Power & Energy Solutions

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The world's largest producer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules has supplied almost 20 Lebanese schools with supplies to let them utilize solar energy through the sponsorship of the Country Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Demonstration Project for the Recovery of Lebanon.Suntech Power Holdings provided the solar panels for 19 remote schools in the country that had been working with Asaco General Trade & Contracting, a local renewable energy company. After previously having to deal with regular blackouts, the schools will now have their classroom and library lit by solar energy developed through the panels.Each panel will range in solar energy output from 1.2 to 1.8 kilowatt hours."Suntech is proud to support this initiative," said Nader Jandaghi, Suntech's Director of Middle East. "CEDRO's adoption of solar power for these schools will brighten the lives and enhance the learning of children who will define Lebanon's future. Together, we want to power a world where everyone has direct and dependable access to nature's most abundant energy resource."Ramzi AbuSaid, CEO of Asaco, added that the solar panel installations would be the "largest set of solar projects" ever seen in Lebanon and would help to guarantee that the schools have "dependable power at all times." 

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AltaTerra Research is pleased to announce the web conference, "Heating Up in 2010?: The Outlook for U.S. Commercial and Industrial Solar Water Heating Markets," to be held Wednesday, March 24th at 11:00 am Pacific / 2:00 pm Eastern.Participants will hear from Sue Kateley, Executive Director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), Les Nelson, Chair of the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Solar Thermal Division, and Jon Guice, Managing Director of Research at AltaTerra Research."Right now, solar water heating systems are not widely used by North American businesses," said Guice. "However, new regulations and legislation in California, Hawaii and other states, combined with changing economics, mean that trend may change this year."Featuring the latest information on incentives, legislation, and regulations affecting the solar water heating (SWH) market, this web conference will address key questions facing SWH product and services companies, such as whether the non-residential market is poised for take-off, what the value proposition is of commercial, institutional and industrial SWH, what incentives are currently available, which industries and sites are best suited for the application of SWH, and what challenges to widespread adoption remain.Further information and registration are available online at www.altaterra.net/event/swh. A limited number of press

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Following last year\'s purchase of several PV1200 photovoltaic metallization lines from DEK Solar in 2009, Zhejiang Hongchen has started the New Year extremely positively by purchasing more lines from the screen printing specialist. Selected as part of Hongchen\'s drive to substantially increase cell production through 2010 and beyond, the DEK lines are renowned for their ability to offer a productivity, cost and lead-time advantage.As DEK\'s original award-winning photovoltaic metallization line, the PV1200 is equipped to deliver 1200 wafers per hour throughput for high speed, repeatable solar cell production. Also offering a range of advanced features including dedicated handling for thin wafers, the DEK Solar line ensures low breakage rates for maximum yield, in addition to high-speed machine vision capabilities. In addition to its high throughput rate, the PV1200 has established its reputation on credentials including a six-sigma process rating and 12.5 micron resolution - all backed up by DEK\'s worldwide service and support infrastructure.Commenting on the PV1200\'s ability to extend the capabilities of industry-leading companies such as Hongchen, DEK\'s Alternative Energies Business Manager Darren Brown explains: \"We\'re delighted to be stepping up our highly successful business partnership with Zhejiang Hongchen. When we first began working with the company in 2009,

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CEPS AS, the Czech electricity-grid operator, said the pace of solar-power investment risks overloading the network and driving up prices for consumers.Output from solar panels may overwhelm the grid by 2011 and plants may need to be temporarily disconnected to prevent blackouts, CEPS Chief Executive Officer Petr Zeman said today. Total solar capacity may reach 3,000 megawatts in 2015, six times last year\'s level and about half the country\'s off-peak consumption at summer weekends, the state-run company said.\"We warn investors that their investments might be at risk,\" Zeman told a press conference in Prague. CEPS may have to start phasing out plants to prevent a grid overload in the summer of 2011, he said. \"When the share of renewables exceeds 1,000 megawatts, the stability of the grid will be threatened and we\'ll have to switch some sources off.\"Czech power producers receive the highest prices in Europe for solar energy, guaranteed by law at 12 koruna ($0.63) a kilowatt-hour, CEPS said. A bill currently in parliament would cut the so-called feed-in tariff for new projects, which has led to a rush of applications from investors hoping to get permits under the existing conditions.CEPS last week called on regional power distributors to

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SANYO is pleased to announce that it will showcase its HIT Solar Technology at the SOLAR HUB at this year\'s Eco Build show, taking place in London between 2nd and 4th March, 2010. The SOLAR HUB is one of 4 feature points at this year\'s Eco Build. These feature points are designed to educate visitors on building trends and renewable technology and at the SOLAR HUB, a range of the latest solar solutions will be on display. In addition, visitors will be able to find out more about the Government\'s Clean Energy Cashback Scheme. Under this scheme which is due to be launched in April 2010, owners of PV systems will be paid a guaranteed rate for the energy they generate. Shigeki Komatsu, Director of the European Solar Division for SANYO commented, \"We are very excited about the government subsidy scheme in the UK. In Germany, where a similar scheme has been in existence since 2000, the market has grown by approximately 3GW per year, creating what is now the largest and most developed market in the world. PV subsidies have been introduced in many other countries around the world with rapid market grown being achieved in each instance. We

