Top News

ACT offers $3 million to support residential storage

The Canberra Government announced on Friday that it has paid more than $3 million in grants to six companies. The money will support the roll out of storage installations in homes and businesses across the capital territory, in the form of rebates for customers buying energy storage systems.
Markets & Policy

China drags global clean energy investment to $333.5bn in 2017, finds BNEF

Despite approximate 25% fall in solar costs per MWh against 2015, last year saw more than $333 billion invested in clean energy, with global solar deployment figures topping 53 GW, finds new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.

Installations

2017: Australia installs over 1 GW of small-scale PV in record-breaking year

STC registrations reveal that 1.08 GW of residential PV and small-scale C&I solar was installed in 2017. The figure surpasses the previous record of 944 MW, which was achieved in 2012 when high feed-in tariffs drove demand.

Energy Storage

Northern Territory poised to host up to 45 MW battery storage

As part of an ambitious plan to replace its gas power fleet with large-scale battery storage, the Northern Territory government has invited expressions of interest for a 25 to 45 MW energy storage system intended to support the grid in Darwin and Katherine.

Energy Storage

Oceania Zayed school winner: “We need to do this for our country to have a future”

Motufoua Secondary School from the tiny Polynesian island nation of Tubalu was awarded the Oceania Zayed Future Energy Global High School prize. After accepting the award, one of the school’s students sent a clear message about the need to address climate change.

Markets & Policy

UNSW signs offsite solar PPA for 100% of its electricity needs

The source of series of pioneering PV technologies is set to become 100% solar powered. The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has announced the signing of a PPA that will see it procure all of its electricity from the 200 MW Sunraysia Solar Farm in rural New South Wales.

Markets & Policy

8th IRENA Assembly: Solar driving “fast moving” Asian renewable markets

All forms of renewable energy will be cost competitive with traditional generation sources by 2020. This was one of the key findings in the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It was delivered yesterday at IRENA’s 8th annual Assembly in Abu Dhabi.

Manufacturing

Risen Energy to start production at new 5 GW solar factory in China

Risen Energy Co. Ltd is gearing up to begin production at a new, 5 GW solar PV cell and module manufacturing facility in China. A spokesperson for the company tells pv magazine manufacturing will begin this January 17.

Markets & Policy

Soaring solar poses quandary for Synergy in WA

AEMO has revealed that soaring rooftop solar in Western Australia is presenting state-owned gentailer Synergy with a quandary, as PV meets expanding volumes of daytime electricity demand while economic hardship is causing record numbers of non-PV households to have their electricity cut off.

Legal threat to world’s first 100% solar train

The PV-powered Byron Bay Railway is facing a legal challenge, which threatens to shut down the 3km tourist train only six months after its opening.

From our U.S. editor: Renewable energy and information pollution

A recent article in Bloomberg View illustrates clearly the mythology and misinformation that abounds regarding renewable energy, which in many cases is spread by the media.

Surging WA power prices to feed PV demand

Fast increasing power prices in Western Australia are set to feed the already “buoyant” residential PV sector, leading suppliers are reporting. The WA government is winding back electricity subsidies in an attempt to repair the state’s budget.

CEFC steps up to finance 70 MW Oakey 2 project

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is continuing to foster utility scale PV growth in Queensland, providing $55 million in non-recourse project finance to the Oakey 2 Solar Farm. Canadian Solar will supply modules for the project and will also serve as EPC.

Installations

Featured

Australia approaching two million rooftop PV systems

Data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows that Australia is nearing two million installed rooftop PV systems, having reached 1,778,687 as of the beginning of December 2017.

Rapid large scale solar segment growth potential risk to quality

The rapid build out of a large pipeline of utility scale PV projects around Australia could stretch the experienced installation labour force, threatening quality. Solar industry veteran and the Managing Director of PI Berlin Lars Podlowski made the warning as the company expands into Australia through its acquisition of quality assurance provider SolarBuyer.

SA Water to install 100 kW floating array, announces $10 million solar, storage tender

South Australia’s water utility will install a trial floating PV array on its Happy Valley Reservoir. The 100 kW system will be installed in 2018 and is a part of the utility’s plans, announced today, to reduce its net electricity costs to zero by 2020.

