Monday, June 30, 2014

First Solar secures $290 million financing for 141 MW PV project in Chile

First Solar secures $290 million financing for 141 MW PV project in Chile

30.06.2014: US thin-film solar module manufacturer and project developer First Solar Inc. has secured a $290 million financing for the construction of a 141 MW (DC) solar power plant in northern Chile. US finance institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has provided a $230 million loan for the » Luz del Norte« project, while the International Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World Bank, has granted a $60 million financing. In March 2014, First Solar Energía Ltda., a Chilean subsidiary of First Solar, secured approval for the project. According to a proposal submitted to Chilean authorities in July 2013, First Solar’s project will require an investment of $370 million and would rely on 1.7 million CdTe modules. Construction on the project, planned for the municipality of Copiapo in the Atacama region of northern Chile, is due to begin this month. In January 2013, First Solar acquired Chilean solar developer Solar Chile from its local partner Fundacion Chile for an undisclosed sum. Solar Chile owned 1.5 GW of large-scale PV projects in northern Chile at the time of its acquisition. © PHOTON

http://www.firstsolar.com

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/FSLR/2912565185x0x765567/c15ee4
1b-d256-4736-bec7-17485e26d8e2/FSLR_News_2014_6_26_English.pdf

Die vollständige Pressemitteilung finden Sie auch im PHOTON-Archiv unter folgendem Link:
http://www.photon.info/newsletter/document/86847.pdf

 

 

Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy

+1-646-402-5076

www.arcstarenergy.com

 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

BBC News: Auditors probe green power contracts

Bet it's some of the big uglies that got those exceptional contracts.

Auditors probe green power contracts

The government may have failed to protect the interests of bill payers when awarding green energy contracts, say auditors.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28041525


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BBC News: US eases oil export restrictions

I saw this story on the BBC News iPhone App and thought you should see it:

US eases oil export restrictions

The US gives permission to two firms to export oil, after it has been lightly processed - a move that could see oil exports from the US increase.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28030907


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BBC News: Barclays accused of 'dark pool' fraud

I saw this story on the BBC News iPhone App and thought you should see it:

Barclays accused of 'dark pool' fraud

New York state prosecutors announce fraud charges against Barclays relating to its "dark pool" trading operations.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28030351


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BBC News: US GDP shrinks 2.9% in first quarter

Everyone going out of their way to reassure.

US GDP shrinks 2.9% in first quarter

The US economy suffered its worst performance for five years in the first quarter 2014, a third official estimate has shown.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28012760


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KKR & Co. L.P. - KKR and ACCIONA partner in global renewable energy business

http://ir.kkr.com/kkr_ir/kkr_releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=856151

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

France to sell part of GDF Suez

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it:

France to sell part of GDF Suez

France has agreed to sell a stake of at least 3.1% in gas utility GDF Suez to help finance the purchase of a share in engineering group Alstom.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-28007353


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Bloomberg: Rooftop Solar Leases Scare Buyers When Homeowners Sell

From Bloomberg, Jun 24, 2014, 10:03:11 AM
SolarCity employees install photovoltaic panels on the roof of a house in San Leandro, Calif. on Dec. 9, 2013. Photographer: Thor Swift/The New York Times via Redux

Dorian Bishopp blames the solar panels on his roof for costing him almost 10 percent off the value of the home he sold in March.

To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1sAfX0D

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Bloomberg: Climate Forecast: A Heat More Deadly Than the U.S. Has Ever Seen

From Bloomberg, Jun 24, 2014, 2:07:31 PM
People sleep in the shade in Manhattan's High Line Park on June 25, 2013 in New York City. Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

It's not the heat. It's the humidity. And the U.S. is on a path to regularly experience a deadly combination of the two the likes of which have only been recorded once on planet Earth.

To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/UGzgGo

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www.firstwind.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Four-Brothers-Solar-Projects-PPA-PR_FINAL_061914.pdf

http://www.firstwind.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Four-Brothers-Solar-Projects-PPA-PR_FINAL_061914.pdf

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fwd: New Power Rates Take Effect for Spain’s Clean Energy Plants



New Power Rates Take Effect for Spain's Clean Energy Plants


MADRID -- Spain set new rates for electricity suppliers that use renewable sources, waste and co-generation based on a "reasonable return," formally ending a subsidy system dating to the 1990s that had spun out of control.


The Industry Ministry today published the new formulas and tables to be used for generators ranging from wind turbines to solar collectors and waste incinerators in a 1,761-page regulation that takes effect tomorrow. The new return is based on a host of factors, including the cost of investment and the 10-year Spanish government bond yield in the secondary market.

Spain became a world leader in clean-energy, spurring projects by awarding more than 50 billion euros ($68 billion) in subsidies in the last 25 years. At the same time it failed to secure all the money needed to fund the incentives, which accelerated and in 2013 totaled about 9 billion euros.

The system, modeled on Germany's in the 1990s and paid for mostly by consumers, was increasingly attacked as an unacceptable burden by traditional utilities, some consumer groups and the government. A series of new laws dismantled much of it, aiming "to achieve an economic and financial stability of the electric system and avoid the incorporation of new costs," the government said in today's regulation.

While incentives were guaranteed to plant owners for 20 years or longer, the system failed to ensure the government would set prices, or tariffs, paid by consumers at high enough levels to fund the subsidies. That created a soaring "tariff deficit" — a debt carried temporarily by traditional power distributors and securitized in chunks to private investors.

One legacy is that Spain, like almost no other country, can supply more than half of electricity demand from clean sources during stretches of the day that are sunny and windy.


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Friday, June 20, 2014

Solar on the Rebound | EnergyBiz

Sunny prognosis from top trade protectionist.

http://www.energybiz.com/article/14/06/solar-rebound&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=EB_DAILY2&utm_term=Original-Magazine

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646-402-5076

Fwd: (BN) Pimco’s Gross Wagering on Low Market Volatility in ‘New Neutral"

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Michael Sallette (ZACHAR, GEORGE)" <masallette@bloomberg.net>
Date: Jun 19, 2014 3:29 PM
Subject: (BN) Pimco's Gross Wagering on Low Market Volatility in 'New Neu
To:
Cc:

(BN) Pimco's Gross Wagering on Low Market Volatility in 'New Neu
tral'

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Pimco's Gross Wagering on Low Market Volatility in 'New Neutral'
2014-06-19 18:30:04.25 GMT


By Mary Childs
     June 19 (Bloomberg) -- Bill Gross said Pacific Investment
Management Co., manager of the world's biggest bond fund, has
been betting that volatility across asset classes will remain
very low, as gauges of price swings fall to their lowest levels
on record.
     "We sell insurance, basically, against price movements,"
Gross, chief investment officer of Pimco, said in an interview
today in Chicago at Morningstar Inc.'s Investment Conference.
"At Pimco, that's what we've tried in the last four or five
weeks."
     The wager on low volatility by the $2 trillion asset
manager is "part and parcel" of its outlook for the next three
to five years, an era it calls the "new neutral," Gross said.
The outlook is characterized by low interest rates and lower,
more stable global growth. Stocks and bonds will only return
about 5 percent and 3 percent respectively, as any changes in
Federal Reserve policy will be taken cautiously, the Newport
Beach, California-based firm said in a report in May.
     The firm's money managers "all know all parts of the new
neutral," and incorporate it into their trading, Gross, 70,
said. "Historically, Pimco has succeeded in selling volatility,
and yes, it's nice volatility's come down."
     Pimco's strategy has caused traders to speculate that the
company was selling calls and puts on the Standard & Poor's 500
Index in April and May in a bet that prices won't spike or drop,
and also amassed positions in interest-rate swaps to express the
same view, according to four people who heard about the trades,
all of whom asked not to be identified because they aren't
authorized to discuss them. Gross declined to discuss specific
trades at Pimco.

