Posted Apr 3, 2013, 4:28 PM
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S&T's Solar Village to house microgrid project
April 2, 2013 11:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) |
Four solar homes built by students at Missouri University of Science and Technology will soon become home to an experimental microgrid to manage and store renewable energy. The houses, all past entries into the Solar Decathlon design competition, make up the university's Solar Village.
In its initial phase, the project involves Missouri S&T students and researchers, along with representatives from utility companies, the Army Corps of Engineers and several Missouri businesses. The goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of small-scale microgrids for future use.
"Distributed power generation is one of the key elements of a microgrid. In our case, we're using solar panels," says Dr. Mehdi Ferdowsi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Missouri S&T. "It's called a microgrid because it's less dependent on the utility power grid. The idea is that if there is a blackout, it can operate in what we call 'islanded mode,' and convert to using stored solar energy.
"Utility companies are interested to see if this could be a viable business model for the future," he says. "For example, they could rent out renewable energy generators to subdivisions, creating a new paradigm for selling electricity."
Giriraj of India Completes 33MW of Solar Capacity in Rajasthan
3 April 2013
April 3 (Bloomberg) — Giriraj Enterprises Ltd. of India completed 33 megawatts of solar-power capacity, the most to be built under the nation’s Renewable Energy Credits mechanism.
The company started output from three projects of 19, 11 and 3 megawatts in the western state of Rajasthan last week, Prafulla Khinvasara, the company’s chief executive officer for renewable-power projects, said by telephone.
Companies such as Giriraj, a tobacco trader, are building solar generators to benefit from renewable-energy incentives. Producers of clean power can earn certificates for the output they send to the grid. They can then sell the credits to state power distributors that are obliged to buy a portion of their electricity from clean sources such as wind, solar and water.
Giriraj has signed a power purchase agreement with the local state-owned electricity distributor, Khinvasara said from Sangamner in Maharashtra state, where the company is based. Giriraj will be able to sell electricity at an average price of 2.7 rupees (5 cents) a unit, and expects to trade 53,000 certificates a year, he said.
Indian demand for renewable-energy credits, or RECs, almost tripled last month to 435,481 in the run-up to the fiscal year- end. Solar credits sold for 13,400 rupees apiece on the Indian Electricity Exchange, according to REConnect Energy Solutions Pvt.
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Stanford Report, April 2, 2013
Global solar photovoltaic industry is likely now a net energy producer, Stanford researchers find
The construction of the photovoltaic power industry since 2000 has required an enormous amount of energy, mostly from fossil fuels. The good news is that the clean electricity from all the installed solar panels has likely just surpassed the energy going into the industry's continued growth, Stanford researchers find.
By Mark Golden
The rapid growth of the solar power industry over the past decade may have exacerbated the global warming situation it was meant to soothe, simply because most of the energy used to manufacture the millions of solar panels came from burning fossil fuels. That irony, according to Stanford University researchers, is coming to an end.
For the first time since the boom started, the electricity generated by all of the world's installed solar photovoltaic (PV) panels last year probably surpassed the amount of energy going into fabricating more modules, according to Michael Dale, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford's Global Climate & Energy Project (GCEP). With continued technological advances, the global PV industry is poised to pay off its debt of energy as early as 2015, and no later than 2020.
"This analysis shows that the industry is making positive strides," said Dale, who developed a novel way of assessing the industry's progress globally in a study published in the current edition of Environmental Science & Technology. "Despite its fantastically fast growth rate, PV is producing – or just about to start producing – a net energy benefit to society."
Solar power plant: Balochistan govt inks deal with Korean firm
By Our Correspondent
Published: March 31, 2013
QUETTA: A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Balochistan government and CK Solar Korea for installing a 300 MW solar power plant near Quetta, Provincial Secretary Energy Fuad Hashim Rabbani said on Saturday.
The project will cost around $900 million and will be completed by 2016, he said, while addressing the media.
Rabbani said the government has procured 1,500 acres of land in Khuchlak and Pishin on lease. “This project will help overcome the shortfall of electricity in Balochistan,” he added.
