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VOLUME

18

ISSUE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

Te Solar

Issue

Technology, Policy,
Finance and More

Data Points

Wind

Geothermal

Hydro

Understanding
the importance
of the Power
Africa initiative.

Mitigation strategies
for underwater
noise when
building offshore
wind farms.

Can geothermal
exploration enable
the energy storage
industry?

How it can
help rebuild a
stronger Nepal.

p. 34

p. 36

p. 43

p. 48

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contents

PROJECT PROFILE
The PV Salvador
Solar Project.

46

features

21

SOLAR TECHNOLOGY

Ensuring Your Solar


Array Doesnt Get
Caught in the Wind
Solar PV racking
manufacturers explain
the design considerations
needed in order to
keep solar arrays from
getting blown away.
Charles W. Thurston

15

27

SOLAR POLICY

Is the Spanish
Government Putting
the Brakes on Solar
PV?
Spain recently auctioned
bids for renewable power
capacity from wind and
biomass, not PV. This
isnt the first time the
government has turned its
back on the abundant solar
resource leaving some to
believe that darker forces
are at play Ilias Tsagas

30

SOLAR FINANCE

Making a Match: How


Solar Companies and
Banks Hook Up
Solar EPC companies
often partner with a bank
to secure financing for
their projects. Our article
explains how they do it.
Jennifer Runyon

ON THE COVER
Summer sun and solar
go hand-in-hand. Our
issue pays tribute to that
great resource in the sky.
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

Reliable energy automation solutions


for wind farms

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features
departments & columns

36
WIND

Reducing Construction Noise at


Offshore Wind Farms
Building an offshore wind farm can
create quite an underwater racket.
Monitoring and mitigation of noise is
key to keeping marine wildlife safe.
Holly Waterman

5 Editors Letter

46 Project Profle

Here Comes the Sun

Regional News
News from the Global
Renewable Energy Industry

17

Te Big Question
Can the US Commercial
Solar Industry Survive
with a 10 Percent ITC?

34 Data Points
The Power Africa Initiative

The PV Salvador Solar Project

53

Trainings and Educational


Events

54 Calendar
54 Advertisers Index
55

Last Word
Why Smarter Grids
Demand Smarter
Communications Networks

43

GEOTHERMAL

Energy Storage and Geothermal


Markets Team Up for Lithium
Developers explore exciting
opportunities to extract lithium from
geothermal brine. Meg Cichon

48

HYDROPOWER

Mini-hydro Making a Big Impact


in Nepal
In the wake of the earthquake that hit
Nepal, development of its 83 GW of
hydropower potential may be essential
for the future. David Appleyard

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From t he Editor

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Ahh summer! Hopefully the longer days and stronger sunshine bring
with them time for you to sit back, relax and read your latest issue of
Renewable Energy World, which sits before you now. In it, we bring
you updates from the solar industry new technology, policy debates
and financial information that we hope will help you do your job.
Theres more to this issue than just a tribute to solar, however. So
if you are in the wind, energy storage, bioenergy, hydropower or geothermal industries, dont despair we have you covered, too. On page
36, you can read about how the offshore wind industry must use noise
mitigation strategies when constructing offshore wind parks. Our feature on page 43 looks at how the geothermal industry could enable
the energy storage industry to mine more lithium. And remember the
devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April? We have photos and
an update on how it affected the power sector there. Opportunities for
renewable energy development are far and wide and I hope youll put
your knowledge to work bringing power to places in the world where
it is most needed. Our Data Points on page 34, hones in on the Power
Africa initiative.
Its also time to start making plans to attend Renewable Energy
World Conference that will take place in Las Vegas, December 8-10. At
the show, you can attend our educational sessions to learn more about
all of the topics I just mentioned. Finally, if you have completed a great
project over the past year, dont forget to nominate it for consideration
as a Project of the Year. You can nominate projects here.

While every attempt is made to ensure the


accuracy of the information contained in this
magazine, neither the Publishers nor the authors
accept any liability for errors or omissions.

Jennifer Runyon, Chief Editor


RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

REGIONAL

news

NORTH AMERICA

Rail-Free Mounting
System Now
Available

FIAMM and Northern


Power Team Up To Deliver
Energy Storage Solutions
Northern Power Systems is partnering with FIAMM Energy Storage
Solutions to target the growing demand for energy storage systems
(ESS) in the market, especially for North America. A recent Navi-

EcoFasten Solar announced that it

gant report indicates the global installed energy storage capacity for

launched a new mounting Rock-

the grid is expected to grow from 538.4 megawatts in 2014 to 20.8

It System that it would be display-

gigawatts in 2024.

ing during Intersolar. Product com-

Northern Power Systems FlexPhase power converters comple-

pliance was determined through

ment FIAMMs SoNick (sodium nickel chloride) storage technology,

testing per UL Subject 2703, which

offering control features such as load shifting, low/zero voltage ride

reviews integrated grounding and

through, voltage and frequency droop control, islanding and seam-

bonding, fire classification and

less transition, and black start, and providing extremely low DC bus

mechanical loading.

ripple. FIAMM SoNick batteries have a track record of safety and

EcoFasten Solars solar roof

reliability, large energy capacity with a minimal impact on the envi-

mounts and components are

ronment due to the absence of toxic materials, and are 100 percent

designed, engineered and man-

recyclable, according to the company.

ufacturered in Morrisville, VT.

Diego Tebaldi, senior director of global business development at

Working closely with leading solar

Northern Power Systems, said that the integration of the companys

developers, racking system pro-

power converter into this particular chemistry opens up access to a


global market with strong potential.

Icebreaker Offshore Wind


Project To Incorporate Innovative
Foundation Design
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo)
announced that the Icebreaker offshore wind project planned for

Credit: EcoFasten Solar.

the Ohio waters of Lake Erie will use an innovative foundation

viders, roofing manufacturers


and commercial installation companies, the company said that
its products are fast and easy to
install and were designed with the
installer in mind.
6

JULY/AUGUST 2015

design that was developed in Europe. Mono Bucket foundations,


developed by Denmark-based Universal Foundation (UF), will significantly reduce installation costs for the pilot project compared
to the modified monopile concept LEEDCo developed in 2013.
The Mono Bucket foundation is an all-in-one steel structure consisting of a monopile shaft attached to a large-diameter bucket.
It is installed with a suction system that requires no pile driving

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

or dredging eliminating noise and soil distur-

with U.S. steel fabricators to ensure the design is

bance. A prototype has been supporting a 3-MW

optimized for fabrication in the United States. The

turbine in Denmark since 2002. A second proto-

final design will be complete in early 2016.

type has been supporting a met mast at Horns


Rev 2 in Denmark since 2009.
Universal Foundations Mono Bucket founda-

This is yet another innovation we are bringing to the U.S. offshore wind industry that will
help meet the U.S. Department of Energys cost

tion recently emerged as one of the most promis-

of energy targets, Wagner said. Not only does it

ing technology developments in the European off-

move Icebreaker forward, it enables the Lake Erie

shore wind industry, said Lorry Wagner, president

region to become a central hub of the U.S. off-

of LEEDCo. According to Wagner, the Mono Bucket

shore wind industry.

is lighter than our original concept, requires sig-

In addition to Icebreaker, Mono Buckets are

nificantly less time on the water during construc-

also being considered for a number of European

tion, and can be fabricated locally.

projects.