                         Low Volatility

     "People came into this year thinking we were on the verge
of a breakout in economic data, it hasn't happened and people
realize Fed policy isn't threatened anytime soon," said David
Schawel, a money manager at Square 1 Bank in Durham, North
Carolina. "That's a green light for low volatility to
prevail."
     The trades are probably "less about compelling value and
more about a belief that the path for credit risk is very low
for the foreseeable future," Schawel said. "The longer this
benign environment drags on, the more people are willing to
expect the status quo remains."

                            VIX Index

     The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which
measures price swings in stocks, closed yesterday at 10.61, the
lowest level since February 2007. This year's high of 21.44 on
Feb. 3 compares with a five-year average of 19.7.
     Call options are derivative contracts that allow investors
and traders to wager that the value of an underlying security
will increase, and puts bet on a decline. The contracts give
investors the right but not the obligation to buy or sell a
security at a certain price.
     The S&P surged to 1,956.98 yesterday, the highest ever,
from this year's low of 1,742 in February. At an investor
conference in May, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn
blamed the reduction in trading on calm markets and the Fed's
efforts to hold down interest rates.
     Pimco outlined its new thesis On May 13, established in its
annual Secular Forum, which guides its investment philosophy for
the next three to five years.
     At the Secular Forum, Pimco's money managers and analysts
listen for two and a half days to "distinguished guest
speakers," who this year included Harvard University professor
Carmen Reinhart and FiveThirtyEight.com founder Nate Silver, to
establish their worldview on global economies and markets. For
the rest of the week, they turn that philosophy into trading
strategies.

                           New Neutral

     In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Pimco's co-
founder Gross and his former co-Chief Investment Officer Mohamed
El-Erian popularized "the new normal" to describe an era of
subdued returns, heightened government intervention and
increasing clout for emerging nations in the global economy.
     Now, five years later, after El-Erian's abrupt resignation
in January, Gross refined that view. While the "new neutral"
maintains an expectation for subpar returns, it's a more stable
outlook compared with Pimco's previous forecast as the risks to
the markets are lower. Generating returns is becoming
increasingly difficult as central bank policies elevated prices
on so-called risk assets, the report said.
     Gross, who started the firm in 1971 with two other co-
founders and has built one of the best long-term records in the
industry, has struggled in the past year to stem record
redemptions as his $229 billion Pimco Total Return Fund fell
behind peers.

                         'Basically Stable'

     Total Return, which lost to 63 percent of rival funds over
the past year, has returned 0.03 percent over the past month,
beating 60 percent of competitors, according to data compiled by
Bloomberg.
     The fund will again top its competition this year, Gross
said in a Bloomberg Television interview last month, as it
sticks to the front end of the yield curve, buys bonds maturing
in five years to seven years, and focuses on high-yield debt and
risk assets, "which will be not high-returning but basically
stable and low-risk and low-volatility."

For Related News and Information:
Pimco's Paul McCulley Salutes Fed For U.S. Escape From Trap (2)
NSN N6EEZI6TTDSB <GO>
Pimco 'New Normal' Is Now 'New Neutral' After El-Erian Exit (2)
NSN N5ISD16S972J <GO>
Pimco Said to Wager $10 Billion in Default Swaps: Credit Markets
NSN MVYCY56JIJVW <GO>
Fund search: FSRC <GO>
Bloomberg fund performance: FPC <GO>

To contact the reporter on this story:
Mary Childs in New York at +1-212-617-6772 or
mchilds5@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Christian Baumgaertel at +1-617-210-4624 or
cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net
Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam, Josh Friedman

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sempra Wins Final U.S. Approval for Cameron LNG Exports - Bloomberg

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-19/sempra-wins-final-u-s-approval-for-cameron-lng-exports.html

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Rosetta: Icy quarry coming into view

Rosetta: Icy quarry coming into view

The Rosetta spacecraft is now 165,000km from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and closing. Pictures of the 4km-wide ice ball will now get more and more detailed.

Read more:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27926614


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Fwd: Texas, Land of Wind, Could Soon Also Be Land of Solar

Shocking new low for solar PPA rate.


06/16/2014 01:19 PM       ShareThis
Texas, Land of Wind, Could Soon Also Be Land of Solar

SustainableBusiness.com News


Texas, land of wind, could soon also be the land of solar, as the state embarks on its first utility-scale solar farms - at prices that compete with conventional energy.

Recurrent Energy, the solar developer arm of Sharp Corp., won the contract to build a 150 megawatt (MW) solar farm from the state's leading utility on renewable energy, Austin Energy. It comes online in 2016, and the utility is buying all its energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement.    

"Solar power has reached a price that is competitive in the ERCOT market, allowing us to further diversify our energy portfolio with renewable resources," says Larry Weis, General Manager of Austin Energy.    

"The Texas market represents one of the most exciting opportunities for the solar industry," says Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy. "The industry's growing scale and decreasing costs are enabling us to successfully compete against conventional energy in deregulated markets like ERCOT.

Earlier this year, Austin Energy signed a contract for what could be the lowest price for solar electricity ever, just under $0.05 per kilowatt hour (kWh), locked in for 25 years - without any local or state subsidies. The electricity comes from two solar farms also going up in West Texas, a 150 MW and 50 MW plant built by Sun Edison.  

The price is less than a third of what Austin Energy paid in 2009 for solar, and beats natural gas ($0.07), coal ($0.10) and nuclear ($0.13)!

The utility's goal is the highest in the US - 35% of electricity from renewables by 2020 - and it's almost there, six years early, demonstrating that it's not that hard to meet aggressive renewable energy targets. It's also been getting incredibly cheap deals for wind energy.

Recurrent says it has over 500 MW of operating solar projects in North America and 2 gigawatts under development.

400 MW Project Moves Ahead

Meanwhile, the first phase of a 400 MW project is online in San Antonio. Rather than being built as one, massive project, South Korea's OCI Solar Power consists of four separate solar plants - the first phase is the 41 MW Alamo I solar farm.  

When the entire project is finished, Texas will be one of the top solar producing states.

Alamo 1:



"By 2020, 65% of our community's electricity will come from resources that are low- or no-carbon emitting - reducing emissions in an amount that's equal to removing more than a million cars from local roads," says CEO Doyle Beneby of San Antonio's municipal utility, CPS Energy.

The project represents one of the most creative agreements for bringing solar to a state. Negotiated by San Antonio's Mayor Julian Castro, he convinced the utility to tie clean power purchase agreements to economic investments in the city. As a result, OCI Solar Power moved its headquarters there and opened a $100 million manufacturing facility that makes the components for all its North American projects, creating 800 permanent jobs and $700 million in an annual economic impact for Texas. 

Castro led an impressive turnaround at CPS Energy, turning it away from "bullheaded reliance on a fleet of enormous nuclear and coal-fired power plants built decades ago," to instead following a "New Energy Economy" plan. Now it's aiming to get 20% of its power from renewables by 2020, and is on track to beat that goal.  

El Paso Electric Company

The utility says it will be coal-free by 2016, as it moves forward on utility-scale solar to serve its 395,000 customers in west Texas and southern New Mexico.

"Our west Texas and southern New Mexico region has the right kind of sun for optimal solar energy production, making this region the 'goldilocks' in terms of climate, humidity and heat characteristics that allow us to expand our renewable portfolio with cost-effective technologies and reliable energy resources," says Tom Shockley, CEO.

