Top News

China H1 solar panel production surges 25% in a year

Data from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) reveals a 25.9% rise in solar module production over the first six months of the year, reaching 34 GW. Q2 utilization rates stood at 85%, data shows.

Announcement

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Announcement

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Announcement

Array Changing Technologies 2017

A new format for 2017 sees the Array Changing Technologies feature split over three issues. A panel of European experts assessed the tech shaping Europe’s solar market for June, with a similarly experienced panel on board for July’s North American selection. The winner will be announced in September, so read on to discover which of the 20 entries have been shortlisted for the top prize!

Energy Storage

UK to unveil £246m battery investment strategy

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark to announce on Monday focused strategy designed to modernize the U.K.’s energy sector and bring more renewables into the fold via sustained support for storage technology.

Energy Storage

London: New tool predicts cost effectiveness of electrical energy storage

As costs are driven down by the economies of scale and improvements in manufacturing and deployments, new technologies are finding their way to widespread adoption, as seen in the case of solar modules. In order to facilitate the prediction of costs and outcomes for new energy storage technologies, a team of researchers from Imperial College London has developed a tool to help policy makers and investors make informed decisions.

Energy Storage

Canada’s utility Alectra expands solar-plus-storage business

The power provider has entered into a partnership with AMP Solar, a Canada-based solar developer, to offer storage solutions for its Ontario customers.

Markets & Policy

Meyer Burger receives new equipment order worth CHF 22 million

Swiss PV equipment supplier Meyer Burger has received a further order for its MAiA PERC production platform SiNA cell coating system from an existing customer based in Asia. The combined contract for both technologies amounts to CHF 22 million ($23.2 million).

Installations

Spain’s Balearic Islands fast-track 20 MW solar project

The Sa Caseta PV plant has received the status of public utility project from the archipelago’s Directorate for Energy and Climate Change.

Installations

Belgian region of Flanders plans fiscal incentive for community solar and wind projects

The Minister of Energy of the Flanders hopes that another 6.4 million solar modules can be installed in the region under his mandate until 2020.

Installations

Construction begins on 30 MW solar plant in Iran

The solar facility is being built under the country’s FIT program in North Khorasan, a province located in northeastern Iran.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Turmoil in residential solar

U.S. residential: After years of steady, relentless growth, the U.S. residential solar market is struggling with challenges on both the policy and customer acquisition fronts. And as the market diversifies away from California and the Northeast, the future is far from clear.

Solar Philippines to build 1 GW by 2018

Solar Philippines plans to finish building 1 GW of solar by next year, with roughly half of that capacity to be constructed outside of the Philippines.

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Industry reaction: proposed EU solar pricing allows for better enforcement, says EU Prosun

Milan Nitzschke, president of solar manufacturing trade body EU Prosun, believes that the new proposals for MIP by the European Commission’s DG Trade offer a more accurate means of imposing necessary trade tariffs on imported solar cells and modules.

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Sparx completes 13 MW near Tokyo

Sparx Green Energy and Technology — a unit of Tokyo-based asset manager Sparx — has switched on a 12.8 MW solar project in eastern Japan. It claims that the installation — which stretches roughly 10 kilometres between Shiroi and Inzai, Chiba prefecture — is the “longest” PV project in Japan.

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Installations

Featured

Blue is the new black

Utilities and solar: The old structures of centralized power generation are slowly being eroded by a combination of more affordable solar PV and cleantech innovation. Many of Europe’s big utilities were initially resistant to this changing of the old guard, but a growing number are now realigning their business structures to place PV at the forefront.

CP Clean Energy’s H1 output declines offset by PV

China Power Clean Energy Development’s (CP Clean Energy) total power generation fell 10.67% year on year to 4,659,796.77 MWh in the first half of 2017. However, the completion of several solar projects — as well as improvements related to the PV curtailment rate in China — helped to balance out the declines.

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Etrion completes 9.5 MW in northern Japan

Etrion has connected 4.2 MW (DC) of solar capacity to the grid at two sites in Japan’s Aomori prefecture. The two arrays are part of a 9.5 MW project spanning four locations.

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India’s SECI cancels 950 MW of solar tenders, seeks re-tender at lower rate

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has scrapped large amounts of solar+storage tenders at both the Pavagada and Kadapa solar parks as it seeks to renegotiate with states for lower tariffs.

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Belgium: Wallonia’s PV system owners to pay grid-fee starting from 2020

The energy regulator of the Belgian French-speaking region has announced the grid-fee will come into force in 2020, and not in 2019 as previously planned. PV systems operators are expected to pay an annual fee ranging from €330 to €560.

