Man installing a solar panel on a rooftop.

Solar News Stream of Conciousness

New electricity purchase rate for small scale French solar

new tariffs will range from €0.153 (0.17)/kWh for installations below 3 kW in size to €0.117/kWh for arrays ranging in size from 100 kW to 500 kW French renewable energy association, Syndicat des énergies renouvelables (SER), said that the new provisions will reduce tariffs less than expected rates for PV systems of up to 9 kW will be lowered by 4.4% instead of 14.2%, while those for installations between 100 kW and 500 kW in size will be reduced by 3.1% instead of 13%
tariffs for systems ranging in size from 9 kW to 100 kW will be reduced by 1.4%, as originally planned
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JinkoSolar – world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, delivers 78.5 GW in 2023

The world’s largest solar panel manufacturer for 2023 was Jinko Solar.


78.5 GW of global shipments

shipments increased by 76.4% year on year

turnover of CNY 118.68 billion ($16.72 billion), up 42.8% from 2022

net profit of CNY 3.45 billion

gross margin at 16.0%, compared to 14.8% in 2022

shipment in the fourth quarter was 26.3 GW

outlook for 2024, JinkoSolar said it hopes to ship between 100 GW and 110 GW

production capacity for mono wafers, solar cells and solar modules to reach 120 GW, 110 GW and 130 GW, respectively, by the end of 2024

By then, we believe mass-produced N-type cell efficiency will have reached 26.5%

end of the fourth quarter, we became the first module manufacturer in the world to have delivered a total of 210 GW solar modules, covering over 190 countries and regions

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Frameless panels “ensure an annual power generation increase of 6% to 15%”?

 DAH Solar has developed new TOPCon solar modules with a frameless frontside to improve drainage and allow rain to wash away dust

“It is also capable of preventing snow or sand accumulation, which may ensure an annual power generation increase of 6% to 15%.”

four versions, ranging from 570 W to 585 W nominal power, with a power conversion efficiency of 22.07% to 22.65%

double-glass panels measure 2,278 mm x 1,134 x 32 mm and weigh 32 kg

15-year product warranty and a 30-year power output guarantee

degradation in the first year is purportedly 1% and the 30-year end power output is guaranteed to be no less than 87.4% of the nominal output power

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Seaweed farm to be developed within offshore wind farm

consortium to develop the world’s first commercial-scale seaweed farm located within an offshore wind farm

10-hectare farm is planned to become operational in autumn 2024 when it will be deployed and seeded, with the first harvest expected to be in spring 2025

seaweed absorbs nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide and produces oxygen, thereby being part of the solution to climate change and ocean acidification. In doing this, it produces valuable biomass with a wide range of uses from pharmaceuticals to animal feed to fertilisers

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Fossil fuel money is lying to you about whales and wind farms

This is a longer article, and you should probably read it. Understand that there are plenty of people that will do plenty of things you might consider immoral for money or ideology. They will lie, they will cheat, they will steal.

The report found that while wind foes circulated voluminous studies, white papers and regulatory comments that gave the impression of rigor, they relied on fake experts and cherry-picked or misrepresented data — mainstays of the larger climate-denial movement.

The most effective protections would involve stricter regulations on commercial fishing, according to Kenney. But, he says, ​the fishing industry fights tooth and nail every step of the way.”

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Electrification pays for itself in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to reach an electrification tipping point

combination of EVs and electric appliances are cheaper over the lifetime of the machines, even with higher upfront costs or a 5.5 per cent interest rate for finance

homes currently using gas or LPG appliances and petrol vehicles could save more than $1,000 per year if they electrify and get their power from a combination of rooftop solar, home battery, and the existing electricity grid no

fully electrifying a home and vehicles could save $1500 to $5000 a year with annual GHG emissions being significantly lower, and that electricity prices from solar can be around one third the cost /kWh when purchased from the grid

overall energy use would fall with electrification to less than half of what an average household uses today as petrol, diesel, gas and wood are avoided. But electricity use would be two to three times as high.

Cromwell, South Island, cherry farm is saving about $60,000 in diesel costs a year by using 20 new electric vehicles, including a tractor

electricity use is nine-times higher than the previous farmer of his land, but use at peak times has not increased so network upgrades weren’t needed, and rooftop solar provides “significant” amounts of energy

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China aiming for 750 GW of solar modules delivered in 2024

China Photovoltaic Industry Association’s (CPIA) roadmap for Chinese solar industry sees exponential manufacturing growth across the industrial chain

The country will increase the production of polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules by around 50% this year

The industry employed 3.53 million people in 2022, and the numbers will likely grow to between 4.875 million and 5.808 million by 2025

solar module manufacturers are gearing up to deliver more than 750 GW of modules in 2024, representing over 50% annual growth over the 499 GW they delivered in 2023

manufacturing industry produce 820 GW of solar cells, up from the 545 GW in 2023

Silicon wafer output is also expected to exceed 935 GW this year considering the expansion plans of leading companies in the space. Last year, the country rolled out close to 622 GW, having gone up 67.5% YoY

delivering 1.43 million tons of polysilicon last year with a 67% annual increase, China is looking at over 2.1 million tons this year

forecasts China to install up to 220 GW AC new PV additions with land constraints and grid capacity as the major challenges, after growing to 216.30 GW AC in 2023

average thickness of polysilicon wafers in 2023 was 170 μm. While the CPIA does not see any change to this value this year, it believes it can change in the later years

Installed close to 22.6 GW of new domestic energy storage capacity with an average storage time of 2.1 hours.

As regulatory support for storage builds up parallel to technological improvements bringing down its costs, China may exceed 31 GW capacity for this technology in 2025

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Chinese Link

German emissions down 10% – “on course for the first time”

Germany’s emissions fell by record 10.1% in 2023

Europe’s biggest economy is trying to cut their emissions by 65 per cent, compared with 1990, by 2030. These latest stats put them on track to reach a cut of almost 64 per cent by that date.

country’s environmental protection agency said that Germany emitted about 673 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2023, a decline of 76 million tons or 10.1%, compared with the previous year. It was the strongest decline since 1990

Germany was sixth in the world for how much new solar it installed

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It’s a complex economy right now though…

German economy dodges recession despite shrinking 0.3% in 2023.

“It is worrying that the German economy has hardly grown at all since the outbreak of coronavirus,” Commerzbank’s chief economist Joerg Kraemer said. “This is rare and brings back memories of the years following the bursting of the stock market bubble at the start of the millennium.”

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Second largest module manufacturer firing 30% of workforce

Longi plans to trim as much as 30% of its workforce

last year totaled about 80,000 at its peak

employment at Longi had surged from the 4,068 people it had in 2012, when the manufacturer went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The company reported 60,601 of employees at the end of 2022, and hiring continued well into 2023, according to the people

factories using older technologies have seen more job cuts than other units, some of the people said

company had about $7.4 billion in cash and equivalents at the end of 2022

previous efforts to cut costs fall short, including the cancelation of free afternoon tea, shrinking budgets for business trips and being told to only print in black-and-white unless approved to do otherwise by supervisors

the financial pressures sent its net income plunging 44% to 2.52 billion yuan ($350 million) in the third quarter of 2023

Company President Li Zhenguo said in October that the firm “made a mistake” in not being aggressive enough in price competition with peers and was likely to miss its annual shipment target

company’s shares have fallen about 70% from their peak in 2021

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Slowing solar kills humans

The best way to preserve the status quo is to destroy the machinery that promises a change to existing ways.

European Union, which doesn’t impose tariffs on photovoltaic imports, installed nearly twice as much solar last year as the US, and more than seven times as much as India, despite weather that’s far less suited for the technology

Beijing can’t stop the sun from shining on Chinese-made solar panels in Germany — but Moscow really did cut the flow of gas to Europe

Local content requirements and tariff barriers on solar panels, designed to build up domestic manufacturing industries, have operated in many places (including India, the US, South Africa, and Indonesia) as soft bans that have pushed up costs, slowed deployments, and favored incumbent fossil-fired power generation and emissions.

An acceleration in trade wars will only slow our path to zero.

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Lithium battery cells tripling manufacturing volume between 2022 and 2025

 report from Clean Energy Associates (CEA) outlined that by 2025, global manufacturing of lithium-ion battery (LIB) cells is expected to triple from 2022 levels.

collapsing lithium prices has led to a cooling-off in demand for chemical alternatives to the mainstream nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) chemistries

more evolutionary chemistries like lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) may find their way into electric vehicles and energy storage sectors as early as 2025

negative impact on commercialization for new technologies like sodium-ion batteries

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$0.143/W earnings projected at scale in US, Meyer Burger posts large loss for 2023

$0.143/W earnings projected at scale in US, Meyer Burger posts large loss for 2023

Meyer Burger has posted financial results for 2023, with net loss increasing by 318% to CHF292 million (US$330.6 million)

“prices from Chinese suppliers in Europe, coupled with a sharp rise in Chinese production overcapacity and a lack of market protection, led to unprecedented distortions in the European solar market, which had a serious impact on Meyer Burger’s earnings”

company said the proceeds from potential debt financing sources, together with the proceeds from the capital increase, will enable it to start module production in a 2GW plant in Goodyear in the US state of Arizona by the end of the second quarter of 2024. The 2GW cell production plant in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is also expected to ramp up by the end of 2024.