UF will join LEEDCos team to complete the


detailed design of the Mono Bucket foundations for

For more on eliminating noise during offshore wind

the Icebreaker project. The team will work closely

farm construction, see our feature on page 36.

EUROPE

Wave Power Device Receives Further Funding


HiWave, a wave-power system developed by CorPower Ocean and nurtured by KIC InnoEnergys
Highway Programme, has secured in excess of 2
million in investment from the Swedish Energy
Agency. The funds will be used to run tests in the
Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Scotland.
HiWave has demonstrated promising efficiency rates in wave energy absorption, delivering five
times higher energy density compared with previously developed technology, and at a third of the
cost. This new investment is in addition to 6 million already invested by KIC InnoEnergy and the
Swedish Energy Agency.

HIWave Concept. Credit: KIC InnoEnergy.

KIC InnoEnergy has invested a total of 3 million in the technology since its inception in 2009.

and WavEC for collaboration, developing its sup-

The company has also provided support by con-

ply chain, putting forward partnerships with

necting CorPower with Iberdrola Engineering

established drive train and cylinder


RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

[ cont >]

JULY/AUGUST 2015

REGIONAL

news

manufacturers, and helping to

under-utilized power of the

he is proud that the KIC InnoEn-

structure the companys product

ocean, said Patrik Mller, CEO,

ergy innovation model, based on

verification methodology.

CorPower Ocean.

our international network com-

CorPower has grown from

The ocean has enough power

plementing national funding

a one person company with

to cover more than 10 percent of

agencies, such as the Swedish

a small-scale prototype to a

the worlds energy demand, says

Energy Agency, has enabled the

12-person team with a prov-

Kenneth Johansson, CEO, KIC

HiWave project and the company

en device that can tap into the

InnoEnergy Sweden, adding that

CorPower to get to this point.

UK Solar Could Rival Fossil


Fuel Electricity by 2020
The Solar Trade Association (STA) published its

current plan with little extra cost.

Solar Independence Plan for Britain, setting out

TheSTAs recommended policy steps include

how the new government could steer rooftop solar-

adjusting the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) in the forthcom-

generated electricity to parity with retail electrici-

ing review to allow more growth and gradually

ty prices and utility-scale solar farms to


parity with new gas CCGT power station
prices, both by 2020.
In the report the STA looks at sever-

Solar Independence Plan (SIP) For Britain


Solar capacity in 2020
Total cost in 2020

al different scenarios, and recommends

25.3 GW
20.3 GW

the government adopt a scenario with a


target of 25 GW by 2020. If adopted, the

1,510M

1,360M
1,160M 12.1 GW

Plan could see 2.1 million solar homes,


24,000 commercial rooftop and community schemes, 2,300 good quality solar
farms and almost 57,000 jobs in solar

DECC Strategy

SIP Minimum Ambition

SIP Higher Ambition

CREDIT: Solar Trade Association

and its supply chains. Achieving this


breakthrough would in 2020 cost households around 13 per year. Experts from Imperial

bring tariffs for new installations down to zero by

College London have independently verified the STA

2020. The STA is also seeking to ensure the Renew-

modeling behind the plan. The Centre for Econom-

ables Obligation is safeguarded for big rooftops and

ics and Business Research provided job estimates.

smaller solar farms until March 2017, and that bar-

The report outlines six changes to existing policy that would double the amount of solar-generat-

riers to the grid are addressed decisively.


The Plan also explains the importance of back-

ed electricity in 2020 from 10 TWh under DECCs

ing the U.K.s domestic industry today with stable

Solar PV Strategy to 21 TWh under the STAs Higher

and predictable policy support rather than waiting

Ambition scenario. This would bring solar to a total

for international module prices to fall, since mod-

of 6.9 percent of U.K. electricity demand in 2020 as

ules form an increasingly small fraction of the cost

opposed to the 3.4 percent as per the governments

of installed solar.

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

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operator action, NO AC or DC power, and NO added water, the NuScale Power
Module will achieve safe, self-cooled shutdown, and maintain it indefnitely. Using
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REGIONAL

news
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

Latest SE4All Initiative To


Encompass Bioenergy
The Sustainable Bioenergy HighImpact Opportunity (HIO) was
nd

decentralized energy production.


Due to the sheer abundance of

models currently being implemented for rural energy access as

launched in May at the 2 UN

biomass often available in devel-

well as opportunities for further

SE4All Forum to facilitate the

oping countries, the paper aims

expansion.

development and deployment of

to encourage interested stake-

sustainable bioenergy solutions.

holders from public and private

duced biomass can contribute in

sectors to work towards devel-

meaningful ways to increasing

Euro-African Green Energy (PAN-

oping bioenergy technologies for

the energy access essential for

GEA) and the Alliance for Rural

electrification in areas where

rural economic development. The

Electrification (ARE) presented

there is no conflict with nutri-

ARE-PANGEA report highlights

a paper with information about

tion and other issues. The paper

nicely the potential for biopow-

how to implement business mod-

looks at modern uses for solid

er production in different ecologi-

els that utilize bioenergy for elec-

biomass, liquid biofuels and bio-

cal and developmental contexts,

trification and provided policy

gas along with practical exam-

said Gerard Ostheimer, Global

recommendations to encourage

ples and best practices of the var-

Lead, Sustainable Bioenergy UN

the uptake of biomass as part of

ious bioenergy-based business

SE4All Initiative

At the event, partners for

Power from sustainably pro-

Solar PV Costs on Par with Fossil Fuels in Emirates


The UAEs solar energy pricing has now reached

first time ever in the nations history, according to a

parity with fossil fuel models, making it econom-

recent REmap 2030 report published by the Inter-

ically attractive and commercially viable for the

national Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in conjunction with Masdar Institute and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate of Energy and
Climate Change. Solar PV is on par with gas at prices of US $4.50-8.00 / MBtu, which currently makes
solar PV economically viable in the UAE.
The REmap 2030 puts solar as a critical resource
for the UAE, with different forms of solar energy
accounting for more than 90 percent of renewable
energy use in the region. Additionally, the IRENA
report highlights policy as a key enabling factor for

Credit: Masdar.

