November 16, 2010 – Vol.15 No.35
SEVEN DAYS OF SOLAR 11-7-10. Large solar projects in the U.S. for the week of November 7, 2010.
by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News
New and potential solar capacity for the United States continues to be substantial. With the new capacity jobs are being created.
It’s true that some of the solar equipment being installed is, unfortunately, not made in the U.S. Still U.S. workers are involved with every stage of solar projects from the initial planning to commissioning through the daily operation of a solar plant.
This combined effort of imported components and U.S. labor will continue.
GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited and Wells Fargo have announced a joint program through which Wells Fargo will invest over $100 million by the end of 2011 to fund the development of solar photovoltaic power projects throughout the U.S. by GCL-Poly subsidiary GCL Solar Energy Inc.
GCL Solar Energy, founded in 2009 and based in San Francisco, California, builds, owns, and operates solar photovoltaic power plants. Its parent company GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited is China’s largest polysilicon producer, one of the world's leading solar semiconductor wafer suppliers.
Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. The bank has has provided more than $2 billion in tax equity financing for renewable energy projects since 2006. That includes funding for 30 wind projects, more than 190 commercial-scale solar projects and 1 utility-scale solar thermal project.
With the financing GCL Solar will build and operate solar power plants, and its customers will purchase the electricity under long-term power purchase agreements at rates equal to or lower than traditional utility rates.
During the week beginning November 7, 2010 this publication received announcements for more than 330 megawatts of large scale solar capacity as being completed, under construction, or in the development pipeline in the U.S.
A note on the above number: New capacity listed under “Completed” are obviously delivering new clean power. Those listed as “Under construction” are likely to eventually be delivering new clean power, but anything can happen and a project can be halted at any time. Those listed as “In the development pipeline” can be iffy. Developers would like to see them built, of course, but again anything can happen to stop the project.
--- Ameresco and the City of Englewood, Colorado have partnered on a combined solar and energy conservation project. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have been installed on four City-owned sites and are expected to generate 300,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually, which represents about 4% of the city buildings’ usage post energy efficiency retrofits. (Ameresco hasn’t supplied solar system capacity data for this project.)
The energy conservation component of the partnership includes the replacement and/or retrofitting of HVAC equipment, hot water pumps, and lighting as well as the installation of “smart” building control systems.
--- Prudential Financial has installed solar panels on its office building in Scottsdale, Arizona and in the two buildings of its Roseland, New Jersey office complex.
The 2,678 panels installed in the Roseland buildings will generate approximately 3 percent of the power use in that office campus, with a peak power output of 500 kilowatt hours. The solar project in Scottsdale is the largest solar photovoltaic system on a commercial office building in Arizona. It involved installing 4,508 panels that generate approximately 30 percent of the building’s power use, with a peak output of 885 kilowatt hours.
The solar panel installation project in Scottsdale also included construction of a covered employee parking facility and the addition of several car charging stations.
Prudential Financial http://www.prudential.com
--- USFloors has commissioned its third solar photovoltaic (PV) project intended to supply half the company’s energy needs. This installation of 365.04 kW is the largest solar array in Georgia, eclipsing the record once held by the Georgia Tech Natatorium, installed for the 1996 Olympics. The three installations combined equal 540 kW.
Alpharetta-based United Renewable Energy installed 1521 Suniva solar panels and an SMA Sunny Central Inverter for this American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Grant funded project . USFloors is producing enough solar energy to power 54 average American homes, offsetting 11,400 tons of CO2 and nearly 23 million vehicle miles.
--- Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN) is building a 1 MW solar system at the American Drive Business Center, in Jackson, Tennessee. The total project includes a one megawatt (MW) solar power system, plus a 47 kilowatt (kW) solar installation. The clean, emissions-free power from the 1 MW solar array will go onto the Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) grid where it will be purchased by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The energy produced from this solar array is enough to power more than 250 average-sized homes. The power from the 47 kW solar array will be sufficient to power a portion of the operations at the Business Center, located at 96 American Drive in the Madison Industrial Park.
The Jackson solar farm will use 4,914 Sharp solar modules manufactured at Sharp’s Memphis, Tennessee plant.
Efficient Energy of Tennessee http://www.eetenn.com
In the development pipeline.
--- San Diego Gas & Electric has announced that it has signed a 25-year power-purchase agreement with a subsidiary of CSolar Development, LLC, a renewable energy company managed by Tenaska Solar Ventures, to procure up to 130 megawatts (MW) of renewable power. The solar photovoltaic energy will come from a proposed facility in Imperial County, California.
The agreement between SDG&E and CSolar Development is for up to 130 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity to be constructed on a 900-acre site in the southern part of Imperial County called the “Imperial Solar Energy Center South.” The project is expected to be completed in 2014.
--- Sempra Generation has received unanimous approval from the Kern County Board of Supervisors to construct a new photovoltaic solar power plant in California's Antelope Valley.
Located in the high desert about 90 miles north of Los Angeles, Rosamond Solar will generate up to 200 megawatts (MW) or enough electricity to power about 76,000 average homes for a year. Sempra anticipates breaking ground on Rosamond Solar in 2012 with completion targeted for 2013. The project will create approximately 300 construction jobs and up to eight new long-term positions to operate the facility.
Sempra Generation http://www.semprageneration.com
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