“Assuming that cell and module production at the US sites can be ramped up as planned, the group expects to generate an annual EBITDA of around CHF250 (US$282.63) million per year in the medium term from its business in the US,”

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That calculates to $0.1413 per watt of revenue on those 2 GW of capacity that we might see in 2025. If solar project’s price ranges from $1.00 to $3.00/Wdc, then a 10% tax credit adder for buying domestic content hardware is worth $0.10 to $0.30/Wdc.

Burger modules have a degradation value of 0.2% per year – however – the CEO has hinted that standard accelerated testing situations found no degradation. A 3 MWac solar project financial model we’re working has 0.5% module degradation, and 0.5% general system losses. If we moved the module degradation to 0.2%, about a half % higher return of investment was had. Going to zero popped it a full percent. This is a long term model though, 35 years, with much of that ROI pumping volume coming from the tail end of the facility. Do people truly purchase production in years 26 through 35?

The company has just over 300 MW of product they need to move, at probably decently higher costs.

Bluewave seeking solar agrivoltaic projects in Massachusetts

Bluewave seeking solar agrivoltaic projects in Massachusetts

three-array, 26,000-panel, 10.9-megawatt project

projects allow the land to be used for solar energy production, while still allowing for farmers to use the land for growing crops or grazing for their herds

construction of a 2.5-megawatt array with about 4,368 individual panels mounted on a single-axis tracker system at least 10 feet off the ground that will allow the array to follow the sun throughout the day

plan is to have Finicky Farm LLC manage the field, which will have enough space underneath and between solar panels for equipment, and plant historical crops — potatoes, grain corn, peppers and pumpkins — along with some new crops. Animal grazing will also be implemented.

“solar arrays…have low levels of electromagnetic radiation, much less than everyday appliances”

Article included a link to the town’s website showing off the project. The company is using Terratrack trackers to lift the module base10 feet off of the ground, and seven feet when they’re in a stowed position.

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Solar entering a new phase? Massachusetts’ SMART program aging out.

Due to higher electricity rates and the declining incentive structure of the SMART program, some applications may receive an incentive payment rate of $0.00.  Further information on which blocks this is occurring in is available here.  In these instances, the Department advises solar installers work with their customers to evaluate the benefits of participating directly in the RPS market.

The design of the SMART program was to keep the return of investment of solar at a certain rate in order to motivate installations. It was structured in a manner that as the price of electricity goes up, the incentive goes down. The price of electricity has definitely increased in Massachusetts since the program was put in place in later 2018.

Recently, the state updated the SMART program’s documentation, noting that most behind the meter solar power projects no longer earn an incentive. The incentive for a rooftop solar power project between 25 kWac and 250 kWac in Eversource – one of the highest incentive regions of the state – is now $0.00000. Lots of zeros, but that’s how electricity is accounted for.

That we are now at a stage where the price of electricity is high enough that the SMART program no longer generate revenue, says we might be at a tipping point in New England.

 

$80 million for 92 solar power projects, 73 MWp

portfolio consists of 92 photovoltaic (PV) solar power plants with a total capacity of 73 MWp

financing of over EUR 73 million (USD 80m) to fund the development and construction

large part of the profolio, 70%, is focused on self-consumption

75% is related to large enterprises in commerce and industry, while 68% of the projects will be located in the northern part of the country in a sign that self-consumption is increasingly linked to electricity prices

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“It’s crucial for us to play our part.”

Rt Rev Ruth Worsley, has voiced support for All Saints Church in Bedworth, as it plans to install solar panels on its roof despite its Grade II listed status

late-victorian All Saints Church, built between 1888 and 1890, holds significant historical value and is part of Bedworth’s conservation area

local council’s planners are hesitant due to historical preservation concerns. They have stressed the need to prioritise historical preservation, citing potential harm to the building and its surroundings.

proposed installation of 68 solar panels on the church’s south-facing roof promises an 18 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions annually and a 40 per cent decrease in electricity bills

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Everyday O&M a nuisance, modules improving, billions in preventable losses

company found $177.7 million in preventable annualized revenue losses

dataset comprises 125 GW of PV assets, spanning 41 countries

found average losses of $4,696 per MW, though losses varied regionally

Since 2019, the average losses from underperformance have increased from a 1.61% average power loss, to 4.47% in 2023. Raptor Maps said this equates to an internal rate of return at loss of at least 190 basis points in a 100 MW solar asset.

2023 survey, the company found “many operators identified preventative maintenance visual inspections as a significant source of time wastage, and a large number of respondents also identified validating nuisance alarms as another way time is wasted.”

Inverter faults, string outages, and combiner faults contributed power losses of 1.91%, 0.90%, and 0.81% respectively. Instances of tracker issues have also risen from 0.26% in 2022 to 0.46% in 2023.

module performance has improved slightly, with losses decreasing by about 12% year-over-year

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20 gigawatts inverter factory coming to the US

Power Electronics plans to invest €300 million ($328 million) to expand its inverter production capacity in Spain and the United States

current production capacity is 30 GW, and it will increase manufacturing capacity in the United States by more than 20 GW by 2026

factory will cover an area of 174,015 square meters and “will be designed with the latest manufacturing and assembly technologies to serve as an optimal center for the manufacturing and distribution of its products throughout the country,”

plan also foresees the completion of a new plant in Llíria, Spain, for the Electric Mobility division

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Electricity just beats inflation in 2023, expected to drop in 2024

U.S. electricity prices rose 3.6% over the last 12 months, outstripping the broader inflation rate of 3.2%

Transmission costs and volatile fuel prices are the primary drivers of higher power bills

Residential customers will pay about 16.23 cents/kWh in 2025, up from 15.98 cents/kWh last year

EIA said it expected 2025 residential prices to average 16.11 cents/kWh in 2025. For this year, the government forecaster expects prices to average 15.87 cents/kWh

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Spring solar records across Europe

In most analyzed markets, there were the highest daily photovoltaic energy production levels ever registered for a March month

list starts with the German market, which produced 249 GWh on March 8, which is also the highest value since mid?September. The Spanish market generated 137 GWh on two days in a row, on March 5 and 6, a level last seen in the summer, on August 31. The French market generated 85 GWh on March 7, which is also the highest value since the end of September. The list is rounded off by Portugal, where solar energy production reached 13 GWh on March 5, slightly below the records registered in February, but still the highest ever registered in a March month

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Significant PPA signed at soon to be largest Australian solar farm

SmartestEnergy said on Thursday that the “significant long-term” power purchase agreement (PPA) will see it source electricity from the 400MW stage 1 of the New England solar farm to onsell to its customers.

Acen Australia near Uralla in New South Wales, stands to be the biggest operating solar plant in Australia when its full capacity of 720 MW across two stages is complete

shares its location with more than 2,000 merino sheep, a number that is expected to triple over the course of this year

for now, title of largest, has only completed the first 400 MW stage and so has to share top billing with Neoen Australia’s Western Downs solar farm in Queensland

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Mines replace diesel with solar, storage, and gas

replaced six diesel power stations with four hybrid solar, battery and gas systems

new systems, which have a combined capacity of 82MW, under a seven-year build, own and operate agreement

combined capacity of 28MW of solar, 11.5MW of battery energy storage, and 42.5MW of high-efficiency gas generation

four hybrid power systems will displace 38 million litres of diesel each year

based around grid forming battery technology

hybrid power system deployed at Westgold’s Tuckabianna facility was fully commissioned in August 2023 and has since achieved an average solar penetration of 31% between November 2023 and January 2024, peaking at 36.9% in December

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Australia’s largest energy user seeking wind and solar

biggest single energy consumer in Australia, Tomalgo smelter – with annual demand of more than 8 terawatt hours

majority owner saying nuclear is out of the question because it is too slow and too expensive

first steps towards a new tender will be launched, “Next week, we’re launching an RFP (request for proposals) for Tomago”

‘very, very keen to go down a very similar process of assessing what projects exist in New South Wales’

Further details were not released, but it is likely to be similar in scope to the 5 GW of new capacity required by Rio Tinto for its Gladstone smelters and refineries.

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Medium and heavy duty trucks electrifying quicker than expected

Over 5,600 electric or fuel cell medium- and heavy-duty trucks were sold in China in the final month of the year

10% of the total number of those class vehicle sales

all types of commercial EV sales in China to over 330,000 for the year

Light commercial EVs in China took 16% of the market in December

hydrogen fuel cells are finally making their presence felt, with over 1,000 fuel cell-powered heavy trucks sold in December

battery-swappable vehicles sold in the country remains a niche technology for passenger vehicles, however almost half of all heavy battery electric trucks sold last year in China had swappable batteries. That’s up from 34% in 2021.