Also in Texas

San Antonio's leadership on renewable energy is bringing other rewards - the city is attracting talented individuals that work in the space and companies like Microsoft that want renewables to run their data centers.

Microsoft announced a 3-year partnership with the University of Texas to "transform how data centers consume energy." Noting that CPS Energy "is the largest publicly owned purchaser of wind power in the country," the team will evaluate using micro-turbines instead of diesel generators during times of peak demand and grid outages.

The company is also donating $1 million to the university's Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute. 

Last year, Microsoft made its biggest purchase of renewable energy, 100% of the energy from the 110 MW Keechi Wind Farm in Texas, to power its data center there. The money came from Microsoft's internal carbon fee.

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Fwd: Hydropower supplies more than 75% of Brazil's electric power

Brazil market info. Brent please also copy to DD folder. New massive hydro capex running at just under $1/watt.


Hydropower supplies more than 75% of Brazil's electric power
June 17, 2014
By PennEnergy Editorial Staff
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration


Brazil is the second-largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world, trailing only China, and the country depends on hydroelectricity for more than 75% of its electric power supply. Much of Brazil's hydroelectric potential lies in the country's Amazon River basin in the north, while Brazil's population centers (and demand for electricity) are largely along the eastern coast, particularly in the southern portion. This reliance on one resource for most of the country's electricity generation, combined with the distant and disparate locations of its population centers, has presented electricity reliability challenges.

Brazil is currently experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, which has contributed to electricity blackouts in many Brazilian regions. As Brazil hosts the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament over the next month, concerns have been raised as to whether electricity supply will be adequate to meet the increase in demand associated with the tournament. While the drought has persisted in northern Brazil, the south has been inundated with rainfall that has affected some World Cup matches, including those held in Natal, the site of team USA's victory over Ghana last night.
Brazil has spent more than $5 billion to subsidize electric utilities replacing lost hydroelectric generation with fossil fuel-fired generation, including large amounts of liquefied natural gas, and has taken steps to provide backup generation for stadiums.
Brazil's large geographic size has required substantial investments in electricity transmission lines and support facilities. To support future economic growth, Brazil has invested in additional hydroelectric facilities. For instance, the 14,000-megawatt Belo Monte dam along the Xingu River, expected to be completed in 2016, will become the second-largest dam in Brazil—and the third-largest dam in the world—at a projected cost of $13 billion.
To read more about Brazil's energy markets and infrastructure, see EIA's Country Analysis Brief on Brazil.
Principal contributor: Kevin Lillis

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fwd: Solar powers water treatment plant in Florida




Solar powers water treatment plant in Florida
06/13/2014

Solar module manufacturer, Suniva Inc., is now powering Florida's first-of-its-kind solar powered water treatment plant, in the city of Coleman.
Engineering firm, Mittauer and Associates; general contractor, ECO-2000 Inc.;  and solar installer, JSG Solar assisted Suniva with the project.  
"The talented team applied for and received renewable energy grant money for this energy saving solar power system," said Jerry Guthmiller, president, JSG Solar, Inc. "This system is the first of its kind in the state, making it a poster child for Florida – one of the sunniest states in our nation."
Previously, Suniva's 5-MW array powered the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) waste water treatment center in Maryland; and the 1.9-MW water reclamation facility in Cary, North Carolina.
"We've seen a real uptick in the amount of solar powered water treatment and waste water treatment facilities. We're happy to see that municipalities of all sizes are recognizing the value of renewable energy," said Matt Card, vice president global sales and marketing, Suniva.  
Subscri

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Fwd: Great News! Chile Saves Pristine Wilderness From Big Hydro, Turns On Solar




It's a great week in Chile, as citizens sigh in relief that five mega-dams are cancelled and the first large solar plant is turned on.

Chile's government canceled permits for HidroAysén - a disastrous plan that would have put five enormous dams across two of Patagonia's rivers, destroying them forever. The area is one of the wildest, undisturbed places left on our planet. 

"At the southernmost tip of South America, the towering Andes rise sharply from the deep waters of the Pacific, creating a rugged expanse of coastal islands, dense rainforests and snow-capped glaciers," says Natural Resources Defense Council, which has been working to protect the region as part of the Patagonia Defense Council - a coalition of 70 local and international organizations. 



After an 8 year campaign with on-going protests on the ground and tens of thousands of messages urging her to cancel the hydro project, Chile's President Michelle Bachelet responded. 

In addition to the dams - which would flood thousands of acres of wildlife habitat - transmission infrastructure would have clearcut the forest, all to bring electricity to mining companies.

"This is like building Hoover Dam at the entrance to Yosemite Valley," says Rick Ridgeway, vice president of outdoor gear company Patagonia. The company is named after the region and contributed millions of dollars to protect it.    

"The government's definitive rejection of the HidroAysén project is not only the greatest triumph of the environmental movement in Chile, but marks a turning point, where an empowered public demands to be heard and to participate in the decisions that affect their environment and lives," says Patricio Rodrigo, Executive Secretary of the Patagonia Defense Council.

Studies show Chile can generate the same amount of energy through its extraordinary solar, wind and geothermal resources.  And Chile is beginning to use it. 

Solar In The Desert

Built in just six months, SunEdison inaugurated the largest solar PV plant on the continent, the 100 megawatt (MW) Amanacer solar farm in Atacama Desert. It is also building a 92 MW and 50 MW solar plant there.

And construction begins this year on Latin America's first concentrating solar plant, a 110 MW project by Abengoa, which will have the ability to store energy.

First Solar acquired the leading Chilean solar developer to gain a foothold there. Solar Chile has more than 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of early to mid-stage projects in its portfolio across four regions of Northern Chile.

Atacama - the driest desert anywhere - has the highest solar radiation concentration in the world.

Earlier this year, Chile's recently elected progressive government announced it will tax carbon emissions. Its National Energy Strategy 2012-2030 has a target of reducing energy consumption through efficiency by 12%, while getting 20% of energy from renewables by 2024.

Chile is the world's top copper producer and coal-fired power plants currently provide energy for most of the mines.

Read our article, Mega-Dams Don't Even Make Economic Sense, Say Researchers.

10 Things You Should Know About Dams:

Website: www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/28-1

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fwd: When Solar Property Taxes Get Personal


On the long and winding road of solar project development, property taxes are frequently an afterthought. Yet, the presence, or lack, of a property tax on a solar energy system has significant implications for a project's profitability. According to SEIA, 38 states in the U.S. have property tax exemptions for solar, and there are more states that are pushing them forward (most recently Colorado). However, property tax exemptions are nuanced, often with different treatments for personal property (business equipment such as tools, fixtures, and vehicles) and real property (land and buildings).

This can sometimes mean that solar energy systems and third-party financing arrangements will not qualify for the exemptions. Moreover, there are some solar markets where property tax exemptions are individually negotiable — but not definite. Georgia and Massachusetts are two examples.

In Georgia, legislative efforts and utility programs have sought to increase solar development. Despite these efforts, project margins remain very tight because of low PPA rates. In addition, the state relies on property taxes (not sales tax or income tax) to generate much of its income, which means solar projects face the additional burden of real property taxes. As a result, we have seen cases where a "good" project's viability hinges on the project's tax treatment.

Massachusetts provides another interesting example. For the last 40 years, the state has had a property tax exemption for energy systems that provide primary and auxiliary power to private, tax-paying entities. However, local tax assessors in Massachusetts have the authority to interpret whether or not a solar energy system qualifies under this exemption — and assessors are motivated to increase tax revenues.

