News for August 2011

News Archive

Utility-scale solar PV project under way in Australia

A 10 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project using First Solar modules and funded by Verve Energy, GE Energy Financial Services and the Western Australian Government, is under way in Australia.

GE to develop 15 MW wind turbine?

GE Global Research is looking into wind turbine generators in the 10-15 MW range using MRI technology under a two-year, US$3 million project from the US Department of Energy (DoE).

US solar industry saw US$1.9bn net export in 2010

The US solar industry achieved a positive trade flow of US$1.9 billion globally in 2010, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association's (SEIA) and GTM Research’s U.S. Solar Energy Trade Assessment 2011.

Salazar approves transmission for 250 MW solar project

US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved a transmission line on public lands connecting a 250 MW solar power project to the energy grid in California.

Chinese rooftop solar PV could reach 3 GW by 2015

China is expected to set a target of 3 GW rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity by 2015 and 25 GW by 2020 according to media reports.

Loan guarantee granted for 250 MW CSP plant in California

The Department of Energy has finalised a partial guarantee for an US$852 million loan to support the 250 MW Genesis Solar concentrating solar power (CSP) project in California, USA.

Altamont Pass wind farm upgrades

Altamont Pass wind farm in California is replacing nearly 2000 of its wind turbines with 100 2.3 MW wind turbines from Siemens.

UK industry association launches Back Biomass campaign

The UK's Renewable Energy Association has launched a campaign urging the Government to Back Biomass heat and power in its proposals on the incentives regime for renewable energy.

GT Advanced Technologies buys Confluence Solar

GT Advanced Technologies Inc has acquired Confluence Solar Inc, the developer of a continuously-fed Czochralski (CCz) growth technology enabling the production of high efficiency monocrystalline solar ingots.

Natural Power's lidar matches performance in wind tunnel

Natural Power has demonstrated matched performance of its continuous wave wind lidar, ZephIR, to a calibrated wind tunnel as part of a Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (DNATF) project.

Iberdrola begins installation of 400 MW offshore wind farm

Iberdrola Renewables has begun the installation process of the 400 MW Wikinger offshore wind farm off the German coast of the Baltic Sea.

Mainstream gets lease for 450 MW Scottish offshore wind farm

Mainstream Renewable Power has signed an Agreement for Lease (AFL) with The Crown Estate for the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm in Scottish waters.

SMA expands Sunny Tower solar PV inverter capacity SMA expands Sunny Tower solar PV inverter capacity

SMA has expanded the capacity of its Sunny Tower solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter system to include 30 through 48 kW configurations.

Natural Power promotes wind power asset management to Brazil

Natural Power and Inova Energy will cooperate on developing wind power asset management services in Brazil.

US: 24 governors wants Obama to focus on wind energy

A coalition of 24 governors from both major parties and each region of the USA wants President Obama to provide better conditions for wind power developments.

DTE Energy buys 120 MW of wind power

DTE Energy has signed a contract to purchase 120 MW from a wind farm in Tuscola, Bay and Saginaw counties, MI, USA.

UN prioritises clean and renewable energy

Providing renewable energy to the 1.4 billion people living without electricity is the No. 1 priority of the United Nations, says UN's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

UK wind generation up 131.1% in Q2 2011

UK wind generation more than doubled in the second quarter (Q2) of 2011, rising 131.1%, compared to the same period last year.

Neptune plans 500 MW offshore wind farm in the US

Neptune Wind LLC is planning a 500 MW offshore wind farm between Massachusetts and Rhode Island, USA.

Deutsche Bahn goes for renewable energy

German rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB) is increasing its use of renewable energy such as wind power as it aims to become CO2 free by 2050.

Japan one step closer to renewable energy bill

Japan's lower house of parliament has passed a bill to subsidise renewable energy generation.

Giant 10 MW Britannia wind turbine scrapped

Clipper Wind Power has scrapped the 10 MW Britannia wind turbine project for the UK Round 3 offshore wind development.

US biodiesel production fuelled by tax incentive

US biodiesel production in the first half of 2011 has already surpassed the total for 2010, spurred by Congress' reinstatement of the biofuel tax incentive.

SOLON cuts 60 solar PV jobs in Tucson, Arizona

SOLON is cutting 60 jobs at its solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing facility in Tucson, Arizona, as part of its new US operations strategy.

UK invests £4.5m in supply chain and innovations

The UK's Technology Strategy Board is investing up to £4.5 million in collaborative research and development to encourage industrial end-users to work with supply chains and innovators to create new products and services for a sustainable economy.