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Transmission needs for MA and New England considered

will require that electric utilities before the state’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) show that they have evaluated GETs, advanced reconductoring, and storage as a transmission asset when making decisions about capital allocation in upgrading the grid

study found that grid congestion between New England and New York has been so severe that during one extreme weather event – the ‘Bomb Cyclone’ storm of 2018 – each additional gigawatt (GW) of transmission capacity could have saved between $30 and $40 million dollars in lost economic productivity

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EV prices down 13% over last year

average price paid for an EV in February was $52,314, down from a revised $54,863 in January

EV transaction prices in February were lower year-over-year by 12.8%, an accelerating decline compared to January, when prices were lower year-over-year by 11.6%

prices for the Model Y last month, estimated at $49,363, were the lowest on record and were lower versus February 2023 by 16.2%

Model 3 transaction prices last month, at $43,614, were lower year-over-year by 12%

important to acknowledge that EVs remain priced above mainstream non-luxury vehicles by nearly 19%

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New Span smart home electric panels

SPAN Panel 48 – The largest addition to the SPAN Panel family, the SPAN Panel 48 is geared towards new home construction, enabling builders to avoid expensive infrastructure costs when building all-electric or future electric homes, with best-in-class energy management, storage and charging capabilities of SPAN Panel 32.

SPAN Panel 32 – Currently available and deployed across the U.S., SPAN Panel 32 serves both the retrofit and new home construction categories, providing software-defined, whole-home backup management when paired with one of several compatible energy storage systems, as well as reducing the costs of electrification.

SPAN Panel 16/24 – Focused on retrofit electrification, SPAN Panel 16/24 is a field-adaptable, smaller Panel form factor that enables SPAN PowerUp functionality for major electric load additions, reducing both hardware and labor costs compared to larger panel form factors.

SPAN Meter 8 – Designed to offer unparalleled capabilities when paired with smart meters, SPAN Meter 8 offers utility/grid operators advanced metering, submetering, demand flexibility and better utilization of the distribution infrastructure.

also a bigger 48-breaker panel coming for new homes

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22 gigawatts of small nuclear reactors, potentially

22 GW of small modular reactor projects representing $176 billion in potential investment are in the works across the world

U.S. has nearly 4 GW in announced SMR projects in addition to almost 3 GW in early development or pre-development stages

Poland and Canada come in second and third, with around 2 GW each in planned capacity

Polish regulators recently approved plans to build up to 24 GE Hitachi BWRX-300 reactors at six sites across the country

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Solar stocks performing terribly

Invesco Solar ETF fell by 21% for January 2024, while the S&P 500 increased by 2% and the DJIA increased by 1%

top three solar stocks for the month of January 2024 were Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc, down 11%, and ReNew Energy Global Plc and Clearway Energy Inc., which both fell by 12%

Logistical challenges emerged within the solar market, potentially bolstering pricing dynamics. That, coupled with liquidity issues, seems to be causing unease in the solar industry

worst performers in January 2024 in the United States markets were Emeren Group Ltd, SunPower Corp., and Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd., which all fell 37%

module vendors are contemplating price elevation strategies, as security concerns in the Red Sea and a drought in the Panama Canal are presenting logistical hurdles that could additionally bolster pricing

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40 GW solar polysilicon factory cancelled

Jolywood said it has halted plans to set up a silicon metal plant and a polysilicon production facility in Gujiao, Shanxi province. The company originally unveiled the CNY 14 billion ($1.9 billion) plan in March 2022. It said it is halting the project due to current conditions in the upstream silicon PV market.

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100,000 metric tons of polysilicon can be used to manufacture about 40 GW of solar panels.

One million grams per metric tons, times 100,000 metric tons is 100 billion grams. At 2.5 grams of polysilicon per watt of solar power – that’s 40 billion watts, which is 40 gigawatts.

 

Record wireless car charging efficiency – 100 kW at 96%

demonstrated that a light-duty passenger electric vehicle can be wirelessly charged at 100-kW with 96% efficiency using polyphase electromagnetic coupling coils with rotating magnetic fields

patented system transferred power to a Hyundai Kona EV across a five-inch airgap using electromagnetic fields

highest power density in the world for a wireless charging system for this class of vehicle

densities 8-10 times higher than conventional coil technology and can increase battery charge state by 50% in under 20 minutes

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Recycled steel for solar modules 1/10th emissions of aluminum

compared with traditional virgin material aluminum module frames shipped from China, U.S.-made module frames made from recycled steel show a 90.4% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In Germany, the frames have a 94.7% carbon advantage.

Boundless estimates the greenhouse gas footprint of Origami Solar’s steel module frames at 9.25 kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent per 2 meter by 1 meter frame produced in the U.S.

“The estimated Fossil Energy Footprint of Origami Solar’s steel module frame is 71.8 megajoules (MJ) in the United States and 62.2 MJ in Germany per 2 by 1-meter frame, compared to 920 MJ for a conventional virgin aluminum frame produced in China using an extrusion production process,” said the report.

The company said the improved carbon embodiment would result in a reduction of 80 kg of emissions per module or 200 metric tons per MW.

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First Middle Eastern polysilicon factory – 40 GW/yr

Construction has begun on a $1.35 billion polysilicon production facility in Oman

producing 100,000 metric tons of metallurgical silicon per year

Equal to roughly 40 GW of solar panel capacity/yr at 2.5 grams/watt

will occupy an area of 160,000 square meters

United Solar Polysilicon (FZC) is manufacturer

production process will involve pouring liquid metallic silicon from a furnace into molds, then cooling, casting, grinding and packing the ore for global export

billed the project as the first of its kind in the Middle East

in January, Chinese solar material manufacturer Shuangliang Eco-Energy Co announced it received a $58.3 million equipment order from United Solar Polysilicon (FZC) SPC and will supply polycrystalline silicon reduction furnaces, hydrogen production equipment, and refrigeration units for the plant

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‘Compromised’ battery blamed for fatal house fire

fatal blaze started after a battery was compromised and immediately went into ‘thermal runaway’

Four people were inside the townhouse at Lake Macquarie when the fire broke out last Thursday. FRNSW said two occupants escaped but two died.

NSW Police declined to publicly identify the manufacturer of the battery involved in the incident

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A dirty grid doesn’t cancel out a heat pump’s climate benefits

Even on a carbon-heavy diet, heat pumps eliminate tons of emissions annually compared to other heating systems.

depending on the scenario and level of efficiency, heat pumps lower household annual energy emissions on average by 36% to 64% — or 2.5 to 4.4 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year per housing unit.

The team modeled the entire U.S. housing stock and found that, over the appliance’s expected lifetime of 16 years, switching to a heat-pump heater/​AC slashes emissions in every one of the contiguous 48 states.

Emissions savings tend to be higher in states with colder winters and heaters that run on fuel oil, such as Maine, according to the study.

RMI estimated that heat pump emissions prevented in that first year were 13% to 72% relative to gas-furnace emissions, depending on the state.

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Solar and battery manufacturing is politics – not economics

BNEF predicts that China’s manufacturing capacity for solar modules and battery cells will be around double the level of global demand consistent with reaching net zero emissions by mid-century.

great news for the global race to net zero

but…”duplicating supply chains when the world is already awash with cheap equipment makes little economic sense”

“Then again, onshoring was never really about economics” (but politics)

“Cyclical overcapacity is a feature across the Chinese economy, from steel to lower-end semiconductors,” said clean energy research specialist BNEF in a new report. “But today’s surplus of clean-tech manufacturing is unprecedented.”

Chinese supply capacity is said to outstrip global demand for solar equipment, lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen electrolysers and wind turbine nacelles.

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Higher interest rates, developer evolution – M&A uptick?

As high costs of capital put pressure on project viability, smaller developers may be forced to sell projects, portfolios, or their entire platform as they seek liquidity or an outright exit.

FTI also expects and uptick in corporate renewables adoption as decarbonization and electrification continues to come to the forefront. It expects oil and gas players to actively invest in the sector.

Established renewable technologies like solar and wind comprised about 60% of deal volume, said FTI. Meanwhile, traditional nuclear energy M&A and “renewable” natural gas and biogas transactions increased, suggesting mainstream adoption for a once-niche market.

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Top Five solar states in 2023

  1. Texas installed 6.5GW of new solar in 2023. The SEIA predicts that Texas will considerably outstrip the rest of the US over the next decade, installing around 100GW by 2034. Energy storage has also seen an uptick.
  2. Residential installations also play a large part in California’s solar market, which added 6.2GW of capacity in 2023.
  3. Florida installed 3.2GW of solar in 2023. This was led by the residential segment, which saw over 50,000 new systems installed.
  4. Colorado came in fourth in 2023, adding 1.6GW of new solar generation capacity which the SEIA said was “nearly ten times more than it installed in 2022”.
  5. Ohio was the fifth-highest solar installer in 2023, adding 1.3GW of its now-total 2.3GW of capacity last year. The SEIA said that this represents a 1,230% increase compared with 2022.

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Higher costs drive solar development discipline

“You have big developers talking about 30 GW in their pipeline…. Is that a good use of time and capital to be trying to manage a pipeline of that size?”

Many of the projects that were slated for construction in 2024-2026 were delayed by the volatility of the past few years to 2027 and beyond. This has created a glut of projects with post-2027 construction dates, but a shortage of those that could be completed in the next two to three years.

