Archive for the ‘Environment’ category

Michigan And the Region from Navarra in Spain Enter Renewable Energy Partnership

May 27, 2010

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the state of Michigan has formed a partnership with the government of Navarra, Spain to develop green technology.

Navarra is a European center of the renewable-energy sector in Europe.

Michigan will work collaboratively with leading industry experts, including the Michigan-based wind turbine manufacturer Energetx Composites.

“This partnership will further our efforts to make Michigan the North American hub of clean energy innovation,” Granholm said.  “We are taking bold and decisive steps to ensure we are the state that develops the technologies, manufactures the products and creates the green jobs that will help reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”

The memorandum of understanding with the government of Navarra was finalized today in Dallas, Texas.

The agreement consists of joint activities – including policy sharing, technology transfer, value-chain mapping and trade missions – in the targeted sectors of wind technology, biomass, solar energy, smart-grid technology and bio-climactic research.

Last month, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a Centers of Energy Excellence designation and $3.5 million in funding for Energetx Composites, the spin-off of S2 Yachts located in Holland, which will collaborate with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Dow Chemical Company to manufacture wind turbine blades with advanced materials.

Dow and ORNL will deliver innovative materials and technical expertise to Energetx, and the University of Michigan and Kettering University will contribute workforce training.

The project will receive $3.5 million in matching funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.  CENER, the national renewable energy center  located in the Navarra region, will work with Energetx to test wind turbine blades at a laboratory in Sanguesa, Spain.

Navarra shares a similar industrial background with Michigan, as it was a center of manufacturing focused on transportation and heavy engines.  Early last decade, Navarra identified the need to diversify and chose to focus on clean energy.

CENER has played a significant role in the development of renewable energy, both in Navarra and Spain,” said Director of Enterprise of Government of Navarra Begoña Urien.

Over the past eight years, CENER has grown to become a leader in renewable-energy technology.

Navarra, pioneer of renewable energy sources, currently produces approximately 65 percent of its electricity from renewable-energy sources, ranking it ahead of the United Kingdom, Sweden and France.

Heliene will open a PV manufacturing line in Ontario

March 18, 2010

Heliene Canada Inc., a joint manufacturing venture between Canadian entrepreneurs and Helios Energy of Barcelona, Spain, is constructing a 17,500 square-foot plant in Sault-Ste-Marie, Ontario.

In an interview with Photovoltaics International, Heliene´s president Martin Pochtaruk said that “the first modules should go out to Ontario, followed with shipments to the U.S. Midwest, by the end of August or September”.

The Heliene facility will start out with an “initial capacity of 30MWp per year,” he explained. “The plant is modular and can easily be expanded up to 80MW.”

heliene_production2Capabilities for both multi- and monocrystalline silicon-based modules will be in place at the facility, with the cells being supplied by Suniva in the U.S., he said. Initially, 60- and 72-cell modules, with power outputs up to 300W, will come off the production line.

The plant’s manufacturing line will be 80 per cent automated — meaning minimal operational personnel — accessed and managed through a system of touchscreens. The manufacturing line will be constructed and assembled in Europe by SAP, a sister company of Helios Energy. Once the  plant is up and running, the workforce will total about 40 people, based on “eight employees per shift of operation and approximately 10 administrative positions.”

Pochtaruk explains the the decision to locate the plant in Sault-Ste-Marie: “From the logistics point of view, Sault Ste. Marie is centrally located to ship products throughout Canada and the United States,”. “While in Ontario to provide the domestic content required for PV investments made in the province,” [we can] tap into a well-developed workforce, particularly focused on renewable energy.”

Solaria to provide 13.3 MW of PV modules for two solar farms in Spain

February 23, 2010

Spanish module manufacturer Solaria Energía Medio Ambiente, S.A. and Swiss group ABB in consortium have been contracted by GA Solar to build two solar PV plants in La Robla (León, Spain) with a capacity of 13.3 MW for approximately € 40 million ($54 million). Solaria is the exclusive supplier of PV modules for the two plants. The contract will be completed in 2010.

Ingeteam to open a renewable energy components plant in Milwaukee

February 18, 2010

Ingeteam, Inc., a supplier to the wind and solar energy industries, will establish a new plant in Milwaukee that will specialize in designing renewable energy products. The company intends to begin construction on the project in April so it can be finished by the end of the year.

Ingeteam has its headquarters in Bilbao, Spain, and is made up of 28 companies employing more than 3,500 people. Besides the field of renewable energy, the company is present in the following  areas:  railway traction, marine, combined heat and power, the iron and steel industry and hydraulic machines.

The production facility will be approximately 100,000 square feet in size and will focus on manufacturing its Indar-brand wind power generators and Ingeteam converters, as well as solar power inverters. When working at its full capacity, the plant will be capable of producing 7,500 megawatts of green energy every year. It will create as many as 60 jobs in 2011 and 275 jobs by 2015.

“After carefully analyzing our company’s needs, we selected Milwaukee for our new production facility because the city is conveniently located for distribution of our products and has a solid industrial base from which Ingeteam can source materials,” said Ander Gandiaga, Ingeteam’s corporate director for international development.  Aitor Sotes, CEO of Ingeteam’s U.S. subsidiary, also mentioned the city’s skilled work force, local college programs and state requirements for renewable energy.

