Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rwanda to Unveil First Utility-Scale Solar PV Power Plant in East Africa

RWAMAGANA, Rwanda, -- (eSolarEnergyNews)-- The Government of Rwanda is preparing to commission in early August 2014 the first utility-scale solar PV power plant in East Africa with a production capacity of 8.5 MWp. The project has commenced testing phase of up to 20% of its total capacity.

At present, less than one in five households in Rwanda have access to electricity, and this will increase the country's production capacity by up to 8%.

Access to electricity is crucial for economic growth and development in Rwanda, and similarly in the rest of Africa. Schoolchildren need electricity so that they can do their homework, and electricity is essential for better health services, communications, and for growth of the private sector. To put it simply, without electricity there can be no development.

In early July, Rwanda's Minister of Infrastructure, Prof. Silas Lwakabamba led a high-level delegation which visited the Gigawatt Global Rwanda Ltd construction site, the utility-scale solar power plant located near Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwamagana District, eastern Rwanda.

"Generation and provision of electricity to all Rwandans is a priority for the Government of Rwanda. This initiative to produce 8.5 megawatts of clean energy is an important addition towards closing Rwanda's current energy gap," said the Minister at the site.

The Norwegian company Scatec Solar is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company responsible for building the power plant, and Remote Partners is the local management and support firm. The project has been funded by Norfund (Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries) and KLP.

The Dutch company Gigwatt Global is the developer of the project. Once the plant is on line, Scatec Solar will operate and maintain the plant which will feed electricity directly into the national grid.  The price is lower than for electricity generated by diesel oil.

The Government is encouraging private sector involvement and private-public partnerships as part of its development policy.  In addition, energy for all is an important goal in the fight against poverty. Energy must be affordable, energy supplies must be reliable, and last but not least, energy is ideally clean and renewable. Solar energy is an important part of the energy mix along with hydropower and other sources of renewable energy in Africa.

Yingli Green Energy to Supply 32 MWs of PV Modules to a Large Scale Project in Japan

BAODING, China and TOKYO, Japan, --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Yingli Green Energy,  the largest vertically integrated photovoltaic ("PV") module manufacturer in the world, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Japan Corporation, has signed an agreement to supply 32 MWs of multicrystalline PV modules to a large-scale project located in Okayama, Japan.

According to the agreement, the Company will deliver approximately 108,000 YGE 72 Cell Series modules for the project from January 2015 to December 2015. The project is financed by GE Energy Financial Services and developed by Pacifico Energy K.K., a utility-scale solar project developer based in Tokyo. This project is expected to generate 37,000,000 KwH of solar power annually.

"We are very delighted to see the successful implementation of the project, thanks to the efforts of all the parties involved. We believe that high quality modules are a key factor for the development of PV projects and Yingli Solar is absolutely the best choice for the project," commented Mr. Kazuomi Kaneto, President of Pacifico Energy K.K.

"We are pleased to cooperate with Pacifico Energy K.K for the first time, and hope that our first project together is the beginning of a strong and long-standing partnership," said Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. "Our customer base in Japan has quadrupled since the fourth quarter of 2013, thanks to our strong reputation for product quality in the Japanese market. We look forward to deepening our relationships with our Japanese partners as this important emerging market continues to expand."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Southern Nevada Water Authority Signs Power Purchase Agreement with SunEdison

BELMONT, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)--  SunEdison, a leading solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, today announced that it has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Southern Nevada Water Authority.  The power purchase agreement enables SNWA to lock in a significant portion of its energy costs at a fixed rate, providing an effective hedge against future increases. As part of the agreement, SunEdison will develop, construct, own and operate a 14 megawatt (MW) AC solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, located in Clark County, Nevada.

"This partnership with SunEdison expands our renewable energy portfolio to about 18 percent of our total power mix, and it provides additional stability to power costs, which ultimately benefits Southern Nevada's municipal water users," said John Entsminger, Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager. "When compared with traditional power production from fossil fuels, this solar facility will also save more than 100 million gallons of water and contribute to the sustainability of our community."