USDA, DoE and the US Navy partner on transportation biofuels

The US Departments of Agriculture, Energy and the Navy will invest up to US$510 million over the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce drop-in aviation and marine biofuels for military and commercial transportation.

Trina Solar and Origin Energy cooperate on solar PV

Trina Solar Australia Pty Ltd has entered into a strategic partnership for solar photovoltaics (PV) with Australian energy company Origin Energy Australia.

SunPower opens 10 MW solar PV park in Delaware

SunPower Corp and LS Power's subsidiary, White Oak Solar Energy LLC, have opened the 10 MW Dover SUN Park solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Dover, DE, USA.

Statkraft to build Stamåsen 1 wind farm in Sweden

Statkraft will build the 60 MW Stamåsen 1 wind farm in Sweden in addition to another wind farm already under construction in Central Sweden.

New centre to focus on solar PV research in Arizona

A new engineering research centre (ERC) for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) is being set up at Arizona State University in cooperation with several partners.

Seismic sondes to explore activity at planned UK geothermal plant

An array of seismic sondes will be deployed to monitor seismic activity at the Eden Project's deep geothermal development in the UK.

Bioenergy and biofuels get US$12.2m from USDA and DoE

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Energy (DoE) have awarded 10 grants totalling US$12.2 million to spur research into the cost efficiency of growing biofuels and bioenergy crops.

Salazar approves 550 MW solar PV in California

First Solar's 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm east of Palm Springs, California, has been approved by US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

Solar CIGS partnership between Ascent and TFG Radiant

Ascent Solar of Colorado, USA, and China's TFG Radian Group have entered a US$450 million long-term strategic partnership for copper indium gallium diselendie (CIGS) solar photovoltaic (PV) production in East Asia.

Renewable energy creates opportunities for energy storage industry

The focus on renewable energy in Europe is creating opportunities for the energy storage market, which could see revenues of US$2 billion by 2017, according to analyst Frost & Sullivan.

First Olsen buys majority of Universal Foundation First Olsen buys majority of Universal Foundation

First Olsen Ltd has acquired a 60% stake in the developer of the Bucket Foundation for offshore wind turbines and met masts, Universal Foundation A/S.

Wisconsin waste-to-energy project opened

A 4.8 MW waste-to-energy project has opened at Veolia Environment North America's Wisconsin Hickory Meadows Landfill.

SCHOTT Solar supplies 67,000 solar modules to Thailand

SCHOTT Solar is supplying 67,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) modules for two solar power projects north of Bangkok, Thailand, by Phoenix Solar Singapore.

Italy overtakes Germany as world's largest solar PV market Italy overtakes Germany as world's largest solar PV market

Italy could overtake Germany as the world's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) market, according to analyst SolarPlaza.

Southwest Windpower gets GL certification

Southwest Windpower has received GL Renewables Certification for its2.4 kW Skystream 3.7, 50/60 Hz small wind turbine.

Investors favour flexible feedstock renewable fuel start-ups

Investment in renewable fuel start-ups with flexible feedstock or diverse end products reached an all-time high of US$698 million in 2010, according to Lux Research.

Electrovaya 1.2 MWh battery storage for Ontario renewable energy

Electrovaya Inc is supplying a 1.2 MWh battery storage system for a demonstration project related to renewable energy installations in Ontario, Canada.

Semiconductor and solar PV merger one step closer

The merger between Applied Materials and Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, a provider of ion implantation equipment for semiconductor chips and solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, is one step closer to finalisation.

SN Power takes over Enerpar in Brazil

Hydropower development company SN Power has bought Energias do Paraná Ltda (Enerpar) from Norske Skog Group for BRL120 million (~US$70m).

SolarMax 330TS-SV solar inverter gets BDEW certification

Sputnik Engineering's SolarMax central solar inverter 330TS-SV has received certification from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).

Atlantis deploys 1 MW tidal turbine at EMEC in Orkney

Atlantis Resources Corporation has connected its 1 MW AR1000 tidal turbine to the grid at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, UK.

Texas could beat Cape Wind in the offshore race

Texas could see the installation of the US' first offshore wind farm ahead of the planned Cape Wind offshore wind farm.

Tesco ethanol biofuel qualifies for UK ROCs

Tesco's waste-to-energy derived ethanol biofuel has qualified for Ofgem's Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

UK Ford facility on 100% wind power UK Ford facility on 100% wind power

Ecotricity has erected a third wind turbine at Ford’s expanded Dagenham Diesel Centre in the UK.

