May 13, 2012 – Vol.17 No.9
SEVEN DAYS OF SOLAR 4-29-12.
Tip your hat. Give a toast. Pour a glass of Champagne. Have a little celebration for Sharp Manufacturing Corporation of America’s Hickory Hill plant in Memphis, Tennessee. The plant has recently produced its three millionth solar module.
Since coming online in 2003, the facility’s production capacity has increased tremendously, and its manufacturing staff has doubled to 400 in the past four years. The solar manufacturing facility assembles a variety of modules for residential, commercial and utility-scale installations.
Sharp’s Memphis facility has produced enough solar modules to fully power more than 100,000 total average-sized homes, with clean, renewable solar energy. This saves nearly 18 million metric tons of CO2 per year. Sharp partners with Tennessee suppliers for materials used to turn 180,000 solar cells that arrive every morning into approximately 3,000 solar panels that ship out at the end of every day.
Sharp also celebrates its 100th anniversary and 50 years in solar energy this year—more than any other solar company in the world.
During the week beginning April 29, 2012, this publication received news announcements regarding more than 9 megawatts (MW) of solar projects completed, more than 586 MW under construction and more than 2.5 MW in the development pipeline.
--- The Solar Company and Strombeck Properties have announced two 225.4 kW SunPower solar power systems installed to power two apartment complexes, consisting of nearly 250 individual units and two community laundry areas.
The solar systems are sized to eliminate 100% of the current electrical bill.
--- KDC Solar has begun commercial operation of a 2.2 MW PV ground-mounted, single-axis tracker solar system at the Atlantic Coast Freezers property in Vineland, New Jersey.
The solar system will is designed to supply 100 percent of the electric power needs for the Atlantic Coast Freezers warehouse site, which is owned by J&J Real Estate Associates.
--- American Public University System (APUS) has christened the largest solar array in West Virginia. The 407 kW system is mounted on a carport structure at APUS’ headquarters in Charles Town, deep in West Virginia’s panhandle.
Designed and constructed by SolarWorld Authorized Installer Mountain View Solar (MTVSolar) of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the installation at APUS is the solar contractor’s latest use of SolarWorld solar panels.
--- Lawrenceville School, in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, is now home to 6.1 MW of solar panels from SolarWorld. The photovoltaic system, ground-mounted on 30 acres of school-owned farm land, is believed to be the largest installed at a U.S. primary or secondary school. It will generate enough electricity to offset 90 percent of the high school’s annual power needs.
The Lawrenceville School solar farm is also home to nearly 900,000 resident honey bees, nourished by a special wildflower mixture planted among and around the solar panels.
--- MidAmerican Solar and First Solar have marked the start of major construction at Topaz Solar Farms, located in San Luis Obispo County, California. The 550 MW photovoltaic project will employ approximately 400 workers during its three-year construction period; will generate nearly $417 million in local economic impact, the majority of which will be generated during construction; and will provide California with renewable electricity.
When complete, the Topaz project will be the largest solar electric power plant in the world, providing enough energy to power approximately 160,000 average California homes.
The Topaz project is owned by MidAmerican Solar and will be constructed, operated and maintained by First Solar. Construction began in November 2011 and is expected to be complete by early 2015.
--- Duke Energy Renewables has acquired a 10-megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar project near Kingman, Arizona from SOLON Corp. The Black Mountain Solar Project under construction in Mohave County is expected to achieve commercial operation in October of this year. UniSource Energy Services (UES) will purchase the power generated at the Black Mountain site through a 20-year power purchase agreement. SOLON designed the solar array, powered by SOLON's single-axis tracking technology, and will construct and continue to handle operations, monitoring and maintenance of the system after it is commissioned.
--- K Road Power Holdings (K Road) and SunPower Corp. have announced that K Road has acquired the 25 MW (AC) McHenry Solar Project that SunPower designed and is currently constructing in Modesto, California. The project is creating up to 144 construction jobs and injecting approximately $18.7 million into the local economy during construction. SunPower will provide operations and maintenance services when the project begins commercial operation in September.
--- NRG Energy and The Kraft Group have started construction of a futuristic solar canopy, part of a 1 megawatt (MW) solar installation at Patriot Place to be completed by the start of the 2012-2013 pro football season.
The canopy will generate clean, renewable power while providing shade and cover for visitors to the shopping, retail and dining destination’s North Marketplace by partially covering the outdoor walkways with a combination of standard and translucent solar panels.
Upon completion, 60% of Patriot Place’s electricity use will be provided by solar power, reducing carbon emissions by more than 800 metric tons every year, or the equivalent to taking 575 cars off the road.
Patriot Place is located adjacent to Gillette Stadium –home of the NFL’s New England Patriots and the MLS’s New England Revolution – in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
--- Cogenra Solar has announced a solar cogeneration project at Tucson Medical Center (TMC), Southern Arizona’s largest community hospital. The installation will be the first healthcare solar cogeneration application and will produce renewable electricity and hot water for TMC’s campus power plant.
The 46 SunDeck (r) module system, constructed on the roof of the TMC power plant, will provide the building with solar electricity and solar hot water. Cogenra’s solar cogeneration array is TMC’s first renewable energy project and was chosen for the technology’s ability to provide large amounts of hot water, in addition to electricity, and for its quick payback.
Working with Technicians for Sustainability, Cogenra Solar is constructing a 115 kW solar thermal system which will preheat an average of 5,300 gallons of water daily for the reverse osmosis (RO) boiler. The system will go online in May, and is expected to produce 31,600 kWh of electricity, reducing consumption by 7,000 therms of gas annually and saving over $8,500 per year in energy costs.
In the development pipeline.
--- The City of Gonzales, California has announced the creation of a public-private partnership that provides for a number of public infrastructure improvements designed to reduce the City's utility and maintenance costs. Improvements include upgrading all City-owned streetlights, constructing two solar installations to produce 462 kW of power, and upgrading the City's water pumping station to help conserve water and electricity and enable the City to pump water at optimal times, when energy costs are lower.
The City partnered with Constellation Wines US, Inc, based in Gonzales, which will serve as one of two solar installation sites. The second solar installation is to be located at the City's wastewater treatment facility.
The City of Gonzales worked with Chevron Energy Solutions (CES) to develop, design and construct the project.
--- Zentric has acquired the solar panel inventory from its supplier in China that is required for its first two 800 MW projects in North Carolina. The shipment will arrive in the United States by the end of May so construction can begin shortly thereafter. Construction should be completed by the end of August and the solar power plants operational by the end of 2012.
Each solar farm will be situated on 5 acres of leased land and will contain approximately 3,500 solar photovoltaic panels.
--- Sandy Spring Friends School (SSFS), a pre-K through 12 coed college preparatory Quaker school in Montgomery County, Maryland, has announced plans to install more than 2,000 solar panels on the school’s 140-acre campus.
The 473.7 kW solar photovoltaic system will be ground-mounted and grid tied.
The project, expected to begin in June, is being developed by the Pennsylvania energy solutions provider, UGI Performance Solutions and Maryland-based Standard Solar. The system will be owned by UGI Energy Services, with whom the school has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA). The PPA will enable the school to use the electricity generated by the system for a fixed cost, lowering their utility bills.
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