10

JULY/AUGUST 2015

renewable energy adoption and urges government

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

agencies to take holistic, comparative views of ener-

Haddad, Group Event Director of the annual World

gy costs and act on them.

Future Energy Summit (WFES) hosted by Masdar

Solar power, together with other renewable

and part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. In 2016,

energy sources, could save the country billions of

the event will launch the WFES Solar Expo, a ded-

dirhams annually while introducing innumera-

icated area on the show floor for showcasing solar

ble health and environmental benefits, while also

technology and innovation. More than 150 exhib-

acting to preserve precious existing fossil fuel

itors have already confirmed their participation,

resources.

with global companies from the wind and solar

We believe that, for the UAE and wider Arabian

industries to take part in the exhibition and discus-

Gulf, solar power is perhaps the most promising of

sion proceedings. The World Future Energy Sum-

all renewable energy sources creating jobs while

mit (WFES) 2016 will take place at the Abu Dhabi

preserving existing energy reserves, said Naji El

National Exhibition Centre 18-21 January 2016.

ASIA PACIFIC

More Solar for Japan with 92MW Solar Project Announced


Kyocera, Kyudenko and Century Tokyo Leas-

supply the modules and Century Tokyo Leasing will

ing Corporation announced a joint investment in

arrange financing for the 35 billion yen (approx. US

Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills LLC, a solar power oper-

$290 million) project.

ating company, to construct and operate a 92-MW solar power plant on a site
stretching across Kanoya City and Osaki
Town in Kagoshima Prefecture. Once
complete, the project will be one of the
largest solar installations in Japan.
The project, which is sited on a never-built golf course, will accommodate
340,740 Kyocera solar modules, and is
expected to generate roughly 99,230
MWh annually enough electricity
to power approximately 30,500 typical
households.
Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills LLC will
operate the site, and a joint venture

Rendering of the Proposed Plant. Credit: Kyocera.

established by Kyudenko and Gaia


Power will undertake the design, construction and
maintenance of the solar installation. Kyocera will

Construction is set to begin in late 2015 or 2016


and should take about 18 months.

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

11

REGIONAL

news

EV Market Set for Big Gains As Asian


Manufacturers Drive Down Li-ion Prices
The electric vehicle opportunity is set to expand, as battery developers like Panasonic drive down prices of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs by 35 percent to US $172/kWh in 2025, according to Lux
Research. However, only the best-in-class players will achieve that
cost threshold, while others lag at US $229/kWh.
The estimate is based on a new bottom-up cost model built by
Lux Research in an industry known for being highly secretive about
its costs. The model accounts for differences in battery chemistry,
form factor, production scale, location and other nuances.
High battery prices have led to some huge missed opportunities
in the electric vehicle market. Now if developers can drive down prices to $200/kWh or less at the pack level, they have a chance of selling
millions of EVs by the mid- to late-2020s, and reap great revenues,
said Cosmin Laslau, Lux Research Senior Analyst and lead author.
Lux Research analysts used interviews and research to build out
a cost model for Li-ion batteries and evaluate the new opportunities
emerging for developers and OEMs. Among their findings:
Competitive gap is widening. Technological innovation and scale
are helping leaders like Panasonic, in partnership with Tesla,
widen their competitive advantage. While Panasonic-Tesla and
Chinas BYD will achieve $172/kWh and $211/kWh at the pack
levels, respectively, the Nissan-AESC partnership risks falling
behind at $261/kWh unless it changes technologies and production strategies.
Disruptive Li-rich NMC will deliver more gains. In 2025, a disruptive Li-rich NMC would bring in cost gains of $17/kWh over
conventional NMC/graphite cells. While scale-up efficiencies like
Teslas Gigafactory remain a key strategy, geographical location
and technology like high-voltage cathodes are also key factors.
Some benefits will reach stationary storage market, too. Li-ion
cost reduction will positively impact the stationary storage market as well. However, it will not address added costs like the power
conditioning system, land, construction and integration. Therefore,
installed stationary systems spanning from residential to gridscale will range from $655/kWh to $498/kWh in 2025, respectively.
The report, titled Crossing the Line: Li-ion Battery Cost Reduction and Its Effect on Vehicles and Stationary Storage, is part of the
Lux Research Energy Storage Intelligence service.

12

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

LATIN AMERICA

Companies
Eye Chilean
Renewables Mkt
Chile holds significant potential
for renewable energy development, with a long-term shortage
of power and industries that consume large amounts of power,
like mining. The wind and solar
resources in Chile are plentiful,
creating many opportunities for
the growth of renewables.
To harness this potential,
renewable energy company
SgurrEnergy formed partnerships
with two South American energy companies to develop renewables opportunities in the Chilean market. SgurrEnergy, a Wood
Group company, will combine its
global renewable energy expertise with the local knowledge
and experience of new partners,
Coener and Mankuk, to drive forward the renewable energy market in Chile.
Coener and Mankuk both provide engineering solutions to clients on projects in Chile.
SgurrEnergy has a wealth
of experience working in Chile
including performing the role of
lenders engineer for an onshore
wind farm, which required that
the company perform an independent energy yield forecast,
review of financial models, site
visits and contract reviews.

Brazil and Chile To Install More than 15


GW of Renewables by 2017
Brazil will spearhead renewable energy additions in

Alternative Electricity Sources (Programa de Incen-

South America to 2017, with the countrys cumula-

tivo a Fontes Alternativas de Energia Eltrica; PRO-

tive installed capacity expanding from 19.8 GW in

INFA) in 2002 to boost renewable energy adoption.

2013 to over 32.9 GW by 2017 according to Global-

The first phase awarded auctions for 3.3 GW of

Data. The companys latest report also states that

wind, biomass and small and medium-sized hydro-

Chile will see the fastest increase in renewables

power plants.

over the forecast period, with cumulative installed

While biomass accounted for the largest share of

capacity rising from 1.06 GW in 2013 to 5.37 GW by

Brazils renewable energy mix with 50.1 percent in

2017, at an impressive CAGR of 50 percent

2014, wind power capacity is expected to become

GlobalDatas Ankit Mathur said Brazil is looking


to increase power generation from renewable energy sources and is aiming for 10 percent of its annu-

the new leading sector with a 41.4 percent share in


2017, up from 27.3 percent in 2014.
Meanwhile, renewables are expected to see the

al generation to come from these sources by 2020.

largest growth in Chiles overall power sector, with

In order to achieve this target, the Brazilian gov-

the country beginning to harness its significant

ernment introduced the Program of Incentives for

potential in solar, wind and geothermal power.

