Thursday, 8 July 2010

Conditional Federal Loan Guarantees For Abengoa Solar

President Obama has announced in his weekly video address that DOE has offered a conditional commitment for a $1.45 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar, Inc. The loan will support the construction and start-up of Solana, a 250 net megawatt (MW) concentrating solar power (CSP) plant in Arizona.

"After years of watching companies build things and create jobs overseas, it's good news that we've attracted a company to our shores to build a plant and create jobs here in America," said President Obama.

Solana will include six hours of molten salt thermal energy storage capability, which will allow energy to be dispatched as needed during cloudy periods and after sunset. With this capability, Solana will be able to generate electricity well into the evening to help meet the summer peak demand.

The plant will be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona. Solana will produce enough energy to serve 70,000 households and will prevent the emission of 475,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to a natural gas burning power plant.

DOE's Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program was created to support the deployment of innovative clean energy technologies pursuant to Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Title XVII).

Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was amended by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to create Section 1705, a new program for the deployment of renewable energy and electric power transmission projects. Solana is eligible for a loan guarantee under both sections of Title XVII.

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, said that "this conditional guarantee could allow us to start construction of Solana this year. I want to recognize the leadership and effort of the DOE in making Solana possible through this guarantee."

Mr. Seage also added that Solana is in a very advanced stage of development and permitting, having received most of its authorizations from local, county, and state authorities. Recently, DOE conducted an Environmental Assessment study and issued a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the project.

"What the project needs now is for Maricopa County and the state to continue their support and work expeditiously on the last remaining permits needed for construction to begin," said Abengoa Solar's Seage.

The construction and operation of Solana will bring many economic and environmental benefits to Arizona and will support the nation's goals for energy independence through a "green" economy. The plant will create significant tax income for local communities and the state over the life of the project.

Abengoa Solar's Arizona Vice President Kate Maracas stated that "the building of Solana will also create between 1,600-1,700 new construction jobs, and operation of the plant will add another 85 permanent jobs. These construction and operating jobs will create a few thousand additional indirect jobs.

Taken together, 98% of the jobs created by Solana will be American jobs - primarily from Arizona, and a smaller portion from neighboring states."

Abengoa Solar signed a power purchase agreement with APS, the state's largest electric utility, to sell the energy produced by Solana for a period of 30 years. "APS has demonstrated a strong commitment to solar energy and has shown leadership in moving solar energy toward the mainstream," said Maracas.

Abengoa Solar has made it a priority to utilize U.S.-made components wherever possible for the Solana plant. More than 75% of the equipment and supplies required to build Solana will be manufactured in the U.S. These include steam generators, heat exchangers, power equipment, glass, steel, concrete and other construction materials.

As a direct consequence of the construction of Solana, a mirror manufacturing factory will be built in Surprise, Arizona. The mirror factory will employ almost 180 people, adding to the number of direct jobs created by Solana. This new facility will provide Arizona with the foundation upon which to expand its solar energy technology manufacturing capabilities and to support future CSP projects.

From an environmental perspective, Solana will provide Arizonans with clean, pollution-free and greenhouse gas free energy while, at the same time reducing Arizona's need for fossil fuel based generation facilities, eliminating the emission of nearly a half-million tons of carbon dioxide per year.

These reductions will contribute to state goals for renewable energy deployment as well as national targets for climate change abatement.

In late 2009 Abengoa Solar signed a power purchase agreement in California to supply electricity generated by a 250 MW CSP trough plant located in the Mojave Desert, 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The company also has several projects under development in the Southwest.

Abengoa Solar is currently building 350 MW of solar plants worldwide, and with an additional 142 MW already operating, it is the only company worldwide building and operating both trough and power tower CSP plants. The Solana plant will be Abengoa Solar's tenth CSP plant worldwide.

Source - Solar Daily

Solar Powered Agriculture Pump System

The Power-Save Energy Company has announced a contract from California Power-Save to supply a complete photovoltaic solar system for installation on an Agriculture Water Pump System in Shasta County California.

Power-Save Energy Co. will supply all the solar equipment and CA Power-Save will be installing this 32.725 kW solar array. This specific contract is worth $194,423.00.

This project is significant to Power-Save Energy Co. in that it furthers the company's pursuit of larger commercial projects. This agriculture installation has been funded through an agricultural grant of $48,500.00, a Pacific Gas and Electric rebate of $26,000.00, and a Federal Tax Grant o\f $55,000.00.

