Monday, November 16, 2015

Dominion Acquires Solar Energy Project on Virginia's Eastern Shore

RICHMOND, VA--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Dominion Energy, today announced the acquisition of an 80-megawatt solar facility in Virginia from project developer Community Energy, Inc.  Construction on one of the largest announced solar facilities in the mid-Atlantic region is expected to begin later in 2015. The facility would enter service in fall 2016.

Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East is located in Accomack County near Oak Hall, Va., on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The facility's construction was enabled through a long-term power purchase agreement with an affiliate of Amazon's cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS) ( Interconnection agreements have also been secured with Delmarva Power. An engineering, procurement and construction contract has been signed.

AWS has publicly shared its long-term goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure, with a milestone goal of achieving 40 percent renewable energy usage by the end of 2016. The power from Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East will enable AWS to increase renewable energy on the electrical grid that supplies both current and future AWS data centers.

This is the first project that has been approved under Virginia's permit-by-rule process for renewable energy projects with nameplate generating capacities of less than 100 megawatts. The statute streamlines the permitting process, allowing the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to issue bulk permits to construct and operate qualifying renewable energy projects.

"We look forward to expanding our relationship with Amazon as it seeks to increase the mix of renewable energy on the electric grid powering its data centers," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion. "This project also shows Dominion's commitment to building additional clean, renewable solar facilities in Virginia."

"This ground-breaking solar project in Virginia shows what can happen when you bring together a national energy leader like Dominion and a global web services provider like Amazon Web Services with forward-looking leaders in Accomack County and the Commonwealth of Virginia,"  said Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy, Inc., developer of the project.  "This is a model for a new solar industry in the region and nationally."

The project is expected to qualify for the federal Investment Tax Credit.

Dominion has 425 megawatts of solar generating capacity in operation or expected to enter service in 2015 in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Utah. Included in this portfolio is the 20-megawatt Maricopa West project in Kern County, Calif., that Dominion recently acquired from E.ON Solar. Construction is complete and the facility, which has a long-term power purchase agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric, is undergoing final testing before it becomes fully operational.

Dominion has agreed to sell a 33 percent partnership interest in that contracted solar portfolio to SunEdison, Inc. In addition, Dominion is also a 50-percent partner in two Utah projects totaling 530 megawatts. That joint venture is also with SunEdison, and the projects are expected to come online in 2016.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,400 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,490 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at

SolarWorld Solar Panels Enable U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Harness Renewable Energy

HILLSBORO, OR.--(eSolarEnergyNews)--SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for nearly 40 years, announced today that the company has supplied two projects totaling 2.6 megawatts-peak (MW) of American-made solar panels for facilities of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN) was the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the solar systems at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., and West Texas VA Health Center in Big Spring, Texas. San Francisco-based CivicSolar provided distribution services for the projects. The three companies are finalists in bidding on other VA installations. The projects in Kansas and Texas, each including parking canopy systems, were completed over recent months.

Today, Veterans Day, the three companies are proud to announce that they are helping to spur the agency’s build-out of its renewable-energy supplies. The VA has set its sights toward generating as much as 5 percent of its power supply from solar over the short term and 20 percent by 2020. All three companies value their roles in equipping the VA’s drive to meet its clean energy goals. In fact, EETN, founded by a veteran, has supported up to 20 jobs for veterans at its solar projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We honor and value our nation’s returning soldiers, and all they have done for us,” said Ardes Johnson, U.S. vice president for sales of SolarWorld Americas Inc. and a former naval officer. “We know that solar can reduce the amount of fuel and fuel convoys in theater and therefore save lives as well as curb our needs for foreign fossil fuels. We also embrace the skills, leadership and training of our military men and women as potential employees working to advance this American-pioneered high-tech manufacturing industry.”

Efficient Energy of Tennessee was established in 2009 in Powell, Tenn., by Robbie Thomas, a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force.

“As a veteran, I fully understand how expanding renewable energy supports our national defense and energy security,” Thomas said. “Efficient Energy of Tennessee is proud to support veterans in the solar energy workforce because they bring an unparalleled skill set and unyielding focus to accomplish the mission.”

CivicSolar said it was honored to supply these flagship VA projects with high-quality, made-in-the-USA products that comply with federal Buy American Act requirements. CivicSolar’s ability to support and supply multiple solar projects exceeding 1 MW enabled the company to contribute significant value to the projects.

