Industrial Solar

When speaking of versatile, what comes to our mind is something thin and elastic. Effectively, flexible solar panels are thin film in structure and since it is thin then they may be lightweight. These versatile panels are created of pliable materials, which tends to make them versatile.

These panels are newly engineered with reduced wattage and are environmental friendly with space efficient power answer. You are able to roll up for easy storage due to the fact it truly is versatile versatile portable sort of solar panel.

Versatile panels are much more practical. It has less material and is much less labor intensive. You are able to carry them anyplace. This kind of solar energy panel can charge your battery you wish to use or your basic necessities. Lengthy lasting, easy to make use of and economical in space.

These panels might be employed to power gadgets like:

– MP3 players
– Laptops
– Cell phone batteries
– Digital Cameras
– And actually yet another electronic device that demands charging. (more…)


This Tuesday will usher in one of the most important weeks of the year for the solar industry as Solar Power International (SPI)2011 lights up the Los Angeles Convention Center in for the first of three days. And when the convention commences, representatives from the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), the state electric utility APS, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) and leaders from several other Arizona cities will be there, working to highlight a number of statewide initiatives that have played a pivotal role in creating a solar manufacturing industry ripe with new, clean energy jobs throughout the desert state.

One such program sure to be discussed is the state’s Renewable Energy Tax Incentives Program that offers two main benefits to companies willing to open manufacturing plants in Arizona: a refundable income tax credit of up to 10 percent and a reduction on real and personal property taxes of up to 75 percent.

The program has already reeled in five new manufacturing centers in its first year, with two more set to open its doors this month. One will be a Suntech photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing center, and the other will be a Power-One inverter manufacturing plant.

Together, the new facilities have created hundreds of clean energy jobs and, according to officials deep within the Arizona solar industry like Bennett Curry of the ACA, have made Arizona a global solar energy leader in terms of installed capacity and manufacturing centers:

“We take our position as a global leader in solar energy seriously and we are aggressively working to retain and advance our leadership in this important growth industry.”

Other states have begun to take note of Arizona’s successful incentive plan to attract clean manufacturing facilities. Earlier this month, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed an executive order that eliminated the state’s personal property tax and real property tax for renewable energy facilities.

Strickland saw an immediate return, as the new order helped to convince two Spanish solar manufacturers to build plants in Ohio, where they’ll employ Ohioans to make panels for a 49.9-megawatt (MW) solar plant in the state’s southeast region. Arizona representatives will be at booth #3000 at SPI.

Source: Get Solar.

CANADA – The world’s largest solar energy facility, the 80-megawatt Sarnia photovoltaic project in Ontario, is now fully operational and is supplying energy to the Canadian province’s power grid, its owner and operator said on Monday.

Reuters reports that the project, located in southern Ontario, is expected to make enough energy from sunlight to power 12,800 homes, its owner Enbridge Inc ENB.TO and operator First Solar Inc said in a statement.

“Completing the world’s largest PV (photovoltaic) power plant demonstrates the migration of solar PV toward utility scale,” said Frank De Rosa, senior vice-president of North American project development at First Solar, the world’s biggest solar company by market value.

Enbridge, Canada’s biggest oil pipeline operator, will sell the power from the Sarnia facility to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20-year power purchase agreement. The agreement was awarded under the provincial government’s Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program.

In addition to its standard offer program, Ontario last year unveiled a green energy feed-in tariff (FIT), which offers rich incentives to renewable energy developers to set up shop in the province. The FIT program has lured a number of big-name companies including South Korea’s Samsung C&T(000830.KS: Quote) and Germany’s Siemens AG.

Enbridge, which has been much in the news recently because of pipeline leaks in the United States, has invested C$2 billion ($1.96 billion) in green energy assets in recent years and now also has interests in seven wind farms and a geothermal project, among others.

It bought the 20 MW Sarnia project from First Solar last year in an agreement in which First Solar remained as the project’s operator. The two companies then expanded the project’s capacity by 60 MW.

