Top News

The weekend read: Solar Trade Show Highlights 2018

Solar exhibitions: Next year’s solar trade show calendar looks more packed than ever, with at least two noteworthy gatherings globally each month. To help you plan your travel itinerary for 2018, pv magazine selects the shows that are set to surprise and impress next year, based on our own unrivalled experience of the PV trade circuit.
Markets & Policy

Wirsol to acquire two ‘subsidy free’ solar projects in the UK

Wirsol has announced the acquisition of two solar projects totaling 16 MW, which are gearing up to begin construction in the U.K. Wirsol also says it has plans to expand this portfolio to around 150 MW over the next 18 months.

Highlights

Armenia on track to commission 10 MW, announce new utility-scale PV quotas

Work is heating up on 10 MW of solar PV plants in Armenia, which were commissioned under a special tariff announced in December 2016. Three MW have already been commissioned, with the rest scheduled for completion in 2018. Additional utility-scale quotas are also set to be published next year.

Installations

Fortum connects 100 MW PV plant in India

A 100 MW solar park in Tumkur District, Karnataka has been connected to the regional grid, reports project owner Fortum. The project is Fortum’s fourth project to be connected in India, and its largest so far, more than doubling its total capacity to 185 MW.

Markets & Policy

BP returns to PV with $200 million investment in Lightsource

British Petroleum makes first move in PV since 2012 with acquisition of 43% stake in British renewables firm Lightsource.

Installations

Hungarian government to encourage uptake of agricultural solar

Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office, János Lázár, outlines plan to ease regulations regarding solar installations up to 500 kW installed on small one hectare sites, confirms government will offtake all solar energy produced.

Technology

Researchers develop ‘grass like’ light-scattering nano structure for solar glass

A team of scientists from the University of Pittsburgh have created a glass surface with an etched nano structure that allows for up to 95% light transmittance, and can also scatter the light entering the glass, so that more light reaches a solar cell beneath.

Energy Storage

France’s renewed solar confidence on display at EnerGaïa 2017

France’s PV sector demonstrates regained confidence in the future of solar PV in both domestic and foreign markets. This was the key takeaway from renewable energy event, EnerGaïa, which took place this week in Montpellier. Expectations are that the event is fast becoming France’s energy transition fair. pv magazine presents the four themes dominating 2017’s event.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Trump versus solar

U.S. energy policy: The Trump Administration is currently making a number of significant policy changes that intersect with solar and other forms of renewable energy. pv magazine attempts to separate the real dangers to the solar market from the more superficial phenomena.

ET Solar describes “reorganization” of its US module sales business

The Chinese PV maker and developer has made a statement regarding the bankruptcy of U.S. subsidiary ET Solar Inc.

IHS Markit: Global solar installations to pass 100 GW in 2018

Market analyst IHS Markit has issued its first forecast for 2018 installations. It expects the global market to surpass the 100 GW mark for the first time ever, hitting 108 GW.

Poland: RE support scheme approved, financing for 55 MW PV projects secured

A PLN 40 billion (around €9.4 billion) Polish support scheme for renewable energy has been approved by the European Commission. Meanwhile, Guernsey-based Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund has agreed to provide financing for ReneSola’s 55 plants in Poland, each with a capacity of 1 MW.

Interview: EU provides more legal certainty for anti-dumping measures with new legislation

Milan Nitzschke, president of EU ProSun and spokesman AEGIS Europe, an industry alliance representing 30 European manufacturing sectors, explains what China’s quest for market economy status has to do with the new European anti-dumping directives, and what effect they will have on the measures against Chinese PV manufacturers.

Portugal: Aquila Capital acquires 170MW solar projects, HSH Nordbank enters market

Acting on the behalf of its investors, the German asset manager has come into possession of four solar PV projects in Portugal, the names of which have not been disclosed. Meanwhile, Germany’s HSH Nordbank has successfully penetrated the Portuguese market with the refinancing of two solar plants.

Installations

Featured

On-site, on time

Early stage O&M: In the second of its two-part series on utility-scale O&M in Latin America, EDF Renewable Services’ Nicolás Rossel shares lessons learned from the company’s experiences in Mexico, where it has found that a smooth handover from EPC provider to O&M contractor is vital for long-term plant performance.

Wärtsilä to act as EPC for 52 MW PV plant in Jordan

Wärtsilä announced it has signed an agreement to supply EPC services to a 52 MW solar PV power plant in Jordan, owned by a joint venture between AES Jordan and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co.

US solar deployment hits lowest level in two years (w/ charts)

Slowing residential solar markets, higher prices for components and a push-back of project completions were the perfect storm in Q3, however the U.S. market managed to remain above 2 GW.

ADB finances Nepal’s largest wind-solar hybrid system

What has been described as Nepal’s largest wind-solar hybrid power system has been switched in the Hariharpurgadi village in the Sindhuli district. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) financed and supported the project.

Akuo Energy to build 50 MW PV farm in Indonesia

France’s Akuo Energy has achieved a milestone in the development of a 50 MW solar PV plant in Bali, Indonesia. pv magazine explores how the project fits in with the country’s new renewable energy law.

Module cleaning firm Ecoppia raises $13m in funding

The Israeli robotic cleaning specialist for the solar industry has completed a new funding round that will support the firm’s global expansion, meet growing demand and boost R&D.