Siemens and Van Oord supply EDF's Teesside offshore wind farm

EDF Energy Renewables has selected Siemens to provide its 2.3 MW wind turbines for the 62 MW Teesside Offshore Windfarm, UK.

E.ON orders 202 MW of wind turbines from Vestas

E.ON Climate & Renewables North America has ordered 112 units of Vestas’ V100 1.8 MW wind turbines, totalling 202 MW, for a project in the US.

Evergreen Solar files for bankruptcy

Solar cell manufacturer Evergreen Solar has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Saint-Gobain buys Solar Gard

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation is buying solar and other speciality films manufacturer Solar Gard Speciality Firms from Bekaert.

Soltas Energy buys NJ solar company Sunergy America

New York’s Soltas Energy Corporation has taken a majority stake in Sunergy America LLC of Wall, New Jersey, USA.

Chinese feed-in tariff has potential, but details lacking

The Chinese feed-in tariff could give a major boost to the solar industry increasing installations by a combined 1.5 GW in 2011 and 2012, but the devil is in the details, says IHS iSuppli.

Japan’s TEPCO opens 7 MW solar power plant

The 7 MW Ukishima Solar Power Plant has commenced operation in Kawasaki, Japan.

EU complains to WTO about Canadian feed-in tariff

The EU has complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the requirement of a certain share of renewable energy equipment and services to be sourced locally under the Ontario feed-in tariff.

DoE: Gene could increase biomass yield

Researchers have located the gene controlling ethanol production capacity in a microorganism, which could lead to increased biomass ethanol yield at lower costs.

California approves solar thermal and gas hybrid

The California Energy Commission has approved the construction of a 570 MW solar thermal and gas hybrid power plant in Los Angeles County.

Certification for third Proven Energy small wind turbine

The small wind turbine manufacturer has seen MSC certification of its third small wind turbine, the Proven 11, for the UK market.

Air Products secures permission for gasification plant

The Stockton on Tees plant will be capable of processing thousands of tonnes of waste into energy

Bangchak Petroleum spends £247m on solar power

Three solar power projects in Thailand are being planned, with a total capacity of 118 MW

Bharat Renewable Energy makes biofuel alliance with SG Biofuels

The two companies have started a programme to use jatropha hybrids for biodiesel production in India

GE Energy invests in eSolar thermal technology

GE Energy has entered into an agreement with California-based eSolar, which specialises in tower-based concentrating solar thermal technology.

India rejects two solar PV plants

The Indian government has rejected two of 37 solar projects awarded in its first national renewable auction, but has accepted a number of solar thermal plants.

US reforms electric transmission planning

The changes could significant create opportunities for renewable projects

Bandgap Engineering patents solar cells technology

The two US patents cover technology to improve the performance of silicon nanowire solar cells.

UK biomass sector gets double boost

Two new Drax biomass stations in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire have been given the go ahead.

US clean energy investment strong in Q2

Solar thermal projects in the US have attracted billions of dollars in the second quarter of 2011.

Wacker unveils new encapsulant for thin-film solar modules

The silicone encapsulant claims to enable flexible thin-film modules to be laminated using roll-to-roll processing.

Offshore wind operations base on Heligoland planned

RWE, E.ON and WindMW plan to construct a maintenance and operations base for offshore wind farms in the North Sea

Pattern agrees 870 MW wind energy deal in Ontario

The power purchase agreement with Samsung will provide energy from wind projects to the Ontario Power Authority.

Octopus seeks solar investors

Octopus Investments is hoping to make further investment in renewable energy with funding from some of its lower risk, capital preservation-focused investments. 

China sets unified first solar feed-in tariffs

The rates are higher than those proposed by many solar power developers in the country.

OriginOil develops new control network for algae harvesting

The sensor array will manage hundreds of interactions critical to large-scale algae production sites

SunPower plans solar panel factory in Mexico

The solar manufacturer has announced plans to open a new cell and panel factory in Mexicali.

WindMW completes financing for German offshore wind farm

The 288MW offshore wind farm Meerwind off the coast of Germany is expected to be completed by 2013.

PG&E and Sempra Generation partner on 150 MW solar project

First Solar will supply solar panels on the expansion of the solar complex in Nevada.

Bord Gáis Energy and Natural Power agree wind farm deal

Under the deal in Ireland Natural Power will monitor Bord Gáis Energy’s wind farms in Ireland.

