Markets & Policy

Sun Exchange raises $1.6 million

The U.S.-based peer-to-peer solar equipment leasing marketplace Sun Exchange will use the funds for its pipeline of commercial-scale solar power projects.

Manufacturing

Bürkle presents faster lamination for crystalline modules at EU PVSEC

Bürkle has optimized its current process time for glass-backsheet and glass-glass modules by more than 20%, which will reduce the manufacturing cost per module by up to 10%, depending on the module configuration.

Markets & Policy

GIC announces undisclosed investment in Japan’s JRE

GIC Private Ltd., Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, has said that one of its affiliates will become a corporate partner in GS Renewable Holdings GK, the parent of developer Japan Renewable Energy (JRE).

Markets & Policy

Tonga commissions its MW-sized solar facility

The Matatoa Solar Project was built and is being operated by China’s Zhuhai Singyes Green Building Technology Co. Ltd.

Manufacturing

Daqo to expand polysilicon output in Western China

Daqo New Energy has secured approval from its board of directors to proceed with its so-called “Phase 3B expansion plan” for its polysilicon plants in Western China’s Xinjiang region.

Markets & Policy

Around 5.2 GW of solar to compete in third round of Argentina’s RenovAr program

PV will compete with 3.8 GW of wind and a few hundreds of megawatts of less established renewable energy sources.

Markets & Policy

Scatec reports strong revenue and profit growth

Most of the large revenue increase is due to construction revenues in Honduras and Malaysia and to project development margin on a transaction that the company closed with Norwegian oil producer Statoil in Brazil.

Markets & Policy

Featured

The potential for PV-powered hydrogen production

PV+hydrogen: ITM Power exhibited new designs for hydrogen refueling stations last month at Solar Power International (SPI). The U.K. clean fuel specialist announced plans in early September to install a 10 MW hydrogen electrolyzer at a Shell refinery in Germany, and signed a deal to provide renewably powered electrolyzers for hydrogen fuel-cell buses in France. Chief Executive Graham Cooley spoke to pv magazine about the Sheffield-based company’s new refueling stations and the potential to use solar panels to produce hydrogen as a clean fuel.

Virtual net metering in Greece at risk from EU reform

The European Council’s response to proposed European Commission reforms suggests that rules supportive of virtual net metering could be scrapped after pressure from Germany.

ENGIE to acquire lease-to-own solar company Fenix International

The latest in a series of high profile renewable energy acquisitions for the French energy giant, ENGIE has announced the acquisition of a 100% stake in Fenix International, a U.S. company active in the residential lease-to-own sector in several African countries.

Growing political will and falling costs make universal energy access possible by 2030, IEA finds

The report, published in Energy Access Outlook: from Poverty to Prosperity, is the first instance of this sort of historical analysis, with this particular study looking at 140 countries and showing that the number of people without electricity fell to 1.1 billion in 2016, down from 1.6 billion in 2000.

Fortum-NBCC and ABB pledge to build EV charging stations in India

Fortum will collaborate with NBCC, India to develop 150 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in India over the next 18 months, while ABB has bid for the tender to provide 4,500 charging stations across the country.

Senegal issues 100 MW solar tender

Senegalese government issues open tender for solar projects with a combined storage capacity of 100 MW in the Diourbel, Kaoack, and Fatick regions of the country.

Installations

Featured

With the sun to independence

Solar in Haiti: Only one in three of the approximately 11 million people in Haiti has access to electricity. Agricultural entrepreneur and incumbent President Jovenel Moïse wants to electrify the entire country within 24 months, focusing on renewable sources of energy. While experts see the project as particularly ambitious, a range of small and large initiatives in the field of solar energy are rapidly springing up in Haiti.

GPTech to supply 197 MW inverters to PV projects in Malaysia

The Spanish inverter specialist is to supply solar farms being built in Malaysia by Norway’s Scatec Solar, which in turn is working with local ITRAMAS-led consortium on three 21-year PPAs with the country’s largest electricity utility, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).

El Salvador to launch solar auction in December or January

In the auction, El Salvador’s energy regulator CNE will select large-scale solar and biogas power projects. Meanwhile, PV is bringing down power tariffs in the country.

Ellomay buys 9 MW in Israel

Through this transaction, the Israel-based solar company has raised the capacity of its PV plant portfolio to 39.5 MW.

AustrianSolar begins construction on 98 MW solar park in northern Chile

The PV plant Huatacondo will be located 100 kilometers south of Pozo Almonte, in the Chilean region of Tarapacá.

Norwegian firm signs 2 GW, $2.9bn solar project deal in Iran

Saga Energy, a part of Taiwan’s Delta Group, has inked a €2.5 billion deal to construct 2 GW of solar PV in Iran, working alongside local partner Amin Energy. Company also hopes to build module fab in the country.

Technology

Featured

Reinventing the wheel

Flywheel storage: Amber Kinetics is the winner of 2017’s Array Changing Technologies Award, chosen by an independent jury of industry experts as the most exciting technology in the downstream sector. pv magazine caught up with cofounder and CEO Ed Chiao to discuss the technology’s potential and what Amber Kinetics has planned over the next few years.

KAUST researchers look into lateral heterojunction

A team from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia has published research into heterojunction solar cells using alternative materials to silicon. The researchers hope that the process they developed could simplify the fabrication of solar cells.