Australia Post installs 2.1 MW at Sydney parcel facility

In what it claims is Australia’s largest single rootop PV array, Australia Post has added 2.1 MW of PV to its Sydney Parcel Facility in Chullora.

CEFC hits 1 GW milestone, provides $207 million debt finance to Wirsol projects

After agreeing to provide debt finance to two Wirsol projects with a combined capacity of 200 MW, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has achieved the milestone of having funded 1 GW of large scale solar projects. The two loans to Wirsol allow construction of the projects to get underway before PPAs have been signed.

Technology

Featured

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.

Australia’s carbon emissions target within reach at zero net cost

Given the current pace of installation of new wind and solar power facilities, Australia’s commitments to carbon reduction made at the COP21 climate conference in Paris can be met at zero net cost, shows a new study by Australian National University.

Manufacturing

Featured

Arcelormittal confirmed as buyer of Exosun

The French tracker maker will be integrated in the ArcelorMittal Projects division of the Luxembourg-based steel manufacturer.

JinkoSolar eyes tech progress as firm cements module leadership position for Q3

Tier-1 Chinese solar company trains sights on greater cost optimization and higher efficiencies with half-cell and bifacial technologies as it assesses capacity expansions for 2018 following a strong Q3 that saw the firm retain its shipment leadership position.

First Solar produces first S6 module, seals 800 MW of deals

The first modules have rolled off the line in Ohio as part of First Solar’s $1.4 billion dollar bet on its large-format Series 6. The company will also expand production in Vietnam.

APAC remains Enphase Energy’s hotspot, makes Indian market entry

Enphase has entered the Indian PV market, supplying 2,858 of its microinverters to a 1 MW commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop project nearby to the city of Bangalore. The rooftop project sprawls over six roofs of an agriculture product processing facility.

SMA rounds out 2017 with 1.2 GW of Australian power plant contracts

SMA is set to supply its central inverters and power plant controllers to more than 20 PV power plant projects in Australia. Today the inverter giant revealed that it has signed contracts to supply its Medium Voltage Power Station (MVPS) and the SMA Power Plant Controller to around 1.2 GW in projects.

Energy Storage

Featured

More big batteries on the way in 2018

Large-scale storage began to gain a lot of attention in 2017, particularly after Elon Musk’s famed ‘100 days’ tweet back in March. Now that this project has proved an initial success, it looks like more big batteries are on the way for the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Imeon Energy to open service center in Melbourne

The latest in a series of international players in the residential storage space, French hybrid inverter supplier Imeon Energy has announced plans to open a new service center in Melbourne, providing further evidence of Australia’s attractiveness in this market.

Grid-level battery storage in focus as summer heatwave approaches

With scorching summer temperatures set to hit major cities in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales this weekend, large scale battery storage has become a major focus of the electricity reliability debate. The Smart Energy Council’s John Grimes says that South Australia’s leadership has been key in to the shift.  

ABB to supply storage, microgrid to Woodside gas platform

Independent oil and gas producer Woodside will deploy a battery and microgrid solution on one of its offshore gas platforms. The system is planned to reduce the facility’s gas consumption for electricity supply and its O&M costs.

Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference highlights important role for Australian solar in the Pacific Islands

pv magazine Australia speaks to conference presenters on solar energy for development outcomes via academic-industry collaboration.

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Press Releases

SMA Reaches 10 GW of Installed Sunny Central Inverters in North America

While the new year is just beginning, SMA has already crossed a major milestone as it reached 10 GW of installed Sunny Central inverters in North America. This translates to approximately 10,000 inverters powering commercial and utility plants across the region, which can produce enough energy to electrify more than 2 million homes.

Fossil Free UNSW congratulates uni for solar power plan

Fossil Free UNSW, a staff and student campus group at the University of NSW, has congratulated the university and thousands of students and staff who have taken action for a #FossilFree UNSW, for its plan to become fully solar powered.

Eligibility of 10–100 kW solar PV systems under the Renewable Energy Target

The Renewable Energy Target legislation has been amended to clarify the eligibility of solar photovoltaic (solar PV) systems under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

New Global Commission to Examine Geopolitics of Energy Transformation

IRENA Commission to analyse how energy transformation driven by renewables will impact foreign policies and geopolitics.