Water is used in a number of ways in fossil fuel based electricity production, including generating steam to turn turbines, helping to keep power plants cool, and flushing away the fuel residue after fossil fuels are burned. By contrast, solar PV power plants do not use water in the production of electricity.

"This project is a great example of how SunEdison can provide cost effective solar solutions to fit almost any location," said Bob Powell, President, North America at SunEdison. "This ground-mounted facility will be built around a transmission and pipeline infrastructure that is quite complex – if we can do it here, we can do it anywhere."

Construction of the facility will begin in early 2015 with commercial operation slated for later that year. Once operational, the solar power plant will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC), which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services. Data collected from the ROC is used to continuously improve the company's products, project designs and service offerings.

OneRoof Energy and Elevate Partner to Make Solar a "Digital Service"

SAN DIEGO, CA-- (eSolarEnergyNews)-- OneRoof Energy, Inc., a provider of comprehensive solar energy services, today announced the inclusion of its rooftop solar services and financing to Elevate's integrated digital services offering.  As one of the leading cloud-based, digital subscription service providers to residential customers in the country, Elevate has built longstanding relationships with customers in ideal solar services regions. This partnership will enable OneRoof to address a substantial customer base while providing Elevate with another popular anchor product.

"Elevate fits perfectly into our strategy of partnering with leading home service providers and lowering OneRoof Energy's customer acquisition costs," said David Field, president and chief executive officer, OneRoof Energy. "This new relationship gives us the opportunity to fulfill the rapidly growing demand for rooftop solar in California, while also making our software, SunOpps, the industry standard for making solar a digital service."

SunOpps is a cloud-enabled fulfillment platform that integrates with, and complements, the myriad of sales tools currently used by third party contractors, vendors, and sales organizations to increase customer satisfaction at every touch point of the engagement. At the heart of the software is SunOpps Intelligence, a calculation engine that analyzes geography, location, architecture, sun activity, product availability, and more to configure optimal product configurations and estimate accurate savings and pricing information.

"With this partnership, Elevate is now able to use the SunOpps solar software from OneRoof Energy to provide solar financing to our customers with the easiest-to-use solution in the business," said Wright Thurston, president and chief executive officer at Elevate. "OneRoof Energy's financial and installation expertise combined with the SunOpps technology platform will allow us to further expand the digital services we offer to our customers."

Stellar Solar to Power San Diego Harley-Davidson Project LiveWire Electric Motorcycle Event

SAN DIEGO, CA --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Stellar Solar, one of California's leading commercial and residential solar installers since 1998 is teaming up with San Diego Harley-Davidson to present the first-of-its-kind Project LiveWire Experience making its way across America offering test rides and engaging displays to the public. Harley-Davidson recently revealed Project LiveWire – the first Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle. In keeping with the company's customer-led product development approach, consumers across the country will be able to ride and provide feedback on the bike, helping to shape the future of Harley-Davidson's first-ever electric motorcycle. While not for sale, Project LiveWire is specifically designed for the purpose of getting insight into rider expectations of an electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Even those who don't ride are welcome to participate through the unique Jumpstart simulator that provides an experience very close to the real thing. Project LiveWire will be at the Morena Boulevard location Thursday, July 24 through Saturday, July 26. The main event is Saturday, July 26 from 12 – 4pm. All three days will feature complimentary solar powered food and beverages from the Stellar Solar Mobile Solar Station.

Stellar Solar is connected with San Diego Harley-Davidson through General Manager Ty Miller who had a Stellar Solar system installed on his home. "When we received word that San Diego Harley-Davidson was going to be one of the first locations on the tour, the Stellar Solar Mobile Solar Station immediately came to mind as a perfect fit to help power the event," Miller said. "Electric motorcycles and solar power complement each other nicely and we are happy to promote solar along side this innovative motorcycle."

Kent Harle, CEO of Stellar Solar and avid motorcycle enthusiast was thrilled by news of the event. "I've been riding motorcycles for a long time and the Project LiveWire is a unique and very impressive machine. I'd buy one today if they were on the market. I can't wait to test ride it. This is a perfect event for our Mobile Solar Station and we are proud to be associated with San Diego Harley-Davidson."