Friday, August 31, 2012
Fitch Affirms New York Power Authority's Commercial Paper Notes at 'F1+' | Electric Power News | Energy Central
Enron clones still alive? California accuses company of taking excess electricity profits | Electric Power News | Energy Central
And guess who has resumed the gamer legacy? Couldn’t be an investment bank, could it?
Despite “Explosive growth”, coming from nothing in 2007, solar still produces less than 1 tenth of 1 percent of US generation. A truly massive market.
Gehrlicher connects 35 MW solar park to the German grid
Warren Buffet (MAH): largest US project, producing bucks ahead of time.
First Solar halts work on Agua Caliente solar project
Thursday, August 30, 2012
New York Passes Solar Tax Relief; California Advances Community Solar
The federal government may be dragging its feet when it comes to renewing or extending valuable US tax incentives for renewable energy projects, but states continue to adopt innovative policies.
The latest examples comes from New York, where the governor has signed a series of solar tax exemptions, and California, which is preparing to debate legislation that would help support development of community solar projects.
New York State Adopts Solar Tax Exemptions
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved a series of measures that will ease the tax burden for individuals and businesses investing in solar energy.
The new legislation signed in mid-August includes:
- Bill A 34-B, which provides tax credits for homeowners who invest in solar energy through a lease or power purchase agreement that is at least 10 years long. The credit is available up to 14 years, up to a maximum of $5,000. The law takes effect immediately.
- Bill A 10620, which takes effect January 1, 2013, and extends the property tax abatement that is available for solar-generating systems in cities of one million or more people through 2013 and 2014.
- Bill A 5522-B, which exempts the sale and installation of commercial solar energy systems from state sales taxes and allows municipalities to grant systems a tax exemption as well. The law takes effect January 1, 2013.
"The bills signed today continue to build momentum for the state's NY-Sun Initiative by accelerating the installation of solar power while making it a more affordable option for residents and businesses," says Governor Cuomo. "Together with other NY-Sun incentives, these bills demonstrate the state's commitment to reducing energy costs, growing our green energy sector, creating jobs, and protecting the environment."
Current terms of the NY-Sun program calls for the installation in 2012 of twice the customer-sited solar electricity capacity that was added during 2011, and quadruple that amount in 2013.
The New York tax policies, which received bipartisan support, will help New York continue to drive toward its renewable energy goals, says the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
"By making it more affordable for businesses and homeowners to install solar systems, these laws are vital to helping New York realize its goal of 45 percent renewable-powered electricity by 2015," says Carrie Cullen Hitt, vice president for State Affairs at SEIA. "We look forward to continuing to work with state leaders so that New York can meet its total solar market potential in the near future."
There are already about 7,500 solar PV installations In New York, capable of producing about 121 megawatts (MW) of clean energy (enough for 20,000 homes).
The state already has a number of innovative policies in place, including a feed-in tariff (FiT) offered through the Long Island Power Authority; solar grant programs through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and a net metering program that lets customers sell excess clean energy generated back to local utilities.
California Community Solar Bill Advances
While it has plenty of way to go before coming law, we also hear that the California Senate's fiscal committee has approved the Wolk Community Shared Solar Bill (SB 843).
The legislation introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) aims to support development of community renewable energy systems. It will work by allowing customers of the state's major utilities -- PG&E, SCE and SDG&E – to receive credit on their power bills for their portion clean power generated in a given project, much as if those systems were located on site.
The fiscal approval clears the way for the bill to move on to a hearing by the entire state assembly.
"This legislation provides access to clean, renewable energy to the three out of four energy customers in California who are currently unable to generate their own on-site power from solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources," says Wolk. "It gives Californians the opportunity to save on their energy bill, and encourages more investment and creates local jobs in an important sector of our state's economy, all without spending any state funds."
An analysis released earlier this year by Vote Solar estimates that the bill would create 12,000 local jobs, and $7.5 billion in economic activity by expanding access to the state's renewable energy market. It is expected to encourage development of 2 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity in California, without requiring public funding.
