Top News

Two major projects in NSW ready to commence construction

Construction works are expected to start soon on two utility-scale solar PV project in New South Wales with a combined capacity of more than 460 MW, as confirmed by German-based Belectric, which will handle the EPC and O&M duties on both sites.
Manufacturing

Module prices continue to fall

The latest reports from analysts at PV InfoLink and EnergyTrend show prices continuing to fall, though at a slower rate than was seen immediately after China’s 31/5 announcements. High efficiency mono-PERC modules fell to around $0.32/W, while multicry...
Installations

ACCC recommends abolishing SRES by 2021

In a wide ranging report released on Tuesday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended scrapping the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) – which provides a sizeable capital subsidy to small scale rooftop PV. The ...
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Installations

More than 200,000 sub-100kW systems set to be installed in 2018

This year, more than 200,000 small-scale solar systems are set to be installed in Australia. The extraordinary expansion in rooftop solar deployment has been revealed in the latest figures from Green Energy Markets, which points to more than 1.4 GW of su...
Energy Storage

Redflow supplies $1.6 million Fiji order with Thai-produced batteries

Brisbane-based redox-flow supplier Redflow has begun shipping batteries from its new Thai manufacturing facility to Fiji, under a $1.6 million telecommunications supply deal. The batteries will be deployed by New Zealand’s Hitech Solutions to power Fij...
Markets & Policy

Q4 could be a ‘hot market’ for solar contract negotiations following China’s changes – BNEF Q&A

In a Q&A with Bloomberg NEF (BNEF), two solar analysts tell pv magazine they see no PV module price rebound, continuing oversupply, and falling utilization rates. They expect Q4 could be a “hot market” for contract negotiations, while Chinese dev...
Manufacturing

JA Solar secures $68 million loan for equipment at 1.5 GW Vietnam wafer fab

Chinese manufacturer, JA Solar has secured a long-term buyer credit loan facility worth US$68.4 million for the procurement of equipment for its 1.5 GW wafer facility in Vietnam.

Press Releases

Urgent Update on the NEG & Small-scale Solar – Webinar

The Energy debate is heating up and moving fast. Renewables are under attack.

Enhanced functionality for world-class energy management

Solare Datensysteme GmbH (SDS), manufacturer of the Solar-Log energy management system, successfully introduced a new product series with the Gateway Solar-Log 50. Its focus is on simple, cost-effective and secure monitoring of small plants.

Draft Rate of Return Guideline not in long-term customer interests 

Energy Networks Australia has warned a proposal to further slash rates of return for network businesses does not strike the right balance between lower costs to customers and sustainable business returns for investors.

Creating displays with richer colours

NUS researchers have developed a colour-enhancement film that could bring richer and more natural colours to next-generation flat-panel electronic displays.

Markets & Policy

Featured

Global solar investment drops due to low project costs, China policy change

While overall global investment in clean energy saw a decrease of just 1% YoY in the first half of 2018, solar’s share dropped 19% following changes to China’s PV policy and lower project costs, says Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). It forecasts this trend to continue throughout the year.

Nearly 2/3 of Americans support a solar mandate for new homes

A new poll by Morning Consult found surprisingly strong support for a California-style mandate across the political spectrum, although Liberals were more likely to favor the measure than Conservatives.

UK’s largest solar investor sets up shop in Victoria

Octopus, the largest investor in utility scale solar in the UK has established an office in Melbourne, saying the “fundamental shift from fossil fuels to renewables” in the “rapidly evolving [Australian] market is already underway.

Solar and battery hydrogen innovation hub to be built in Western Australia

Canadian-owned gas network operator ATCO is developing a micro grid at its Jandakot facility, which will use solar power to produce hydrogen fuel. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has committed $1.5 million to the project.

CEFC commits $35 million to smart meter technology

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has completed its first smart meter technology financing, backing the expansion of intelliHUB, a joint venture between private equity investment firm Pacific Equity Partners and smart meter manufacturer Landis+Gyr.

TrendForce: Price war may begin due to overcapacity

The Taiwanese analysts expect that overcapacity will force some solar players to abandon their business or file for bankruptcy. IHS Markit also sees further price declines and consolidation in the third quarter, although it does forecast signs of a speedy recovery.

Installations

Featured

Edge-of-grid farmers switch to solar and storage

Farms affected by power outages in the McKinlay Shire, north-western Queensland, can now go off grid - through a new solar+storage containerised solution from Germany’s Intech.

juwi on lookout to acquire utility-scale solar projects in Australia

The Australian arm of German project developer juwi is looking to acquire utility-scale solar PV projects in New South Wales and Victoria.

Solar projects in Latrobe Valley advancing Victoria’s PV plans

The Victorian state government is continuing to advance its solar agenda, with two programs in the Latrobe Valley targeting applications and job creation.

“Privately funded” 200 MW Solar River PV project gets development approval

A hugely-ambitious plan to develop a 200 MW PV array and 120 MWh battery system in South Australia has received development approval. The project developer, which is hosted by the University of Adelaide’s ThincLab accelerator, reports that the $450 million project is privately financed with a 60/40 merchant/PPA structure – a significant milestone for the market segment.

Construction underway on 350 MW of solar in Vietnam

Grimm Power and Xuan Cau began construction on two solar PV plants in the southern province of Tay Ninh.

Suntech announces panel supply deal for Australia projects

Former manufacturing giant establishes a foothold in the promising Australian market, and says it is in talks with developer Biosar about supplying further modules for projects in the nation.

