Top News

The Sunday read: Tracker market is adapting to bifacial module technology

While bifacial panels may capture up to 10% more light than monofacial panels, single-axis trackers typically add 25% to that bifacial gain, resulting in a roughly estimated 12.5% gain from the two technologies combined, compared with fixed installs using monofacial panels.
Markets & Policy

Yeah but nah: Aussie solar going gangbusters, but installed capacity not doubling in 2018

There is absolutely no doubting that the installation rate of solar PV, both rooftop and utility scale, is growing extremely quickly. An exciting development, yeah, but installed capacity isn’t likely to double in 2018.

Markets & Policy

IEA: changing policy, lack of competition failing Australian energy transition

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has delivered its latest detailed energy policy review to the Australian Federal Government. It points to changing policy at the Federal level as having failed Australia’s energy transition and consumers, and argues for the need for a framework to be put in place for 2030.

Energy Storage

Global storage growth of 4.6% in 2017 reflects patchy state of sector, finds BNEF

Despite hitting a record 1.17 GW of new grid-scale storage capacity in 2017, growth was a mere 4.6% on 2016 having surged 61% the year prior. Industry’s reliance on policy support means foundations for growth remain uneven, report finds. Average costs, however, fell by 24% last year.

Installations

Gullen Solar Farm kicks off co-location in NSW

The Australian Wind Alliances’s NSW regional coordinator, Charlie Prell, attended the launch of the new Gullen Solar Farm at Bannaby, just south of Crookwell in the Southern Tablelands of NSW.  

Installations

innogy to acquire two NSW projects worth 460 MW, open Australian subsidiary

Germany’s innogy is set to acquire the Limondale and Hilston utility scale solar projects in New South Wales from developer Overland Sun Farming. The two projects have a combined capacity of over 460 MW.

Installations

Equis Energy signs 22 year PPA for 127 MW Tailem Bend

South Australia’s Tailem Bend Solar Project has reached financial close, having signed a PPA for 100% of its output with Snowy Hydro. Construction on the project, located 100km south-east of Adelaide, will begin in February 2018.

Installations

Sunseap to partner with InfraCo Asia to develop 168 MW solar plant in Vietnam

The Singapore-headquartered renewable energy developer signs agreement to jointly develop large-scale solar farm in Vietnam’s Ninh Thuan province with InfraCo Asia Development Pte.

Markets & Policy

Featured

South Australia to host another big battery near Snowtown

With all eyes still on the world’s largest lithium-ion battery at the Hornsdale wind farm, South Australia now readies to raise the game with its first big battery built in conjunction with a solar farm.

Australia must not miss lithium chance

Issuing a call for action, a report commissioned by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies outlines Australia’s opportunity to expand along the estimated $2 trillion lithium chain in the next two years.

Fronius releases new generation of storage kits for Australian market

The Austrian inverter specialist is launching a new version of its Energy Package upgraded with storage units from LG Chem.

5 reasons your mine should invest in on-site renewables in 2018: Key lessons learned from the first 1 GW installed

Rocky Mountain Institute As of 2016, approximately 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity has been installed on mine sites globally, and current projections show that number reaching more than 1.4 GW in the next five years. What’s causing this shift in the mining industry? And does your company risk getting left behind? What can you do now to keep […]

Vic blackouts intensify energy debate

It is the blackout, and fallout, that many were anticipating. The heatwave and power outages yesterday and today in Melbourne has brought with it politicking over the cause.

Installations

Featured

China to achieve grid parity for solar in 2023, slow development of storage hinders RE adoption, survey shows

Examining the outlook for renewables, grid and infrastructure, and energy storage for the next five years and beyond, the Lloyd’s Register 2018 Technology Radar study asks the question: when will renewables become the dominant source of energy?

Carnegie to negotiate lease for 100 MW/20 MWh WA Goldfields solar+storage project

Carnegie Clean Energy has received approval to negotiate the lease for a 250ha site in the WA’s Eastern Goldfields, on which it hopes to develop a 100 MW solar and 20 MWh battery storage array. The Mungari Solar Farm would supply power to a region currently suffering from electricity supply constraints.

Wind giant Vestas taps solar, storage markets for hybridization drive

The Danish wind turbine producer to explore further development of hybrid renewable energy plants that combine wind, solar and battery storage at single location as wind growth rates ease in face of market consolidation.

Canberra CBD rooftops could host at least 46 MW of solar PV

Spatial analysis of solar potential shows that at least a third of the rooftops in the central business district of Canberra could host solar panels, thus saving on the land needed to provide a substantial proportion of city’s power needs with PV.

juwi Australia hires former FRV MD, sharpens utility scale focus

German-headquartered project developer juwi Australia is sharpening its focus towards developing utility scale PV projects, after having previously delivered hybrid projects such as its DeGrussa plant in Western Australia. To pursue the shift, the company has appointed Cameron Garnsworthy as managing director of juwi Renewable Energy Pty Ltd.

