Monday, February 08, 2016

Heliatek Sets New Organic Photovoltaic World Record Efficiency of 13.2%

DRESDEN, GERMANY --(eSolarEnergyNews)--Heliatek R&D teams reached a record conversion efficiency of 13.2% for an OPV multi-junction cell, setting a new world record for the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity using organic photovoltaic cells. The measurement was independently confirmed by Fraunhofer CSP.

Thanks to the excellent low light and high temperature behavior of the organic semiconductor, the electricity generation of the newly developed cells corresponds to the output of conventional solar cells with 16 to 17% efficiency when both are under real world conditions.

This new result confirms the world-leading technology position of Heliatek as demonstrated by its continuous progress from 3% to more than 13% efficiency over the last 10 years. It also supports its roadmap towards 15% efficient organic solar cells. The result further validates Heliatek's unique technology approach of using vacuum deposition of small molecules on plastic films.

Dr. Martin Pfeiffer, CTO of Heliatek, says: "We are very proud of this new world record. This success is based on our chemical research for new organic absorber materials. Key to this success is the close cooperation of our physics and chemistry R&D teams, which leads to an optimal combination of the properties of this new solar cell design."

"I am delighted by this latest result," adds Thibaud Le S├ęguillon, CEO of Heliatek. "It validates our choice to internalize our R&D, both by developing new absorber molecules and optimizing the device architecture. This will provide the baseline for efficiency in our large-volume manufacturing line. With our HeliaFilm®, we are clearly executing our strategy to provide de-carbonized, de-centralized energy generation directly on buildings all over the world."

The world-record cell is a multi-junction cell combining three different absorbers. Each of them is dedicated to efficiently convert green-, red- or near-infrared light of the wavelength range between 450 and 950 nm into electricity. These absorber molecules have been developed and are patented by Heliatek.

The new record efficiency was measured at simulated AM 1.5 illumination and was confirmed by the Fraunhofer - Center for Silizium-Photovoltaik - CSP in Halle, a recognized center for independent verification of solar cell performance results under standard testing conditions.

Constellation and Henderson-Hopkins Complete Construction of 178-Kilowatt Solar Generation Project

BALTIMORE, MD--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Constellation and Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School (Henderson-Hopkins), a K-8 Baltimore City public school operated by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, today announced the completion of a 178-kilowatt (DC) solar generation project The project is the second and largest solar generation project to be unveiled at a Baltimore City school.

 “Henderson-Hopkins pursues the most contemporary, effective approaches to educating our students, so it is only fitting that we would take the same approach to powering our building,” said Katrina Foster, the school’s principal. “The new solar power system will help us share the importance of sustainability with our community and serve as an educational resource for our students to learn about renewable energy.”

The project required no upfront capital from Henderson-Hopkins. Constellation financed the project’s development and owns and operates the solar power system including the solar renewable energy credits. Henderson-Hopkins will receive the electricity generated by the solar panels through a 15-year power purchase agreement with Constellation.

“Renewable energy is a key part of our energy future, and this installation will help students to develop an understanding of how it is generated,” said Andy Frank, special adviser to the president on economic development for Johns Hopkins University and member of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. “Henderson-Hopkins will also see a significant, long-term reduction in expected energy costs.”

The project expands Constellation’s role as the No. 1 solar energy producer in Maryland. To date, the company has completed more than 60 megawatts of solar projects in the state.

“Constellation is committed to advancing renewable energy initiatives in Maryland, and particularly in our hometown of Baltimore,” said Gary Fromer, senior vice president of distributed energy for Constellation. “Through this collaborative project, we are helping to support Henderson-Hopkins’ commitment to the environment and manage its energy costs, as well as demonstrate the economic and educational opportunity that renewable energy provides.”

The project will offer real-time data monitoring capabilities that will be integrated into the school curriculum to help students learn how solar electricity works and about the benefits of renewable energy. Students will be able to observe how solar energy is used to deliver electricity to their school, and be introduced to potential careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.
Job trainees from the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training (MCVET) shadowed solar installers during the construction of the project and were provided an overview of career opportunities in the solar industry. Trainees interested in pursuing further solar job training were invited to enroll in the Civic Works Solar Job Training Program, which provides certification opportunities and pathways to paid internships.

The solar installation is composed of approximately 616 photovoltaic panels that cover approximately 10 percent of the building’s roof and provide shade to 29 parking spaces. The solar facility is expected to generate approximately 230,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of approximately 350,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions from 34 passenger vehicles annually, according to U.S. EPA data for the region.