Renewable energy asset acquisitions slowed significantly in late August and early September of 2023, according to LevelTen Energy.

given the increased cost of capital, developers are now taking a more strategic approach to project acquisitions

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Chinese solar stocks up – government support expected

Chinese solar shares extended their recent gains amid speculation the government will relax caps on renewable installation, improving the outlook for the sector

Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd. and Flat Glass Group Co. both jumped at least 8%

market speculation China will allow a curtailment rate of more than 5% for power generated from renewable projects including solar farms

relaxation is likely given regulators’ recent tone on managing renewable power utilization at a “reasonable level”

raised the full-year estimate for China solar installation by 21%

Link

 

New all black 450 W 22.5% Trina solar module, March 2024

power output of up to 450 W

power conversion efficiency of up to 22.5%

uses 210 mm diameter wafers and features double-glass design in place of the conventional glass-and-backsheet structure

NEG9R.25 dual-glass module combines n-type i-TOPCon technology

1.6 mm heat-strengthened glass on the front and back while the all-black aesthetic has been achieved by incorporating black cells with thin busbars, along with a black frame and encapsulation material

expected to be available in Australia next quarter, measures 1,762 mm x 1,134 mm x 30 mm and weighs 21 kg

product guarantee of up to 25 years and a performance guarantee of 30 years

1% degradation in the first year and less than 13% over 30 years

Link

 

New middle distance electric truck

MT50e offers a GVWR of 23,000 lbs

range of up to 180 miles on a single charge (more than enough to cover my Matco guy)

new, “fleet optimized” battery capacity (smaller)

new electric export power system from Odyne that replaces the traditional ICE generators that power utility bodies, mobile disaster relief “command centers,” reefer units, and mobile medical units

built to the same body dimensions as gas and diesel MT chassis, meaning that a fleet’s existing bodies can be used on the MT50e with few or no changes, making it that much easier to integrate them into existing fleets

streamlined, integrated design with no reduction in cargo capacity compared to its diesel counterparts

smaller battery packs with shorter range and the addition of slower, “Level 2” home charging

easier to charge these trucks at home

“Which is a reasonably common use case, or so I’ve heard.”

Link

 

Resi solar down 15% to 20%+ in 2024

our call that US resi solar is down 15% in 2024

The first third of the year continues to be challenged, and our contact is expecting the market to stabilize starting in May/June with potential for acceleration and growth in Q4

sees stabilization in TX, FL, the Northeast, but the Midwest is quieter than expected. CA likely is worse than expected, i.e. down more than 30-40% in H1’24

If May/June end market activity does not pick up, then our US resi solar down 15% in 2024 is off the table, and we may be closer to down 25-30%

Despite the recent preservation of NEM in the Netherlands (see here), grid congestion in the Netherlands is still an issue and getting permits “is a long and frustrating process.”

country’s grid companies are understaffed and may need 60k technicians to carry out the required upgrades according to a contact

Link

 

Wichita extends solar ban

Instead of voting on more stringent new regulations covering solar farms, the county commissoners agreed to extend their moratorium

“Today’s actions by the Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners replicates earlier efforts and essentially ignores the research, community feedback and recommendations of these groups, further delaying the positive economic impacts solar projects will bring to local landowners and communities,”

originally created a six-month ban on energy projects last September to give them time to revise rules for commercial solar farms

Link

 

India subsidizing 50% of solar powered pump for farmers

subsidy, now standing at an alluring 50%

More than 50 solar power product stalls were set up at the mela

concerted effort to embrace sustainable energy and accelerate the widespread adoption of solar pump sets

launched the Soura Mitra app which will help streamline the applications of farmers who wish to install solar-powered pump sets

Link

 

Eight hour lithium ion battery

generate 150MW of power and “store up to 1,200MWh”

“eight hour” battery

utilise lithium-ion batteries and occupy 20 acres of land, with 23 used in total for the balance of plant (BOP) components

located within the existing right-of-way land of the Alta 1 Wind Facility project in Kern County, California

Link

 

Battery package defects in quarter of projects

One quarter of large-scale batteries have built-in fire risks caused by manufacturing defects in components

26 per cent of battery energy storage systems (BESS) have quality problems with their fire detection and suppression systems

faults include fire alarm abort buttons and smoke and temperature sensors not being correctly wired in

18% of units had defects in their thermal management systems due to parts that weren’t installed properly

company audited 52 factories in the US, China, India, Vietnam and South Korea, and found 1300 manufacturing issues in some 30 gigawatt hours (GWh) of lithium-ion projects

quarter of all problems came from cell manufacturing – half come when the battery is installed and tested on site

install issues – balance of plant problems such as liquid coolant leakage due to deformed flange plates, defective valves, and malfunctioning temperature, smoke, gas sensors, audible and visual alarms due to internal mis-wiring; mistakes made during the installation of enclosures; and performance testing which saw the largest number of critical and major incidents

Bouldercombe fire was caused by a problem in the way the 50 MW/100 MWh battery interfaced with the grid

failure has been isolated to the power electronics interface with the AC bus bar in the individual Megapack unit itself and not the broader installation of Megapack units

Link

 

New England eclipse to drop solar 3.5 gigawatts

365 MW reduction in utility-scale solar power output during the April 8 US solar eclipse maximum and a 3,186 MW reduction in behind-the-meter solar power output during the maximum phase of the eclipse

As of the end of 2022, ISO New England estimates that the region had just over 6,000 MW in nameplate capacity of all types of solar PV

tracking a total of 41,582 MW of power generation projects in its interconnection queue

totality will begin in Burlington, Vermont, at 3:26 pm and end at 3:29 pm, and the partial eclipse will take place from 2:14 pm until 4:37 pm

Going out to 2030, there are 17,770 MW of battery storage projects in the interconnection queue and 15,171 MW of wind power projects, accounting for 45.4% and 38.7% of the total

Link

 

Massachusetts low income housing solar programs

$250 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency’s $7 billion Solar For All program

$65 million of the total is earmarked for affordable housing communities

EPA is expected to announce award decisions in March 2024

Massachusetts Solar Technical Assistance Retrofit (STAR) program provides technical and financial assistance for affordable housing organizations to adopt solar

analyzed the portfolios of 44 affordable housing providers, encompassing more than 1,700 buildings

affordable housing providers have installed or committed to a cumulative 7.9 MW of solar across nearly 200 rooftops

projects represent more than $30 million in lifetime savings for the housing owners and reduce carbon emissions

STAR program supports housing providers in filing for tax credits created by the Inflation Reduction Act. Last fall, Resonant Energy helped clients submit 102 applications to the Department of Energy, representing $7.4 million in tax credit support if all are approved. Resonant Energy report that thus far, 68 of the 102 applications have been approved

Link

 

Solar panels at almost 90% after three decades

company has yet to explain exactly what HPBC is, but it is believed to be an extension of p-type interdigitated back-contact (IBC) technology that combines the structural advantages of PERC, TOPCon, and IBC solar

identical dimensions of 2,278 mm x 1,134 mm x 30 mm and the same weight of 31.8 kg. Their power output ranges from 565 W to 590 W and their efficiency spans from 21.9% to 22.8%

modules have a temperature coefficient of -0.28%/C.

absence of silver aluminum alloy in the electrode material reduces the likelihood of electrochemical reactions

30-year linear power output warranty, with the 30-year end power output being guaranteed to be no less than 88.85% of the nominal output power

Link

 

Solar wins 44% of government bids

137GW of renewable energy capacity was awarded globally through government tenders

up 10% year-on-year despite sector headwinds, logistics tensions, and the energy crisis

Solar PV capacity was the most awarded renewables through government tenders, accounting for 44% of the total volume with 61GW.

solar’s share of global government tenders dropped from 59% in 2022

offshore wind (31GW, 23% of the total volume)

onshore wind (34GW, 24% of the total volume)

Tenders for solar PV, along with onshore wind, were undersubscribed last year

lack of interested bidders led to 30% of the volume being tendered unallocated in 2023

Link

 

‘With no solar, we don’t have this farm’

“prefer not to have any solar, but if we don’t have it, we won’t have the ability to keep this farm going,”

116,000 farms had solar panels in 2022, a 30% jump from five years prior

solar as 40% of US electricity would require 5.7 million acres…less than 1% of America’s some 880 million acres of farmland.

estimates $1,200 per acre annually in a solar lease.

lackluster crop markets mean farmers are estimated to lose more than $100 per acre planting corn in Illinois

believes solar development should be taking place on the least-productive land, but as farms have to determine what’s best for their businesses it’s leading to a “checkerboard kind of pattern of solar development covering up really great farmland.”

plans to triple the amount of solar on his land — covering about 15% of the total acreage — as panels offer a kind of insurance to the farming business

look at it as almost another crop

Link

 

Solar for Sister Rosa Maria Castaneda – please donate

Solar for Sister Rosa Maria Castaneda – please donate

Link to GoFundME

Hello everyone, we’re seeking to raise $2,874 to build a small solar power project on a nunnery in El Salvador. Sister Rosa Maria Castaneda reached out to pv magazine USA seeking guidance on saving electricity costs at their location via solar power. A local installation company gave them a fair quote, and said they’d handle all the paperwork – they just need a check to get moving.

Commercial Solar Guy has donated the first $500 to get the project moving. Please consider donating yourself, or sharing with a wider audience. Thank you!