At the moment, Ingeteam has a 12-15 percent market share of the worldwide wind power component market. However, it has room to grow in America and will use the Milwaukee plant as a means to do so.  The new factory is going to make possible the production of equipment for the equivalent of 7,500 MW each year. In these facilities, several ranges of converter/generator products will be manufactured, covering ranges from 1.5 to 5 MW of power for wind usage. In the medium term, Ingeteam plans  to endow the plant with the capacity to perform joint testing of complete equipment. For the solar photovoltaic market, the production of converters (inverters) will cover the range from 2.5 to 500 kW

Ingeteam has a unit in Santa Clara, California, for sales of solar photovoltaic inverters and is also present in Mequon, Wisconsin, carrying out wind turbine operation and maintenance activities. Through this activity, Ingeteam today manages more than 2,200 MW distributed over 60 wind farms all over the world.

In addition, Ingeteam has an important experience in water management, through its brand Indar Hydraulic Equipment, a leading pumps manufacturer. Indar started its commercial activity in the USA in 2003. Currently, it supplies submersible pumping equipment.

.

Article in Greentech media about Spanish solar companies in the US

January 11, 2010

Hi,

Sorry for the long hibernation. I am back from the winter holidays with a link to an article written by Ucilia Wang, from Greentech media, following a conversation we had recently about Spanish solar companies and their activities in the US.

Spain’s Solar Export Ambition

Soltec Releases New CPV Module at Solar Power International Expo

November 1, 2009

Soltec Renewable Energies has presented its new ultra-high-concentration PV (CPV) module, the SOLTEC GP-1500, at the Solar Power International Exhibition (Anaheim, Oct. 27-29). The release follows more than two years of research and development.

Soltec-GP1500According to Soltec, the main features of these modules are high efficiency, wide acceptance angle, compact size, cost effectiveness and high reliability.

The optical design, based on the well known Cassegrain reflecting telescope, uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight approximately 1500 times over triple-junction cells of the highest efficiency.

The SOLTEC GP-1500 modules have 80% more power density than conventional modules, which allows a significant reduction in the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), the company says.

Soltec expects to achieve grid-parity once multi-Megawatt production volumes are reached. Low cost optics and high module efficiency – over 25% – will make this possible.

The company is active in turn-key photovoltaic installations, providing everything from the planning stages, to EPC, finance and maintenance of the plants. It additionally may provide single or dual axis trackers, according to the project. Soltec is in the process of opening up offices in the US to serve the North American market.

Abengoa Solar signs contract with PG&E to supply 250 MW of solar power in California

October 31, 2009

Abengoa Solar signs Power Purchase Agreement with PG&E for a 250-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) project to be built in California, 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, near Harper Dry Lake. The California Energy Commission is reviewing the Application for Certification to license the 1,765-acre CSP project.

Abengoa Solar announces the signing of a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to supply the electricity generated by the new solar plant “Mojave Solar.” The project will generate 250 megawatts (MW) of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and is to be located in an unincorporated area of San Bernardino County, between Barstow and Kramer Junction, approximately nine miles northwest of Hinkley, and 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The project is expected to bring 1,200 green construction jobs and, when completed, approximately 80 permanent jobs to this desert area.

Once it starts operating in 2013, it will generate nearly as much electricity as all of California’s present-day commercial CSP installations combined, enough to power about 90,000 average homes, and avoid over 431 kilotons per year of greenhouse gas emissions.

On August 10, 2009, Abengoa Solar filed an Application for Certification with the California Energy Commission for its Mojave Solar Project. The project has been deemed data adequate by the CEC and public meetings are anticipated to begin in December.

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar explained that “Mojave Solar is a project we have been working on for several years. The permitting and engineering effort is very advanced and we are very proud to partner with PG&E to make this project a reality.”

The project will be sited on 1,765 acres of private, previously disturbed land that had been farmed since the 1920s but is now largely fallow.

The solar plant will use significantly less water per acre than was used for agricultural purposes.

“The location has been carefully chosen and the plant has been specifically configured to minimize environmental impacts on the desert,” said Scott Frier, COO of Abengoa Solar, Inc.

The spinoff economic benefits, including jobs created, are expected to be significant near an area that was farmed for alfalfa from the 1920s but was later largely abandoned.

Mojave Solar Project will contribute to meeting California’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard, which calls for moving away from fossil fuels to solar energy and other renewable energy sources that avoid pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

We expect to start construction by the end of 2010, subject to financing under the U.S. economic stimulus legislation.

The Mojave Solar Project will use a similar size and type of Abengoa Solar parabolic trough technology as the system that will be installed at the Solana Electrical Generating Station announced in 2008 near Phoenix, Arizona. This is a highly innovative system that maximizes power production in trough plants.

The plant uses parabolic mirrors that are arranged in long troughs and track the sun’s movement continually during the day, concentrating the solar radiation onto a heat-absorbing pipe at the focal point of the mirrors. A heat transfer fluid circulating inside the pipe reaches temperatures of more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat is then used to generate steam that drives a conventional steam turbine.

In addition to the Mojave Solar Project in California and the Solana Project in Arizona, Abengoa Solar has seven CSP plants under construction or operation and others under development.

In August 2009, Abengoa Solar announced that it was selected by Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest electric utility company, to build a demonstration parabolic trough concentrating solar power plant at Xcel Energy’s Cameo coal plant near Grand Junction, Colorado. Abengoa Solar has also used recently parabolic trough technology to make industrial process heat for a major food processor to cook snacks in Modesto, CA and for the U.S. Department of Energy to treat contaminated groundwater in Tuba City, AZ.