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Technology

Featured

Unleashing the sun

Off-grid in Nigeria: With the largest unelectrified population in Africa, Nigeria holds great promise for off-grid solar companies. Progress on electrifying the country can be accelerated by improving government policies.

Organic electrode material could boost lithium ion capacity

Researchers at Germany’s Helmholtz Institute have developed a new electrode material which could improve the capacity and charge/discharge speed of lithium-ion technology, as well as reducing for costly cobalt in the batteries.

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Australia’s Greatcell signs MOU with JinkoSolar

Under a non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding with JinkoSolar, Greatcell noted it would make available developmental perovskite cells for further evaluation.

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U.S. university CPV system outperforms silicon by 54% in test

A single-cell concentrating photovoltaic system developed by researchers at Penn State University reportedly reached 30% efficiency, and generated 54% more energy during a two-day test than a commercial silicon solar in the same conditions.

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Leaked DOE study draft: U.S. grids are getting more reliable, not less

A leaked draft of the study ordered by Energy Secretary Perry appears to show what we already knew: That grids are getting more reliable, not less, as wind and solar are added. But the political tampering with the facts may already be happening.

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Manufacturing

Featured

When the levee breaks

Solar and delisting: Trina Solar’s departure from the NYSE could signal a wave of solar firms leaving U.S. stock markets. But many uncertainties remain.

Behind the world’s first Meyer Burger SmartWire line

While it has been slow to gain major traction in manufacturing, Meyer Burger’s SmartWire cell interconnection technology now has a significant reference application, in the form Polish manufacturer Hanplast.

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REC Silicon’s polysilicon sales rise 18% sequentially in Q2, net loss increases

The Norwegian polysilicon producer saw its revenue drop slightly Y-o-Y to $61.0 million in the latest quarter. Average solar grade polysilicon prices, on the other hand, dropped by 6.9% from the previous quarter.

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LONGi Solar first to place order for new Meyer Burger tool

Swiss equipment supplier Meyer Burger today announced the launch of its new MAiA EVO system, and the receipt of the first order for the system from PERC manufacturer LONGi Solar Technology. The tool is set to be delivered in the second half of 2017.

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Solargiga ships 1.16 GW in H1

Solargiga Energy’s shipments of PV cells, solar panels, silicon ingots and wafers reached 1.16 GW in the first half of 2017, up nearly 55% year on year. Revenue from its production business rose 16.2% on the year to CNY 1.97 billion ($291.6 million), according to unaudited preliminary operating statistics filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

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Energy Storage

Following a comprehensive study of possible locations, which took into consideration the total number of households and population, infrastructure network, income per capita and willingness to pay for electricity, Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDDL), a joint venture between Tata Power and the Government of NCT of Delhi, has selected Tayablur village and Behlolpur village for […]

Tata Power DDL deploys its first 15 KWp microgrids in the Indian state of Bihar

Tapping into the high potential for the implementation of microgrid projects for reliable electricity supply to rural areas, the Indian utility is piloting two such installations in the state of Bihar.

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Solarcentury to build EU, UNDP-backed 2.25 MW solar+storage mini-grids in Eritrea

The €5.7 million project is being part-financed by the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme and the government of Eritrea to deliver solar electricity to up to 40,000 homes and businesses in the remotest parts of the country.

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Wirsol, Renew Estate team up on 1 GW

Wirsol Energy and Australian developer Renew Estate have agreed to collaborate on a renewables pipeline of more than 1 GW, starting in Australia. The new venture already has 400 MW of utility-scale solar capacity under development and plans to start construction on its first projects by the first quarter of 2018.

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Nidec ASI: Making storage smarter

In an interview with at Intersolar Europe 2017, Kaila Haines, Nidec ASI Marketing Director, is tracing the evolution of Europe’s large-scale battery storage market.

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Press Releases

Cubico appoints Stephen Riley as CEO

Riley was formerly a Non-executive Director at Cubico since January 2017 and brings a strong operational background, key to support Cubico’s future growth.

Sampoerna Inaugurates Solar Power Generation System in Karawang and Surabaya

This project is inaugurated in April 2017 to be set for long-term supply up to more than 20 years ahead.

Terna: € 130 million loan from the Eib the “Italy-France” interconnection project

Terna and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed today an agreement for a € 130 million loan to support investments for the public part of the “Piemonte-Savoia” project, the new 320 kV DC electrical interconnection that will connect Italy and France.

Fronius Solar Energy expands its global network by opening the first branch office in Hungary

The addition of an office near Budapest has seen the international network of the Austrian solar technology specialist grow once again. Customers in Hungary can now look forward to a faster and more reliable technical support service.