Link

Solar cell shortage in India for domestic projects

TOPCon cell capacities are underway by some manufacturers, these will be insufficient to cater to the current requirements of domestic module manufacturers

cell manufacturers in India have been prioritizing domestic cell production for in-house module manufacturing or exports, particularly to the US market, exacerbating the scarcity of cells for domestic projects

has resulted in the cost of domestic solar cells being more than two to almost three times that of imported A-grade cells, despite the wafers for cell manufacturing being sourced internationally.

Adding to the complexity, India cells are about 20-35% costlier than imported cells having the same wafers

limits the market for domestic panel manufacturers as government projects under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s schemes and programmes mandate cells to be made in India under the domestic content requirement.

Link

120-125μm solar wafer thickness for most of the market

In 2023, the average thickness of multi-Si wafers will be 170 μm

so it is predicted that the thickness will remain unchanged at 170 μm after 2024, but it is not ruled out that there is still the possibility of thinning in the later period

The average thickness of p-type mono wafers is around 150μm, down 5μm from 2022

average thickness of n-type wafers for TOPCon cells and HJT cells is 125μm, and the thickness of n-type wafers for TOPCon cells is about 120μm, a decrease of 15μm and 5μm respectively compared with 2022

Link

Low polysilicon pricing through June

projected that polysilicon prices will likely remain around the current level until June. However, as production of polysilicon intensifies in the second half of the year, prices are expected to decrease again, potentially falling within the range of CNY50 to CNY55/kg

production cost for polysilicon manufactured outside of China has risen to a range between $15 and over $20. Factors contributing to this increase include global inflation and the growing trend of certain firms purchasing metal silicon from sources outside of China

China Mono Grade, OPIS’ assessment for polysilicon prices in the country were assessed at CNY61.25 ($8.52)/kg

The increase in production costs, primarily manifested by the rise in power prices, has played a role in driving up the price of polysilicon in China

a brand-new, 100,000 MT polysilicon project, whose construction had begun in February last year, was recently found to have been put on hold midway through. In addition, the producer of a 50,000 MT polysilicon project, which commenced production in June of last year, is presently seeking buyers; however, the process was said to have encountered some difficulties

Link

Eastern solar output up 30%, down 10% in the west

In the west, during February mild air from the Pacific banked up clouds and depressed irradiance by 10-20%, according to analysis completed using the Solcast API.

In the east, persistent high pressure in the upper atmosphere led to irradiance as high as 30% above normal, and new records for solar generation and temperature

A clear east/west divide is present in the irradiance anomaly this month. A strong low pressure system sat further east than normal over the Atlantic which brought calm, drier and sunny conditions to the Eastern U.S. and Mexico. Sunnier than normal conditions delivered 20-30% more irradiance than normal from Texas to New England. On the west coast however, high pressure was further west over the Pacific, so that coastal low pressure systems pulled moist air from equatorial regions, leading to increased clouds, blocking irradiance.

Link

Solar project cancelled after 11 years of development

initiative more than a decade in the making to build Nantucket’s largest solar farm on the Wannacomet Water Company property off Milestone Road quietly came to an end this week

Select Board on Wednesday officially voted to back out of the project by terminating a lease agreement with Solar Star Tranquility – a subsidiary of the giant French energy company TotalEnergies – which had been selected in 2019 to develop the 3.8 megawatt, ground-mounted solar array

Permitting challenges – specifically a determination last August by the state that the property was subject to an article of the Massachusetts Constitution that would have required state legislative approval – ultimately led to the project’s downfall

“The size of the project is dead, but we’re looking into doing something smaller scale, within Department of Environmental Protection regulations and what we can do in the well field,”

As recently as last May, TotalEnergies representatives were telling the public that construction would begin in the fall of 2023. But that never happened.

The NLWC’s attorney wrote a legal opinion asserting the water company property was indeed subject to Article 97, while town counsel KP Law authored a conflicting opinion that it was not. In August 2023, the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs stated that the property was subject to Article 97.

Link

Oil lobbying against solar since the 1960s

Trade associations in the US and Europe stymied green innovations under the guise of supporting a “technology neutral” approach to avoiding the damage done by burning their fuels.

In 1975, after a global oil crisis, the API opposed an energy saving bill that included refundable income tax credits for heat pumps in homes. “The United States has a large resource base of conventional energy such as oil, gas and coal,” it said. “Expeditious development of these supplies can make a significant contribution not only to improving US energy independence, but to create a healthy economy.”

Link

Offshore wind plus fish farm

At the Marled offshore wind farm, the fish farms are planned to be placed between the wind turbine foundations and anchored with their own anchoring system

fish cages will be lowered to a depth of 50–70 metres and hoisted up to the surface for checks and harvesting.

previous studies show that offshore wind farms can act as artificial reefs and marine protected areas, which increases the amount of fish and shellfish. While larger fishing vessels cannot pass through the wind farm, there are good opportunities for fish farming, the developer says

Link

Fact Sheet: Making the Case for Crops + Solar

Fact Sheet: Making the Case for Crops + Solar

Solar energy development is also on the rise, with an estimated 10.3 million acres of land projected to be used for solar energy production by 2050 (Ardani, 2021). This could include up to 1% of U.S. cropland (USDA Rural Development, 2024). Between 2001 and 2016, 99% of the 11 million acres of farmland converted out of agricultural production were attributed to urban and suburban expansion, and 1% was attributed to solar development (USDA Rural Development, 2024).

CROPS Despite the shade of the solar panels, crops still receive the light they need to grow (BarronGafford, 2019). Solar panels that move on tracking systems and follow the sun allow the crops to receive ample sunshine and protection from extreme temperatures and excessive evapotranspiration (Hassanpour, 2018). At the same time, the microclimate created by the crops results in a cooler temperature for the solar panels, which helps them operate more efficiently at lower temperatures.

Farmers in Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, and Massachusetts have seen greater yields and longer growing seasons. They attribute this to the protection of the solar panels, which decreases extremely high temperatures in the summer and increases the cooler temperatures in the fall and spring. The reduction in evapotranspiration from the shading leads to a dramatic decrease in irrigation. In Oregon, they are able grow water-intensive crops like melons, squash, and tomatoes without any irrigation, when the crops are co-located with solar, as shown in Photo 1.

In Arizona, researchers have recorded a 75% decrease in irrigation for tomatoes, beans, basil, and peppers (Barron-Gafford, 2019). The decreased need for irrigation pairs with an increase in soil moisture. In a comparison of agrivoltaic and full-sun crops, the same researchers recorded consistent soil moisture for two days in an agrivoltaic system, compared to two to three hours in a full-sun system (Barron-Gafford, 2023). Measurements of the agrivoltaic microclimate also showed a 2- to 3-degree decrease in temperature. The shade created by solar arrays can also lengthen growing seasons for certain plants. Test farms were able to grow traditional spring crops, like lettuces and chard, well into the summer, and continued producing kale well into the winter (Held, 2022).

Link

24/7 solar plus storage for a mine in Chile

Atlas Renewable Energy, an international renewable energy leader, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Codelco, the state-owned Chilean mining company and the world’s largest copper producer, for the supply of 375 GWh of 24/7 energy per year

Projects says it will get 24/7 electricity from renewable sources – says batteries involved. Nothing else noted.

Link

Missouri bill to limit solar to 2% of cropland

House Bill 2651 would restrict the amount of real estate used for solar power in any Missouri county from exceeding 2 percent of all cropland in that county

“My district is greatly affected by this issue, and it’s been a very divisive issue,” said Rep. Kent Haden, R-Mexico, the bill’s sponsor. “I have landowners who want to lease their land to solar facilities, and I think they have that right to do that. It’s their land, they can do what they want to do with it. I also have people that are adjacent to it who have quarter- to half-million-dollar homes on 10 acres that will be surrounded on four sides by solar, and that changes the value of their property.”

Haden’s bill also would require 75 percent of solar panels and equipment used in Missouri solar projects to be of U.S. origin, he said, adding that 80 percent of solar panels are currently made in China.

Statewide, the share of land used for agriculture is shrinking, with 15,599,446 acres of total cropland in 2017 compared to 14,764,750 acres in 2022

Link

55,000 pound capacity 100 kWh electric forklift

first commercially available, large-capacity, electric forklift made in the US into service

55,000-pound capacity Wiggins Yard eBull battery electric forklift

capable of lifting up to 25 metric tons, making it one of the largest electric forklifts in the US.

over 100 kWh of onboard energy storage, and it can support eight-hour shifts with Level 2 charging or double shifts with DC fast charging

electric forklift investment was supported by California’s Clean Off-Road Equipment (CORE) voucher program

Utility upsizes battery 4X – why?