German utility E.ON eyes US market
30.08.2012: Germany’s largest utility E.ON AG plans to begin developing large-scale solar projects in the US, a spokesman for the company told PHOTON. E.ON aims to install 120 MW of solar capacity annually in the US from 2015 onward, with work on the first projects beginning later this year. Up until now, solar has played a minor role in E.ON’s strategy: As of September 2011, the company’s photovoltaic portfolio stood at about 56 MW. Source: PHOTON
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
It's an official first. Rather than simply acquiring one, the panel manufacturer actually transforms into a being a developer. And SkyPower pockets $186M for their pipeline.
Who could say that our business model didn't position us at the maximum point of value now?
Canadian Solar Nabs $93.8 Million from China to Fund Transition
Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) is getting a $93.8 million cash infusion from China to help fund its transformation into a solar project developer.
The world's third biggest solar panel manufacturer will use a five-year loan from China Development Bank to help finance its $186.6 million acquisition of a majority interest in 16 solar projects owned by Ontario developer SkyPower Ltd.
Those projects have an estimated generating capacity of 190-200 megawatts (MW), and are covered 20-year power purchase agreements under Ontario's feed-in tariff program.
"Our new credit agreement underscores Canadian Solar's bankability and strong competitive position. We are pleased to have the support of one of the world's largest banks as we continue to execute on our business and advance our goal to generate 40% of our revenue from total solutions, which include solar power generation project development, facilitation of financing arrangements, EPC services and total hardware kit sales," says Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.
Canadian Solar is one of several solar panel-makers that are diversifying into project development and management, in an effort to avoid what's become a cut-throat, low-margin panel business. CSIQ is based in Ontario, Canada and manufactures in China.
A similar strategy has been used to great effect by First Solar, which provided a rare financial bright spot among solar panel manufacturers with its second quarter earnings report in July.
Although the loan from China Development Bank is its first, Canadian Solar's balance sheet includes $88 million in long-term debt from Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., Bank of Communications CO. and Export-Import Bank of China. China Development Bank has put up $47.3 billion since 2010 to the country's wind and solar manufacturers.
Canadian Solar estimates that projects will make up about 25% of its total revenue in 2012, up from 10% in 2011. The company owns 122 MW of utility-scale solar plants in the US, and has about 340 MW under construction in Canada.
Canadian Solar to build two solar parks in Ontario for Penn Energy Renewables
Friday, August 24, 2012
Romney's energy plan calls for more drilling, less investment in Renewables
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Global installed PV capacity grew by 13 GW in first half of 2012, 18 GW expected in second half
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
See online project exchange below
Having trouble viewing this email? http://www.sellmysolarproject.ca/index.php?option=
Brownfield development is going to ramp like crazy and our early involvement needs to be leveraged or others will overtake us. This handbook for Renewables development on contaminated lands was just released by the EPA.
Reality finally sets in and the Senior Senator of Coal states the obvious to his fossil-heads and climate-deniers in a surprisingly honest way.
PHOTON price index shows sharp drop in module prices
The Bahamas considers support programs for renewable energy
New York governor signs news laws to support solar
Thursday, August 16, 2012
August 16, 2012
McGuinty Government Strengthening Local Economies
Ontario is helping small, rural and Northern municipalities strategically plan to maintain and build critical infrastructure required by families and businesses to build strong local economies.
The new Municipal Infrastructure Strategy will require municipalities that request provincial infrastructure funding to show how projects fit within a comprehensive asset management plan. Asset management plans help municipalities make smart planning decisions about building, operating, maintaining, renewing and replacing infrastructure over the long-term.
Through the strategy, Ontario is providing $60 million over the next three years to municipalities. Up to $9 million will be used to help municipalities prepare their plans, while the remaining funds will be used to address critical projects identified in those finalized plans.
Investing in infrastructure is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create jobs for Ontarians and strengthen the economy. A strong economy protects the services that mean the most to families - health care and education.
"Our government has made unprecedented investments in infrastructure across the province. We will continue to partner with all municipalities to invest in local infrastructure to support economic growth and enhance quality of life."