The customer will save approximately $10,000.00 per year in electrical costs to pump water and have a ROI of approximately 7 years.

Chris Frye, Owner of CA Power-Save, stated, "This is a fantastic opportunity for CA Power-Save to design, engineer and install a solar array for agricultural purposes. This represents yet another example of how implementation of renewable energy can increase profits for businesses across America when adequate financing and incentives are in place.

Michael Forster, Power-Save Energy Company CEO also stated, "We will certainly take this system, and the way it was funded and market aggressively to farmers across America. This solar system combined with creative applications for funding makes so much sense for the Agricultural Community that we at Power-Save feel very strongly that this may become another growth aspect of the solar business."

Source - Solar Daily

Solar-powered plane lands safely after 26-hour flight

An experimental solar-powered aircraft launched on Wednesday has landed safely in Switzerland after successfully flying through the night.

The feat is a step toward the makers' aim of circling the globe using the power of the Sun to fuel the plane.

The aircraft used super-efficient solar cells and batteries to stay in the air after the Sun's rays had faded.

The plane touched down at an airfield about 30 miles (50 km) from the Swiss capital Bern at 0900 (0700 GMT).

The plane landed at Payerne airport after a total flight time of 26 hours.

During the flight it reached a height of 8,700 m (28,543 ft).

Assistants rushed to stabilise the experimental aircraft as it touched down, ensuring that its huge 63m (207ft) wingspan did not scrape the ground and topple the plane.

It is the longest and highest flight recorded by a solar-powered plane.

The four-engine aircraft was steered by Andre Borschberg, a former fighter jet pilot from Switzerland.

The plane has 12,000 solar cells arranged on its wingspan which collected enough energy to power the plane for the flight.
'Perpetual flight'

Previous flights of Solar Impulse have included a brief "flea hop" and a longer airborne test earlier this year. But this week's attempt was described as a "milestone" by the team.

The designers, the Solar Impulse team led by Mr Borschberg and fellow aviator Bertrand Piccard, say that this proves that a plane can be kept in the air around the clock.
Continue reading the main story

Nothing can prevent us from another day and night, and the myth of perpetual flight

"It's the first time ever that a [manned] solar airplane has flown through the night," Mr Piccard told journalists.

"That was the moment that proved the mission was successful, we made it."

The plane emerged from the darkness of night with three hours power remaining in its batteries, more than had been expected.

"Nothing can prevent us from another day and night, and the myth of perpetual flight."

The team will now build a new, more advanced, model of the plane.

They aim to circumnavigate the globe by 2013.

Source - The BBC

Monday, 5 July 2010

London, United Kingdom: British Gas to Give Free Solar Panels to British Schools

British Gas is to make £15 million available for investment in solar technology for the nation's schools. The company will donate and install solar panels - worth between 20,000 and 40,000 pounds per school - in up to 750 schools. Each school will be able to generate its own free, green electricity, cutting as much as 20% off its annual electricity bill.

The energy produced by the panels is anticipated to create around 1.3m pounds per year for the next 25 years. This will be reinvested in installing solar panels on yet more schools. This means that, in the next five years alone, British Gas could install free solar panels on a total of 1,100 schools. The panels will also help the selected schools to meet their carbon reduction targets, reducing emissions by up to 1,400 tonnes per year, equivalent to taking almost 400 cars off the road.

The schools receiving solar panels will receive a British Gas smart meter, offering real time information so pupils can see the difference their solar panels are making. Specially created Generation Green lesson plans will help teachers engage their pupils in learning about renewable energy, and schools will be able to track their performance against others and share tips and advice via a specially designed website.

All schools in the UK can register for an application form at British Gas has already earmarked half of the total investment to ensure that schools in low income areas benefit from the initiative, and intends to deliver the technology to these schools in conjunction with the Government's Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).

Phil Bentley, Managing Director, British Gas, said: "This is the biggest investment of its kind in solar technology for our nation's schools, which will help them cut both their carbon emissions and their electricity bills - as well as learn about renewable energy in a hands-on way.

"The electricity generated by these schools will help pay for the scheme to be extended to even more schools throughout the country, which is great news for school leaders, parents and pupils who are all looking for ways to save money during these tough economic times."