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The Renewable
Energy World
Solar Issue
Summer is upon us and with it comes lots and lots of
sun. In this issue we pay tribute to that great orb in
the sky and spotlight the industries that it supports.

17

Our Big Question looks at how the U.S.

21

Our Technology feature examines how

27

Our Policy feature brings us to the Spanish

30

commercial solar industry will fare when (and if)


the ITC steps down to 10 percent.

the wind impacts solar installations both on the


ground and on the roof and the technology involved
in making sure they stay firmly in place.

renewable energy market, which has been plagued


with so many problems that some fear the country
is turning its back on solar PV altogether.

Our Finance feature looks at matchmaking


between solar companies and financial
institutions. How do they get together to help grow
the industry?

As always theres more great news and information about the solar industry
on our website, RenewableEnergyWorld.com. Cant get enough solar news?
Subscribe to our twice-weekly solar e-newsletter here.
Image: Sunshine Illustration. Credit Shutterstock.
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

15

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The Big Question

Stakeholders weigh in on worldwide renewable energy issues

Can the US Commercial Solar Industry


Survive with a 10 Percent ITC?
The U.S. Investment Tax Credit, which is a 30 percent federal tax credit for solar systems on residential
and commercial properties, remains in effect through December 31, 2016. After that time it
drops to 10 percent for commercial systems and zero for residential systems. For our Big Question
this month, we wanted to hear from bankers, commercial solar installers, developers, fnanciers,
potential hosts and other stakeholders. Read the comments below to gain insight on this issues big
question: Can the U.S. commercial solar industry survive with a 10 percent investment tax credit?

Gary LeBer, General Manager, SolarTyme, North Carolina

Unfortunately, I believe that it will substantially reduce the commercial installations and virtually eliminate the residential side.

Yes, it is still a viable market but we need costs to come down


and we need electricity rates to continue to go up and we need
policies outside of the ITC that dont impeded our progress. So
if all of that was the way it needs to be then were fne but as
we all know there are probably going to be some fghts and
some hurdles.
Scott Wiater
Some states almost overnight become problematic. I think
President,
the biggest [state hit] in the solar industry will be California
and non-RPS states. Georgia is a good example where without
Standard Solar,
the 30 percent ITC there is no mechanism in place to make
Maryland
up any shortfall. Whereas in RPS states that have SRECs that
are fair-market traded and if the compliance payment is high
enough and there is enough delta between where they are currently trading and
that penalty payment then there is at least a mechanism in place to make up
some of the shortfall if the ITC goes away.

Chas Learned, Energy Sales Consultant, PhotonWorks Engineering, Hawaii

I am currently a commercial solar developer in sales in Hawaii. I think we will


sign a lot less deals when it downshifts to 10 percent. The reason being is business owners so often have such a short-term view. I have had several clients turn
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015 17

The Big Question

away from the current offering, which often shows approximately a 2-year
return. So many properties are not owned but rather leased, you can forget
about signing them up after the reduction.
Its really not about effciency improvements. Its the cost of running businesses, paying rent, all the many line items in a commercial development.
The cost of panels is just one line item in a few dozen and those few dozen
are not likely to change. Its similar in the food industry, if the price of grain
drops to zero, little or no change would occur in the price of a box of cereal.
Solar will slow down. My employer told me when there was no federal tax
credit there was nothing happening on the island ...just a slow crawl of solar
integration. And they had in place the 35 percent state tax credit. When the
30 percent federal came on board it took off like a rocket.

Lisa Lee Morgan, President, Calor Energy, North Carolina

By the end of 2016, the low-hanging fruit in solar development will have been
done, at least a large portion of it. If the Feds extend the sunset date, the solar
work will continue. After, solar will fall off, as will most renewable investments, because of the extremely low natural gas prices here in the U.S. NG
is just over $2/MMBtu; it is about $8 in the EU. That differential is a windfall
for those who can fgure out how to ship Liquefed NG around globe for least
cost. You will fnd energy investment dollars migrating into the LNG sector
and away from solar and wind after the ITC drops. However, solar and wind
will still make good fnancial sense in many situations, and will be an easy
sell especially to corporate industrial facilities as a hedge against future NG
spikes, which of course, are inevitable, too.

I think if it is renewed at 30 percent that would be great.


There is going to be a huge push to get as much done as possible in the next year or so with the expectation that the ITC
will drop to 10 percent. That activity and the pace at which
these projects are being developed are creating effciencies
in project development and installation. For example, some
developers in NC are projecting to have achieved grid parMatt Wright
ity by 2016 as a result of drops in hard costs and effciencies
Senior VP, National
in installation. So what we are going to see across the U.S. in
Cooperative Bank,
the next several years is a huge run up in projects and develWashington, DC
opment from now until 2016 followed by a cooling off period in early 2016 should the ITC not be renewed at 30 percent. During this cooling off period many believe there will be consolidation
between some of the smaller developers and EPC frms.
18

JULY/AUGUST 2015 RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

The Big Question

However in the long term it will really be benefcial because I think the
desire is still out there for solar energy and consolidation will bring even
more effciencies and scale to the market. Additionally, many states still have
utilities under RPS mandates that they really need to hit. So while there may
be a slowdown, there will be a rebalancing across the industry throughout
the year while people fgure out the new world order. Generally speaking I
dont see the solar industry going away anytime soon, then again Im a glass
half-full kind of guy.

Mickey Toro, President C-TEC Solar, Connecticut

As a developer of both residential and commercial PV projects, I feel that


although we have come a long way with sustaining our industry with innovation, cost reductions and product improvements, the commercial development
will suffer greatly without the tax credit remaining at 30 percent. Business
owners view these projects very differently than homeowners and expect
very different returns. When you are in business with budgets and forecasts
and obviously running your business, you will not spend the time, effort or
money on a separate business opportunity if it does not at least offer the
same return as your everyday business. When the ITC goes down it will not
offer the same opportunity therefore business owners, municipalities and
fnanciers will not be interested. We need to extend the ITC.