– Bob Chiarelli
Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation
"With this investment, the province is ensuring that small, rural and northern municipalities have the means to implement robust infrastructure asset management practices, which are crucial to meeting the expectations of residents and business."
– Alan Korell
President of the Ontario Good Roads Association
"The federal, provincial and municipal governments need to work together to fund the infrastructure that makes Ontario communities prosperous. The Province's decision to provide funding to small municipalities to prepare asset management plans confirms a commitment to approaching infrastructure needs in partnership, and to investing wisely."
– Gary McNamara
of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario
- Eligible communities can apply for funding to help them prepare asset management plans. The deadline to apply is Oct. 22, 2012.
- An online guide and toolkit are available to help municipalities prepare their asset management plans.
- Since 2003, the McGuinty government has invested $13 billion to help municipalities modernize and expand transit, repair and upgrade roads and bridges, improve water and wastewater treatment, and revitalize community infrastructure.
- The 2012 Budget preserves the high level of infrastructure investment that was committed to in Building Together - more than $35 billion over the next three years.
- David Salter
- Kirby Dier
Ministry of Infrastructure
August 16, 2012
Clean Energy Industry Supporting Supply Chain Across Ontario
Ontario's clean energy economy is bringing more renewable energy online while creating good jobs for families across the province.
Components for two renewable energy projects, the Erieau Wind and East Lake St. Clair wind farms, are being made at Thurston Machine in Port Colborne. In addition to specializing in mining, locomotive, and steel equipment, the nearly 100-year-old company is now also supplying Ontario's clean energy industry.
Expected to be online by mid-2013, the Erieau Wind and East Lake St. Clair wind projects will each produce 99 megawatts of clean, renewable energy, enough electricity to power over 27,000 homes or a city the size of Newmarket. Each of these projects will also create about 150 construction jobs in Chatham-Kent.
Building a clean energy system and a culture of conservation is part of the McGuinty government's plan to create and support jobs for Ontario families while ensuring we have the electricity we need to power our homes, schools, hospitals and the economy.
"These projects are great examples of how Ontario's clean energy industry is strengthening our economy and creating jobs across the province. As the industry grows and increases the supply of clean, renewable energy, Ontario moves closer to eliminating coal-fired electricity generation, ensuring cleaner air and a healthier environment."
– Chris Bentley
Minister of Energy
"International Power is proud to be part of the Erieau Wind and East Lake St. Clair Wind projects. Both of these projects will not only capitalize on the vast wind resources in Chatham-Kent they will contribute to creating cleaner air and moving the province's clean energy mandate."
– Michael Crawley
President and CEO, International Power
"Thurston Machine's strength has always been the flexibility of handling a diverse range of projects. Our plan to get involved in the renewable energy sector weighed heavily into our decision to move forward with our recently completed $11.5 million expansion which will ultimately create an additional 20 jobs."
– Mark Yallin
Division Manager, Thurston Machine
- The Erieau Wind and East Lake St. Clair wind projects are also benefitting Ontario's steel industry as all the steel in the manufacturing of the foundations of both projects is being made in Sault Ste. Marie.
- Established in 1915, Thurston Machine employs 80 skilled workers that provide machining, fabrication and assembly services.
- In 2009 more than 80 per cent of Ontario's electricity generation came from emission-free sources like wind, solar, biogas and nuclear.
- In 2003, Ontario had 19 dirty polluting-coal units and just 10 wind turbines; today, the province has over 1,000 new wind turbines and by 2014 all coal units will be closed.
Ministry of Energy
August 16, 2012
McGuinty Government Focused on Ensuring Affordable, Efficient and Modern Transportation System for Highway 11 Corridor
The province is moving forward with a new era of transportation and telecommunications services for the Highway 11 corridor in Northeastern Ontario.
The divestment of the provincially owned Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) was announced in March 2012. Important steps are now being taken in that process, including:
- The Northlander train from Cochrane to Toronto will stop running after September 28, 2012. Regular train service will continue until that date. Every community served by the Northlander train is also served by ONTC bus service that will continue to run as usual.