We have seen interpretations from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) range depending on the County. One common interpretation holds that the system owner must be the local taxpayer; thus, third-party owned systems would not qualify. Another common interpretation holds that all the power from the system must be consumed on-site from the host; thus, any net-metered systems would not qualify. Alas, this ambiguous guidance leads to uncertainty for solar development — and a potential landmine for solar developers and financiers.

In some cases, we have seen developers successfully avoid the property tax cost by negotiating a payment in lieu of tax (PiloT). Such PiloT agreements offer a developer with strong local roots an opportunity to add value to the project through savvy negotiation.  Often, showing a local authority that a project cannot go forward without a PiloT can help. Similarly, emphasizing that the system will not be a heavy consumer of municipal services can be compelling (unlike many other property-owning businesses, your solar panels won't be calling the police, sending kids to school, or attending the local Fourth of July parade).

In states like Massachusetts and Georgia where property tax exemptions are not straightforward, it is prudent to ascertain the likelihood of a tax exemption as early as possible, and project stakeholders should be aware of possible headaches (and increased transaction costs) associated with these tax exemptions. Working with a financing partner who has strong previous experience can also remove risk from the equation.

Lead image: Property money via Shutterstock

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646.402.5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Fwd: Three Key US Commercial Solar Tax Incentives Fighting for 2014 Extension

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646-402-5076

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Rebecca Van Nichols" <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: Jun 15, 2014 6:27 PM
Subject: Three Key US Commercial Solar Tax Incentives Fighting for 2014 Extension
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Cc:

Three Key US Commercial Solar Tax Incentives Fighting for 2014 Extension

Daryl Zeis, REC Solar
May 19, 2014  |  2 Comments

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You can never truly predict what legislation will actually pass through Congress and get signed by the President. Nevertheless, there are several expiring solar tax benefits in the EXPIRE Act of 2014 that we hope will get extended and continue to benefit commercial solar installations.

The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act is a U.S. Senate bill that is meant to extend a slew of tax incentives for one last time, hence the purposeful "EXPIRE" acronym.

In terms of solar, there are three key pieces of expiring legislation that may or may not make it to the President's desk:

30% Federal Investment Tax Credit Extension…or not

First, the bad news: As currently written, EXPIRE does not include extending the 30% solar investment tax credit (ITC). This very popular incentive allows tax paying solar owners to receive a federal tax credit that can be used to offset a commercial solar system's cost by as much as 30%.

While the ITC extension did not make it into EXPIRE, it may be included in future omnibus bills. As of right now, only solar projects completed by the end of 2016 will qualify for the 30% ITC. Senate supporters have been attempting to change the wording so that any solar project that is started by the end of 2016 will qualify for the 30% ITC credit. If successful, this "commence construction" wording could allow solar owners and developers to qualify  for the 30% tax credit for complex projects that may not finish completion before the end of 2016.

On the other hand, if the ITC law isn't amended before 2016, the ITC will be reduced to 10% for solar projects that complete or start installation after December 31, 2016. Consequently, it's important for large solar projects to begin construction as soon as possible to ensure beating the current 2016 deadline.

Section 179 Deduction Expense

The EXPIRE Act does include several provisions that improve the Section 179 deduction. From 2009-2013, the Section 179 deduction allowed eligible businesses to deduct up to $500,000 of a solar equipment purchase price of up to $2 million, from the taxpayers' gross income in the first year. This additional tax deduction is on top of the 5 year accelerated depreciation schedule, allowing taxpayers to write off a significant portion their investment in the first year.  Some industry observers have referred to this provision as "super-secret 100% depreciation."

If EXPIRE doesn't get signed into law, for taxable years beginning in 2014 and thereafter, a taxpayer may only expense up to $25,000 of the cost of the solar property, up to a maximum $200,000 of the solar equipment's price tag. These limitations, currently in place, significantly impact the benefit of this tax deduction.

However, if the EXPIRE Act is ultimately signed into law (as currently written by the Senate), it will do several things: First, through 2015, it will restore the maximum annual deduction amount and equipment cost phase-out threshold to $500,000 and $2 million, respectively.

Second, EXPIRE will allow tribal governments and non-profits to allocate the value of the 179 deduction to "the person primarily responsible for designing the property in the same manner as is allowed for public property." In other words, a tribal government or non-profit can't typically benefit form tax deductions, but under this provision, a non profit going solar will be able to transfer the equivalent 179 deduction value to a solar installer, who can deduct that value from the total cost.

That being said, non-profits may be more inclined to finance their solar installations with solar PPA financing and other new innovative financing methods. (Contact REC Solar for comparing the best options for non-profits.)

Bonus Depreciation

If EXPIRE is signed into law, one provision will also extend the 50% Bonus Depreciation provision for solar property purchased, installed, and connected to the grid by the end of 2015.

Under Bonus Depreciation, the taxpayer is able to deduct an additional 50% in the first year of the installation. There are no eligibility or project limits under this provision, opening this tax benefit up to all tax payers. So if a business is too large to qualify for section 179, they can still take the bonus depreciation and 5 year accelerated depreciation schedule creating a healthy reduction of their tax burden.

When the tax credit  is used with a solar project, , the owner must reduce the project's depreciable basis by one-half the value of the ITC. So, this means the owner is able to deduct 85% of the tax basis with the ITC (30% ITC x 1/2 = 15% reduction in eligible basis).

As a very simple example, if EXPIRE passes and a solar installation's tax depreciation cost basis after applying the ITC is $650,000, an eligible taxpayer could deduct up to $500,000 in the first year under section 179.

The remaining cost, $150,000, would be subject to the 50% Bonus Depreciation. Thus, the taxpayer would receive an additional $75,000 bonus tax deduction in the first year, resulting in significant tax savings, a reduction in the payback period, and a nice boost to the Return On Investment for a solar project…if EXPIRE makes it to the President's desk.

The above notwithstanding, the U.S. tax code is very complicated and this is not official tax advice. For the sake of brevity, we've simplified explaining these potential solar incentive extensions, so please contact your tax advisor to find out how these proposed solar incentives and other financing options might apply to your solar project.

The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.co

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Fwd: $5bn Skypower solar deal for Nigeria

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646-402-5076

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Rebecca Van Nichols" <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: Jun 15, 2014 6:32 PM
Subject: $5bn solar plan for Nigeria
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Cc:

$5bn solar plan for Nigeria
16/05/2014
By Diarmaid Williams
International Digital Editor

Nigeria has signed a series of agreements with SkyPower FAS Energy, a joint venture between SkyPower Global and FAS Energy, to develop and operate 3,000 MW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plants over the next five years.

The agreements amount to a total investment of $5bn and are set to create more than 30,000 green energy jobs, according to reneweconomy.com.

The parties to the agreements came together at the recent World Economic Forum on Africa where a deal was struck through the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between Canada and Nigeria

The new solar energy installations will be located in the Delta State of Nigeria, long known as the country's most prolific oil-producing region, and may herald a shift away from fossil fuels.

In the near term, solar energy is expected to play a major role in Africa's clean energy transition. Solar PV demand across the continent is expected to reach up to 6 GW by 2018, according to NPD SolarBuzz.

The World Bank estimates 44 countries across Africa could develop 170 GW of low-carbon power generation from 3,200 projects – more than twice the region's current installed capacity.

The $5bn in capital investment for the Nigerian project will come from a combination of bank debt, development bank financing, and equity partners.