First Solar’s de Rosa said U.S.-based company expects to install 145 MW of solar power in North America this year, including this project. The Sarnia facility was built using First Solar’s thin film solar panels.

Source: The Bio Energy Site.

The world’s biggest crystalline module manufacturer, Suntech has officially opened its first module assembly plant in the U.S., just ahead of North America’s major solar energy exhibition, Solar Power International in Los Angeles, California. The 30MW plant, located in Goodyear, Arizona is assembling Suntech’s 280W Vd-series modules, used primarily for commercial and utility-scale applications rather than residential as they are compliant for procurement in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects. Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer presided over the grand opening ceremony.

Suntech said that is was preparing plans to expand the facility to 50MW early next year, due to strong interest and targets to reach up to 120MW of annual production capacity at the facility, based on demand. Suntech also reiterated its plans for research collaboration with Arizona State University.

“Our new U.S. manufacturing plant will provide a local platform to meet the burgeoning demand for solar products in the U.S. and Canadian markets, which we expect to exceed 1GW for the first time in 2010,” said Steven Chan, President of Suntech America. “This new facility represents yet another milestone of our ongoing investment in North America. Aside from our manufacturing facility, we already have more than 75 people on the ground in North America, a dealer network that includes close to 400 partners, and we are continuing to grow. In fact, we are growing so fast that in the third quarter of 2010 alone we shipped more than our total 2009 shipments to the North American market.”

The 117,000 square foot facility currently employs 75 people but with the planned expansion to 50MW, total workforce is expected to reach about 150 by the end of 2011.

“Solar jobs follow solar installations, and more than 60% of all industry jobs are created in sales, finance, and installation, in jobs that cannot be exported. On average, the solar industry employs about 15 to 30 people for every MW of installed solar capacity – 6 to 8 times more than the traditional energy industry,” noted Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s founder, chairman, and CEO, at the grand opening. “The governments that advance clear and consistent policies to diversify with clean energy will create thousands of green jobs while achieving energy security.”

Source: PV Tech.

Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use. Often, redeveloping such sites is hampered by real or perceived environmental contamination.
But a new partnership may change that. OPEL Solar, a supplier of high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar panels and advanced solar trackers and TRUENORTH Solar & Environmental, a designer and installer of high quality solar industry products, have teamed up to install utility-scale solar fields on brownfield sites across North America that have been deemed otherwise unusable.

One of the attractions of doing that is that blighted areas of land can be turned into renewable energy fields to meet growing demand, besides helping utilities to meet their clean energy mandates.

“It’s a way for both companies to give back to these communities, generate badly needed municipal revenues by generating green energy and help revitalize blighted and unusable urban land”, says OPEL Solar’s CEO, Leon M. Pierhal. OPEL will be providing its patented HCPV solar panels and industry-leading advanced tracker systems to the projects, besides a service package that includes land assessment, engineering, EPA assistance, remediation or mitigation of the land, installation, utility company cutover and funding or PPA (power purchase agreement) assistance.

TRUENORTH Solar will handle the land remediation and installation. “TRUENORTH principals see great potential for solar energy and its ability to bring renewable energy to communities throughout North America at a reasonable cost. At the same time we also see the untapped potential for using brownfields as a business development asset for creating clean energy sites,” says Roland J. Harris, a TRUENORTH principal.

The financial prospects in cleaning up brownfields are good. According to an estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), companies doing the clean-up can earn about $$6-8 billion annually as experts forecast that there may be as many as 4,000 brownfields in the United States, or roughly 30,000 football fields. Besides, Superfund sites and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act sites push the total to more than 14 million acres that could be redeveloped as renewable energy sites.

Besides, the companies believe that the interest in dead land rejuvenation grows, a broad spectrum of federal and state government grants, financing and investment incentives are available for redevelopment and remediation of these sites. Amongst official sources of funding are EPA, DOE, Department of Defense, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forestry Services, Bureau of Mines and the Bureau of Reclamation.

