Thursday, July 31, 2014

Suntech Launches 7.5 MW of Off-Grid Projects to Power Schools and Villages in Malaysia

WUXI, CHINA-- Wuxi Suntech, one of the world's largest manufacturers of PV modules, announced that it will provide PV panels for 7.5 MW of off-grid projects to power rural schools and villages in Malaysia.

The announcement falls under a government initiative, the Rural Solar Hybrid Electricity Project for Villages and Schools in the Interior, overseen by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development. The project was launched recently and is set to be completed in several phases and continue into 2017. The first phase will provide 960 kW to power three schools - SK Nanga Metah, SK Nanga Janan and SK Sungai Tunoh - as well as to 20 surrounding villages. The subsequent rollout of the project will reach a total of 7.5 MW of electricity to additional rural schools and villages.

The PV modules will form a micro-grid system set to provide 24 hour electricity to three schools and 20 surrounding villages. The system will consist of Suntech's high-efficiency, VDE Quality Tested modules.

"We have been working diligently with our partners Helios Photovoltaics and the Malaysian government for several years to launch this revolutionary project. We're using diesel generators and German battery packs to backup Suntech's best in class PV Modules in this system. Many locations in the region are only accessible via boat or helicopter and have previously been left to rely on diesel generation for power. These new micro-grid systems will help to significantly reduce diesel costs and cut 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, providing clean, reliable energy for the schools and villages in Sarawak. We are extremely proud of our work with Helios and the Malaysian Government that has enabled us to bring this project to fruition," said Samuel Zhang, sales director for APMEA & China at Suntech.

Thanks to its recent acquisition by Hong Kong-based Shunfeng Photovoltaics Ltd., Suntech has the best financial balance sheet within the solar industry and is pursuing a new business strategy that will make it the largest integrated clean energy provider globally. Suntech will provide one-stop access to the Shunfeng family of companies with capabilities in design, engineering, manufacturing, construction, finance, insurance, operation and maintenance, energy storage, solar products and applications.

Yingli Green Energy and AMB Energia Wytwarzanie Join Hands in Co-developing 30 MW Project Opportunities in Poland

BAODING, CHINA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--  Yingli Green Energy, the largest vertically integrated photovoltaic module manufacturer in the world, known as "Yingli Solar," today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy International AG, has entered into a strategic alliance with AMB Energia Wytwarzanie ("AMB Energia"), a subsidiary of AMB Energia S.A. to co-develop 30 MW of solar projects in Poland.

Within the framework of the agreement, AMB Energia as a local partner will fully develop the projects with the strongest support from Yingli throughout all project stages. Both parties intend to sell the turn-key projects to investors. The closure of this strategic partnership endorses once more the Company's strategy of identifying strong local partners in key regions of the world for project opportunities by at the same time consistently transforming from a pure module supplier into a provider for integrated solar energy solutions.

"In this strategic alliance, the partners will jointly work on co-developing a diversified project portfolio to be ready for inclusion into the auction system* in 2015. As a leading developer in Poland, AMB Energia will engage in all stages of the development phases of the solar PV projects. This partnership will furthermore enhance our strong position in the project business as well as in the Polish market," said Mr. Manuel Seiffe, Head of Project Business, Yingli Green Energy International AG.

"It is a great honor to cooperate with the world's leading PV manufacturer on the development, implementation and commissioning of projects. We believe that the investment in a pipeline of early-stage project opportunities will bear fruit as early as in 2015," said Mr. Przemyslaw Pieta, Chief Executive Officer of AMB Energia S.A.

* The auctions will be conducted separately for planned renewable installations below and above 1 MW with only ready-to-build projects allowed to participate.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Enphase Energy Partners With Technology Credit Corporation on Commercial Solar PV Financing Offering

PETALUMA, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)--Enphase Energy and Technology Credit Corporation, a privately held financial products and services firm, are working together to offer financing packages for installer-integrators and customers in the small to medium commercial solar photovoltaic market.

TCC has more than 300 commercial PV systems under finance, making it one of the largest providers of small commercial financing in the United States. The firm’s innovative financing approach, which incorporates leases and power purchase agreements that work to fast-track customer ownership of the system, has been especially successful among nonprofit customers.

“As a company that is rapidly growing its commercial solar business, Enphase actively seeks out financing partners that can help expedite the deployment of PV systems,” said Jeff Loebbaka, senior vice president of worldwide sales, marketing and customer support at Enphase. “Financing programs for the small to medium commercial market are especially challenging and traditionally underserved. TCC’s expertise in providing attractively priced, creatively structured financial packages to commercial installers and customers helps fill a gap in the market.”

“Enphase has an excellent reputation for superior quality solar systems and a progressive channel strategy,” said Mark Schmidt, vice president of business development at TCC. “We invest in productive solar assets and value increased lifetime energy output, lower operating costs and comprehensive monitoring capabilities of the Enphase systems. This partnership will allow integrators to get previously hard-to-finance commercial projects funded and completed. We have already started financing solar systems with Enphase and look forward to expanding this portfolio.”

One of the growing number of new solar customers benefiting from the Enphase-TCC partnership is Mental Health Kokua, a nonprofit health organization with facilities throughout Hawaii. Local contractor Dugied Construction reviewed proposals from several finance companies before agreeing to work with TCC because of the firm’s customer-centered business policies.