For more solar power generation news


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Fwd: Eleven states generate power from nonhydro renewables at double U.S. average


Eleven states generate power from nonhydro renewables at double U.S. average
04/21/2014

U.S. nonhydro renewable production in the U.S. increased to account for 6.2 percent of total electrical supply in 2013, up from 5.4 percent in 2012, with 11 states producing nonhydro renewable energy at more than twice the national average, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In those 11 states, nonhydro renewable resources accounted for between 14 percent and 32 percent of the net electric generation, with Maine leading all states by producing 32 percent of its power from nonhydro renewables. Biomass resources accounted for 25 percent of Maine's total electric generation, according to the EIA.
The other states largely relied on wind power to produce its nonhydro renewable power, with Iowa and South Dakota producing more than 25 percent of their net electricity from wind generation. Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Colorado generated between 12 percent and 20 percent of their power from wind resources, the EIA stated.
California generated more than 18 percent of its electricity from nonhydro renewable resources. The state also showed an increase in wind power production, with 2013 marking the first year wind produced more power than the state's geothermal resources.
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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646.402.5076
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Fwd: Nautilus funding sources for Ontario


Nautilus Solar Energy secures investors for Canadian solar project portfolio
06/10/2014

Nautilus Solar Energy Canada Inc., a subsidiary  of Nautilus Solar Energy LLC,  has successfully secured investors North Sky CleanTech Alliance Fund, L.P. and NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure, L.P. for a solar project portfolio.
Located in Ontario, Canada, the portfolio will initially consist of 28 projects totaling approximately 9.2-MW, however, output capacity is expected to reach 24-MW.
"We are pleased to partner with Nautilus Solar Energy, a proven solar developer, and to support the objectives of the Province of Ontario in expanding its base of clean energy," said Ali Iz, managing partner at NewWorld Capital Group.
Nautilus is a solar power generation developer that develops, constructs, finances, owns and operates distributed generation and utility-scale solar electric systems throughout North America.
Read more solar news


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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646.402.5076
www.arcstarenergy.com

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hudak resigns as party leader to become private sector moron

http://read.thestar.com/?origref=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.thestar.com%252Fnews%252Fontario_election.html


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Mexican Senate Starts Discussions on Oil Reform - Global Energy World - Be the first to know

http://www.globalenergyworld.com/mobile/news/11062/Mexican_Senate_Starts_Discussions_on_Oil_Reform.htm?HASH=92c58eed95735629413c777b44237548&utm_source=GEW&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GEW+Daily+Z&utm_content=mbannerman%40arcstarenergy.com

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646-402-5076

Fwd: Cayman Solar Installing Largest Commercial Rooftop Solar PV System in Cayman

Floridians chase solar away from home.

Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646-402-5076

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Rebecca Van Nichols" <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: Jun 12, 2014 10:46 AM
Subject: Cayman Solar Installing Largest Commercial Rooftop Solar PV System in Cayman
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Cc:

Cayman Solar Installing Largest Commercial Rooftop Solar PV System in Cayman

US Solar Institute
June 10, 2014

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Georgetown, Grand Cayman June 10, 2014 This week Cayman Solar began installing what will be the single largest rooftop solar PV system in The Cayman Islands. Cayman Solar is the latest company to rise in the Caribbean Solar Energy Market and is currently installing the largest commercial rooftop solar PV energy system in the country.

Everyone Cayman Solar has worked with has vision of a greener Cayman with an eye on truly sustainable living
Cayman Solar is a Cayman Islands based solar company, who is enjoying a tremendous start-up by securing multiple contracts for rooftop solar PV in Cayman. 

"This first project will soon be eclipsed by an even larger project due to begin construction next (July 2014)" shared Director Graham Peck. "We are excited to be a part of the greening of Cayman and a US Solar Dealer".

Cayman Solar received a tremendous boost from US Solar the Fort Lauderdale, Florida based solar conglomerate that has been awarded for solar education, green practices, climate change leadership and has directed countless commercial and industrial solar power systems throughout the Caribbean and USA.

"US Solar awarded Cayman Solar a dealership license in 2013 and we hope to see Cayman Solar leading the way in the Grand Cayman Islands" stated Ray Johnson US Solar President and Founder.  

The island country can expect to receive a real boost from US Solar because they supply state of the art solar energy products, solar training, design engineering and other globally vital initiatives that have proven so successful the solar energy conglomerate has achieved an almost ten fold growth since 2012.

US Solar has a proven history of making the most of their new operations so all should expect impressive results.  For example, May 15th 2011 was proclaimed US Solar Day by the City Commissioners and Mayor of Fort Lauderdale.

A year later, the Mayor of Broward County decorated the company with Broward County's Emerald Green Award(s) for 2012 in three out of four possible categories. US Solar awards include recognition for Leadership in: Recycling, Green Business Practices & Innovation; as well as, The Climate Change Leader in the coveted Florida Business Category.

Most recently US Solar headlined June 6th and 7th Go Solar Fest 2014 in Fort Lauderdale Florida as the promary sponsor and a main speaker for the Department of Energy funded event showcasing their Caribbean regional leadership and innovation to over 2000 persons at the two day event.                

Now in 2014, Cayman Solar is open for business with multiple contracts at the world-class business and upscale living community of Georgetown Grand Cayman.

"US Solar has been serving The Cayman Islands since 2007 and feel the timing and opening of Cayman Solar falls perfectly in line with the advances being lead by CUC.  Everyone in Cayman has vision of a greener island with an eye on truly sustainable living" states Johnson.

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Fwd: Buffett To Double Down on Renewable Energy Investments

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Rebecca Van Nichols" <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: Jun 12, 2014 10:43 AM
Subject: Buffett To Double Down on Renewable Energy Investments
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Cc:

Buffett To Double Down on Renewable Energy Investments

The billionaire plans to plow an additional $15 billion into wind and solar in the future.

Noah Buhayar and Jim Polson, Bloomberg
June 10, 2014  |  7 Comments

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Warren Buffett briefly lost track of how many billions of dollars his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is spending to build wind and solar power in the U.S. That didn't stop him from vowing to double the outlay.


Describing the company's increasing investment in renewable energy at the Edison Electric Institute's annual convention in Las Vegas yesterday, Buffett had to rely on a deputy, Greg Abel, to remind him just how much they'd committed: $15 billion.

Without missing a beat, Buffett responded: "There's another $15 billion ready to go, as far as I'm concerned."

Such bold remarks are common for the Berkshire chairman and chief executive officer. He frequently talks about hunting for "elephant"-size acquisitions and making multibillion-dollar stock purchases.

Still, the comment speaks to the kinds of investments that are increasingly appealing to the billionaire now that his Omaha, Nebraska-based company is the fifth-largest in the world by market value. With dozens of units spinning off cash, Buffett has been allocating funds to regulated, capital-intensive businesses such as railroad BNSF and power companies.

"Buffett has always steered Berkshire toward the future," said Lawrence Cunningham, a professor at George Washington University and author of the forthcoming book "Berkshire Beyond Buffett." "Lately, that has meant intensifying the company's focus on rudimentary, long-lasting businesses."

'Keep Moving'

While utilities don't offer the sort of outsize returns of businesses that Buffett, 83, favored earlier in his career, he has said he likes the industry because it provides opportunities for reinvestment and further acquisitions. He bought control of an energy holding company in Iowa in 2000 and helped bankroll its expansion.

The unit, now called Berkshire Hathaway Energy, operates electric grids in the U.K., natural gas pipelines that stretch from the Great Lakes to Texas and electric utilities in states including Oregon and Nevada. Its renewable investments include wind farms in Iowa and Wyoming, as well as solar farms in California and Arizona.