Dr. Jeffery Lee Johnson, President Excelencia Solar, Mexico

Solar globally will still do much better if there is no tax incentive. For example, PV hit grid parity in Jordan, UAE and MENA capacity is surging. The
Mexican distributed generation market is growing by 300 percent. Domestic
rates there hit grid parity two years ago and industrial tariffs will make grid
parity by 2016 2017.

Steve Kahl, Former Director of Sustainability, Unity College, Maine

I agree that the industry should eventually wean itself off subsidies. But going
from 30 percent ITC to 10 percent overnight in the U.S is a big problem for the
industry in the short-term. Our government should recognize that a phase-out
of the ITC makes more sense. Say, drop it by 5 percent per year until it is gone
by 2022. Now with the GOP in power in Congress, one might think that the ITC
has no chance of being extended, but Google this: in 5 states, the Tea Party has
aligned with the solar industry to support solar incentives because it is good
for employment and the economy. Lets not give up on Congress extending a
modifed ITC just yet.
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015 19

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Ensuring Your Solar Array


Doesnt Get Caught in the Wind
Solar PV racking manufacturers explain the
design considerations needed in order to
keep solar arrays from getting blown away.
CHARLES W. THURSTON

Solar power arrays are often exposed to the worst weather


that the planet can dish out, including hurricane force winds
that can gust up to 200 miles per hour on the U.S. Eastern
seaboard and on islands like Hawaii and Guam. Whether the
solar panels are mounted on the roof, in a stationary ground
array or in moving trackers, calculating wind load is a major
factor in the system design.
Wind is one of the most frequent causes of damage to solar
arrays, said several industry offcials. In Spain, in the middle of the last decade, several large dual-axis solar trackers
failed as a result of wind, according to Dan Shugar, the CEO of
NEXTracker, based in Fremont, CA. But horizontal trackers
as a category have been very reliable since then, so the solar

industry converged on the


horizontal track as the best
practical way to get energy
gain, avoiding all the steel it
would take to protect a dualaxis, he said.

Designing To Withstand High


Winds
Wind defection on solar
trackers may be the most
complicated design calculation in crafting the product
since the tracker parts move
in a variety of directions

The SunLink PrecisionModular RMS aluminum


system is available for 60
and 72-cell modules and 10
degree tilt. Credit: SunLink.
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

21

Multiple DuraTrack HZ v3 tracker rows


are connected by a rotary drive shaft and
driven by a single industrial 2 HP, 3-phase
A/C motor. Each v3 motor can drive up to
28 rows of 80 modules each. Credit: Array
Technologies.

simultaneously. If you dont


have a mitigation system, such
as a torsion limiter or dampers,
the wind can make an array
oscillate wildly, noted John
Williamson, director of engineering at Array Technologies,
based in Albuquerque.
Various designs attempt to
limit wind impact on trackers.
We have gone to a round tube
unlike most others manufacturers that use square or other
shaped steel so we pick
up 30 percent more torsional strength, said Shugar. We
also have gone with a balanced
design, he said, noting that the
array will return to a stow or
fat position under gravity. And
our stowing speed is fast
from full rotation to stow in one
minute, he said. Since wind
builds quickly, we want to stow
quickly, he added.
Its important to note that
stowing may be a prescribed
22

JULY/AUGUST 2015

response to wind on the edge of a feld, and not be necessary


within the more protected center. In fact, stowing a solar panel
is not necessarily the best solution for a rapid build-up, others
argue. Weve never relied on stow for our systems; we design for
no stow. Wind forces on a tracker at a zero degree position still
can have a signifcant load on the array and near-peak torque on
the system, pointed out Array Technologys Williamson. With
our new V3 design, we have come up with a passive stow design
and added a torsion limiting device that allows it to move to a
position where there is less torsion on the array, he said. Our
previous generation was typically built to 115 mph, but the worstcase install was built to handle up to 175 mph. This was proven in the feld at multiple sites including an installation located at
the NREL Wind Technology Center, in Boulder, Colorado. The new
version would be able to handle 135 mph standard, and similarly confgurable to withstand higher speeds, he said. Wind microbursts, or downbursts, can cause winds up to 175 mph on dry
land, so exposure to the wind is a given regardless of location.
Since wind can affect the outer edges of a solar array feld
much more intensely, outer rows need to be built to be both stiffer and stronger. NEXTracker, for example, uses thicker steel on
the outer rows to help design for this effect. Wind, nonetheless,
is diffcult to predict. What some solar companies assume is
that wind continues to decrease the further that you get into an
array, which is not necessarily the case. Arrays are in a turbulent
layer of the atmosphere, and wind is very random and chaotic in
nature, said Williamson.

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

Solar

Testing and Analysis


Crunching the numbers for
such wind variables requires
a set of tools that includes both
computer models and full-scale
models. Computational fuid
dynamics will calculate wind
load but nothing beats the wind
tunnel from the standpoint that
you are testing a scale model,
said Shugar.
A host of wind tunnel testing facilities, including government labs, in the United States
and Canada, permit the analysis of a full-scale solar array
to meet certifcation or building code requirements. Some
companies make extensive use
of them. We have an industryleading 120 mph wind rating

and are the only manufacturer we know of to conduct an in-tunnel, full (dual) tracker wind load test. We wanted to demonstrate
to the industry our design strength and commitment to engineering a tracker that will withstand the elements, noted Andrew
Savage, the chief strategy offcer for AllEarth Renewables, based
in Williston, VT.
Array Technologies also has conducted extensive wind tunnel
testing, including tests at the Langley Full-Scale Wind Tunnel, in
Hampton, VA, which has since closed. Work there has been taken
up by Old Dominion Universitys Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, Norfolk, VA.

PV Wind Standards Still Emerging


Not all jurisdictions accept wind tunnel testing as suffcient,
however. Until 2013, the city of Los Angeles, required traditional anchored mounting solutions for rooftops rather than nonpenetrating ballasted designs, because the LA Department of
Building and Safety did not accept wind tunnel data to justify lower ballast requirements. It was not until PanelClaw became
the frst mounting system company to have its full wind tunnel
data results approved and permitted by LADBS for use in ballast

AllEarth Renewables conducted an


in-tunnel, full (dual) tracker wind load
test. Credit: AllEarth Renewables.

