July 2, 2012 – Vol.17 No.16
SEVEN DAYS OF SOLAR 6-17-12.
Abound Solar is the latest green energy company that received taxpayer dollars to file for bankruptcy. The reason? Abound was caught in the rip tide of low cost Chinese imports. Even though punitive import tariffs were imminent, the company was too far out to sea to be saved.
Of the $400 million approved as a guaranteed loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, $70 million had been drawn, and thus at risk to the taxpayer. The company uses similar chemistry as First Solar, cadmium telluride (CdTe), but has its own proprietary production technology.
“Abound believes that, at scale, its USA-made CdTe panel technology has the ability to achieve lower cost per watt than competing crystalline silicon technology made in China. However, aggressive pricing actions from Chinese solar panel companies have made it very difficult for an early stage startup company like Abound to scale in current market conditions. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. solar market has seen the prices for panels drop by more than 50 percent in the past year at a time when the value of imports of Chinese-made solar cells nearly quadrupled from $639 million in 2009 to $3.1 billion in 2011. Abound supports recent initiatives to enforce fair trade with import tariffs, but this action is unfortunately too late for the company.”
During the week beginning June 17, 2012, this publication received news announcements regarding more than 12 megawatts (MW) of solar projects completed and more than 185 MW in the development pipeline in the United States.
--- Hudson Energy Solar (HES) and Delaware Valley Friends School has activated its 85.6 kW solar system which will supply approximately 30 percent of the school's energy and save hundreds of thousands of dollars for the school over its 20-year contract.
HES will own and operate the system and sell the electricity produced back to the school at a significantly reduced rate through a Power Purchase Agreement.
--- Cogenra Solar has announced its first dairy solar cogeneration system at the Clover Stornetta Farms Dairy Processing Plant in Petaluma, California. The solar cogeneration system will result in more than 50 percent energy savings at the plant.
The 50.6 kW, 20-module solar cogeneration system provides renewable electricity and 6,000 gallons of solar hot water daily for the Clean-in-Place (CIP) process at the plant. The solar cogeneration modules preheat water to 145 F, for Clover’s steam-fed CIP process, during which wastewater is pumped continuously through three wastewater filters that are periodically backflushed with cold and hot water.
The array was integrated seamlessly into Clover’s existing natural gas water heaters and electrical equipment, and remote monitoring and diagnostics provide real-time status on the system’s energy performance. The dual production of electricity and hot water also means that companies see a payback of less than five years, much quicker than PV or SHW.
--- Campbell Soup Company has completed a 9.8 MW solar power system at Campbell's manufacturing facility in Napoleon, Ohio. More than 200 jobs were created during construction of the system, which is now generating the equivalent of 15 percent of the facility's annual electricity requirements.
--- Hawaiian Energy Systems and Centrosolar America have announced the completion of a 51 kW solar power system at the Makakilo Baptist Church in Kapolei, Hawaii. The rooftop installation will offset 90 percent of the Church’s electrical energy needs and provide electricity for the Church itself and the adjacent office and preschool buildings.The system includes 216 Centrosolar modules.
--- Renusol America, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has announced that its American-engineered and manufactured mounting system has been installed at the Aquafil Headquarters in Cartersville as part of one of the state of Georgia’s largest solar PV energy systems.
The 400 kW project includes 1,572 Renusol mounting units and 1,572 Suniva 250 W panels. Suniva is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia. Radiance Solar, a Georgia owned and operated solar contracting company, installed the system, which is interconnected to the Cartersville Electric System.
Aquafil, a chemical and textile firm and leader in carpet fiber technology, is known for producing fibers made from 100-percent recycled materials.
--- SunPower Corp. has announced the completion of a 1.8 MW solar power system for Bloomberg in New Jersey. The eight-acre, ground-mounted solar tracking system is generating the equivalent of 58 percent of electricity demand at the 100,000-square-foot main building at Bloomberg's Skillman, N.J. campus. It is the first completed renewable energy project at a Bloomberg facility.
--- CPS Energy has dedicated the utility's newest source of solar energy - the William R. Sinkin Centennial Solar Farms 1 and 2. Named after local solar energy advocate Bill Sinkin, the 19.8 MW project in San Antonio will produce enough clean power for an estimated 2,550 average Texas homes annually.
--- Manheim Baltimore-Washington has completed a photovoltaic solar installation to produce clean energy and reduce carbon emissions. Manheim is the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services.
The solar panels produce nearly 170 kW of clean energy - equivalent to the amount needed to power 16 average-sized homes. The installation produces approximately 10 percent of the main auction building’s annual energy consumption.
Manheim is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises and participates in Cox Conserves, the company’s national sustainability program.
In the development pipeline.
--- SOLON Corporation. has contracted with the Tanque Verde Unified School District (TVUSD) to build 1.15 MW of photovoltaic systems in Tucson, Arizona.
The total system capacity for the TVUSD project is spread over 4 campuses of the Tanque Verde High School and Elementary School, the Emily Gray Junior High School and the Agua Caliente Elementary School. These systems will be a combination of shade structures and rooftop systems, and the outputs will offset a large portion of the daytime energy requirements of each campus.
--- Seminole Financial Services will provide $1.8 million permanent financing for Neuse River Solar Farm, the largest utility-scale solar project located on government property in the State of North Carolina. This will be the first loan to convert from construction to permanent debt under the Seminole renewable energy finance program. In September 2011, Seminole provided $4.3 million construction financing for installation of the 1.3 MW ground-mounted solar system.
--- enXco has signed a solar module supply agreement with First Solar First Solar will deliver 61 MW of thin film modules starting in September 2012 for enXco's Catalina Solar Project located in Kern County, California.
Catalina Solar will be built in two phases -- the first phase of approximately 60 MWp is targeted to go online by the end of 2012 and the remainder of the project by June 2013. The plant will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of about 35,000 homes.
--- Canadian Solar has announced the acquisition of, or joint venture in 122 MW of utility-scale solar development projects within the United States. The 11 photovoltaic (PV) power plants range in size from 2 MW to 29 MW and construction is planned to begin in 2012 with the last project set to be completed in 2014. Canadian Solar expects that these projects will be the first of many, marking a strategic move for the Company as it expands from pure-play module sales in the United States to deeper collaboration with utility-scale project developers.
--- Kohl’s Department Stores will expand its solar program by nearly 25 percent in 2012, installing solar panels at approximately 30 additional Kohl’s locations. While some of the new solar sites will be in states such as California, Connecticut and Maryland where Kohl’s already has a solar presence, additional sites will be located in new solar states for Kohl’s, including Massachusetts, New York and Ohio. On average, the solar panels will supply 20 to 50 percent of each store’s energy. Construction of the solar panel arrays on the first phase of stores began this spring. Once the installations are complete by the end of 2012, Kohl’s expects to have more than 150 solar locations across 13 states.
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