Unlike other utility-holding companies, Berkshire Hathaway Energy retains all of its earnings. That probably will continue, Buffett said yesterday, estimating that the unit could reinvest about $30 billion into its business in the next decade.

"We're going to keep doing that as far as the eye can see," he said. "We'll just keep moving."

'Strong Need'

Berkshire has been able to plow so much into renewable energy because it can use tax credits to offset profit at other businesses, Abel, the 52-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, said yesterday. Units at Buffett's company include auto insurer Geico, Dairy Queen, Shaw carpet and T-shirt maker Fruit of the Loom.

Investments in renewable energy will be needed as the U.S. seeks to reduce its reliance on fossil-fuel generation. Electric utilities face cuts of 30 percent in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared with 2005, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates of a proposed rule issued June 2.

"It's encouraging that he wants to invest because as an industry we have a strong need for capital," Nick Akins, CEO of American Electric Power Co., said of Buffett's remarks on renewables.

AEP is a partner with Berkshire in Electric Transmission Texas, a joint venture that's building and operating power lines carrying electricity from the state's windy plains to cities.

While spending $30 billion on renewable-energy projects would have been unheard of two decades ago at Berkshire, Buffett is signaling that the returns are attractive, said Jeff Matthews, a shareholder and author of books about the company. The comment may turn out to be more than an off-hand remark.

"If he says it, he means it," said Matthews. "The whole complexion of the company has changed."

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Fwd: Qatar Solar Energy enters global energy market

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Rebecca Van Nichols" <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: Jun 12, 2014 12:43 PM
Subject: Qatar Solar Energy enters global energy market
To: <mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com>
Cc:

Qatar Solar Energy enters global energy market
June 10, 2014
By PennEnergy Editorial Staff
Source: Qatar Solar Energy


Qatar Solar Energy (QSE), a Qatar-based renewable energy company, has entered the solar market with its announcement of the largest solar technology development and manufacturing facility in the MENA region.
The launch, which puts Qatar on the path to be one of the biggest producers of solar energy in the world, was attended by government officials, foreign dignitaries, industry and environmental leaders, and special guests. Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, spoke during the event.
QSE, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 architected by H.H. the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is delivering solar energy solutions and manufacturing solar products that will lessen the reliance of the economy on hydrocarbon fuel industries.
QSE's innovative model combines research, technology development, manufacturing, and project development and deployment under one roof, forming a fully integrated value chain from raw materials to the end-user. By promoting synergies between these areas, QSE allows for constant innovation and incorporation of the most advanced technologies in its products. Crucial to this process is the Al Jazari Center for Excellence, QSE's research institute that brings together the region's best minds.
"Qatar Solar Energy is dedicated to democratizing sustainable energy by delivering environmentally responsible solutions to the world's pressing energy challenges. By lowering the cost, our technology will empower individuals and businesses with affordable electricity in developed and emerging markets," said Salim Abbassi, CEO of QSE. "This is a significant milestone for Qatar and proves that the region can be on the leading edge of an industry that will secure sustainable energy for future generations."
QSE also announced today that it signed agreements with Jermyn Capital to supply 150 MW of solar power to the Japanese market and additionally with Power Capital to supply 150 MW to the Thailand market. QSE was chosen as the solar provider of choice for its ability to deliver higher efficiency solar solutions at lower costs with plans to work together into the future with both companies on a range of solar power initiatives.
QSE has achieved 300 Megawatts of solar capacity on the way to further expanding production to 2.5 Gigawatts. To improve cost and efficiency QSE is collaborating with leading solar energy technology companies with specialization in ingot, wafer, cell, module, and deployment technologies. QSE is currently manufacturing patented innovative products specifically designed for sun-belt regions. QSE's products for emerging markets are designed to be of equal or better quality, reliability and performance than products available to developed markets. By lowering costs and increasing efficiency, QSE accelerates the democratization and use of renewable energy worldwide.


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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fwd: PHOTON Newsletter - International edition from June 12, 2014

See Columbia.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <newsletter@photon.info>
Date: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Subject: PHOTON Newsletter - International edition from June 12, 2014
To: mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com


Personal Newsletter for Monty Bannerman
from 12.06.2014

Business
Mascotte to sell Sun Materials for 1 HKD

Sun Materials polysilicon factory in Yi-Lan, Taiwan never began commercial production due to problems with the production process.

© Mascotte Holdings Limited
12.06.2014: Mascotte Holdings Ltd. has agreed to sell its indirect wholly owned subsidiary Taiwan-based polysilicon producer Sun Materials Technology Co. Ltd. Last week, Mascotte signed an agreement to sell Taiwan-based investment holding firm Sun Mass Energy Ltd., the holding company for Lution International Holdings Co. Ltd., another holding company that owns Sun Materials. The purchase price was set at 1 HKD (13¢). The name of the independent third-party buyer was not disclosed. Once the conditional agreement is approved, Mascotte will cease to have any responsibility for all business operation, financial and legal matters of Sun Mass, including responsibility for bank and other borrowings. Mascotte estimates that Sun Mass owes more than $5.1 million in loans and interest. On top of this, the company has a 20-year lease agreement for the land where the Sun Materials factory is located. Sun Mass has an outstanding lease payment of over $15 million for the remaining 13 years. Sun Mass has estimated monthly operating costs of roughly $129,000, but Sun Materials is not generating any income. The Sun Materials factory, located in Yi-Lan, Taiwan, has a production capacity of 3,500 MT. However, commercial production at the facility, scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011, never began due to problems with the production process. © PHOTON

http://www.mascotte.com

http://www.mascotte.com/attachment/20140606200201001933945_en.pdf

Die vollständige Pressemitteilung finden Sie auch im PHOTON-Archiv unter folgendem Link:
http://www.photon.info/newsletter/document/86518.pdf

 


Markets
Colombia gets its largest PV system
12.06.2014: Colombia's Ministry of Energy and Mines announced the completion of the country's largest operational PV system. The off-grid PV system, which relies 1,300 solar modules provided by an undisclosed manufacturer, will provide power to the municipalities of Nazareth and Puerto Estrella. The project was developed in the frame of the country's renewable energy law »Ley 1715 – 2014,« which was approved by the Colombian government in mid-May. The law provides financial support for the deployment of off-grid renewable energy projects across Colombia and aims to reduce the use of diesel fuel in non-interconnected areas by replacing diesel generators with renewable energy installations. Deployment of these installations is being supported by a newly created fund, the Fondo de Energías No Convencionales y Gestión Eficiente de la Energía. The new law also provides a legal framework for the development of renewable energy projects in Colombia. © PHOTON

http://www.minminas.gov.co

http://www.minminas.gov.co/minminas/index.jsp?cargaHome=2&opcionCalend
ar=10&id_comunicado=1031

Die vollständige Pressemitteilung finden Sie auch im PHOTON-Archiv unter folgendem Link:
http://www.photon.info/newsletter/document/86522.pdf

 

Business
OBC to launch debt recovery process for Moser Baer's solar business
12.06.2014: The Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) is planning to initiate a debt recovery process for Moser Baer Photovoltaic Ltd., the PV-focused subsidiary of India-based tech manufacturing company Moser Baer India Ltd. OBC claims that Moser Baer Photovoltaic has failed to fulfill conditions imposed as part of a corporate debt restructuring exercise. The company owes the bank around 4.33 billion INR ($73 million). © PHOTON

http://freepressjournal.in

http://freepressjournal.in/obc-may-start-recovery-process-of-moser-bae
r-arm/

 

