SA selects preferred solar bidders Companies mentioned: South African Photovoltaic Industry Association, Soitec, Solar Capital De Aar3, Sishen Solar Facility, and Aurora project
PV Intelligence Brief 9 – 22 May 2012
Other companies mentioned: Vredendal project, Linde project, Dreunberg venture, Jasper Power Company development, Boshoff Solar Park, Upington Solar PV plant, Suntech Power Holdings, Trina Solar, US Department of Commerce, Belectric, The Long Island Power Authority, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's, and PV Crystalox Solar
SA selects preferred solar bidders
The South African government has selected 19 companies as preferred bidders during the second bidding process for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP). According to local news reports, a total of 79 bids had been submitted.
According to the SA PV Association, SAPVIA, the nine solar PV bidders selected as preferred bidders were: the 75 MW Solar Capital De Aar3, the 74 MW Sishen Solar Facility, a 9 MW Aurora project, the 8.8 MW Vredendal project, the 36.8 MW Linde project, the 69.6 MW Dreunberg venture, the 75 MW Jasper Power Company development, the 60 MW Boshoff Solar Park, and the 8.9 MW Upington Solar PV plant.
SAPVIA said in a statement that it is working closely with Government to collectively develop a roll-out programme to increase the local content for PV technologies in South Africa which will further strengthen the value of solar PV.
A long term procurement programme, beyond the current 1450MW of solar projects is needed, however, to stimulate further investment in local manufacturing and ensure that there is a long term future for the industry.
SAPVIA is also working with Eskom and Government to look at ways to initiate a large scale solar roof-top programme.
The first 28 preferred bidders for solar and wind projects were selected last December. These developers had until June to take their projects to financial close, according to local website EngineeringNews.
Those bidders within the less than 5MW segment will be preparing for the tender set to be released by the SA Department of Energy in the next few weeks.
Antidumping tariffs could shoot up panel prices, change quality
Suntech Power Holdings, Trina Solar and 59 other Chinese solar manufacturing exporters could face an anti-dumping tariff ranging between 31.4 and 249.96 per cent imposed by the US Department of Commerce. The preliminary tariff guide was announced last week following an investigation instigated by a group of US-based European solar panel manufacturers, who said Chinese PV suppliers were exporting products to the US at less than fair value.
Some North American solar companies, such as Canadian Solar, have voiced their concern that the tariffs will do more harm than good to the overall solar market and could boost the costs of solar panels in the US.
It will also likely strain relations for North American solar companies with Chinese manufacturing facilities or investors.
Canadian Solar, for example, recently signed a C$120m loan facility from the Bank of China (Canada) and Bank of China, New York Branch, to build solar power plants in Ontario, Canada. Dow Corning and its JV partner Hemlock Semiconductor, have also voiced according to news reports, that if final duties are similar to the DOC judgment the US materials supply chain will be badly hit should the Chinese take a retaliation stance.
The tariffs could also shift supply to Taiwan and South Korea, according to local news reports. Quality issues, however, will also become a matter of concern as new suppliers enter the market at an already fragile period for PV manufacturers.
In a statement it noted the (Midland, Michigan, U.S.), a participant in joint venture noted the complexity of PV supply chains, and warned that the overall industry in the U.S. will suffer if final duties are in line with the preliminary DOC judgment.
Belectric hits 1GW record for solar
Belectric has become the first company in the world to install more than 1 gigawatt of photovoltaic power. The news marks a major solar industry milestone and for the company, which specialises in the development and construction of ground-mounted solar power plants and roof-mounted photovoltaic systems.
"This is an outstanding event for Belectric and the photovoltaics industry in general. My special thanks go to all the employees who have driven forward the development of the company in all parts of the world in the past 10 years," stated Bernhard Beck, CEO of Belectric.
Long Island launches US-type FiT
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), has launched one of the nation's first CLEAN, or Clean Local Energy Accessible Now, programmes, according to an Inside Climate News report.
Under the program LIPA pays solar operators a fixed rate of 22 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they feed back to the grid for 20 years. The goal is to add 50 megawatts of commercial-scale solar energy, enough to power 6,500 homes, said the report.
House Slashes Funding for Climate Education
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make significant cuts to federal climate change education and outreach efforts.
The House approved an amendment to cut off funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) online portal for climate information, Climate.gov. The website is aimed at communicating climate science information to policymakers, businesses and the public.
Cash settlement doubles PV Crystalox Solar value
PV Crystalox Solar, an international producer and supplier of multi-crystalline silicon wafers to the photovoltaic market, saw its value more than double recently following news of a cash settlement it won over a terminated wafer supply deal that actually exceeds its market cap.
The group revealed that it has reached an agreement over the termination of the supply deal and will receive €90m, which will be recognised as income in the first half this year, according to financial news reports.
According to reports, the company had to reduce its first half guidance for shipment volumes to 55-70 megawatts (MW) from 80-100 MW because it was unable to reach agreement on acceptable wafer prices and volumes for the second quarter with its customers due to deep market pricing devaluations in the solar materials sector.
PV Crystalox Solar manufactures its multi-crystalline silicon ingots at its facilities in the UK and produces wafers for its European customers at its facilities in Germany. Wafers for customers in Asia are produced in Japan.
The energy demand in Chile just does not stop growing. The mining sector has been the latest to announce that its estimated power needs for 2020 will increase by 68% according to the latest figures given by the Ministry for Mining
We look at the European Union tariffs now imposed on imported Chinese panels and how some PV makers are reporting an upswing in sales as a direct result of the protectionist measures.
A pro-nuclear and pro-gas physicist is due to take over as head of the US Department of Energy this year. The PV industry will be glad he also has a soft spot for solar.