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

23

Solar

Solar panel modules


displaced by wind forces.
Credit: CASE Foresnics.

designs that the regulation


changed. The North Andover, MA-based companys
Polar Bear Gen III ballasted
design will withstand winds
in excess of 120 mph, equal to
a Category 3 hurricane.
The solar industry follows
wind load provisions that are
currently promulgated by the
American Society for Civil
Engineers (ACSE), based in
Reston, VA. The latest standard is the 2013 ASCE/SEI
7-10. But that standard relates
more to buildings than to
solar arrays, several manufacturers complain. In a 2012
statement to Renewable Energy World, SunLink CEO Christopher Tilley said, while
there are established snow
and seismic load standards
that can be applied to PV systems in a fairly straightforward manner, there is very
little guidance on wind loads.
Engineers and permitting
offcials have therefore been
24

JULY/AUGUST 2015

left with the choice of applying


the building code in ways not
intended or accepting designs
based on wind tunnel testing
without a standard means to
validate the testing approach or
results. Neither method assures
that appropriate wind design
values are used.
The Underwriters Laboratory, based in Northbrook, Ill.,
nominally covered wind load for
PV installations in the 2015 version of UL 2703, but is also criticized for falling short. UL 2703
has been good for the industry but it is not an absolute standard.
Having a true code in place would level the playing feld by weeding out the companies that dont address important safety and
performance factors, such as wind and snow load testing, corrosion testing and fre resistance, said John Klinkman, VP of engineering at Applied Energy Technologies, in Clinton Township, MI.
The Structural Engineers Association of California
(SEAOC),based in Sacramento, has done much work toward helping to set an industry standard for PV wind loading requirements,
said Rob Ward, the chief structural engineer for SunLink. The
SEAOC PV committee conducts on-going work in development of
code change proposals to the wind design provisions in ASCE. The
group has produced its own guidelines for wind load and solar,

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

Solar panel modules


displaced by wind forces.
Credit: CASE Foresnics.

Solar

including the most recent SEAOC PV2-2012,Wind Design for Low


Profle Solar Photovoltaic Arrays on fat Roofs.
SunLink began testing its line of PV products in 2006 with the
help of Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory (BLWTL) at the
University of Western Ontario, based in London, ONT. BLWTL
has recently upgraded its facilities with four new wind tunnel
control and data acquisition systems that allow for completely
automated tests capturing data at speeds up to 100,000 samples
per second each.
SunLink ran 70 models and confgurations through more than
1,000 tests at the BLWTL lab, developing a unique database. The
tests included variations in tilt angle, roof height, row spacing,
building height, set-backs from the roof edge, and various defector/shrouding strategies that are affected by wind. The company
has shared this database with SEAOC, and as a result, the organization is closer to developing a wind load norm with a broad
industry consensus, Ward said.
SunLink also worked with BLWTL and the engineering frm of

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Rutherford & Chekene, based


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develop software that will help
product designers test their
designs against the standards
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While consistently strong,
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SOLAR POLICY

Is the Spanish Government


Putting the Brakes on Solar PV?
Spain recently
auctioned bids
for renewable power
capacity from wind and
biomass, not solar PV.
Are darker forces at play?
ILIAS TSAGAS, Contributor

Spains Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Transport


announced this spring that it
would hold an auction for the
installation of 500 MW and 200
MW of new wind and biomass

power capacities, respectively. The date for the auction was


not announced but it is expected that the call for submissions will be published in the State Offcial Bulletin in the
near future. Bids for solar power capacity need not apply.
The Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) was upset by the
news and is currently working to have solar PV technology,
which it called the most competitive in the world, included in the auction. The attempted eradication of the photovoltaic industry from the government does not have any
explanation, said Jorge Barredo, President of UNEF, adding
that solar is highly competitive not only between renewable
energies, but also compared with traditional fossil fuels.
The exclusion of solar PV from the recent auction
announcement was not the only blow against the solar
PV sector. Pedro Palencia, energy policy director at UNEF
explained that earlier this year Spains government
announced an auction for new power
capacity for the Canary Islands that only
sought wind.The Canary Islands complex
is located in the North West Africa and has
the highest solar irradiation in Spain.

Self-Consumption Sun Tax In Te Making

Sun Edison project in Caravaca de la Cruz (near Murcia),


Spain. Credit: UNEF.

There are other concerns regarding


Spains current policy framework for the
self-consumption of PV power and the lack
of net-metering.The current self-consumption policy framework is very general and
applies to both on- and off-grid systems.
The government said it would publish the
detailed regulations soon, adding that it is
considering imposing a tariff that UNEF
calls a sun tax. Effectively, this would
mean that PV system owners will be taxed
for the power they produce even if it is
solely for their own use and not fed into

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

27

Solar Policy

the grid.
UNEF said that a sun tax
like that would make solar
uneconomical even for selfconsumption. Net-metering,
a policy found in almost all
other Mediterranean countries, including Portugal,
Italy, Greece and Cyprus, is
not available in Spain.

Te Flawed Spanish
Energy Market
The Spanish energy sector
faces serious problems stemming from caps on retail electricity prices, which have
lead to market distortions.
According to David Robinson of the Oxford Institute for
Energy Studies, since 2001
the Spanish electricity system has accumulated a 30
billion defcit resulting from
inadequate tariffs that were
not high enough to cover

Large solar installation


electricity transmission and distribution
in Spain. Credit: UNEF.
costs, renewable and conventional energy subsidies and other regulated costs. All
Spanish governments have been unwilling to pass the full costs
on to customers, and the current situation has worsened due to
a decrease in energy demand, the high costs of renewable subsidies and more specifcally a terribly wrong remuneration policy
for solar PV systems in 2007 to 2012, said Robinson.
According to Robinson, the accumulated debt, accounts for
about 55 percent of a typical customers electricity cost, with
the remaining 45 percent associated with the wholesale price
of energy.
UNEFs Palencia confrms this. The actual costs covering the
electricity generation in Spain count for less than half of the consumers electricity bill and vary according to the power prices. The biggest chunk of the electricity bill covers a huge list of
other costs, non-related to the
fuctuating power prices of the
wholesale market. Such fxed
costs are set by the government,
which aims to increase them
further, Palencia said. Under
these circumstances, we [UNEF]
dont see how self-consumption can become competitive in
Spain, Palencia remarked.

This article continues online.


Click here to read it.
Solar on a residence in Spain.
Credit: UNEF.
28

JULY/AUGUST 2015

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SOL AR FINANCE

Making a Match: How Solar


Companies and Banks Hook Up
Solar installation or EPC companies often
partner up with a bank to secure fnancing
for their projects. Heres how they do it.
JENNIFER RUNYON, Chief Editor

The announcements are fairly frequent: SunPower Partners


with Admirals Bank for $200 Million Solar Loan Program,
Deutsche Bank to Lend $1 Billion for Japanese Solar Projects,
Financing Partnerships Drive North Carolinas Solar Boom.
The reasons for the deals are clear. Solar developers
need money to build projects and rather than going to the
bank again and again with deal after deal, it makes sense
to have a fnancing partner and a set of criteria you need to
meet already in place so that you can be sure the money will
Finding a match.
Credit Shutterstock.