Source: Solar Feeds.

Colorado’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to date is slated for construction in Alamosa County and begin, if all goes according to plan, will be producing power by the beginning of 2011.

The Greater Sandhill Solar Project, as it is called, will be built by SunPower Corporation and have a generating capacity of 17 megawatts (MW) — enough to power roughly the equivalent of 6,700 average American homes for a full year. When completed, it could be the second largest solar PV plant in the United States, according to the Valley Courier, local newspaper in Alamosa County. That’s a title the project won’t enjoy for too long, however, as many larger projects are in the works in other states, like California.

The project’s origins go back to 2008, when Xcel Energy requested proposals for a PV plant in Colorado. SunPower’s proposal, apparently, was the most enticing. Then roughly two weeks ago the wheels really started turning. That’s when SunPower representatives held an open informational session with residents of the san Luis Valley to review the details of the plan. A public hearing between SunPower and Alamosa County commissioners is scheduled for mid-November, and construction should begin shortly after that. The plant is predicted to create roughly 50 new clean energy jobs in Colorado.

Another sign of progress came today, when Wilmington Trust announced it will serve as collateral agent for the Greater Sandhill Solar Project, meaning it will be responsible before the receipt, transfer, distribution and investment of funds pertaining to the project.

As noted above, Greater Sandhill may not hold claim to being Colorado’s largest farm for long. Iberdrola Renewables is already planning a PV project within the state that expected to have a 30-MW generating capacity. It will be built in two phases, and though Iberdrola is still seeking permits to build on public lands, it plans to begin construction next summer.

Source: Get Solar.

Google’s clean power ambitions are ramping up. The company has hired Philip Gleckman, former chief scientist at solar thermal startup eSolar, to work on solar tech internally for Google, Green Energy Reporter first reported, and we’ve confirmed with Google.

Google’s Parag Chokshi, who heads up Clean Energy Public Affairs, told me in an email that Gleckman “has a wealth of experience in this sector and his expertise will obviously add to our research and development work with RE<C.” RE<C is geek speak for Google’s renewable energy cheaper than coal project, which was launched back in late 2007 with the goal to spend “tens of millions of dollars on R&D,” and ultimately produce a “gigawatt of renewable energy capacity,” in years, not decades. Chokshi said the solar research is “proprietary and ongoing.”

Google’s Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl has mentioned Google’s internal efforts to build solar thermal mirrors before. Solar thermal technology works by using large mirrors and lenses to reflect the sun onto a liquid that is turned into steam and runs a steam turbine, producing electricity. Utilities in California and other sunny states like Arizona, have been working with third parties like eSolar and BrightSource to get large utility-scale solar thermal plants built in the deserts.

Weihl told Reuters a year ago that Google had started developing its own solar thermal mirrors because there has been a lack of industry innovation around the technology — basically if you want something done right, do it yourself (even if it’s utterly outside of your scope of business). Weihl said back then that Google is looking to cut the cost of developing the solar mirrors by at least a factor of 2 (but ideally a factor or 3 or 4) by using unusual materials. A Google spokesperson said at the time that Google had a “handful of dedicated full-time green engineers” working on green technologies as part of its RE<C project. Gleckman just climbed aboard that team.

Google has invested in both solar thermal companies eSolar and BrightSource, so is clearly trying to bring down the cost of solar in a variety of ways. This isn’t the first time that Google has decided to design hardware outside of its core competency. Google famously builds its own servers and data centers instead of contracting with third parties because the search engine giant says it can make them more efficiently.

Google also recently made a major move to buy clean power from a wind farm through its subsidiary Google Energy, which can buy and sell energy on the wholesale markets. I speculated in a longer article on GigaOM Pro (subscription required) that Google could buy the wind power potentially to one day use it to power data centers. On that note, Google could potentially build its own solar thermal farms with its own solar thermal tech to power its data centers. A stretch, but an idea.

Source: Gigaom.

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