The project will provide green energy particularly in areas where is no conventional electricity option, the energy secretary said.
“Currently, the local population of targeted areas are using kerosene lanterns, which is hazardous to the health and non-economical due to the intermittent price hike,” he remarked.
He said that electricity to medical facilities such as hospitals, Basic Health Units and installation of solar street lights were amongst major benefits of the project.
Germany: Power exporter even with fewer nuclear plants
03. April 2013 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends, Storage & smart grids | By: Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger
Germany managed to export more power in 2012 than it has in the last five years. With a net surplus of 22.8 terawatt-hours (TWh), the exported amount of energy was four times as much as that in 2011. This data was released by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden in Hesse.
Germany imported 43.8 TWh of power via the European electricity grid in 2012, costing the country €2.3 billion. At the same time, countries like Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland bought 66.6 TWh of power from Germany to the tune of about €3.7 billion. The surplus was thereby €1.4 billion in the German coffers.
Slightly higher electricity sales were recorded in 2006 and 2008, where approximately 22.9 TWh were sold. The BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries) states that 2012's figures can nevertheless be considered a new record. The earlier estimate at the beginning of the year was 23.1 TWh of surplus power.
One reason for Germany to be able to export such amounts of power is said to be the so-called "Energiewende". With the uptake of solar and wind power, Germany is still able to export power despite shutting down 8 of its nuclear power plants after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
Photovolt unveils 900 MW Japanese PV pipeline
03. April 2013 | Top News, Applications & Installations, Global PV markets, Industry & Suppliers, Investor news | By: Becky Beetz
Germany-based Photovolt Development Partners has unveiled a photovoltaic pipeline worth 925 MW (DC) in Japan. Completion is scheduled for between 2014 and 2015. The company is also planning to install 110 MWp in Israel and 35 MWp in Mexico.
Located on the island of Ukushima, the 475 MW will be spread across a number of different sites. While Photovolt is developing the project, owned by Japan’s TeraSol, it will work together with local partners and aims to appoint an EPC contractor soon.
Gerstmann would not disclose how much will be invested in the project, but did say that it is hoped financing will come from a consortium of European and Japanese banks, and will be secured in 2H 2013.
In addition to the 475 MW project, Photovolt is also planning to install:
- A 24 MWp polycrystalline project in Hokkaido; completion is scheduled for 2014
- A 28 MWp polycrystalline project in Hiroshima; completion is scheduled for 2014
- A 72 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Miyagi; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
- A 20 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Fukushima; completion is scheduled for 2014
- An 80 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Chiba; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
- An 83 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Shiga; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
- A 121 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Tochigi; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
- A 22 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Kumamoto; completion is scheduled for 2014
HOW MUCH GOT INSTALLED IN CANADA? ANYTHING? ANYTHING AT ALL?
Greece: 234 MW of new PV capacity in February; renewable energy reform announced
02. April 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends, Global PV markets | By: Ilias Tsagas
According to the latest figures, Greece added 234 MW of PV capacity in February. Meanwhile, a joint declaration of intent has been signed between Greece, Germany and the EU aimed at reforming the country’s renewable energy industry.
According to LAGIE, the Greek electricity market operator, Greece installed 221 MW of new ground-mounted photovoltaic projects and 13 MW of rooftop installations in February, thus taking the country’s cumulative capacity to 2.070 GW.
A high figure of new PV installations was anticipated on the back of the announcement of new, lower photovoltaic tariffs, which came into effect on March 11. As such, projects completed later than this date will receive the new FITs introduced last August, even if they were licensed under the old FIT regime.
Today's report also bears some relatively good news regarding the deficit of LAGIE's Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Fund, which is used to pay renewable energy producers in Greece. According to today's data the deficit at the end of February was €301.7 million, down from €317.56 million at the end of January.
Cumulative photovoltaic capacity in the main electricity system, LAGIE's report says, will reach 2.591 GW and 2.825 GW at the end of 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Germany installs 211MW PV capacity in February
By Nilima Choudhury - 03 April 2013, 09:43
In News, Power Generation
Germany registered over 211MW of newly installed PV capacity in February, according to new figures from the German Federal Network Agency.