“Being able to supply multiple sites with BAA product in a timely fashion allowed EETN and CivicSolar to support the VA nationwide,” said Stuart Rentz, CEO of CivicSolar.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

SkyPower Announces 500 MW of Solar Energy Projects in Panama

NEW YORK, NY --(eSolarEnergyNews)--During the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, SkyPower, the world's largest developer and owner of utility-scale solar projects, made a historic announcement with President Juan Carlos Varela, unveiling its plans to build 500 MW of utility-scale solar energy over the next five years in Panama, representing an investment of US $1 billion.

In addition to building 500 MW of solar projects in Panama, SkyPower will also construct a US $50 million world-class solar and environmental research centre in Panama dedicated to the advancement of solar photovoltaic (PV) innovation as well as advanced research and innovation in environmental sciences.

To be built in affiliation with several leading universities and research institutions, this research facility will clearly distinguish Panama as the definitive hub for new solar technologies and innovation in Central America, and is expected to generate significant licensing revenues for Panama.

Furthermore, SkyPower is proud to announce it will fund 250 scholarships for Panamanian students who are studying in the fields of solar technology and environmental sustainability, through an annual grant of 10 scholarships per year for each of the 25 years its solar projects are generating clean energy. This investment in the future of Panamanian students will begin with the first kWh of energy that SkyPower's solar-energy projects will generate in Panama.

SkyPower is proud of its commitment to sustainability and educating youth, and has made a landmark commitment to sponsor a school for each megawatt it installs on Panamanian soil.

"SkyPower invests in countries that uphold environmental sustainability and preservation while advancing their economies and industries. The future of Panama looks bright, as the leadership of Panama is clearly focused on the need for clean renewable energy and has embraced solar as a cost-effective means of addressing Panama's energy needs today, and as a critical part of its generation mix for its bright future," said Kerry Adler, SkyPower President and Chief Executive Officer.

"We welcome the announcement from SkyPower and look forward to working together to bring US investment dollars for clean energy and green jobs to Panama," said Emanuel Gonzalez-Revilla, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the United States.

"SkyPower's estimated US $1 billion investment is expected to create more than 10,000 total job years in Panama, and create opportunity to export solar panels proudly made in Panama," added SkyPower Chief Commercial Officer Charles Cohen.

SkyPower has a long history of working closely with local communities to produce hundreds of millions of kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean electricity every year, while ensuring that those closest to the developments reap the rewards of new jobs, education, skills training and opportunities for youth.

Enphase Energy Unveils Its Home Energy Solution in Australia and New Zealand

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company, today announced that Australia and New Zealand are the first markets worldwide to receive the Enphase® Home Energy Solution, an integrated solution combining solar generation, energy control, and energy storage. The award-winning Enphase technology is an advanced energy solution that delivers a high return on investment and greater reliability to the system owner.
“The dynamics of the residential solar markets in Australia and New Zealand make it one of the most storage-ready regions in the world,” said Paul Nahi, president and CEO of Enphase. “Homeowners in Australia and New Zealand want total control of their home’s energy because of the combination of electricity rates, high solar penetration, and declining feed-in tariffs. The Enphase Home Energy Solution fits these needs with compelling economics and sets the stage for the evolving energy market.”

Seventy-eight percent of existing Enphase system owners in Australia and New Zealand have indicated a strong interest in receiving the Enphase Home Energy Solution. Enphase will roll out the components of the Enphase Home Energy Solution in these regions starting in December 2015, with the Enphase AC Battery™ to be available in Q2 2016. The key components of the Enphase Home Energy Solution include:

Saturday, October 03, 2015

SolarCity Builds World's Most Efficient Rooftop Solar Panel

SAN MATEO, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- SolarCity  has built the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel, with a module efficiency exceeding 22 percent.  The new SolarCity panel generates more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere.

SolarCity will begin producing the first modules in small quantities this month at its 100 MW pilot facility, but the majority of the new solar panels will ultimately be produced at SolarCity's 1 GW facility in Buffalo, New York. SolarCity expects to be producing between 9,000 - 10,000 solar panels each day with similar efficiency when the Buffalo facility reaches full capacity.

SolarCity's panel was measured with 22.04 percent module-level efficiency by Renewable Energy Test Center, a third-party certification testing provider for photovoltaic and renewable energy products. SolarCity's new panel—created via a proprietary process that significantly reduces the manufacturing cost relative to other high-efficiency technologies—is the same size as standard efficiency solar panels, but produces 30-40 percent more power. SolarCity's panel also performs better than other modules in high temperatures, which allows it to produce even more energy on an annual basis than other solar panels of comparable size.

SolarCity initially expects to install the new, record-setting solar panel on rooftops and carports for homes, businesses, schools and other organizations, but it will also be excellent for utility-scale solar fields and other large-scale, ground level installations.