NRG Energy buys 290 MW Agua Caliente solar project

The large-scale solar energy project in Arizona was bought from First Solar.

RenEnergy to supply solar panels to Antarctic research base RenEnergy to supply solar panels to Antarctic research base

British Antarctic Survey has bought two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for its new research building.

Centrotherm expects rising demand for solar PV upgrades

Centrotherm Photovoltaics has predicted significant demand for high-performance cells and modules from solar cell manufacturers over the coming months.

AFC Energy completes HAZOP study, prepares to commission fuel cell Beta System

UK-based AFC Energy, which is developing low cost alkaline fuel cells, has announced the successful completion of a rigorous hazard and operability (HAZOP) study of its commercial fuel cell Beta System.

Data centre project looks to renewables

Researchers are aspiring to show that a network of wind and solar-powered data centres could transform the data and renewable energy industries.

Joule patents high-volume ethanol production from sunlight and CO2

Joule has patented its method for increasing the ethanol production capability of a photosynthetic microorganism.

SMA acquires component manufacturer dtw

Polish manufacturer dtw has been a long-term supplier of components for solar inverter production for SMA.

SMA releases extended temperature solar inverters SMA releases extended temperature solar inverters

The new Sunny Boy inverters, approved for temperatures down to -40°C, are available to the Canadian market.

ABB wins US$1b order for offshore wind connection

A 900 MW HVDC transmission link will connect North Sea wind farms to the German power grid.

EU wind power expected to triple by 2020

Wind power capacity will increase but EU member states will have vastly different growth rates, according to the EWEA.

RTR buys 10 solar PV plants in Italy

The purchase brings RTR Group’s installed solar photovoltaic (PV) portfolio to 241 MW.

TenneT awards offshore wind HVDC contracts

Prysmian and Siemens have won contracts for the HelWin2 project linking offshore wind farms in the North Sea to mainland Germany.

Solar PV forecast brightens for 2011

IMS Research forecasts over 22 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity will added in 2011.

Canada’s renewable energy programme will not be renewed

The Canadian government has refused to commit new funding to a CAD$1.4 billion programme to fund renewable energy projects, according to Bloomberg.

Solar Frontier opens flagship solar panel factory

The 900 MW Kunitomi solar panel plant in Japan is now open for commercial operations.

Technip signs offshore MoU with Iberdrola

Technip has signed an offshore wind deal with Iberdrola at its new engineering centre in Aberdeen.

Fraunhofer develops compact charger for electric cars

Researchers at the Fraunhofer ISE have developed a new three-phase charger to be used in charging stations and in electric vehicles.

Gamesa posts €1,297m revenue for 1H 2011

The wind turbine manufacturer credits internationalisation and efficiency for increases in its income and revenue.

South Africa launches renewable energy programme

South Africa’s news 20-year plan calls for 42% of new energy generation capacity to come from renewable sources.

SunPower and Citi finance residential solar lease projects

SunPower and Citi have set up a US$105 million fund for residential solar leasing projects in 8 US states.

Veeco exits CIGS solar energy business

Veeco has announced it will end manufacture of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar systems as it posts Q2 2011 financial results.

Australian solar research gets AUS$3.5m boost

The grant will allow a team of researchers in Victoria to continue the development of plastic solar cells.

GM invests in solar power developer Sunlogics

General Motors Ventures has made a US$7.5 million equity investment into Sunlogics and signed commercial agreements with the solar developer.

Oxford Catalysts wins biofuel reactor order

A Fortune 500 company has placed an order for two full-scale FT microchannel reactors for a synthetic fuels plant in the US.

Vattenfall completes Ormonde offshore wind farm

The final wind turbine has been installed on Vattenfall’s offshore wind farm in Barrow off the coast of North-West England.

NextEra Energy posts rise in income

NextEra Energy Resources will continue to develop its wind energy portfolio as it announces its second quarter results.

German wind tunnel tests turbine components

The University of Stuttgart’s wind tunnel can test components of wind turbines for aerodynamic performance.

Iberdrola signs electric mobility agreement with Peugeot

The companies aim to improve the roll-out of electric mobility in Spain by promoting each others' products.

RWE pulls out of Siadar wave project

RWE npower renewables is no longer backing the planned 4 MW wave energy project based in Scotland.

Solaria enters UK market with 2.2 MW rooftop PV deal

Solaria says the UK is one of its strategic core growth markets because of high solar photovoltaic (PV) demand.