I wonder if they’re upsizing because of the drop in the price of batteries.

project’s storage capacity would increase from 400 MWh to 1,600 MWh

400 MW solar PV facility integrated with a battery storage system

project involves capital investment of more than one billion dollars and will commence construction in the second quarter of 2024

developer last month announced it secured up to $460 million in investments from Sandbrook Capital

Link

IRS detect pay & transferability guidance released

elective pay (otherwise known as “direct pay”) and transferability

allows tax-exempt and governmental entities to receive elective payments for 12 clean energy tax credits, including the ITC and PTC (Sec. 45 and 48 credits), as well as tax credits for electric vehicles and charging stations

allows businesses to transfer all or a portion of any of 11 clean energy credits to a third-party in exchange for tax-free immediate funds, so that businesses can take advantage of tax incentives if they do not have sufficient tax liability to fully utilize the credits themselves

final rules also lay out the process and timeline to claim and receive an elective payment

entities treated as partnerships for federal tax purposes are not eligible for elective pay

IRS agreed with commenters that existing guidance on making a valid election out of partnership tax treatment for clean energy arrangements was limited, and updates were needed for these arrangements to be more effective

Link

3 GW/7.7 GWh energy storage connected in China during Jan/Feb

January and February 2024, a total of 99 new energy storage projects were commissioned

capacity of nearly 3 GW/7.743 GWh

January 186.8% increase compared to January 2023

February 2024 fell back to normal levels, a 12.5% year-on-year increase

Grid-side energy storage projects totaled 1.613 GW/3.426 GWh, accounting for 55%

All source-side energy storage projects were new energy source-side storage projects, totaling 1.003 GW/3.316 GWh, accounting for 35%

Link

37 GW of solar for US in 2024, WoodMac

Wood Mackenzie Renewables & Power says ‘solar sector added 32.4 GW in 2023, 51% higher from 2022’

an additional five gigawatts (GW) over last year’s capacity could be installed in 2024

Growth-rate expectations for the commercial, community and utility-scale segments are 19%, 15% and 26% for the year

high case for U.S. solar with increased supply chain stability, more tax credit financing and lower interest rates would increase our (solar installation) outlook (by) 17%

low case with supply chain constraints, less tax credit financing and static interest rates would decrease our outlook (by) 24%

California’s residential solar installation is expected to decline by 13% in 2024 on the shift to NEM 3.0

Link

Community Solar is PURPA federal program says California judge

found that the Net Value Billing Tariff (NVBT) policy these groups support ​“conflicts with federal law and does not meet the requirements” of AB 2316, the 2022 state law that ordered the CPUC to create an affordable and equitable community-solar program

California utilities argued that, unlike rooftop solar, batteries, electric-vehicle chargers and other distributed energy resources connected to the low-voltage distribution grid, which are subject to state jurisdiction, the community-solar and battery projects envisioned for NVBT fall under federal law that governs larger-scale generators operating in wholesale energy markets

nonprofit advocacy group for California utility customers stated that there is ​“no instance of FERC asserting jurisdiction over, or ordering changes to, a virtual net metering tariff or community renewable energy program approved pursuant to state law.”

Hymes appears to dismiss these points in Monday’s proposed decision, stating that ​“the NVBT proposals do not equate to retail rate programs but instead resemble wholesale electricity procurement.”

trade group representing solar developers which created the NVBT in 2021, excoriated the proposed decision in a Monday press release, stating that it ​“manages to both misinterpret federal law and our proposal, and ignores precedent that has been set by states deploying community solar for more than a decade.”

CPUC’s proposed decision also conflicts with the view of 20 California lawmakers involved in passing AB 2316, who in a September letter to the CPUC told the agency that the NVBT ​“most closely aligns with the intentions” of the law

proposed decision would order the state’s utilities to meet AB 2316’s mandate not via the NVBT, but by altering existing community-solar and wholesale-market distributed energy programs

California has less than 600 megawatts of large-scale distributed solar developed to date, compared to a total of 6.2 gigawatts in the 22 states with policies that support community-solar programs

CPUC Administrative Law Judge Kelly A. Hymes — who also crafted the CPUC’s rooftop-solar decision and another decision slashing compensation for shared solar systems for multifamily properties, schools and farms in most of the state — will cut off what may be the last viable avenue for non-utility-scale solar in a state that’s still far off pace to meet its clean-energy goals

Link

Quasi-ohmic layer extending perovskite life

I don’t know a bunch of these words, but aggregated I get it – perovskites lasting longer

introduce a generic approach featuring a Lewis-acid layer sandwiched between dopant-free semicrystalline polymer and metal electrode in perovskite solar cells, resulting in an ideal quasi-ohmic contact even at elevated temperature up to 85 °C

integrating the polymer-acid-metal structure into solar cells, devices exhibit remarkable resilience, retaining 96% ± 3%, 96% ± 2% and 75% ± 7% of their initial efficiencies after continuous operation in nitrogen at 35 °C for 2212 h, 55 °C for 1650 h and 85 °C for 937 h

Leveraging the Arrhenius relation, we project an impressive T80 lifetime of 26,126 h at 30 °C.

Link

Truckyard EVs outlasting diesels

Diesel yard trucks which are often used just 5 years or 15,000 hours before maintenance and repair costs become prohibitively expensive

We do oil changes every 5-10,000 miles and try to maintain a 400-500,000 hour overhaul on the heavy equipment trucks – barring clutch replacements

Orange EV currently has 35 trucks exceeding 15,000 hours of operation – 14 of which have surpassed 20,000 hours – with many more that will cross those thresholds soon

dubbed “Sparky I” and “Sparky II,” the electric semi trucks have individually clocked more than 24,000 hours and 17,000 hours of operation. What’s more: they’re still on their original battery packs.

10 GW of solar panels tendered in China at $0.12/W

Huaneng Group concluded a PV module procurement process on March 4

selected eight manufacturers – JA Solar, JinkoSolar, Huayao PV, Longi, Tongwei, GCL SI, Risen, and Huasun

tender section for 2 GW of P-type panel products resulted in an average price of CNY 0.842 ($0.12)/W

7.5 GW of tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) and 500 MW of heterojunction solar cells (HJT) – totaling 8 GW of N-type products – the average price was CNY 0.887/W

companies will collectively share 10 GW of orders, but the specific allocation among them has not been disclosed

Link

New solar farm increases plant biodiversity

50MW Oakley Solar Farm – set to boost biodiversity net gain by 62%

developer design a planning application which incorporates over 2,800 new trees, 605 metres of new hedgerows, 61 acres of new wildflower meadow and 166 acres of “species-rich” grassland alongside four new wildlife ponds

Link

1.7 GW of Italian batteries valued at $2.5 billion

Utility and IPP Enel has sold a 49% stake in its subsidiary that will own and operate 1.7GW of battery energy storage system (BESS) projects in Italy, to investor Sosteneo

The deal, which will see Sosteneo’s ‘Sosteneo Fund 1 HoldCo S.à.r.l’ pay €1.1 billion (US$1.19 billion) for the stake

23 battery energy storage system (BESS) projects as well as three renovations of open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) plants totalling 0.9GW

Link

Italy incentivizing 35% of EU manufactured solar panels

new fiscal credits to purchase components for renewable energy projects

fiscal credits for PV could reach up to 35% of the cost of the solar modules

awarded to projects that exclusively use solar panels made in the European Union

panels with module efficiency ratings of more than 21.5%, or products with cell efficiencies above 23.5%

awarded to projects that use either heterojunction or perovskite-silicon tandem modules with efficiencies of more than 24%

tax credits will be recognized for up to 35% of a total investment of up to €2.5 million ($2.71 million) and up to 5% for total investments of €10 million

maximum limit of eligible costs is equal to €50 million per year per beneficiary company

designed for plants intended for self-consumption, but in principle we can’t exclude that an excess quota possibly released into the grid could be compatible with the public incentives

Link

Colorado co-op 90% renewables by end of year – pays to not use kWhs

co-op will be 90% renewable generation by end of this year

The growing storage capacity “basically behaves like gas turbines would on a normal power grid,” Hannegan said, with the ability to in effect turn them on at will to send instant power to members.

Buying portions of projects spread geographically across the state is intentional for the renewables transition, Hannegan said. “It’s less likely that all of those resources are going to be out of commission all at once,” he said.

While Holy Cross announced a rate increase in February, it says residential rates are still lower than any other Colorado co-op, and that far lower prices for renewable generation projects have helped keep costs low.

Holy Cross already takes that concept a step further, not by raising peak prices but by “paying” customers for cutting back on their normal peak use, Hannegan said. That payback rate will increase in April to $1.50 per kilowatt hour of savings.

Holy Cross also supports rooftop solar, home battery storage, EV hookups, and community solar projects.

Holy Cross fulfilling its members’ mandate to expand renewables advanced quickly in 2023, through the following projects:

  • Bronco Plains 2 wind farm near Flagler contributes 150MW of its 200MW capacity to Holy Cross in winter months, supplying 30% of Holy Cross customer needs. The project was built by the for-profit energy company NextEra Energy Resources.
  • Hunter Solar near Bennett in Arapahoe County will divide up 75MW of panel power, with Holy Cross taking 30MW, or enough for a few thousand households. The rest of the power goes to the CORE Electric Cooperative, serving 176,000 members in rural areas surrounding metro Denver.
  • High Mesa Solar and Storage at Parachute brings 10MW of panels and 20MW of storage, an all-important growth area for utilities switching to renewables. The battery array can dispatch power at night, during peak demand or on days when sun and wind aren’t producing adequate supplies.
  • Mamm Creek Solar and Storage brings the same 10MW of panels and 20MW of storage to the Rifle area.

