Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Macquarie to acquire 20 MW solar PV project in Ontario from SunPower

On June 23, 2010, Macquarie announced an agreement to acquire a 20 MW solar PV power project in Amherstburg, Ontario to be designed, built and operated on behalf of Macquarie by SunPower.

The approximate $130 million project will be primarily funded by a syndicate of international lenders with approximately $33 million of equity to be contributed by Macquarie upon the start of commercial operations, which is anticipated to be in June 2011. When completed, the Amherstburg Solar Park will be one of the largest solar power facilities in Canada and is expected to produce approximately 37,600 megawatt hours of electricity annually. Construction of the Amherstburg Solar Park is expected to start immediately using local resources and is expected to create up to 100 jobs in the County of Essex.

SunPower will complete the Amherstburg Solar Park under a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction contract. SunPower will also provide operations and maintenance services for the facility under a 20-year contract. Electricity generated by the facility will be sold under the Province of Ontario's Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program to the Ontario Power Authority at a guaranteed price of $420 per MWh for the next 20 years. For the first two years of commercial operations, SunPower will financially support the performance of the facility at the expected production.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finland quietly taking lead in implementing smart grid systems

It was announced yesterday that energy management form Landis+Gyr has just been awarded a contract to provide electricity, gas and district heat smart metering for the city of Lappeenranta in South-Eastern Finland.

The agreement with local energy company Lappeenrannan Energiaverkot will see the deployment of Landis+Gyr’s Gridstream solution for multi-energy smart meters, smart metering software and meter reading services.

Landis+Gyr will manage the entire project and work on the rollout with its partners beginning in April next year, which will see 54,000 smart meters installed in households by 2013.

On June 2, 2010 it was announced ABB will work on a joint development project with Helsingin Energia, the public utility Helsinki, and Nokia Siemens Networks to design and install a large-scale smart grid in the Kalasatama district of Helsinki.

The R&D project will test the concept of a flexible, low-emission power network in the district as part of a larger initiative to lift Helsinki's environmental profile with a focus on the sustainable and efficient distribution of power. ABB, Helsingin Energia and Nokia Siemens Networks will develop a variety of solutions based on modern communication, information and energy technologies.

These include solutions to ensure that excess power generated from renewable energy sources in the district itself, for instance from solar panels and wind turbines, can be fed into the power grid; to enable electric vehicles to draw electricity from the grid or feed it back; to store energy; to create easy-to-use services and to provide more flexibility and transparency in the distribution grid, helping to lower consumption and emissions.

The Kalasatama district in the heart of Helsinki will provide living space for 18,000 people and 10,000 work places, and incorporate an innovation center to showcase the latest technologies being tested and deployed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Masdar making headway

Masdar, the organization in Abu Dhabi building what is touted as the world’s first carbon-free city, announced that it has formed a joint venture with France’s Total and Spain’s Abengoa Solar to build and operate the Shams 1 concentrating solar power (CSP) plant. The Shams 1 facility will be located on 2.5 square kilometers of land in Madinat Zayed, 120 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi, and will generate 100 MW of electric power from a field of 768 parabolic trough collectors supplied by Abengoa Solar. Masdar will have a 60% interest in the joint venture, while Total and Abengoa will each have a 20% interest. Construction is scheduled to begin during the third quarter of this year and take approximately two years.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Green Options Partners Program, winners announced in Saskatchewan

SaskPower announced this week that several IPPs have been selected to participate in the SaskPower Green Options Partners Program.

Six projects from five IPPs were chosen through a draw on May 19, 2010 adding another 33 megawatts (MW) of environmentally friendly power in Saskatchewan.

There was a total of 43 proposals from 11 different proponents. "The private sector is clearly interested in developing green power in the province," SaskPower said in a media release.

A lottery process was used to ensure fairness in the selection process. The first two selections were 10 MW wind power projects.

Despite room for only an additional five MW to meet the 25 MW threshold, the lottery rules dictated that the next application would be accepted in its entirety, so a third 10 MW wind power project was selected.

The other initiatives selected were a 0.5 MW small hydro project, a 0.112 MW heat recovery project and a three MW flare gas project -- the only non-wind power projects that met program requirements.

The next step is for SaskPower to design and price the power lines that will connect the projects to the Saskatchewan grid and sign PPAs with each supplier.

Applicants will have up to three years to start providing power to the grid. Developers of hydro projects have up to eight years due to the more extensive permitting and construction processes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nova Scotia Renewable Electricty Plan includes COMFIT

In April, 2010 Nova Scotia released its Renewable Electricity Plan. The Plan sets out the Province’s goal that 25% of electricity generated will come from renewable sources by 2015, and that 40% of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020.

Among other significant provisions, the Plan establishes a community-based feed-in tariff ("COMFIT") for 100 MW of renewable energy projects connected to the grid at the distribution level. The Plan also includes programs to assist community groups in the development of these COMFIT projects.

The Plan will also continue to strengthen Nova Scotia's position in developing tidal energy and smart grid technologies.