Italian researchers use graphene oxide to increase efficiency of perovskite cells

Scientists of the University of Florence claim that graphene-based electron transport layers (ETL) achieve higher carrier injection with respect to most commonly used ETLs.

DEWA announces new R&D subsidiary

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Company (DEWA) announced that the firm has launched a new wholly owned investment subsidiary. It is called Jumeirah Energy International Silicon Valley Company and, as the name entails, is found in the Silicon Valley in California.

Solar-powered saloon turns heads in Oz solar race

Dutch solar-powered car, with an average speed of 69 km/h and a carrying capacity of up to five people, has been hailed as the future of solar powered cars after competing in World Solar Challenge.

Interview: JinkoSolar CEO discusses half-cut cell technology

Kangping Chen, the CEO of Chinese solar manufacturer JinkoSolar, speaks to pv magazine about the company’s solar technology development, the efficacy of half-cut solar cells, and the future of the PV industry.

Manufacturing

Featured

Renewables and mining

Remote off-grid systems: The mining industry creates the raw materials that make up the technologies powering the energy transition. For example, every megawatt of solar PV requires four metric tons of copper to build. Increasingly, these renewables are powering the mining operations that create their source material. However, transitioning the mining industry away from fossil fuels will require renewable developers to speak the language of miners, and to sell renewables on the value they provide beyond a lower cost of electricity.

U.S. thin film PV maker Stion to discontinue operations

The Mississippi-based CIGS manufacturer cites “intense” competition from imports.

NPC Incorporated closes fiscal year 2017 with JPY 498 million ($4.4 million) profit

The Japanese equipment provider also reported an increase in sales of 19.2% for fiscal year 2017. In the machinery business, the company said, all of sales of the large-scale deal were booked as planned.

SunPower: Any trade action should apply to everyone but us

The high-efficiency solar maker asks for Section 201 action to include First Solar’s thin film products, but to exclude its back contact crystalline silicon solar as a unique product.

BREAKING: Taiwan solar merger mooted as Gintech, NSP and Solartech to suspend trading on Monday

Three of Taiwan’s largest solar cell and module manufacturers – Gintech, Neo Solar Power and Solartech – will suspend common stock transactions next week, prompting rumors that a merger between the three firms could be on the cards.

Vikram Solar launches new monocrystalline product line SOMERA

SOMERA series uses PERC monocrystalline solar cells reaching module area efficiency up to 19.05% (for 60 cells) and up to 18.45% (for 72 cells).

Energy Storage

Featured

The missing piece for Germany’s Energiewende?

World’s largest battery: Be it lead, lithium, water, or gas – there are many ways to store energy nowadays. However, the technology is often too expensive to deploy, or is at too early a stage or dependent on certain geographical conditions. In cooperation with the University of Jena, German utility company EWE plans to build the world’s largest battery storage facility using redox flow technology. Could this 120 MW battery project be the missing link for Germany’s ‘Energiewende’?

AES deploys 20 MW of storage in the Dominican Republic

AES Dominicana’s 20 MW storage system helped maintain the power grid operational during the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

China storage market growing, but electric vehicles still dominate battery demand, says AECEA

Chinese shipments of lithium-ion batteries could jump by 40% year on year in 2017, but demand from the country’s burgeoning electric-vehicle market continues to overshadow the deployment of stationary energy storage systems (ESS), according to a recent report.

CEFC provides debt finance for Australia’s first wind+solar+storage array

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide $94 million as the sole debt financier of Australia’s first co-developed wind, solar and storage array. The 60 MW Kennedy Energy Park is being developed by Windlab and Eurus Energy and will combine 43.2 MW in wind capacity, 15 MW of solar PV, and 2 MWh of battery storage.

CLEAN invites proposals for storage-backed mini grids in India

The Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN) has requested lithium-ion battery OEMs to demonstrate the efficacy of mini grids in the range of 15-20 kW, based on a lithium-ion battery storage system.

Powin scores financing from Brookfield for 8.8 MW storage project

Powin Energy has secured non-recourse debt financing from Brookfield Renewable for an 8.8 MW/40.8 MWh storage system it plans to install in the Canadian province of Ontario. It did not disclose the terms of the agreement.

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Press Releases

Cap Vert Energie inaugurates PV plant of Valle de la Luna, in the presence of Caroline Dumas, the French Ambassador to Chile.

Pierre Boulestreau, the Chief Executive Officer of CVE Chile, Pierre de Froidefond and Hervé Lucas, two of the three co-founding partners of Cap Vert Energie, inaugurated the photovoltaic power plant of Valle de la Luna, in the presence of Caroline Dumas, the French Ambassador to Chile.

Robben Island solar microgrid demonstrates power of renewable energy for South African communities

SOLA Future Energy has succeeded in designing and constructing a solar energy microgrid for Robben Island.

Heraeus introduces new front-side silver paste designed for diamondwire cut multicrystaline solar cells at PV Taiwan International Photovoltaic Exhibition

New paste provides greater adhesion and improves conversion efficiency of DWC cells.

Energy Storage Europe cooperates with Peter Sauber Agency to expand hydrogen and fuel cells division

Associations BVES and DWV support collaboration.