Constellation currently owns and operates more than 250 megawatts of solar installations that have been completed or are under construction for commercial and government customers throughout the United States. These solar projects, combined with other forms of clean, on-site power supply such as biomass and co-generation, mean that Constellation has a total of 350 megawatts of distributed generation projects completed or under development for customers.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Legend Solar Achieves 400% Growth in 2015

ST. GEORGE, UT--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Legend Solar today announced its revenue and company milestones for 2015—growing revenue from $3.7 to $18.3 million, a more than 400 percent increase year over year. The St. George, Utah, company expanded to Northern Utah, serving all areas of the Wasatch Front. Legend Solar also achieved Master Dealer status with SunPower. The company is the fastest-growing partner for SunPower, offering optimal ROI, purchase options and installation speed.


Legend Solar attained Master Dealer status because of its excellent performance and high customer satisfaction ratings. This designation has been granted to only 20 other solar companies across the United States, with Legend Solar being the only Master Dealer located in Utah.

“Our growth for 2015 was beyond our expectations, and we expect huge growth in the future,” said Shaun Alldredge, co-founder and co-owner of Legend Solar. “Utahns and many homeowners and businesses in the Rocky Mountain area want to find ways to save money and help the environment, and solar power enables families and businesses to do both. With the tax incentives for solar power installation extended by Congress, we’ll continue to be on the forefront of the solar industry’s growth.”

In December, Congress extended an Incentive Tax Credit to businesses and homeowners that provides a 30 percent tax credit on the costs of solar installation. The credit was set to expire at the end of 2016 but has been extended to the end of 2019, giving individuals an extended opportunity to install solar power in their homes. The growth of the solar industry is expected to continue with the tax credit. In 2015, the U.S. solar industry employed more workers than the oil and gas industry, according to reports from the Department of Labor and the Solar Foundation.

Certified SunPower Master Dealers handle the entire solar energy purchasing process, which can include system design, installation, maintenance, permitting and rebate processing, as well as advice on flexible financing options. When compared to other leading solar companies in Utah, Legend Solar is ranked as one of the highest in customer satisfaction, according to SunPower’s dealer ratings.
Master Dealer status with SunPower gives Legend Solar first priority for equipment and solar panels, which can decrease installation times with Legend Solar to approximately 6-8 weeks. Many other companies may take as long as several months for installation.

Founded in St. George in 2010, Legend Solar has expanded across Utah, becoming a leading solar company in the state. Legend Solar is expanding to the greater Rocky Mountain area, with services expected to extend to Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho in the coming years.
“2016 is going to be another tremendous year,” said Shane Perkins, co-founder and co-owner of Legend Solar. “We plan to expand into numerous markets in the Rocky Mountain area, delivering the renowned Legend Solar experience throughout the region.”

For more information about Legend Solar, visit legendsolar.com or contact (877) 413-6412.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

PSEG Solar Source Acquires 25.9 MW Solar Project from Ecoplexus

NEWARK, N.J.--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- PSEG Solar Source today announced it has acquired a 25.9 MW-dc solar energy facility from Ecoplexus for an investment of more than $40 million. The facility, to be called the PSEG Meadows Solar Energy Center, is located in Martin County, North Carolina about 80 miles east of Raleigh.

The PSEG Meadows Solar Energy Center has a 15-year power purchase agreement with Virginia Electric and Power Company, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources. It sits on approximately 105 acres under a 35-year lease with a private landowner.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Canadian Solar Secures JPY4.7 billion Syndicated Loan from Mizuho Bank

GUELPH, ONTARIO, CANADA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Canadian Solar today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Canadian Solar Japan K.K. has entered into a syndicated loan agreement, pursuant to which Mizuho Bank, Ltd. ("Mizuho Bank"), acting as the Book-runner, has agreed to provide a total of JPY4.7 billion ($39.5 million) to Canadian Solar Japan K.K to support its working capital and business operations.

Mizuho Bank, together with Shoko Chukin Bank and Tokyo Star Bank, will provide this syndicated loan which has a 1 year term with an option for 1 year extension.

"We are delighted to partner with this leading group of lenders, which enables us to execute on our business strategy and capture the growing business opportunities in Japan," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. "This partnership once again demonstrates Canadian Solar's strength and recognition as the global tier-1 leader that is able to get local financing from large banks in Japan. We look forward to continuing the cooperation with Mizuho Bank."