“By combining TCC’s specially tailored financing with the Enphase microinverter-based system, we were able to install 270 KW of PV arrays on 28 of Mental Health Kokua’s properties on four islands,” said Chantal Lonergan, president of Dugied Construction. “Many of the buildings had unique rooflines and challenging neighboring site shading issues, so by using Enphase and the different azimuth and roof pitches, we maximized the highest output for the systems throughout the year. Ultimately, the flexibility of the program with Enphase and TCC allowed us to bring a cash-positive solution to an important nonprofit organization in our community.”

For installers and other interested parties who want to learn more about how Enphase and TCC can help expedite the financing of small to medium commercial solar PV systems, click here for a complimentary webinar.

KYOCERA Solar Modules Tapped by Sierra Nevada to Power New Brewery in Mills River, NC

SCOTTSDALE, AR.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Nearly everyone enjoys a good beer now and again. A delicious beer sustainably brewed with renewable energy that pours down from the sun might make that happy hour indulgence even more enjoyable.

Kyocera Solar Inc. announced today that Sundance Power Systems Inc. has installed 650 kilowatts (DC) of high-quality Kyocera solar modules on Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s new Mills River, North Carolina brewery. The modules will help power the brewery’s energy-intensive processes, making Sierra Nevada beers brewed there arguably among the most environmentally friendly adult beverages available. A video of the rooftop array can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWjJsbNo7Ws.

“Kyocera has been a leader in the solar industry for nearly four decades, and is committed to helping commercial enterprises operate in a sustainable fashion,” said Steve Hill, president of Kyocera Solar Inc. “We ‘raise our glass’ to Sierra Nevada for utilizing the abundant power of the sun to brew its delicious beers, and stand ready to assist other companies in following these sustainable footsteps.”

With roots in Northern California, Sierra Nevada takes the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle” seriously, and is committed to operating an environmentally sustainable enterprise. The 2,030 Kyocera KD320 photovoltaic (PV) solar modules atop the new brewery’s packaging center and warehouse exemplify this philosophy.

“Integrating renewable energy into our Mills River facility was an important part of our project design," said Cheri Chastain, sustainability manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “Sundance Power Systems designed and installed our 650kW Kyocera solar system, which covers nearly two acres on our roof. We are looking forward to enjoying many years of renewable energy from this system.”

Over a year, the Kyocera PV modules are estimated to offset 588 metric tons of CO2, a carbon impact equal to removing 124 cars from the road according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Kyocera has powered the market’s most demanding solar applications for four decades — from residential rooftops to utility-scale PV plants ranking among the world’s largest. Craft brewers now see solar as a step toward economic independence as well as sustainability and simpler living. Other brewers using Kyocera modules include Central Waters Brewing Co. of Amherst, Wisc., and Pizza Port Brewing Co. of Carlsbad, Calif.

Sierra Nevada will host its first public event for its Mills River brewery on Sunday, August 3, 2014, from 1-6pm, when the company’s Beer Camp Across America, a seven-city touring festival, makes its grand finale in North Carolina. With more than 110 regional craft breweries pouring, attendees will sample artisanal varieties while enjoying live music and — like the Kyocera solar panels on the roof -- soaking up the summer sun.

REC Solar Expands Hotel Offerings with Bakersfield Hampton Inn Installation

BAKERSFIELD, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews)--REC Solar, a national leader in commercial solar electric system design and installation, today announced it has completed a 102 kilowatt array for The Hampton Inn & Suites Bakersfield North-Airport, a subsidiary of Hilton Hotels, in Bakersfield, California. The carport-mounted installation will offset 44 percent of the electricity costs for the 94-room hotel, saving up to $8,800 per month. The installation reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to accelerating solar deployment with hospitality customers.

“Solar never made sense for us in the past,” said Braxton Myers, Vice President of Operations for Blackstone Hospitality Group Inc, which provides property management for franchise hotels throughout the U.S. such as The Hampton Inn. “But REC Solar delivered a price point that convinced us to take another look. They walked us through a range of financing options and designed a tailored carport system which offered many benefits. REC Solar came highly recommended by their existing customers, and have delivered on that sterling reputation throughout this process.”

With temperatures regularly reaching 115 degrees, the Bakersfield hotel faces steep cooling costs. Because hotels must maintain comfortable temperatures for their guests at all times, they can be some of the largest consumers of natural resources in hot communities like Bakersfield.

The Hampton Inn had expressed concerns about installing a rooftop array that would require closing the top floor of rooms and forfeiting revenue. As a result, REC Solar worked with The Hampton Inn to design a solar carport that did not require disruption to existing operations. The carport not only generates clean electricity but will also provide much-needed shade for 30 parked cars. REC Solar utilized HelioScope software to design the system, reducing installation time and costs. In addition to the solar array, Hampton Inn installed two electric vehicle charging stations, with room for up to eight stations.

“Hotels can be ideal candidates for solar energy, but have traditionally faced roadblocks ranging from high costs to concerns around customer inconvenience,” said Mark Bettis, VP of Sales and Marketing for REC Solar. “REC specializes in tailoring systems specifically for the needs of these customers by cutting soft costs through our design software and building solar carports to avoid impact on customers. In addition to reducing costs, hotels are finding that sustainable initiatives such as solar energy and EV charging stations are becoming increasingly desirable amenities for their customers.”

The completion of both the solar array and the EV charging stations was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 30, 2014.