Taking a look at some of the week’s news on solar power from around the world.
- The largest solar power farm on the planet has opened in California with a planned gross capacity of 392 megawatts (MW). The project which was developed by BrightSource Energy and Bechtel land cost $2.2 billion and will provide green energy for 140,000 homes.
- In the UK, it’s been revealed that solar photovoltaic/thermal (PV-T) installations will be unable to claim the domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) when it launches in spring of this year. Although the installations produce electricity and hot water, Ofgem has confirmed that the facility will only be able to receive Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments for the electricity produced.
- Canadian Solar Inc, one of the world’s largest solar power companies, has confirmed that it has been awarded a module supply agreement to provide 18MW of photovoltaic modules for Hitachi Ltd for a solar power project in Japan. The project is expected to be in operation in the spring of 2015 and will power 5,000 homes, displacing 9,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
- Down under in New Zealand electricity and gas lines company, Vector, has disclosed an increase in customers opting for solar technology. With customers paying a one-off upfront cost for solar installation (which includes solar roof panels and battery storage) of $2,000, there is an average saving of $30 per month on energy bills.
- UK solar programme for 22 English schools to be developed by Secured Energy Bonds plc. The nationwide programme involves no investment outlay on the part of the schools. The power generated on site can be purchased by the schools at a heavily discounted rate, with estimated savings of approximately £1.4m on their electricity bills and a huge reduction of over 500 metrics tonnes of carbon in the process!
- Meanwhile, in India, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is poised to become the first ever Metro system in the country to install roof top solar power plants on its Metro stations. The first installation is planned at the Dwarka Sector 21 Metro station with a production capacity of 500 kWp. Following its installation, DMRC plans to explore the possibility of installing more such plants at stations, depots, parking lots and residential complexes.
- In east Africa, Rwanda will be the first country with a utility scale solar plant following a $24 million deal for an 8.5MW solar photovoltaic project to begin operation later this year. The project is the brainchild of American-Israeli green entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, pioneer of Israel’s solar industry and president of the Energiya Global Capital group that provided seed funding for the project.
- RawLemon, a Spanish start-up founded by architect Andre Broessel, wants to change the way in which we harness the sun’s energy. The company reckons that instead of using photovoltaic cells on roofs and building facades, huge water filled glass spheres can be embedded into the curtain walls of skyscrapers and desktop power stations in order to concentrate diffused sunlight (and even moonlight) onto a tiny, hyper-efficient photovoltaic cell. These ball lenses are commonly used in laser based applications and will use a patent-pending motion system to keep light focused on the solar cell.
This post was generously sponsored by Secured Energy Bonds plc