30

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

materialize when you need it.


Indeed, as the industry continues to mature and
especially in light of a 10 percent ITC set to go into effect
at the end of 2016 for commercial projects, fnding a
secure, reliable fnancing
partner may just be what
makes or breaks a solar
developer or EPC company.

Getting Squeezed
from Both Sides
Scott Wiater, president of
Standard Solar, explained that
in the traditional third-party
ownership model his company
was getting pinched on either
side of their deals. Basically
Standard Solar would develop
a project for a host, such as a
municipality or a corporation,
and then set up fnancing with
another entity. We would
go to somebody like NRG or
Washington Gas and Electric
and we would basically develop and build the project, he
said, adding since we are a
developer and also an EPC we
would [then] package that up
and partner with somebody
like SunEdison who would
fnance the project and then
we would provide the O&M on
the backside. Wiater believes
there isnt anything wrong
with this approach and projects will continue to be structured like that going forward.
For Standard Solar, however, problems were starting to arise. Just being in
the middle of that transaction
we were getting squeezed
both on the customer side
the host side where we have
to come up with the low PPA
rate but also on the fnancing side where the fnancing
companies are putting more
and more of the risk back
down on us as the EPC while

The 865-kW solar project on the Knorr Brake Corporation


manufacturing facility in Westminster, Maryland developed by Standard
Solar. Credit Standard Solar.

they are enjoying their return with less risk.


In an effort to fx this issue, Standard Solar went out and
sought project fnance partners. We decided that to create
more shareholder value we should develop our own fund in
house and that is what brought us to where we are today.
In early July, Standard Solar announced a brand new $250 million fund comprised of construction debt, term debt, tax equity and
sponsor equity. The fund is the frst of its kind in the C&I (commercial and industrial) space and will enable Standard Solar to close
projects more quickly, effciently and with lower costs. We brought
in the whole capital stack so we have a debt provider that provides
the construction debt which then fips to long-term debt when we
place it in service and we have a tax-equity investor that provides
all the tax equity, Wiater explained. Whats more, because there
are three partners involved, Standard has more fexibility going forward. Because we control so much of the deal, we have several
levers we can pull to be very competitive: whether that is our asset
management fee, our O&M fee, our EPC fee, we have many pieces of
the pie that we can get aggressive on, he said.

Courtship and Marriage


Matt Wright is senior vice president at National Cooperative Bank
(NCB) and oversees the banks renewable energy group. NCB has
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

31

Sol ar Finance

been lending money into the


solar industry since before
the crash of 2008 and is on
track to lend upwards of $400
million into the solar space
by the end of this year. He
explained that for NCB, the
commercial solar space offers
attractive, stable returns.
After the 2008 crash, Wright
said the market was lumpy
and his group didnt put any
money into the market, but
once the crisis was over that
changed. When we came
back, we looked at all of our
businesses and said you

know, the solar line of business has been rock solid. Its been
great. So we just started making a renewed commitment to it,
he said.
Wright said he primarily fnds companies to work with
through word of mouth and that once he fnds a reliable partner, he tries to do repeat deals. We try to fnd a couple of developers a year that we can work with and try to achieve scale, he
said. NCB has been working with Strata Solar to build projects
in North Carolina with Duke as the offtaker. To date they have
done about 30 deals together, he said. We have a great relationship with them, he added. Those are the kinds of things we try
to duplicate.
Wright meets potential partners at shows or through word of
mouth. Chances are you would meet me at a conference or you
would hear me speak, he said.
While it isnt as simple as Match.com, Wiater likens fnding a fnancing partner, especially for a huge deal like the one

The 6.4-MW Arndt solar farm


developed by Strata Solar.
Credit: Strata Solar.

32

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

Sol ar Finance

The 5-MW solar project at the


Washington Suburban Sanitary
Commission developed by Standard
Solar. Credit Standard Solar.

Standard Solar just announced, to courting. Theres a dating


period where everybody gets to know each other and then [if]
the chemistry is there, we decide to go to the next step and get
engaged, he said. Its during the engagement that all of the due
diligence takes place, which is a very long, very costly process.
We think its going to cost just in legal expenses somewhere in
the neighborhood of $800,000, he explained.
Robert Banaski, chief administrative offcer with Admirals
Bank, which provides fnancing for residential solar projects
agrees that large deals take a long time to execute. For example, in 2014, the bank announced a $200 million fnancing commitment that would be available for SunPowers residential solar
customers. The deal was the product of a series of meetings to
investigate SunPowers needs and couple them with a fnancing
product, he explained.
According to Banaski most solar installers are able to offer
Admirals fnancing to their customers. Further, Admirals
has a channel program that allows pre-qualifed solar installers to offer its Fast Track Loan Program to potential customers much in the same way car dealerships offer fnancing to car
buyers. Installation companies that may not ft the criteria for
the fast track program can still offer their customers fnancing through the FHA Title I program. What is nice about our
loan programs is we have a wide array of product offerings that
meet the many needs of our customers throughout the country,
Banaksi said.

On partnering, Banaski
said a conversaton might take
place between the bank and
the dealer on the banks product suite, to determine which
one would ft with the dealer
and its customer base. With
Admirals there is a national business development
team that seeks potential
solar companies to do business with. We have a large
account team both inside, and
outside, the organization that
develops new business opportunities, he said.
Banaski, Standard Solars
Wiater and NCBs Wright
all agree that attending
conferences and networking are extremely important for making connections
in the solar industry. They
also agree that solar growth
wont be throttled anytime
soon. Wright explains, you
know were just excited about
this [the solar industry] as a
bank. Once other banks or
large insurance companies
who might want to purchase
loans from NCB get over their
initial concerns about solar,
they realize that once its up
an running, there is very little risk, he said, adding, if
it was engineered properly and you are working with
reputable developers, installers and managers, these
things are just built to work.
And long term.

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

33

dat
a
poi
nt s

POWERING THE VAST

AFRICAN

TUNISIA

99.5%

CONTINENT

M O R O CCO

98.9%

ALGERIA

99.3%

Western
Sahara
(under UN
mandate)

LIBYA

EGYPT

100%

99.6%

CAPE
VERDE

67.0%

MAURITANIA

18.2%

MALI

16.6%

NIGER

56.5%

13.1%

GUINEA

GUINEA-BISSAU

57.0%

20.2%

3.5%

DJIBOUTI

GHANA
CTE 60.5%
DIVOIRE
12.1%
TOGO
LIBERIA 58.9%

SIERRA LEONE

49.7%

NIGERIA

48.0%

27.9%

SOMALIA

81.6%

DEMOCRATIC
14.6%
REPUBLIC OF
KENYA
CONGO
RWANDA

REPUBLIC OF CONGO
(BRAZZAVILLE)

15.2%

Cabinda
(Ang.)