Although this is a decrease from January when 275MW were added to the German grid, this is a slight increase from the previous February when 200MW were added.
Alan Bartlett and Sons install 1.2MW roof-mounted solar array
By Peter Bennett | 03 April 2013, 12:48 Updated: 03 April 2013, 14:49
Alan Bartlett and Sons’ 1,456-acre carrot and parsnip farm is now benefiting two-fold from the power of the sun after installing a 1.2MW solar PV array to harvest electricity.
As farmers, the company recognised the importance of sustainability and its impact on the environment. As a result, the company decided to invest £1 million in over 4,000 solar modules to significantly reduce the farm’s carbon footprint as well as utility bills.
Commenting on the solar project, Andrew Foster, finance director at Alan Bartlett and Sons said: “The solar panel installation at the Chatteris factory is a significant investment for the company. The installation will achieve material cost savings for the business and at the same time greatly contribute to our carbon footprint reduction ambitions.”
Homeowners Say Solar Is A Better Investment Than Buying A Car
April 2, 2013 Kathleen Zipp : 0 Comments
Seven out of 10 Massachusetts solar-owners believe solar energy is a better investment than a major property renovation or buying a car, according to a recent survey by New England Clean Energy. When asked which of the three was the best investment, 70 percent said solar, 29 percent said a property renovation, and 1 percent said buying a car.
In write-in comments, survey-takers expounded on their choices:
- “Solar yields immediate, no-maintenance dividends, and boosts the home’s value. Renovations can be hit-or-miss.” (Eric Fix, Marlborough)
- “It is a great investment that reduces your monthly expenses. The other two only raise your monthly expenses.” (Tom Aciukewicz, Harvard)
- “It’s like putting money away for retirement” (Paul and Patricia Peavey, Pepperell)
The survey found that the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar electric systems is a strong motivator for going solar, seven years after its introduction, with 70 percent of respondents selecting it as one of their reasons for installing solar. And 95 percent of solar-owners are happy they installed solar, with a full 54 percent saying they “couldn’t be happier” with their solar energy systems.
“Not many products or services boast a 95 percent approval rate, especially a relatively new product like solar. I attribute this high favorability to the fact that solar electric systems are reliable and virtually maintenance-free. As one customer told us, she forgets her system is even there until she opens her monthly electric bill,” said Mark Durrenberger, president of New England Clean Energy. “Plus, solar pays you back. How many purchases do that?”
- Shoddy Work — The survey revealed a potential concern about the state of the solar industry, as nearly one in five respondents replied they had heard of or seen shoddy or unethical work by a solar installer.
- Trends — When questioned on industry trends, 96 percent of respondents agreed the solar industry should be subsidized by the government, with 61 percent saying the subsidy should be indefinite since fossil fuels are subsidized, and 35 percent saying until the solar industry is really established. An even 70 percent said they were aware Massachusetts is one of the most solar-friendly states in the country, and 94 percent said using a local company versus an out-of-state company is important, because buying local supports neighborhood businesses, helps the local economy and creates local jobs.
- Savings — Savings on electric bills due to solar were across the board, roughly divided between 10-25 percent, 25-50 percent, 50-75 percent, and 75-100 percent savings.
- Lease vs. Buy — When asked about purchasing versus leasing a solar electric system, only 9 percent said they would be interested in a lease-type agreement with no money down if going solar today, although 29 percent were undecided (and 62 percent said they would not be interested). More than half — 51 percent — felt purchasing solar was the better arrangement for the consumer. (New England Clean Energy offers both models for customers, but all survey respondents purchased their solar systems.)
- Behaviors & Attitudes — Survey questions about solar-related behaviors and attitudes revealed the following:
- 20 percent of respondents check their solar production online daily; 27 percent do so weekly, and 23 percent monthly
- 78 percent know how much energy their system has generated since it was installed (which, in some cases, was years ago)
- Most people – 63 percent – used money from a savings or other bank account to make their solar investment, followed by 28 percent borrowing money via a bank loan or mortgage re-financing
- Saving money is the main reason people install solar energy systems on their homes, and helping the planet and increasing the country’s energy independence are the next two most common reasons.