Technology

Featured

Mind the gap

High efficiency cell technology: The slight performance advantage held by Taiwanese solar cell manufacturers appears to be coming to an end as Chinese tier-1 and tier-2 firms up their R&D spending in an effort to be fully vertically integrated. pv magazine looks at how this high efficiency technology race might impact the global PV industry.

MIT researchers observe effects of climate on solar cell performance

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a tool to predict solar cell performance at any location worldwide. The tool utilizes a combination of global weather data gathered by satellite and cell performance data from two different locations.

ARENA awards AU$29.2 million to 20 solar R&D projects

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that it will award multiple Australian universities and research institutes with a total of $29.2 million to support early-stage research into new solar innovations.

Simple, powerful, demonstrable: Meyer Burger on why HJT is poised for the mainstream

Interview: Following the announcement earlier this month that Swiss production equipment supplier Meyer Burger has increased the power output of its HJT SmartWire module to 335W, pv magazine caught up with company CTO, Gunter Erfurt to understand more about the process, as well as the company’s longer-term tech roadmap.

Kenyatta University of Nairobi unveils “Centre of Excellence” with PV focus

Kenyatta University of Nairobi, has launched a Sh59 million (US$571,700) “Centre of Excellence” focused on the generation of solar energy in Kenya.

JA Solar pushes mono PERC power output to 326 W for 60-cell module

Certified power output measurement of 326.67 W by Chinese firm JA Solar is a new world record for a mono-si PERC 60-cell module, as verified by TUV SUD.

Manufacturing

Preparation, automation, consolidation

The future for MLPE: After a year of relatively stable prices for inverters, the next few years are likely to see the return of fierce cost reduction – which could spell trouble for the module level power electronics (MLPE) space. However, growth in this segment is expected, so how are the market leaders balancing innovation and trend adoption while shoring up their bottom lines?

SoLayTec receives follow on order for ALD equipment

SoLayTec B.V, a subsidiary of U.S. based equipment provider Amtech Systems, has announced a follow-on order from an unnamed customer for its atomic layer deposition systems, to be used in PERC cell production.

Avancis/CNBM 300 MW CIGS facility comes online

China National Building Materials (CNBM), the parent company of German module manufacturer Avancis, announced that the first modules have rolled out of its 300 MW CIGS factory in Anhui Province, China.

Canadian Solar privatization offer prompts stock surge, possible industry trend

Solar stocks surged yesterday after Canadian Solar announced it had received a “going private” proposal, reports Zacks. Analysts at Guggenheim, meanwhile, say the offer will be given “serious consideration.” They believe other companies may follow suit, if accepted.

Hyet Solar seeks investors for 200 MW module fab in India

The Dutch solar energy company is hoping to attract investors in a proposed 200 MW solar manufacturing facility in the Indian state of Assam.

Solar Frontier to venture into BIPV — report

Japan’s Solar Frontier plans to start integrating its thin-film PV technologies into materials for walls and roofs, with sales expected to begin before the end of the decade, according to a recent report.

Energy Storage

BYD strides forward with a high voltage battery storage system

pv magazine award: This storage system manufacturer from China has dared to venture into a technology new to the home sector, and has faced the efficiency test.

US C&I storage rankings place Stem, Green Charge and AMS at top

In the increasingly competitive commercial-and-industrial storage market, IHS Markit expects the segment to grow 10-fold over the next five years – and ranks the companies that will lead the charge.

Japan may surpass 2030 PV target of 64 GW within two years — RTS

Japan may reach its 2030 solar installation target of 64 GW about 10 years ahead of schedule, according to a new report by PV consulting firm, RTS Corp.

Sunverge to build VPP project for TEPCO in Japan

Sunverge Energy has revealed plans to install “dozens” of energy storage units in eastern Japan, as part of a virtual power plant (VPP) project under regional utility Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

GE slashes 12,000 jobs in response to changing power markets

GE Power has announced 12,000 jobs will go as part of its effort to cut structural costs by US$3.5 billion. Part of the reason for the move is the strong growth of renewables, and a softening of traditional power markets. Storage is said to be a “mega trend”.

Utilities are increasingly planning for energy storage (w/ charts)

GTM Research reports that utilities in 15 states are incorporating energy storage into their long-term plans, as energy storage deployment reached a relatively even keel during Q3 2017.

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Press Releases

Al Tayer inaugurates 1MW solar panel plant at Emirates Modern Poultry

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), inaugurated a 1MW photovoltaic solar plant at the food processing unit of Emirates Modern Poultry Co. (Al Rawdah) at Al Marmum in Dubai.

TÜV Rheinland and EnergyAgency.NRW launch new international forum for module technology

Preserving tradition and setting off to discover new things: in cooperation with EnergyAgency. NRW, TÜV Rheinland is launching the first international forum PV Module Technology & Applications.

Comprehensive charging infrastructure: The Key to climate-friendly mobility

Electric vehicles powered by solar or wind are the key to developing a new, climate-friendly and sustainable model of mobility worldwide.

Vikram Solar awarded Gold Certificate at Frost & Sullivan & FICCI’s India Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2017

Vikram Solar, the globally recognized leading solar energy solutions provider was awarded with the “Gold Certificate of Merit” for their Kolkata (Falta) based facility by Frost & Sullivan & FICCI’s India Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2017. The award ceremony was held in Mumbai.