $86.5 billion invested, up 58 per cent.

The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report, released on April, 5, by UN Environment, Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, finds that falling costs for solar electricity, and to some extent wind power, is continuing to drive deployment. Last year was the eighth in a row in which global investment in renewables (1) exceeded $200 billion – and since 2004, the world has invested $2.9 trillion in these green energy sources.

Overall, China was by far the world’s largest investing country in renewables, at a record $126.6 billion, up 31 per cent on 2016.

There were also sharp increases in investment in Australia (up 147 per cent to $8.5 billion), Mexico (up 810 per cent to $6 billion), and in Sweden (up 127 per cent to $3.7 billion).

A record 157 GW of renewable power were commissioned last year, up from 143 GW in 2016 and far out-stripping the net 70 GW of fossil-fuel generating capacity added (after adjusting for the closure of some existing plants) over the same period.

Some big markets, however, saw declines in investment in renewables. In the United States, investment dropped 6 per cent, coming in at $40.5 billion. In Europe there was a fall of 36 per cent, to $40.9 billion, with big drops in the United Kingdom (down 65 per cent to $7.6 billion) and Germany (down 35 per cent to $10.4 billion). Investment in Japan slipped 28 per cent to $13.4 billion.

Global investments in renewable energy of $2.7 trillion from 2007 to 2017 (11 years inclusive) have increased the proportion of world electricity generated by wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, marine and small hydro from 5.2 per cent to 12.1 per cent.

The current level of electricity generated by renewables corresponds to about 1.8 Gt of carbon dioxide emissions avoided – roughly equivalent to those produced by the entire U.S. transport system.

(1) All renewable energy investment totals exclude large hydro (more than 50 MW), which falls outside the scope of the report.

Source: UN Environment

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A large solar energy project in Nepal supported by the Chinese government was finally completed last December. Launched in October 2016, the project has included the installation of PV modules on 23 government buildings such as the Prime Minister’s Office, the Energy Ministry and the Finance Ministry in order to effectively solve the frequent power outages in Nepal’s government departments by providing an average of 10 hours of electricity every day.

GoodWe solar inverters were selected for this project due to their good quality and reputation. Thanks to its reliable grid support capabilities, high waterproof and dustproof grade and extra-wide voltage range of modules, GoodWe DT series inverter was the ideal choice for this project.

The Belt and Road Initiative brings a good opportunity for the development of Chinese PV enterprises and promotes Chinese PV technology widely around the world” said GoodWe CEO Mr Huang Min. “GoodWe seizes this opportunity to keep growing and expanding into the international markets”.

GoodWe is a leading, strategically-thinking enterprise which focuses on research and manufacturing of PV inverters and energy storage solutions. With an average monthly sales volume of 30,000 pieces in 2017 and 16 GW installed in more than 100 countries, GoodWe solar inverters have been largely used in residential, commercial rooftops, industrial and utility scale systems, ranging from 1 to 80 kW.