Companies included in this round-up include: Derbigum Lidl Signet Solar US Department of Energy MCP Group Atlumin NexPower United Microelectronics Corporation Ascent Solar Technologies Cambrios Technologies Corporation
Derbigum installs 3 MW roofing system for international supermarket chain Derbigum has installed 3MW worth of its bitumen-based (BIPV) roofing systems covering systems at three logistics buildings for the supermarket chain Lidl in France. The company has integrated the roofing with ECD's Uni-Solar flexible a-Si thin film laminates. A 1.1MW system was installed at its Cambrai facility a 1.1MW system in Vars and 800kW at Les Arcs. "Lidl was seeking a building-integrated solar solution that was lightweight and did not penetrate the roofing membrane " noted Mark Morelli ECD's president/CEO. "Through our close partnership with Derbigum we created and installed the right solution for Lidl. One of Derbigum
´s other recent projects includes a 1.87MW BIPV roofing system at the Flanders Expo in Ghent Belgium using ECD's laminate technology. Signet Solar pulls out of Belen project Amorphous-silicon thin-film solar company Signet Solar has backed out of its plans to build a US$840m manufacturing centre in the city of Belen New Mexico following its inability to raise a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. The company was unable to keep its commitment as it could not secure funding for the project from the US Department of Energy according to local reports and a News-Bulletin article. The US Department of Energy rejected the company's loan guarantee that was to back 80% of the US$220m of the initial funding for the four-part expansion of the plant. Jim Wood VP of Coast Range Investments told Belen city councilors on 5 April that the company received word of the withdrawal from Signet officials on 30 March almost three months after DOE rejected the loan guarantee according to news reports. The project would have created some 600 high-paying jobs primarily for Valencia County residents but also puts a stop to the completion of the North Belen Interchange a US$7.1m project that would have given motorists access to the west side of the interstate as well as easier access in both south and northbound directions said the report. MCP joins Atlumin Energy to streamline manufacturing Specialty metals supply company MCP Group SA of Belgium is organising their Wellingborough UK operation into New York State based Atlumin Energy Inc. MCP Group SA is the owner of both companies. The combined entity will operate under the name Atlumin Energy while the MCP brand name will be retained for existing products. Atlumin and MCP Wellingborough have complementary core competencies that will enable the combined organisation to provide customers with a more complete and streamlined solution. Atlumin / MCP products and services extend from sourcing and refining through fabricating and reclaiming of specialty metals based products the "Atlumin Materials Loop". Copy-exact processes at its Wellingborough in the UK are to be expanded to its Sunnyvale California facilities. "The complementary synergies will substantially increase our business scale and expand our customer base "said Laurent Raskin CEO of MCP Group. "This is another step in our strategy to compress the material supply chain and offer increased system level efficiency to our customers thereby helping them to be more competitive." Atlumin also offers advanced recycling and reclaim programmes. Atlumin is headquartered in New Hartford NY and manufactures in Germany the United Kingdom and the US. NexPower to build 35MWp a-Si thin film plant in China Taiwan
´s NexPower Energy has plans to build a 35MWp amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin-film PV module plant in Shandong Province China according to news reports. An initial investment in the factory will be US$90m according to a Digitimes report with construction of the facility set to begin next year. The United Microelectronics Corporation solar subsidiary has been running at full capacity since the beginning of the year with an estimated annual production of 60MWp. The Taiwanese company is said to expect yearly capacity to reach 100MWp by the end of 2010 with just under 50% of its capacity dedicated to micromorphous tandem-junction PV modules. NexPower's production lines are outfitted with three CVD and the company plans to add two more later this year according to the news report. The company according to the report has received orders to supply 70MWp of PV modules for three power plants in Shandong with shipments to the sites starting in March.
Ascent Solar Technologies partners research
with Cambrios Technologies Ascent Solar Technologies a developer of flexible thin-film solar modules is partnering with Cambrios Technologies Corporation a firm that has developed innovative wet-processed transparent conductive films. Cambrios has selected Ascent as their research partner to investigate how these films can be applied to lightweight flexible copper-indium-gallium-selenium (CIGS) photovoltaics which is a topic of a recently-awarded United States Army contract W911QY-BAA-09-11-1 from the US Army's Natick research facility. As part of the programme which will be undertaken on behalf of the US Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) Cambrios will deliver flexible solar cells that incorporate a Cambrios ClearOhm(TM) electrode layer. Because of the material's improved transparency and light handling capability it is expected that these cells will be 1 to 3 percent more efficient than the equivalent cells made with the conventional transparent electrode material according to an Ascent statement. "Ascent Solar has very high efficiency CIGS solar cells so they are the perfect partner for this program " said Cambrios CEO Dr. Michael Knapp. "Unlike transparent conductive oxides typically used as thin film solar cell electrodes Cambrios' ClearOhm(TM) material is also highly flexible. "Together our companies have the right technologies to provide the Army with lightweight flexible CIGS solar cells with better efficiency than what has been possible to date." The US military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world and energy supply is an important issue for each and every soldier. Solar energy has been widely deployed by the U.S. military to power permanent and temporary military installations and to reduce the weight carried by soldiers. Flexible PV cells can facilitate the use of this power source by making them more easily deployed on a variety of surfaces such as tents clothing and backpacks. Farhad Moghadam President and CEO of Ascent Solar said that Cambrios
´ technology with its higher optical transmission and improved electrical performance offers Ascent the potential to enhance the performance of its photovoltaic modules."
Companies included in this round-up include: Derbigum Lidl Signet Solar US Department of Energy MCP Group Atlumin NexPower United Microelectronics Corporation Ascent Solar Technologies Cambrios Technologies Corporation"
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.