Technology

Featured

Cancer claims UNSW solar pioneer Stuart Wenham

The modern PV industry has lost one its pioneering researchers. The University of New South Wales’ Stuart Wenham died on Saturday December 23, after having being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in September. He was 61 years old.

Singaporean solar researchers reach 21.5% efficiency on MonoPoly cell technology, presents rival to PERC

The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) announced a new efficiency milestone, achieving 21.5% average cell efficiency for its fully screen printed bifacial silicon technology. According to SERIS, the milestone was achieved at pilot-scale production using commercially available wafers

ARENA awards $29.2 million to 20 solar R&D projects

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that it will award multiple Australian universities and research institutes with a total of $29.2 million to support early-stage research into new solar innovations.

CRC-P awards $8.34 million for three green projects

Under the Cooperative Research Center Program 4th Selection Round, the Australian Federal Government will extend a grant for a smart home energy management system. Other awarded green projects involve an energy storage technology alternative for lithium-ion batteries and innovative generation of low cost, zero-emission, reliable electricity.

ARENA grants $6 million to Greatcell to advance perovskites

A funding agreement has been signed between Australian solar cell producer Greatcell and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which pledged to allocate $6 million to underpin commercial development of perovskite solar cells.

Manufacturing

Featured

REC Group selects Meyer Burger’s SmartWire technology for Singapore fab

Switzerland’s Meyer Burger to deliver and install its SmartWire Connection Technology at REC Group’s production facility in Singapore at the start of Q2, company confirms.

Trina Solar chief scientist Pierre Verlinden announces retirement from firm

The decorated PV pioneer will step aside from his role as Trina Solar’s VP and chief scientist on February 12 in order to devote more time to his family life.

JinkoSolar confirms plans to invest $410 million in the US

The Chinese manufacturer confirms that it has authorized its U.S. subsidiary to finalize plans for the investment.

China’s Longi Solar confirms 1 GW Indian manufacturing facility

Longi Solar will set up a 1 GW solar PV manufacturing facility in India’s Andhra Pradesh. It will manufacture 500 MW of cells and 500 MW of modules, a spokesperson tells pv magazine. The facility is expected to be commissioned by Q1 2019 at the latest, and will seek to take advantage of India’s exemption from the recent U.S. solar tariffs, imposed by President Trump last week.

Jinergy steps forward as 6 MW Whyalla Solar Farm supplier

Chinese PV manufacturer Jinergy announced last week that it was the supplier of South Australia’s first utility scale PV array, the 6 MW Whyalla Solar Power Plant. The manufacturer shipped monocrystalline PERC modules for the project.

Energy Storage

Featured

South Australia, Tesla partner for $800 million virtual power plant

South Australia could play host to the world’s largest deployment of residential solar+storage in the form of a virtual power plant. The scheme, announced by SA Premier Jay Weatherill on the election campaign trail, could see 250 MW of rooftop PV and 650 MWh of battery storage added to 50,000 homes over 4.5 years.

Five questions for SA’s virtual power plant

The proposed 50,000 home virtual power plant launched by the South Australian state government, in partnership with Tesla, is a big deal. But it does beg a number of questions as to how it will be realized and what the implications of the project could be.

Tesla shows interest in Chilean lithium

The head of the Chilean Economic Development Agency (Corfo), Eduardo Bitran says that Tesla may partner with local lithium producer SQM in the construction of a factory. The Chilean government and SQM have recently settled a dispute that began in 2014.

Clean Energy Regulator: small-scale solar+storage installation rate doubled in 2017

The number of battery storage systems being installed alongside PV doubled in 2017. The latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that 3,763 battery storage systems were installed alongside a small-scale PV array, up from 1,566 in 2016.

Battery storage challenges: Materials, longevity and project management

An academic event held last week in the U.K. presenting the results of two major research projects on energy storage provided an update on the current and future directions of battery storage technology and development.

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Press Releases

Market-ready flywheel, redox flow and Power 2-X storage at Energy Storage Europe 2018

At Energy Storage Europe, exhibitors will for the first time present market-ready flywheel, redox flow and Power-2-X storage solutions under one roof. A further focus is on swarm storage concepts, which combine numerous decentralised storage units with each other and thus assume the functions of large storage facilities.

Sunverge Extends Advanced Virtual Power Plant Capabilities

Latest software release further optimizes local generation and offers greater demand response capabilities

REG Power Management Selects Greenbyte for Data Management

REG Power Management has selected Greenbyte’s modern software systems Breeze for wind farm management and Bright for solar PV plant management.

Two new 3-phase inverters from KACO new energy: blueplanet 3.0 TL3 and 4.0 TL3.

The well-known blueplanet inverters from Neckarsulm are now available with an output power starting at 3 kilowatts.