Solectria Inverters May Soon Power “Area 51″
April 2, 2013 Frank Andorka : 0 Comments
Now the people who think there are alien remains being held in Area 51 in Roswell, N.M. will have yet another reason to flock to the site in homage — a 2.5 MW ground-mount PV system that will be running on Solectria Renewables inverters.
Solectria announced that Green States Energy, an independent power producer (IPP) based in Short Hills, N.J., purchased the solar farm on Feb. 12 and will power the PV system with Solectria’s PVI 95KW line of central inverters.
“This installation will be one of the largest in New Mexico and provide power to the surrounding communities,” said Stephen Clevett, CEO of Green States Energy. ”As part of a retail program, power from our projects are used right in the local community we are proud to be a part of.”
The electricity produced from the project will be sold to Xcel Energy, a local electric utility. Combined with its sister project that was installed in 2010, it will provide more than 9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year to the community, enough to power approximately 780 homes. The CO2 emissions saved over the lifetime of the system are estimated to be 226,125 tons, and the SO2 emissions saved will be over 994 tons.
Solar Energy In Alberta: Sunny Days Ahead
Posted: 11/13/2012 11:28 am
When you put the words 'resource' and 'Alberta' in the same sentence you're usually talking about the kind of resources that get drilled, steamed or dug out of the ground. Oil and gas are king in Alberta but a new report from the Canadian Solar Industry Association or CanSIA says Alberta has the best solar resource in Canada.
However, when you start comparing Alberta to the largest global market for solar energy technology in the world, Germany, it's time to start scratching your head.
Here's where you play the sad trombone. Sunny Alberta has 2.3 megawatts of installed solar capacity (Source). Germany has around 30 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity. Thirty gigawatts equal 30,000 megawatts. This means Germany has 18,000 times more installed solar capacity than Alberta.
However, when you compare Calgary's solar potential to Berlin's it doesn't even come close. The yearly photovoltaic potential in Calgary is 1292 kWh/kW. Berlin's photovoltaic potential is 848 kWh/kW. (Source) This means a one-kilowatt solar system in Calgary will produce 52 per cent more electricity than one in Berlin.
In fact, Calgary has more solar potential than both Rio de Janiero and Rome. And the numbers are even better for southern Alberta cities Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.
That might be a bit counter-intuitive, but solar panels work best in cold, sunny conditions (Here's a technical explanation). It turns out cold, sunny Alberta is sitting on another gold mine.
Now, the challenges of developing solar resource are much different than the oil and gas game but the solar numbers are inescapable.
Randall Benson of Gridworks Energy Group has been supplying, designing and installing solar pv systems for the past 12 years.
"I've been optimistic for the past twelve years," says Benson.
"It's going to be huge. We're going to see a lot more players in the game as well. Not just small boutique players like me but very large players, manufacturers, installation companies that are much larger than mine. It's going to be a big game changer when it happens."
When exactly "it" happens is anyone's guess but there are some encouraging signs. John Gorman is the president of CanSIA. He presented CanSIA's study on the quality of Alberta's solar resource to a packed house at the Shaw Convention Centre at the Solar West symposium.
"We're seeing a lot of grassroots activity with municipalities, individuals, entrepreneurs, and utilities building projects. We're seeing a real grassroots movement. What is promising about Premier Redford's latest announcement is that the province is going to be introducing a framework to direct all of that grassroots, entrepreneurial approach that Albertans show in almost everything they do to make Alberta the Canadian and global leader in solar resource development."
That grassroots movement has led to creative efforts like Light Up Alberta, an electricity retailer led initiative to pay more for exported solar energy in Alberta.
Redford's minister of environment and sustainable resource development, Diana McQueen, was on hand to deliver the keynote address. We caught up with her afterward.
If Alberta devotes even a portion of the brains, money and time it devoted to turning the oilsands into a useable resource to doing the same with solar, we might be onto something. Alberta has certainly taken a lot of black eyes for the way it develops its non-renewable resources, developing it's other greatest natural resource might be a way to address them.
Last edited by amor de cosmos; Apr 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM.