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UNLIMITED SOLAR
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Strathcona secures $250 US Million Financing with 1784 Solar, LLC

Strathcona Energy Group (SEG), a Canadian-based holding company specializing in vertically integrated solutions for the next generation of photovoltaics, has announced the company has secured $250 US million in construction financing through 1784 Solar, LLC, which is managed by 1784 Capital Holdings.

Strathcona has already secured initial expenditure funding to complete the construction and installation of commercial solar projects by SEG's subsidiaries. The interim loans will primarily benefit Strathcona's EPC provider, which has $85 million in commercial and municipal solar projects to be installed over the next 18 months.

Funding will also be available for the construction of smart energy systems, renewable energy EPC services, as well as manufacturing support for project-specific delivery.

"As solar reaches the mainstream of energy production and is projected to grow another 30% from last year to almost 8GW installed in the U.S. alone, this is the perfect time to have additional short term capital available for our rapidly expanding company," said Karl Hollett, the CEO of Strathcona Energy Group.

"In 1784 Solar, we have found an ideal funding source that thoroughly understands the exponentially growing solar marketplace."

Shane Albers, Chairman and CEO of 1784 Capital Holdings, states, "Strathcona Energy Group has a record of excellence in the energy marketplace. We look forward to funding their continued growth."

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Strathcona_Energy_Group_secures_250_US_Million_Financing_with_1784_Solar_LLC_999.html
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Solar Energy As Fast As Possible
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American Solar Direct Joins 100s in rally for solar jobs

American Solar Direct joined with hundreds of other concerned Californians outside of the California Public Utilities Commission ("CPUC") office in Los Angeles to speak out against proposals by California's largest utilities to largely diminish the financial benefits of solar panels to consumers by imposing new fees and reducing credits for energy generated, and putting utility profits ahead of continued state support for clean energy.

At issue are individual proposals from PG and E, SCE and SDG and E to their regulatory agency, the CPUC, that threaten Californians' ability to access solar power affordably, California's position as a solar power and climate change leader, and tens of thousands of local solar jobs.

Under existing rules, homeowners who choose solar are not subject to any utility fees for interconnection, and are credited at current retail rates for excess production fed back into the grid. However, under the new proposals, homeowners would be faced with interconnection fees, monthly fees, and credit for excess solar power produced at rates far lower than retail.

While existing customers with solar panels will be permitted to continue under the existing structure that has historically encouraged strong rates of solar adoption, future solar customers will find solar less financially attractive if the proposals are adopted.

Current benefits will continue in each utility service area until caps on solar power production are met; in SDG and E, this date is projected to be as early as the beginning of 2016, with PG and E and SCE reaching their caps later in 2016 and 2017 respectively. As such, American Solar Direct, who employs approximately 400 people in California and continues to expand its local workforce, joined today's rally to continue to voice its opposition to the proposed restructuring.

Said Kevin Bauer, President of American Solar Direct, "Our employees believe deeply in the solar power movement, and wouldn't consider missing the opportunity to stand with solar friends and advocates to tell the CPUC that solar power is important to them, to our customers and to this state."

Also present at the rally were students and teachers from the Betty Plasencia Elementary School, a Grammy award-winning artist from the Hip Hop Caucus, city council members, environmental organizations, concerned citizens, and other members of the solar industry.

Said Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director at solar industry association, CALSEIA, "Solar is important to all Californians. The rally today sends a strong message to the CPUC that we stand in solidarity behind affordable solar power for homeowners and the continuation of California's position as the nation's solar leader."

As of October, 2014, the solar power industry in California employs more than 54,000 people, according to a report by The Solar Foundation.

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/American_Solar_Direct_Joins_Hundreds_in_Rallying_for_Affordable_Solar_Solar_Jobs_999.html
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Scientists demonstrate how to improve ultrathin CIGSe solar cells by nanoparticles

Nanoparticles with sizes the order of a wavelength interact with light in specific ways. A young investigator group at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, led by Professor Martina Schmid, is inquiring how to use arrangements of such nanoparticles to improve solar cells and other opto-electronic devices. Now the scientists report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society ACS Nano a considerable success with ultrathin CIGSe solar cells.

CIGSe solar cells have proven high efficiencies and are established thin film devices with active layers of a few micrometers thickness. But since Indium is a rare element, the active layer should be as thin as possible. This reduces the efficiency, since less light is absorbed. And if the active layer is thinner than one micrometer, an additional problem arises: more and more charge carriers meet and recombine at the back contact, getting "lost".

"It took me more than one year to be able to produce ultrathin layers of only 0.46 micrometer or 460 nanometers which still reach reasonable efficiencies up to 11.1 %," Guanchao Yin says about his PhD project. He then started to enquire how to implement nanoparticles between different layers of the solar cell. His supervisor Martina Schmid discussed this with Prof. Albert Polman, one of the pioneers in the field of nanophotonics, at the Center for Nanooptics, Amsterdam, with whom she was in contact for a while already. They proposed to produce arrays of dielectric nanoparticles by nanoimprinting technologies.

In a first step, the colleagues in Amsterdam implemented a pattern of dielectric TiO2-nanoparticles on top of Yin's ultrathin solar cells; the idea was that they would act as light traps and increase absorption in the CIGSe layer. But this did not increase the efficiency as much as proved in Si-based solar cells. Yin then continued testing and ultimately found out what worked best: a nanoparticle array not on top but at the back contact of the cell!

The colleagues from Amsterdam produced an array of SiO2 nanoparticles, directly on the Molybdenum substrate which corresponds to the back contact of the solar cell. On top of this structured substrate the ultrathin CIGSe layer was grown by Yin, and subsequently all the other layers and contacts needed for the solar cell.

With this configuration, the efficiency increased from 11.1 % to 12.3 %, and the short circuit current density of the ultrathin CIGSe cells increased by more than 2 mA/cm2. With additional anti-reflective nanoparticles at the front efficiencies raised even to 13.1%.

"This leads to efficient light trapping and does not deteriorate the cell," Yin explains. Further studies indicate that the nanoarray of dielectric SiO2 nanoparticles at the back side could also increase efficiency by reducing chances for charge carrier recombination. "This work is just a start, we have now new ideas for further designs to enhance absorption and reduce recombination, thus increasing efficiencies by making use of optical and electrical benefits of the nanoparticles," Martina Schmid says.

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Scientists_demonstrate_how_to_improve_ultrathin_CIGSe_solar_cells_by_nanoparticles_999.html
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Breakeven Breakthrough For Solar Power
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Clean Energy Study Tour across Europe for Caribbean engineers

Willing to take a shift towards more sustainable patterns of energy consumption, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) recently made use of PV Energy's clean power expertise for the construction of a 10 MWp solar energy project cluster including a first 3 MWp installation at the V.C. Bird International Airport on Antigua.

The magnitude of this first solar PV installation on the twin-island requires comprehensive trainings for local partners, which is essential in order to ensure the correct application and maintenance of the solar systems.

Capacity building has therefore become one of PV Energy's main priorities throughout the construction stage. In addition to the recent workshop sessions conducted directly on-site at the airport, PV Energy continues to support its Caribbean partners to seize the opportunities offered by those newest energy technologies, by introducing a training programme tour across Europe.

The study tour started yesterday in Austria and will include different countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain. This one-week training has been organized for the benefit of the local engineers of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Tourism and Energy and Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) in order to give them a better insight on solar installations and battery back up solutions in renewable energy systems.

The main destinations are for example the headquarter of the manufacturer of battery charging systems Fronius International GmbH in Vienna (Austria), the Helios/FeCon Wind and Sun technologies Group in Flensburg (Germany) and also the Viterbo solar plant, which is located close to Rome (Italy).

When the Caribbean engineers return from their journey through Europe on the 24th of October 2015, the airport project will be almost ready for commissioning. The installation of the first PV power plant of this size has been executed as follows: As one of the first steps the fencing and the access to the road have been completed. The water supply and the Internet connection have been established as well.

Also the assembly of altogether around 12.000 solar modules was finished during the last few days. Nearly 80 per cent of the planned cables have already been laid in the ground. Currently, containers with inverters and transformers are bound for the airport on Antigua and will be installed in the upcoming weeks.

As a pioneer for solar power on Antigua and Barbuda, it is the mandated role of PV Energy to raise and empower the awareness of renewable energy solutions and emphasise the exemplary function of the large PV installations on the Island. Through this exclusive energy study tour, PV Energy proves once again its full commitment towards the local community and contributes to the modernization and development of the national economy as a result of bringing new employment opportunities and developing local expertise to operate and accurately maintain renewable power sources.

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Clean_Energy_Study_Tour_across_Europe_for_Caribbean_engineers_999.html
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Lockheed Martin Parking Catches Sun Power

Lockheed Martin has joined Florida Governor Rick Scott, Duke Energy President of Florida Utility Operations Alex Glenn and other local officials to celebrate the powering up of its 151,400 square foot solar array covering the parking lot at its facility near Clearwater, Florida. The project represents Florida's largest, private solar array.

Lockheed Martin and lead contractor Advanced Green Technologies broke ground on the project in March 2015. Since then, 7,260 high-efficiency, S-series solar modules manufactured by Hanwha SolarOne Company and inverters by SunGrow were networked to create the 2.25 megawatt solar carport, which includes a full under-canopy LED lighting system. AGT designed and led construction for the project, which was completed and tested by September 2015.

"This plant is indicative of Lockheed Martin's drive to be energy efficient and a responsible corporate citizen," said Leo Mackay, Lockheed Martin vice president of Sustainability.

"It is a building block in our larger effort to align our company with the demands of this century: global security; advanced infrastructure; and renewable energy."

The solar project will generate 3.33 million kilowatt hours per year resulting in $6.5 million in savings over 25 years. The covered parking will not only provide shade for more than 500 cars, but it will also slash greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent.
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SOLAR POWER: Desert plants' electricity production improves
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COLLEGE STUDENTS COMPETE IN SOLAR ENERGY DECATHLON
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PTC India ties up with Solar Energy Corp for solar power

Leading power trading firm PTC India  on Monday said it has inked pact with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for sale and purchase of power generated from 3,000-mw solar projects. "PTC India Limited (PTC)... has signed an MoU with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for sale and purchase of power generated from 3,000-mw solar projects for onward sale on a long-term basis, for a full 25 years from commercial operation date of each of the project/facility to state utilities," the company said in a statement. Under the said arrangement, SECI will facilitate development of 3,000-mw solar projects at various locations in the country on behalf of central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) or any other government/private agency, it said. "PTC will purchase solar power offered by SECI/project developers for onward sale to state utilities at tariff to be determined by SECI through reverse auction process or any other competitive route," it said. "We are extremely delighted to sign this MoU with SECI which will facilitate us in undertaking activities in solar sector and support each other in productive utilisation of solar resources and optimising energy usage," PTC India CMD Deepak Amitabh said in the statement. PTC India stock price On October 12, 2015, PTC India closed at Rs 66.20, up Rs 1.30, or 2.00 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 104.75 and the 52-week low was Rs 50.20. The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 7.00 per share as per the quarter ended June 2015. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 9.46. The latest book value of the company is Rs 89.14 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 0.74.

Read more at: http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/ptc-india-ties-upsolar-energy-corp-for-solar-power_3543781.html?utm_source=ref_article
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