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Linde Nippon Sanso (LNS), a company of The Linde Group, and Bosch Solar Energy, have announced an extension of their collaboration at Bosch\'s new crystalline Si solar cell manufacturing site in Arnstadt, Germany. Under the new agreement, LNS will supply silane and ammonia gas, both critical materials in the fabrication of Bosch\'s high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) cells.Bosch currently operates three manufacturing facilities in the Erfurt/Arnstadt area applying both crystalline and thin film silicon technologies. When fully-ramped the crystalline facilities alone will have an overall capacity of 630 MWp (megawatt peak) - putting the Erfurt/Arnstadt area firmly on the map as a strong European \'solar cluster\'. Linde is the main gas technology supplier to all of the production lines.\"Linde\'s technology leadership in high-efficiency gases for PV manufacturing and our ability to provision these safely, has helped us bolster our collaboration with Bosch Solar Energy,\" said Andreas Guenther, President LNS. \"We value the opportunity to support Bosch\'s capacity expansion and partner in the establishment of Erfurt/Arnstadt as an important PV manufacturing site in Europe.\"Taking into account Bosch Solar Energy\'s current and Masdar\'s new thin-film plant, the overall capacity of the Erfurt \'solar cluster\' currently stands at more than 300MWp and is projected to reach at least 700MWp by 2012, rivalling the well-established Thalheim \"solar valley\".Over the past

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French energy company Areva (best known for its nuclear power business) has purchased solar thermal power company Ausra - yet another example of a promising Australian technology company ending up with foreign ownership.One possible positive interpretation of the news is that Areva are losing faith in the oft-predicted but unrealised \"nuclear renaissance\" and now see the real future growth opportunities in large scale solar power, with nuclear power (at best) a legacy business.Areva this week said that it will acquire 100% of Ausra, provider of large-scale concentrated solar power solutions. This acquisition launches Areva\'s new global solar energy business and the company said that it reflects Areva\'s strategic objective to be the world leader in concentrated solar power (CSP) and will further strengthen and diversify its renewables portfolio.This acquisition is expected to close in the next few months, subject to customary regulatory approval. Ausra will continue to operate out of its existing Mountain View, California headquarters.\"Today is about making a strong company even stronger. With Areva, Ausra is joining forces with one of the world\'s global energy leaders. Combining Areva\'s financial and commercial strengths, and its energy expertise, with Ausra\'s proven technology and experienced management team will help position Areva

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Although Grand Canyon hikers may believe that the Grand Canyon has been solar-powered for eons, the fact is the Grand Canyon National Park has \"gone solar\" just recently.Eighty-four photovoltaic solar panels are now operational on the Grand Canyon Visitor Center located at the Canyon View Information Plaza near the south rim.Located both on the Visitor Center\'s roof and on ground-mounted platforms adjacent to the building, the panels will be seen by the more than 4.5 million people who visit the Canyon each year. As the first stop for many visitors to the Canyon\'s south rim, the Center offers hiking trail maps, informational panoramas to orient hikers and visitors to the area and hiking safety advice.\"A great partnership was created when Grand Canyon National Park and APS came together for this project,\" said Steve Martin, Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent. \"This solar installation is a shining example of the park\'s commitment to protecting the environment through the use of renewable energy. The Visitor Center is the perfect location, making the panels visible to all guests providing an opportunity to educate and inspire.\"An exhibit inside the Center and signage next to the platform-mounted panels inform Grand Canyon hikers and visitors about the

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US solar panel maker SunPower Corporation (SunPower) yesterday agreed to acquire SunRay Renewable Energy (SunRay), a leading European solar power firm for approximately $277 million, aiming at expanding its activities in Europe and the Middle East.SunPower will acquire SunRay from its shareholders, which include its management and Denham Capital, a leading global private equity firm, for $235 million in cash and $42 million in a letter of credit and promissory notes.The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2010, subject to customary and regulatory approvals.SunPower said that the acquisition will be funded using the company\'s internal resources. Specific financial guidelines regarding the impacts of the acquisition of SunRay will be presented in March, during the company\'s fourth quarter earnings conference.The transaction will enable SunPower to acquire a project pipeline of solar photovoltaic projects totalling over 1,200 MW of power in southern European countries and Israel. The projects are in various stages of development and about 70 SunRay employees are associated with their financing and implementation.Both the companies have worked together on several solar energy projects including the large 24-MW power plant Montalto in Italy.Sanjose, California-based SunPower designs and manufactures high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial

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Akeena Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq:AKNS), a leading installer of solar power systems and designer of AC solar panels, today announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2009.\"2009 was a turning point for Akeena Solar as we diversified our revenue streams by launching the distribution sales of Andalay AC solar panels. Our patented Andalay technology, new distribution channels, and growing brand awareness provide the foundations for rapid growth in the rooftop solar market,\" said Barry Cinnamon, CEO. \"The traction we are gaining with our new distribution partners -- including our growing network of Andalay dealers, Lowe\'s home improvement stores, Morgan Stanley Solar Solutions and Highland Solar -- is a strong validation of our technology. Andalay AC panel\'s built-in monitoring, ease of installation, superior aesthetics and better safety characteristics make it a natural choice for new distribution partners in 2010, including new home builders, as well as HVAC and electrical contractors, seeking opportunities to tap into the solar energy marketplace.\"\"It was a challenging year from a top line revenue standpoint; nevertheless, our other financial metrics showed strong improvement from 2008 to 2009: net cash position (cash and cash equivalents net of credit facility) improved from a negative $1.1 million

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