Technology

Australian blockchain software to track EV carbon offsets in Silicon Valley

Perth-based blockchain startup Power Ledger has announced its first carbon credit project as part of its partnership with Chicago-based startup Clean Energy Blockchain Network and in collaboration with California’s municipal utility Silicon Valley Power. The company’s platform will manage credits generated by the use of solar energy in electric vehicle charging.

CSIRO calls on Australians to contribute to its energy use research

The national science agency has issued a call for “citizen scientists“ to help it understand the way households consume, generate and interact with energy. The data will be collected by means of the new CSIRO Energise app.

Momentum builds for perovskite tandems, 25%+ efficiency achieved

Researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Oxford PV have presented a new record perovskite tandem solar cell, with a 25.2% conversion efficiency, independently verified by Fraunhofer ISE. Bernd Stannowski, from HZB presented the results this week at the World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-7) in Hawaii.

Accolades flow as UNSW’s Green awarded Global Energy Prize

Pioneering UNSW solar researcher Martin Green has received wide recognition for his achievement as being selected as one of the winners of 2018 Global Energy Prize. The prize means Green will split $820,000 in prize money with the co-winner, to go towards his research and teaching, and resulted in a congratulatory call from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Long Read: UNSW’s Martin Green sets out solar’s accelerating technological development

Martin Green and his UNSW collaborators have driven a wide range of innovations within the Chinese and global PV manufacturing sector. Green, a Scientia Professor at UNSW and the Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics shares his take on PV technology in 2018.

EU startups focus on software for solar integration and operation

The 2018 Ecosummit Berlin, a EU cleantech startup platform, focussed on smart green energy and mobility. Of the 99 speakers, 69 were startups presenting innovative solutions to a changing energy economy, catering to the needs of end-customers, developers and utilities alike.

Manufacturing

Featured

SMA teams with Wilson Transformer Company, launches Australian central inverter solution

German inverter giant SMA has partnered with Melbourne’s Wilson Transformer Company (WTC) to develop a central inverter solution specifically for Australian utility scale projects. The new Power Skid will be assembled in Australia, with WTC providing the medium and low voltage switchgear – among other componentry.

The China effect: Decreasing PV utilization rates, serious oversupply and future strategies

Independent PV analyst, Corinne Lin discusses the fallout of China’s recent solar PV policy decision, including decreasing utilization rates and serious oversupply; and a focus on equipment upgrades, particularly for PERC, SE, half cut and bifiacial technologies. The industry will bounce back in 2019, she concludes.

PVInsight reports strong price drop for monocrystalline products

The latest figures from the Taiwanese analysts show that prices for monocrystalline solar PV products have fallen sharply in a week-on-week comparison. The price drop for wafer was even stronger.

Ambitious PV expansion plans for China’s Tongwei, Longi and Sunport still on track

Many expansion plans are still firmly afoot in the Chinese solar PV manufacturing industry, if the information pv magazine gathered from some of the country’s leading manufacturers at last week’s Smarter E event, are anything to go by. Indeed, Tongwei , Longi, Sunport and BYD are all progressing at full speed with their capacity ramp ups.

Enphase introduces new IQ 7 microinverters, almost 50% lighter than previous model

Enphase Energy has announced the release of the seventh generation of its microinverters to Australia and New Zealand. The IQ 7 and IQ 7+ replaces the S-Series. It is 47% lighter, offering easier handling on the roof.

“Stealing is not competition”: SolarEdge founder comments on IP claim

Following Monday’s announcement, pv magazine spoke to Lior Handelsman, of SolarEdge. The company VP is adamant Huawei has infringed the Israeli firm’s intellectual property, and says defending IP will see the PV industry grow.

Energy Storage

Featured

Distributed energy storage standards project launched

DNV GL, Deakin University, the CSIRO, and the Smart Energy Council have come together to collaborate on a two-year project to develop a new performance standard for distributed energy storage systems. The work behind the proposed Australian Battery Performance Standard is being funded $1.9 million from ARENA and the Victoria state government.

Panasonic mulls further investment in Tesla battery gigafactory as shortages loom

The suggestion of additional investments beyond the $1.6 billion follows reports of battery cell shortages as Tesla’s Model 3 picks up production. It is unknown what impacts this will have on Tesla’s stationary storage business.

Big storage goes metro: Tesla supplies 500 kWh to City of Sydney

The City of Sydney has installed the first large scale battery storage system to be located within the Sydney metropolitan are. Transgrid and the City collaborated on the project, which sees 500 kWh of batteries coupled with around 450 kWp of rooftop PV.

Reposit integrates smart home capability into platform

Canberra-based Reposit Power has introduced smart home automation to its solar, storage, monitoring and trading technology platform. The If This, Then That (IFTTT) web service that can switch on and off big electricity consumption devices like pool pumps and air conditioners, to maximise the utility of rooftop PV power.

Elon Musk’s unprecedented solar+storage vision for Puerto Rico moves forward

Puerto Rico is requesting ten 20 MW / 20 MWh batteries to be deployed strategically in the country’s power grid. The RFQ notes that sites should be upgradable to 40 MW / 160 MWh.

WA’s Granny Smith mine adds solar, storage under ‘as-a-service’ model

A 7.3 MW solar array and 2 MW/1 MWh battery will be added to the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region. The system will be provided by Aggreko and Younicos, under a ‘microgrid-as-a-service’ business model.

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