Business
Barbados plans its first large-scale PV project
12.06.2014: The Barbados Light & Power Co. (BL&P), the sole electricity utility in Barbados, plans to install up to 8 MW of PV generation capacity on 45 acres of land it owns in the parish of St. Lucy. As an initial step, BL&P has published a Request for Expressions of Interest to identify contractors who would respond to a formal Request for Proposals (RfP), which will be issued in mid-2014. This solar project forms part of BL&P's strategy to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuel. It will also contribute to the achievement of the government's renewable energy goals identified in the National Sustainable Energy Policy. © PHOTON

http://www.blpc.com.bb

http://www.blpc.com.bb/watts_display.cfm?ID=177

Die vollständige Pressemitteilung finden Sie auch im PHOTON-Archiv unter folgendem Link:
http://www.photon.info/newsletter/document/86530.pdf

 

Science & technology
NREL finds up to 6¢ per kWh extra value with CSP

The 19.9 MW Gemasolar power plant in Spain was the first commercial CSP plant with a central tower receiver and molten salt storage.

© Torresol Energy Investments
12.06.2014: CSP projects would add additional value of 5¢ per kWh to utility-scale solar energy in California if the state reaches its 33% renewables target in 6 years, according to a new report from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The report, »Estimating the Value of Utility-Scale Solar Technologies in California Under a 40% Renewable Portfolio Standard,« finds that CSP, with its ability to store energy for several hours or more, helps maintain firm capacity at night. Compared to variable generation technologies, this translates to an increase in value of 5¢ per kWh under a 33% renewable standard – the mandate for 2020 – or 6¢ per kWh under a 40% renewable standard. The added value means that at peak demands, CSP can help lower electricity bills. »CSP adds significant additional value when compared to less flexible generation sources,« said NREL CSP Group Manager Mark Mehos, a co-author of the study. »As the penetration of renewables rises, so does the relative value of CSP. CSP could also allow greater penetration of PV by making the grid more flexible and reducing curtailment of PV by generating energy after the sun sets.« © PHOTON

http://www.nrel.gov

http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2014/11370.html

Die vollständige Pressemitteilung finden Sie auch im PHOTON-Archiv unter folgendem Link:
http://www.photon.info/newsletter/document/86535.pdf

 

Markets
Spanish region of Extremadura reaffirms support for 1.2 GW PV project pipeline

The Spanish region of Extremadura is still pushing for more solar despite the collapse of the national solar market.
12.06.2014: The government of the Spanish region of Extremadura has reiterated its support for three large-scale PV power projects planned for the region. Together, the proposed projects would have a combined capacity of 1.2 GW. According to local newspaper Hoy, the regional government is working with Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de España (REE) and the national government to fast-track the authorization process for the three projects. The first of the three projects is a 500 MW PV project planned for Usagre. The government signed a cooperation agreement with local company Ecoenergías del Guadiana for the project in May 2012. At the time, the government said the project would cost approximately €750 million ($1 billion) and would be completed in 2014. As part of the agreement, Extremadura promised to streamline all administrative processes related to the project. The second project, a 400 MW project proposed by solar companies Valsolar and Solarstrom, would be built in the municipalities of Calzadilla and Bienvenida. The government and the two promoters also signed a cooperation agreement for the project in May 2012. At that time, the government said the project would require an investment of about €450 million and that it would be completed in 2015. Details about the third project, which would have a generation capacity of 300 MW, were not disclosed. © PHOTON

http://www.juntaex.es

http://www.hoy.es/extremadura/201406/10/junta-afirma-saldran-adelante-
20140610224309.html

 

Business
Toyo to build 32 MW solar plant in southern Japan for Pacifico Energy

The 32 MW Kumenan power plant, scheduled to come on line in March 2016, will be located in Okayama Prefecture, Japan.

© GE Energy Financial Services
12.06.2014: Japanese solar power plant developer Pacifico Energy K.K. has awarded local engineering firm Toyo Engineering Corp. an EPC contract for a 32 MW PV project it is developing in Okayama Prefecture, Japan. The Kumenan power plant, scheduled to come on line in March 2016, will sell its output to utility Chugoku Electric Power Co. Inc. through a 20-year PPA at a fixed tariff rate. The EPC contract is valued at approximately ¥9 billion ($87.9 million). The power plant will use PV modules produced by China-base Yingli Green Energy. Earlier this week, US-based GE Energy Financial Services, GE's energy investing business, announced it had invested in the Kumenan project. GE Energy Financial Services did not disclose the amount it contributed, but it did say that the investment was made on a non-recourse project finance basis and that it was supported by a ¥11 billion loan from the Bank of Tokyo–Mitsubishi UFJ and the Chugoku Bank Ltd. The investment is part of GE Energy Financial Services' plan to invest over $1 billion annually in renewable energy projects worldwide. Developer Pacifico Energy expects to begin construction on 200 MW of solar power projects this year across four projects. © PHOTON

http://www.toyo-eng.co.jp

http://www.toyo-eng.co.jp/en/company/news/2014/20140609/index.html

Die vollständige Pressemitteilung finden Sie auch im PHOTON-Archiv unter folgendem Link:
http://www.photon.info/newsletter/document/86526.pdf

 

Business <



--
Monty Bannerman
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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fwd: YieldCo Makes Largest Wind Farm in US Available to Investors



YieldCo Makes Largest Wind Farm in US Available to Investors

SustainableBusiness.com News


People that want to share in the benefits of renewable energy projects will soon earn dividends from the largest wind farm in the US, as well as have access to another "yieldco" option.

NRG Yield Buys Alta Wind

Alta Wind, the largest US wind farm, will soon be part of NRG Yield's (NYSE:NYLD) portfolio, spinning off dividends to people who hold shares of NYLD. 

NRG Yield is buying Alta Wind Energy Center (also known as Mojave Wind Farm), part of the massive wind corridor in Tehachapi, California. At 947 megawatts, it brings NRG's wind portfolio to 2.84 GW the fifth-largest in North America. 386 GE and Vestas turbines make up the wind farm, installed four years ago.



All the electricity from Alta Wind is under contract for 21 years to Southern California Edison. 

NRG is buying Alta Wind from Terra-Gen Power for $870 million, in addition to taking on its project debt of $1.6 billion.

Unlike the surge among utilities to fight the growth of renewable energy, NRG is embracing it.  

"Alta Wind is a landmark investment for NRG Yield," says  David Crane, CEO of NRG Yield. "The acquisition of the largest wind facility on the North American continent highlights not only our commitment to carbon-free generation, but also the strength of our acquisition capabilities to compete for contracted assets of world-class quality in the competitive marketplace."

NRG Yield is also a major investor in the world's largest solar PV project, Agua Caliente Solar Photovoltaic Facility, near Phoenix, Arizona, and Ivanpah, the world's largest concentrating solar plant. In addition to NRG Yield's portfolio of solar and wind plants, it also unfortunately includes 3 natural gas plants. 

NextEra Spins Off Another YieldCo

NextEra Energy Resources, Florida Power & Light's (FPL) renewable energy arm, is forming a yieldco. It has filed with the SEC for an IPO for an unspecified date - we'll let you know when it's about to go public. 

FPL has long held the largest wind project portfolio in the US - building projects for 20 years - and it also builds solar plants.  

Its yieldco will initially hold a portfolio of 1.5-2 GW of operating projects, with another 1.2 GW once more projects are finished. It will trade under the ticker NEP on the NY Stock Exchange.