 

an aerial view of solar panels

Module manufacturer asking for Chinese project bidding reform

LONGi has called on the Chinese government to introduce new bidding rules to crack down on low prices and ensure the sustainable development of the renewables industry in China

prices were often the sole criteria in the bidding process for solar PV components

After winning the bid, these manufacturers lowered the costs of procuring materials and production to compensate for the losses, resulting in lowered product quality

solar manufacturers will negotiate with buyers as it is very difficult for the buyers to admit that a wrong decision was made in the last tender

solar manufacturing industry in China should introduce a new bidding method. For example, buyers can use the average prices of the bids as criteria and eliminate the highest and lowest prices, which could encourage solar manufacturers not to submit bids with unreasonably low prices

introduce regulations to ban submitting bids with prices lower than costs, while designated authoritative industry associations should also issue guidelines on a regular basis

Link

BNEFin 2024: 520 to 655 GW solar to deploy, 1.1 TW of poly available – some US factories announced will be cancelled

photovoltaic industry added about 444 gigawatts of new capacity in 2023, a 76% growth on 2022 build

We only see about 574GW(DC) of module build in 2024, mainly limited by local factors such as access to grid, land and labor

China alone added 216.9GW(AC) or 268GW(DC) in 2023, 60% of the world market, and we do not expect it to fall

Enough polysilicon could be produced by major suppliers to make 1.1 terawatts of modules this year

We have tightened the criteria for tier 1 manufacturers and hence the tier 1 lists have been shortened, but there is still enough module assembly capacity belonging to the tier 1 players to make 783GW of modules per year

BNEF suggests from 520 to 655 GW possible solar installations, with 574 GW about the middle value.

Link

Battery prices down 40% 2023-25, Goldman Sachs

Battery prices down 40% 2023-25, Goldman Sachs

lowered its forecast for growth in global battery demand in 2024 to 29% year-over-year, compared to its previous projection of 35%. Battery demand is estimated to have increased 31% in 2023.

Longer term, our analysts project EVs to take a considerably higher share of car sales, reaching 50% in the US and 68% in the EU by 2030.

Goldman Sachs Research expects a nearly 40% decline in battery prices between 2023 and 2025, and for EVs to reach breakthrough levels in terms of cost parity (without subsidies) with internal combustion engine cars in some markets next year.

Major innovations like solid-state batteries (as opposed to using liquid electrolyte as in batteries today) could, in the coming years, be a game-changer for the industry, as solid-state batteries are expected to allow carmakers to pack in even more energy, for the same amount of weight, than a conventional battery.

Link

Solar slowed CO2 emissions in 2023, global droughts pushed back up

IEA’s CO2 report shows that global carbon emissions rose 1.1% in 2023, reaching a historic high

comparative rise in emissions is lower than in 2022 (1.3%)

Without the expansion of renewable deployments, this figure would have been significantly higher

large caveat: global droughts – in China, the US and several other regions – caused a steep drop-off in hydropower generation over 2023

Over 40% of the rise in emissions was accounted for by the absence of expected hydropower capacity

Had these droughts not occurred, the IEA said that global emissions from electricity generation would have fallen, which would in turn have significantly lessened the increase in total emissions

world deployed 420GW of solar PV capacity in 2023, a vast 85% increase from the 228GW installed in 2022

261GW of this new capacity was deployed in China, followed by the European Union (53GW), the US (32GW) and India (12GW)

Link

Fossil government demand’s agrivoltaics, creates “view scapes”, and visual tests to limit renewables

government of Alberta has implemented a new “agriculture-first” approach to approving solar and other renewable energy projects on land in the Canadian province

new laws follow a seven-month pause on all new renewable power project approvals, assessment of the viability of 26 solar generation projects was suspended

Alberta will no longer permit renewable generation development on class one and class two lands unless the proponent can demonstrate the ability for both crops, and/or livestock, to co-exist with the renewable generation project

protected areas and what Smith called “pristine viewscapes” will now be surrounded by a 35km area in which new wind projects will not be allowed to be constructed due to concerns that they will impact views of the local area

renewable power facilities, such as solar and storage, will also be subjected to what Smith called a “visual impact assessment” as part of the permitting process

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Politics and war drove Europe’s solar boom, not cheap modules

It is interesting to note that the market in Europe hasn’t waited for lower prices to develop while prices started to go down significantly in 2023 and especially after summer (see above), the lead time to develop utility-scale PV plants is in general about more than one year.

As it has been mentioned numerous times, even the COVID pandemic wasn’t able to halt the PV market in Europe and globally.

The wake-up call for several countries was the deadline of the 2020 renewable energy targets and the acceleration of 2019 can mostly be attributed to the political change seen in several key countries from 2017 onwards: France or Spain, for instance, saw a set of ambitious energy policies that allowed PV to develop faster.

Consequence of new policies in key countries following the energy stress caused by the war in Ukraine. While PV market development was already growing in Europe, it accelerated significantly after February 2022.

The new German coalition paved the way for the current acceleration of the market, while prices were skyrocketing in 2021 and 2022.

Hence, the major price increase seen in 2021 and 2022 for PV modules, mostly coming from disrupted value chains in China and increased transport costs, didn’t halt or reduce the PV market in Europe; it continued growing significantly.

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Solar electricity pricing down 99.9983% over 67 years

From a post on LinkedIn by Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Nat Bullard:

Instructive example from Greg Nemet‘s excellent book “How Solar Energy Became Cheap” (2019):

“A megawatt-hour of PV electricity in 1957, for its first commercial use, cost about $300,000 in today’s dollars…Today in a sunny location, that megawatt hour costs only $20. Thus, the cost of that electricity has fallen by four orders of magnitude, a factor of 15,000 cost reduction.”

We’ve had inflation since then, so $300,000 in December 2019 dollars is about $360,000 today. Also, 2019 power purchase agreements at $20 per megawatt-hour were edge cases and potentially untenable; today’s PPAs are likely closer to $60/MWh than $20/MWh.

The result, then, is still fairly striking: a 99.9983% decrease in cost over 67 years.

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3.2 mm tempered solar glass protects against hail

During the Hail Stress Sequence, sample modules are struck by a 50mm lab-manufactured ice ball at terminal velocity (32 meters per second) in 11 different locations at a zero-degree angle. PVEL adds that the simulated hail strikes deliver an impact energy of 31.4 joules, comparable to the approximate impact energy of a 77mm strike with the same density at terminal velocity at 30 degrees.

Generally speaking, laboratory-made hail is extremely dense and more uniform than natural hail, so its impact energy is usually far greater; the impact energy of a lab-made 50mm ice ball is comparable to a natural hailstone as large as 100mm in diameter, depending on their density and impact angle.

PVEL has identified three consistent patterns of hail damage:

First, in strings with two or more broken glass modules, the cells of the remaining modules with intact glass are likely to experience severe cracking.

Second, in sites with a capacity of more than 100MW that suffer glass breakage from hail, it is likely that some areas of the array will not have any cell damage.

Third, glass breakage and cell cracking will be variable in the areas of the site between the two above extremes.

Glass breakage rate of glass-glass modules could reach 89% if they are impacted by hail of 50mm diameter

Breakage rate drops to only 34% for glass-backsheet modules that use fully tempered glass

“As true heat-tempered glass is generally twice as strong as glass that is ‘heat-strengthened’ only, our test data shows that PV modules made with 3.2mm fully tempered front glass are approximately twice as resilient to impact as modules packaged with 2.0 mm heat-strengthened front glass.”

To determine if it was financially viable to stow, stow, stow your solar modules during a hail event:

Under a US$22 per MWh power purchase agreement (PPA), moving into the hail-stow mode during WWA events throughout the year for this particular simulated site resulted in a total production loss of US$12,000, or 0.1% of the US$9.75 million estimated annual revenue.

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Cancer diagnosis ends small Australian solar company

G-Store, founded in 2007, was placed into administration on 2 February 2024 with Newscorp outlets reporting that the company’s sole director had been diagnosed with cancer.

Melbourne-headquartered solar company G-Store Pty Ltd has collapsed.

The administrator said the company owes 139 unsecured creditors $2.2 million, while secured lenders are owed the remainder of the $3.8 million debt.

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“Get a heat pump, the grid’s going to collapse!”

I talked to my electrician, who I’ve used for many years. But he’s clearly influenced by the conservative media’s take on all this climate stuff. He was pooh-poohing heat pumps: ​Natural gas is great. If you get a heat pump, the grid’s going to collapse!”

Going from a gas furnace to a ducted heat pump was a little painful because we had to redo some of our ducts. Heat pumps need a higher volume of air circulation to work because the temperature differential isn’t as strong.

But by far the most painful piece of the retrofit was the blown-in insulation. We had to Swiss-cheese our walls and move every single piece of furniture in our whole house because the contractor needed 4 feet of working space around all the walls.

We had a nuisance outage — the power went out for a couple of hours. I was traveling that week, so he texted me: ​Hey, I just got this ping, and our block is blacked out. I didn’t even notice! We still have power here. This is great.”