- The Polar Bear Express train service will not be affected and will continue to provide the same service to rural and remote communities between Cochrane and Moosonee.
- The Niska I ferry, which sails between Moosonee and Moose Factory Island, is being transferred to the Owen Sound Transportation Company, with no changes to service.
- Ontera, a telecommunications system operating in Northeastern Ontario, will be the first ONTC business line put up for sale. Infrastructure Ont! ario will be inviting interested buyers to submit their qualifications to purchase Ontera.
- An environmental assessment exemption has been granted for all activities of the ONTC divestment process; however, Ontario's strong legislative and regulatory requirements must still be met.
Funds used to operate the ONTC are better spent in helping tackle the deficit, protecting the province's gains in health care and education and in valuable Northern Ontario job creation and infrastructure programs such as the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Northern Highways Program.
"In a time of fiscal belt-tightening, we cannot afford an inefficient and expensive government-owned transportation and telecommunications system. This is an historic opportunity to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions that meet the needs of Northerners now and in the future, and help foster private sector investment and economic growth across the Northeast."
– Rick Bartolucci
Minister of Northern Development and Mines
"Today's announcement shows commitment to a better, more sustainable transportation and telecommunications system for the Northeast. This process is about offering an opportunity for the private sector to provide services in a manner that can stimulate local economies in the North, create jobs and provide viable transportation options."
– Ted Hargreaves
Chair of the Board for ONTC
- Since 2003, Ontario has invested over $430 million in the ONTC ? increasing the subsidy provided to the ONTC by 256 per cent. Based on current trends, supporting the ONTC today would require annual support of approximately $100 million ? compared to $27.6 million in support in 2003.
- The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario features a Multi-Modal Transportation Strategy, which includes the development of an integrated air, rail, marine and road strategy.
- In keeping with the government's commitment to improving transportation in Northeastern Ontario, the province has completed the four-laning of Highway 11 on time, and it is now fully open to traffic.
- Find out more about ONTC passenger services.
- Read about the ONTC divestment process.
- Get answers to frequently asked questions
- Learn about Infrastructure Ontario.
- Find out more about the direction for an integrated transportation strategy in the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.
- Backgrounder - ONTC Divestment
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Solar market primed for rise
August 13, 2012
The prevailing narrative of solar energy has been one of an industry
struggling to compete against still-cheap fossil fuels. But Forbes' Peter
Kelly-Detwiler reports that the current market actually provides an
increasingly promising outlook for solar power and other distributed
The aging electricity transmission and distribution grid continues to make
it difficult for utilities to provide sufficient power in the areas where it
is most needed, with regions like New York and New Jersey suffering dramatic
Meanwhile, technological advances have begun to spread much more quickly,
which has led some older companies to struggle against more efficient
competition. Kelly-Detwiler notes that even the collapse of Solyndra last
year can be attributed at least in part to the rise of newer technologies.
At the same time, an increasingly large proportion of people are giving
credence to calls to reduce carbon emissions, which can support natural
gas-fired generation to an extent, but ultimately will push carbon-free
sources like solar.
The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that the U.S. added the
second-most solar capacity of any quarter in the first three months of 2012,
despite the expiration of key subsidies.
Analysis of the U.S. solar market is available at PennEnergy's Research
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Conergy reduces losses
15.08.2012: German solar module maker Conergy AG was able to reduce its losses in the fist six months of the year. Conergy reports its net loss for the first half of 2012 was €20.3 million ($26.0 million), compared with a net loss of €41.0 million ($50.5 million) for the same period last year. The company also reported negative earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of €14.6 million ($18.0 million), up from a negative EBIT of €29.4 million ($36.2 million) for the first half of 2011. In the second quarter alone, the company reported positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €0.5 million ($0.6 million) – this is the first positive EBITDA the company has seen since autumn 2010. CEO Philip Comberg said he still hopes to achieve a small positive EBITDA for full year 2012. … Source: Conergy AG; Summary: PHOTON