green and sustainable business

Posts Tagged ‘PV

News: CREBs, E.ON again, climate change redux

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There’s a new case of the CREBs in California, as in clean renewable energy bonds. The state’s treasurer Bill Lockyer announced the sale of $20 million under the CREB program to install solar panels in 70 California Department of Transportation facilities.

The solar installations will save state taxpayers more than $52 million in energy costs over the 25-year life span of the equipment, Lockyer says.

“This project is a great example of how to use innovative financing to green state government, make it more cost effective for taxpayers and bolster businesses and jobs in a vital sector of our economy,” he adds.

California’s Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA) sold the tax-credit bonds last week on behalf of Caltrans. They have a 1.45 percent interest rate over the 15-year term of the bonds. Total debt service costs over that span will total $22.5 million, and over that period Caltrans will save $24.7 million on its energy bills. Over the 25-year lifespan pf the photovoltaic solar panels, energy costs savings will come to $52.5 million, with $27.8 million coming after the bonds are repaid.

The deal is the authority’s first use of the CREB program, which was created by the Energy Tax Incentive Act of 2005. CAEATFA is also authorized to sell this type of bond under a similar program, called NCREB, established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The federal deadline for NCREB applications under ARRA is August 4.

Under the program the federal government pays bondholders up to 100 percent of the interest directly in the form of a tax credit, and it allows borrowers to get financing with a minimal interest rate.

The program has a volume cap of $2.4 billion and eligible projects include wind energy, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal energy, solar energy, small irrigation power, landfill gas, trash combustion, marine and hydrokinetic energy, and qualified hydropower facilities. Projects must be owned by a “public entity” such as state or local government; public power provider; tribal government; or a cooperative electric utility company.

Sounds like a great opportunity. This Friday (June 19) the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission and the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank will host an all-day event to discuss the bond program and their interface with ARRA. Register online here.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

16 June, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Sunergy: Suntech, Petra Solar in alliance

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PetrasunwaveSolar firms Suntech Power Holdings and Petra Solar have joined forces with a plan to develop and market utility-grade pole mounted solar AC systems and AC module products.

Financial terms and the scope of the deal were not disclosed. In a joint statement they said their alliance will “target unique pole mounted allocations for utilities in the U.S. and the rest of the world.”

It’s a powerful match between two major players in the solar industry. Suntech, with regional headquarters in China, Switzerland and San Francisco, is the world’s leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules, and the South Plainfield, NJ-based Petra designs and manufactures intelligent utility-grade solar energy and smart grid systems.

In a statement, Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s founder, chairman and CEO said: “We recognize that Petra Solar is the leader in the development of innovative utility grade, pole-mounted distributed PV systems. Their vision to create a market for intelligent solar energy systems attached to utility poles and streetlights, which combines distributed solar generation and smart grid technology, has great potential for Suntech.”

Dr. Shihab Kuran, founder, president and CEO of Petra Solar, returned the compliment: “Suntech’s global reach and well deserved reputation for market leading products provide compelling value to the utility market in the United States and around the globe. Suntech has the world’s largest crystalline silicon module manufacturing capacity and we look forward to expanding our market coverage to address all segments of the global utility market as a result of this alliance.”

Kuran says the collaboration will create a host of green jobs.

Petra’s SunWave utility grade solar AC systems are designed to mount quickly and safely to utility distribution and streetlight poles and deliver power directly to the grid. The systems consist of a high efficiency PV module and integral line voltage inverter with comprehensive communications and smart grid capabilities.

The company’s  AC Module has received CSA Certification according to UL standards. In addition, Petra received CSA Qualification for Witness Testing for its manufacturing facility in South Plainfield, NJ, where AC modules and systems will be manufactured.

Suntech says its Suntech’s patent-pending Pluto technology for crystalline silicon solar cells improves power output by up to 12 percent compared to conventional production methods.

Written by William DiBenedetto

9 June, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Schott’s shot through the dark

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Schott Solar SenegalI posted this on Triple Pundit earlier this week and wanted to place it on my bit of cyberspace.

Schott Corporation’s focus is on glass and the powerful ideas that can shine through glass.

The $3 billion company, with corporate offices Germany and North America, employs about 17,000 people. It has virtually cornered the market on a multitude of glass uses from pharmaceutical packaging to fiber optics to microlithography to glass tubing. But the 125-year-old company’s big push for decades and especially lately is in concentrated solar energy for power plants and photovoltaic technology applications.

The group’s Schott Solar unit has more than 50 years of experience in solar technology. And it sees a major opportunity for solar in Africa. Lars Waldmann, the company’s public relations manager notes that given Africa’s abundant solar resources and it underdeveloped electric power sector, solar technologies are a big part of the continent’s energy answer.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

5 June, 2009 at 10:47 am

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