NextEra owns some of the largest US solar plants such as the 250 MW McCoy Solar Energy Project in Riverside County, California.  It's a major investor in the 550 MW Desert Sunlight Solar Farm and owns Blythe Solar which if approved, will be a 1 GW solar plant.

In an interesting twist to financing solar projects, FPL wants customer donations! The state's largest utility has proposed this as a pilot program, currently under consideration by regulators.

If approved, customers could chip in $9 a month to support construction of up to 25 commercial-scale, distributed solar systems over the next three years - about 2.4 megawatts  total. How much gets built depends on customer participation, they say. 

The program would start next year. FPL would provide the upfront capital to install the first 2-5 systems early in 2015. FPL will contract out to local installers through a competitive bidding process. 

What Are Yieldcos?

In case, you haven't been following our articles on Yieldco's, they are an exciting, popular new option on the stock market. 

They provide liquid, easily accessible capital to build new renewable energy projects, while giving investors dividends. 

They draw a line between the side of a company that develops projects and the Yield Co, which owns and operates them long-term. Investors benefit from long-term, stable dividends that come from selling electricity to utilities under 20-25-year power purchase agreements. For income investors, they offer one of the few ways to make reliable dividends from high quality, very low risk projects. Any cash that's not paid out in dividends is reinvested in new projects.  

These are the other YieldCos:

Hannon Armstrong (NYSE: HASI): unique in that it invests mostly in energy efficiency upgrades for big buildings, also renewable energy;
Pattern Energy Group (NASDAQ:PEGI): wind farms
TransAlta Renewables (TSE:RNW): wind and hydro
Greencoat UK Wind (LON: UKW): UK wind farms
Renewables Infrastructure Group (LON: TRIG): solar and wind projects in Europe
Bluefield Solar Income Fund (LON: BSIF): buy or finance large-scale solar plants in the UK  
Soon to go public:

Abengoa Yield and SunEdison Yield: solar plants
Read our article, Clean Energy IPO Boom As Investors Seek Predictable Dividends.

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Fwd: Barclays Downgrades Entire Utility Sector Because of Rise of Solar


Stunning! Barclays Downgrades Entire Utility Sector Because of Rise of Solar

SustainableBusiness.com News


One of the hot - and sadly frustrating - topics we're covering a lot right now is the sudden attack on renewable energy in the US from utilities and petroleum interests. 

Add this to the threats they feel about the blossoming of solar in particular: Barclays just downgraded the entire electric utility sector to Underweight in the US high-grade corporate bond market. 

Why? Because the industry has long-term challenges from solar energy but they aren't priced in, reports Michael Aneiro in a Barron's blog. Since utilities comprise about 7.5% of Barclays' U.S. Corporate Index by market value, this is pretty significant, he says.

Aneiro points to Barclay's commentary:

"Electric utilities... are seen by many investors as a sturdy and defensive subset of the investment grade universe. Over the next few years, however, we believe that a confluence of declining cost trends in distributed solar photovoltaic power generation and residential-scale power storage is likely to disrupt the status quo.

Based on our analysis, the cost of solar + storage for residential consumers of electricity is already competitive with the price of utility grid power in Hawaii. Of the other major markets, California could follow in 2017, New York and Arizona in 2018, and many other states soon after.

In the 100+ year history of the electric utility industry, there has never before been a truly cost-competitive substitute available for grid power. We believe that solar + storage could reconfigure the organization and regulation of the electric power business over the coming decade. We see near-term risks to credit from regulators and utilities falling behind the solar + storage adoption curve and long-term risks from a comprehensive re-imagining of the role utilities play in providing electric power."

Barclays says that current valuations do not factor this shift in and utilities that are slow to adapt are becoming risky. Its recommendation: rotate out of utility bonds in areas "where solar + storage is closer to competitiveness" and move into those where the transformation is more distant.

Money Flows to Solar

Meanwhile, solar leasing companies has become a magnet for investors.

Last week,  Sunrun raised $150 million in its fifth round of financing for residential solar systems, after Clean Power Finance raised $200 million, Sungevity, $70 million, and SolarCity, $500 million. 

The US hit 10 gigawatts (GW) of solar last year and is on course to double that by the end of this year, according to Solarbuzz in its North America PV Markets Quarterly.

Continuing cost declines and a push toward development in advance of the possible elimination of the federal investment tax credit in 2016 are driving growth, they say. 



But the challenges we're seeing to state Renewable Portfolio Standards and net-metering programs could become a real problem, along with uncertainty related to solar trade with China. When the US imposed tariffs on solar panels from China, manufacturers simply moved the assembly to Taiwan - the subject of a federal investigation. 

"If state-level policies are dramatically scaled-back, or the supply of PV modules is severely restricted, this could prompt a decline in demand or an increase in pricing," says Solarbuzz.

Solar Prices Trump Coal, Gas

Indeed, Abengoa says concentrating solar with energy storage will compete with natural gas by 2020 in its ability to provide baseload power and on price. 

Capital costs are dropping dramatically and solar plants are becoming more efficient, says Abengoa. Its Cerro Dominador solar plant in Chile, for example, will have a capacity factor of about 80% - in the range of most fossil fuel plants.

When it comes to coal, Citigroup is among the many analysts sounding the deathnell. As many as 60 GW of coal plants could close in the next few years in the US where "demand is in structural decline as environmental pressures rise and costs of alternative energy sources decline.  The shale gas revolution was the first blow, but rapidly declining wind and solar costs and the spread of unconventional gas production techniques are set to erode coal's long-time cost advantage over alternative electricity sources."

You can see it in the price of coal, they say, down to $72 a ton this year, "well below break-even estimates of most coal mines."

Citi's two reports are: A New Balance of Power, A Short Gas Bridge to Renewables, and Global Thermal Coal: When Cyclical Supply Met Structural Demand.

In yet another milestone, during the first quarter of 2014, renewable energy provided more energy than big hydroelectric power in the US - over 50%, according to the International Energy Agency.

Meanwhile, while Republicans get ready to fight the "War on Coal," for supposedly taking jobs from people, the US solar industry employs more people than the coal and gas industries combined.

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
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www.arcstarenergy.com

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fwd: Saudi Aramco to boost solar power investments

Osama's family chirps in.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rebecca Van Nichols <rvan@tnag.net>
Date: Monday, June 9, 2014
Subject: Saudi Aramco to boost solar power investments
To: mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com


Saudi Aramco to boost solar power investments
May 27, 2014
By Dorothy Davis Ballard
Content Director


Saudi Arabia's state-run oil firm Saudi Aramco plans to boost investments in solar energy in an effort to conserve oil resources for export, Bloomberg reported.  Initial plans include the development of 300 megawatts of solar power, according to Chief Executive Officer Khalid Al-Falih of Aramco.
"The government solar plan is moving very slow, and we are hearing about it for some time, but it's not maturing as fast as it should," Gasem al-Shaikh, head of energy unit at Saudi Binladin Group, said in an interview in Manama.
Al-Shaikh said the country is burning more liquids every year, which could reduce oil exports, prompting Saudi Aramco to act to save petroleum.
Ali al-Naimi, minister of petroleum and mineral resources for Saudi Arabia, said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' cap for oil production remains at 30 million barrels a day.
Al-Falih of Saudi Aramco said during a conference in Bahrain the company will be looking at solar investments, but will add solar capacity gradually. He referenced solar installation mistakes in Germany and Spain for the company's cautious approach.

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Monty Bannerman
ArcStar Energy
+1 646.402.5076
www.arcstarenergy.com