Taken from a rooftop overlooking other homes and a blue sky. Black solar panels and boxy, cream heat pump box on roof.

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“No” solar panel import ban, EU energy chief

EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson

Simson ruled out cutting off imports, which she said could compromise the EU’s ability to install enough solar energy capacity to meet climate targets

“There are different proposals how we can support our industry, but clearly we cannot close our borders because we need solar panels”

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Fiberglass solar panel frame

fiberglass frame, which the manufacturer said is more resistant to corrosion than conventional frames

Leapton is offering three versions of the panels, with power outputs ranging from 560 W to 585 W. The efficiency ratings range from 21.68% to 22.65%. The open-circuit voltage is between 47.42 V and 48.42 and the short-circuit current is between 15.00 A and 15.27 A. The maximum system voltage is 1,500 V.

The panels measure 2,278 mm x 1,134 mm x 30 mm and weigh 28 kg

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Bifacial tariff exemption being fought – 2-3¢/Wdc added cost

Solar manufacturers – First Solar specifically are pushing to get rid of the import tariffs on bifacial solar modules.

“Yeah I think it would be a 14.50% tariff which would mean ~+$0.03/W. [We have] 100% of our panels sourced from domestic suppliers, so we have zero exposure. I think I calculated the total 201 tariffs that would be paid over by US importers would be ~>$1bn in the final two years of the 201 case. I haven’t talked to a single importer that doesn’t pass this ‘change of law’ risk on to their buyer.”

“it would be awkward to restore coverage of bifacials while we are inside a two-year emergency period.” As a result, he would “be highly surprised if [the 201 bifacial removal] happens before end of May,” and the probability for the 201 bifacial exemption to be removed is high—perhaps ~80%.”

“Essentially it would increase price by 2-3c across the board for import and roughly 1 cent for US assembly (assuming imported cell).”

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Green hydrogen dumped for interconnection at world’s largest wind farm

UK offshore wind project Dogger Bank D is abandoning its original plan to produce green hydrogen

Britain’s SSE and Norway’s Equinor and Vårgrønn had been exploring the prospect of using the power from the 2 gigawatt (GW) fourth phase extension of the giant North Sea wind for what would have been the UK’s largest green hydrogen production facility

with the confirmation of an onshore grid connection, the green hydrogen project had been scrapped

Dogger Bank D will now connect into Birkhill Wood, a proposed new 400kV substation located in the East Riding of Yorkshire which will be built as part of the UK’s ‘Great Grid Upgrade’

5.6 GW wind farm will be the largest in the world, and is being built in four phases: three 1.2 GW phases with Dogger Bank A, B and C, and one 2 GW phase in Dogger Bank D, with a mixture of Haliade-X 13 MW and 14 MW turbines

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Massive solar+wind+storage facility by Australia’s largest coal company

Energy utility AGL, Australia’s biggest coal generator and polluter

still operates the Loy Yang A brown coal generator in Victoria and the Bayswater plant in NSW

unveiled – Pottinger Energy Park – to be developed with the privately held Someva Renewables, will include a 1.2 GW wind farm (with more than 200 turbines), a 300 MW solar farm, and a 500 MW, 2000 MWh battery

project will be a key part of the 12GW of new wind, solar and storage that it plans to build over the next decade

could start construction in 2026, creating up to 800 construction jobs and 60 ongoing jobs

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China needs 4 TW of solar, 1 TW storage by 2060

will need nearly 6 terawatts of solar and wind power to achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2060

would be double China’s total energy generation capacity now, and more than five times the current capacity in the United States

will need to have 2TW of wind power capacity and 3.9TW of solar installed

required deployment rates in mid-century are close to what has been reported for 2023, though there will still be challenges to sustain that over time

1,000 gigawatts of energy storage will also be needed to provide reserve energy during peak demand, mostly for solar

model was created with the expectation that China would continue to “exploit” its existing hydropower resources, and that just over 200GW of coastal nuclear power would be added.

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Large sheep farmer adding solar agrivoltaics

4,738 acres of private land run by the Tillard ranching family near Glenrock

1 million solar panels

499 MW of solar generation with onsite battery storage. 300 MW will be allocated for Stage 1 and 199 MW for Stage 2.

expected to generate more than $200 million in state and local taxes over the life of the project

2-5 permanent O&M jobs

in the county – For roughly every 20 residents, there is one wind turbine, the highest ratio in the state. At a recent County Commissioners meeting, it took another step in diversifying its energy infrastructure, signaling its intent to issue its first solar farm permit to BrightNight.

Willox has been a Converse County Commissioner for the last 18 years, during which he’s witnessed the rise, fall and rise again of fossil fuels in the county. When he first started his job, coal production was a huge economic asset to the county. Now, “it’s zero,” he said.

In the early spring grazing time, which is when the most intense grazing is and the most growth is, we could put more sheep on the agrivoltaic array than on the open pasture, and the sheep grew at the same rates,” said Higgins, an associate professor in Oregon State University’s department of biological and ecological engineering. “There was overall more production in that intense grazing period because of the solar panels.”

“We actually had to fence the sheep in the open field to keep them in the open field, because, given the choice, they all preferred to be in the solar.”

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Solar electrical balance of system provider growing

Shoals will invest $80 million over the next five years to expand its existing manufacturing and distribution operations to a new, larger location in Portland, Tennessee

expansion will create approximately 550 new jobs over the next five years in Sumner County, bringing the company’s total headcount in the region to roughly 1,400

deployed on over 62 GW of solar systems globally

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Solar cell & module factory gets construction permit

solar cell/module manufacturing facility is one step closer to opening in Fort Mill after securing its construction permit

proposed Silfab Solar manufacturing facility off Highway 77 to begin construction

800 jobs to the region, starting at an hourly wage of $19 and $60,000 for salaried employees

synthetic minor permit, released Friday, details the emissions requirements for the factory as well as regulations regarding how the company must handle chemicals the EPA identifies as hazardous air pollutants, such as hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, toluene, and silane. The chemicals will be stored on-site and used in the manufacturing process

opposition from Fort Mill and York County neighbors. Concerns range from the traffic impact of the facility to its water usage but primarily, many are concerned about how close the facility will be to two York County schools, currently under construction on properties directly adjacent to the Logistics Lane facility

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Deep sea solar in Italy

offshore hybrid project featuring 120 MWp of PV and 420 MW of wind

28 floating wind turbines

Dutch-Norwegian offshore PV specialist SolarDuck, Italian investment fund Arrow Capital, and Italian developer New Developments have signed an agreement to develop

will feature SolarDuck’s elevated platform technology, which allows PV panels to be deployed in significant wave heights, while maintaining a safe working environment for access and maintenance and minimizing environmental impacts

hold the solar panels more than 3 meters above the surface of the water, and are able to handle coastal sea conditions and hurricane-force winds

basic floating platforms are triangular structures measuring 16 meters x 16 meters x 16 meters

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SMA up 78% in 2023

20.5GW of inverters were sold in 2023, increasing from 12.2GW in 2022

sales increased to €1,904.1 million (US$2057.1 million), up from €1,065.9 million in 2022 – increasing by 78.6% year-on-year

EBITDA increased significantly to €311 million in 2023 from €70 million in 2022.

sales of all three segments improved

home solutions segment increased its sales to €580.2 million, up from €335 million in 2022.

commercial and industrial solutions segment, sales rose to €478.9 million from €290.3 million in 2022.

The large scale and project solutions segment increased its sales to €845 million, up from €440.6 million.

As of the end of 2023, SMA Group’s order backlog dropped to €1,705 million, down from €2,077.4 million in 2022. Of the total order backlog, €1,329.8 million was attributable to product business

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Battery saves grid upgrades

battery system also allowed BGE to avoid the costs of upgrading some 10 miles of electric distribution infrastructure – probably $1-3 million

Fairhaven experiences a winter peak due to the usage of electric heaters. Because of this, the area’s total electricity load sometimes topped the capacity of the 34.5kV line in the region.

storage system helps address that issue by absorbing energy during times of low electricity demand and then discharging it back to the grid when demand increases

a 2.5 MW/9.74 MWh battery energy storage system

two battery containers with 48 racks of lithium-ion batteries, the company said, as well as a control system and two new distribution transformers

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Stow, stow, stow against hail

Stow, stow, stow against hail

Hail damage mitigation – most rules revolve around: stowing the solar panels often, quickly, and by default.

  1. The radius for weather service alerts should be no less than 30 miles away from the project perimeter.
  2. Deploy one hail sensor or system for each square kilometer with spatial coverage across the full project footprint.

Also, did you know there’s such a thing as a hail pad to corroborate hail size speculation?

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35 MW rooftop solar plant – world’s largest?

SolarFuture ApS from Albertslund has landed the order to establish a 35 MW rooftop solar power plant at DSV’s new logistics center in Horsens

building at DSV’s logistics center is over 300,000 m2, an area that corresponds to the world’s 5th largest building

Project Data — DSV Logistikcenter, Horsens:

  • Total output of the solar system: 35 MWp
  • Annual production: 33.15 GWh
  • CO2 savings: 5,300 tonnes of CO2 per year
  • Mounting system: Ballast system
  • Location: East/West for optimal even production around the clock

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