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "This is a very generous offer and I'm sure many schools will feel they can benefit from solar panels. Cutting down on energy costs and reducing carbon emissions are absolutely the right thing to do. It's a valuable lesson for pupils that we can all help to use energy sparingly, and where possible, generate it from sustainable or renewable resources."

Based on a formula created by the University of Bath's Centre for Research in Education and the Environment to measure the impact that teachers can have beyond the classroom, up to 1.8 million parents and family members could learn about renewable energy as a result of the initiative.

Source - British Gas

Obama announces $2billion of Government solar funding

US president Barack Obama used his Independence Day holiday address to announce nearly $2billion worth of funding for the solar industry.

The funding from, the Department of Energy's Recovery Act, will go to two solar companies.

The furst, Abengoa Solar, has agreed to build, what Mr Obama says will be 'one of the largest' solar plants in the world in Arizona, which will also create about 1,600 construction jobs.

Once completed, the Arizona plant will be the first large-scale solar plant in the US to actually store the energy it generates for later use - even at night, and it will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power 70,000 homes.

The second firm Abound Solar Manufacturing is building two new plants, one in
Colorado and a second in Indiana - in what's currently an empty Chrysler factory.

When fully operational, these plants will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year.

Mr Obama said: "After years of watching companies build things and create jobs overseas, it's good news that we've attracted a company to our shores to build a plant and create jobs right here in America.

"I've seen once-shuttered factories humming with new workers who are building solar panels and wind turbines; rolling up their sleeves to help America win the race for the clean energy economy.

"So that's some of what we're doing, but the truth is, steps like these won't replace all the jobs we've lost overnight.

"I know folks are struggling. I know this Fourth of July weekend finds many Americans wishing things were a bit easier right now. I do too."

Source - Edie

Solar power could create fuel for cars

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could soon be used to create fuel to drive the word's cars and trucks, a U.S. researcher says.

Solar-powered technology could be used to "photosynthesize" hydrocarbon fuels that present-day vehicles could run on without major modifications, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Solar reactors can take carbon dioxide and turn it into carbon monoxide and can also turn water into hydrogen
and oxygen.

The results can react with a catalyst to form hydrocarbon fuels, in a technique known as the Fischer-Tropsch process.

Tests have been conducted with solar reactors in New Mexico and Zurich, Switzerland.

Using solar energy to create usable fuel is a possible way to satisfy the world's energy demands while minimizing carbon emissions, Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution told Britain's New Scientist magazine.

"This area holds out the promise for technologies that can produce large amounts of carbon-neutral power at affordable prices, which can be used where and when that power is needed," he said.

Source - Solar Daily

A Sunny Legacy In Africa

Yingli Green Energy
Holding Company Limited has announced that it will provide its expertise in solar energy to power "20 Centres for 2010", the official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

This campaign is part of the Football for Hope movement, which is using the power of the game for positive social change. It is led by FIFA, world's football governing body, and streetfootballworld, a social profit organisation that links relevant actors in the field of development through football, and their affiliates such as Yingli Green Energy.

Yingli Green Energy will actively support the campaign by providing solar power to training centres across Africa. Yingli Solar calls this "Football for Hope. Energy for Hope."

The company will supply the centres with solar installations that will, for instance, power pitch lighting, computers or study rooms in those centres. Of the 20 centres, five are being built in South Africa and 15 in other African countries. The first six centres to be built are located in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Mali, Namibia and Ghana.

"The FIFA World Cup offers an ideal opportunity for Yingli Solar to be involved with Football for Hope and to support the '20 Centres for 2010' project with highly desired solar power," Liansheng Miao, chairman and chief executive officer of Yingli Green Energy, commented.

"Social responsibility is an important pillar of Yingli Green Energy's core values. We are engaged in a variety of community-focused projects around the world - aiming to make solar power a sustainable and cost-effective energy for the world."

Federico Addiechi, FIFA's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, said: "We are extremely pleased that Yingli Solar is not only a sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but also a strong supporter of the Football for Hope movement and, in particular, of '20 Centres for 2010' by offering its expertise in renewable energy. We want to commend Yingli Solar on their commitment to helping us build a better future, which is a fundamental pillar of our organisation. This is truly the beginning of a sunny legacy in Africa."

Source - solar daily