TANZANIA

14.8%

COMOROS

48.3%

ANGOLA

34.6%

MALAWI
ZAMBIA

18.5%

8.7%

Mayotte
(Fr.)

MOZAMBIQUE

15.0%

ZIMBABWE

NAMIBIA

36.9%

43.7%

MADAGASCAR

14.3%

BOTSWANA

43.1%

SWAZILAND

35.2%

82.7%

CREDIT: AEEP Status Report 2014


JULY/AUGUST 2015

29.2%

5.3%

SOUTH
AFRICA

34

SEYCHELLES

BURUNDI

Percent of population
with access to electricity, 2010
60.0 100%
40.0 59.9%
20.0 39.9%
10.0 19.9%
Less than 10%

19.2%

10.8%

37.1%

PERCENTAGE
OF POPULATION WITH
ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY
BY COUNTRY

29.2%

UGANDA

GABON

SO TOM & PRNCIPE

23.0%

9.5%

53.7%

29.2%

ETHIOPIA

SOUTH SUDAN
CENTRAL
1.5%
AFRICAN REPUBLIC

CAMEROON

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

56.9%

32.5%

BENIN

27.9%

4.1%

ERITREA

29.0%

CHAD

BURKINA FASO

THE GAMBIA

31.0%

SUDAN

9.3%

SENEGAL

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

MAURITIUS

100%

LESOTHO

17.0%

Runion
(Fr.)

The difference between


the haves and the
have-nots is no starker
than the comparison
between access to energy
in the developed world
and the developing world.
The percentage of the
population with access to
energy in the countries

that make up this region is


extraordinarily low as
outlined in the map.
Both the U.S. and the EU
have announced huge
initiatives aimed at
doubling energy
generation and access in
Africa by 2020, and each

has multiple banks and


organizations in place to
help the private sector
develop power projects in
every African country.

ergyworldl-eveints.ccom/ck
onference/reh
newablese
-in-the-drevelope
ing-world-track.htm
in December.
Click
here
bhtep:/ www.r.
r.renewable nC
for more information.

Coal
Gas
Hydroelectric
Oil
Nuclear
Wind
Biomass and waste
Geothermal
Solar tide wave

There will be a session


about the Power Africa
Initiative at Renewable
Energy World Conference

ELECTRICITY GENERATION IN EACH AFRICAN COUNTRY


IN TERAWATT-HOURS (TWH) BY SOURCE
South Africa
239.166

Egypt
152.914

Algeria
53.795

Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya

Cameroon

Runion

Benin

6.145

0.923

0.146

Morocco

Cte d'Ivoire

Lesotho

Rwanda

26.101

5.986

0.746

0.139

Nigeria

Angola

Madagascar

Mauritania

26.065

5.774

0.736

0.139

Mozambique

Ethiopia

Mauritius

Togo

17.762

5.442

0.584

0.111

Tunisia

United Republic
of Tanzania

Guinea

Sierra Leone

16.022

0.554

0.107

Zambia

Senegal

Botswana

Burkina Faso

12.047

2.818

0.350

0.086

Ghana

Malawi

Mali

11.401

1.929

0.320

Sao Tome
and Principe

Democratic Republic
of the Congo

Gabon

Eritrea

Equatorial Guinea

1.755

0.317

0.007

Kenya

Namibia

Swaziland

Cape Verde

7.909

1.687

0.160

0.007

Zimbabwe

Uganda

Burundi

Equatorial Guinea

7.456

1.536

0.160

0.007

Sudan

Congo

Comoros

7.334

1.307

Central African
Republic

27.908

8.310

5.286

0.011

0.005

0.160

CREDIT:
The
Shift
Project
C
REDIT:: T
he Sh
hiftt P
rojecc t
http://www.theshiftproject.org
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

35

W I N D P OW E R

Did You Hear That?


Reducing Construction
Noise at Offshore Wind
Farms
Building an ofshore wind farm can create quite an underwater
racket as monopiles are driven into the seafoor. Monitoring and
mitigation of noise is important in order to adhere to environmental
regulations that are designed to keep marine wildlife safe.
HOLLY WATERMAN, Baker Consultants

Marine mammal monitoring and underwater noise mitigation is an integral part of the development of offshore wind
farms, which, along with many other developments, generate
underwater noise that can negatively impact marine mammals. For instance, servicing vessels used during construction
and operation can generate continuous noise at low frequencies, which overlap with the communication signals of many
marine mammals, such as baleen whales. In fact, each operation in the development of offshore wind farms has its own
acoustic signature that must be identified and quantified in
order to assess its impacts on species present in the area.
The introduction of noise into the marine environment
is a major concern, given that numerous marine species
including dolphins and porpoises rely on sound as their
principal means of communication and navigation. Noise
can be particularly disruptive in the marine environment
because sound travels great distances through water. Further, although some of the impacts of underwater noise on
marine mammals and fish have been quantified into specific
36

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

thresholds that cause hearing loss, either permanently or temporarily, and noise
thresholds set accordingly, the thresholds that lead
to changes in behaviour and
wider population impacts are
still largely unknown.

Regulation
The EU Marine Strategy
Framework Directive (MSFD)

The pectoral fin of a Humpback


whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).
Credit: Shutterstock.

requires member states to achieve Good Environmental Status


of their seas by 2020 and part of it includes a criterion specifying
that underwater noise such as what is generated during offshore
wind farm installation, should be at levels that do not adversely
affect the marine environment.
Two recent offshore wind farms Borkum Riffgrund 1,
which just begun exporting power, and Gode Wind 1 and 2,
which is currently under construction and has marine mammal
monitoring and underwater noise mitigation in place are
based in German waters in the North Sea. The German governments BSH (Bundesamt Fr Seeschifffahrt und hydrographie)
maritime agency has established strict noise thresholds for

Sound Exposure Level (SEL),


which must not be exceeded
during piling activities.
Consequently, an SEL limit of
160 dB re 1 Pa2 s outside a
750-meter radius for piledriving operations appears in
the licence conditions for
offshore wind farms.
In order for the government to approve monopile
foundations for offshore wind

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

37

W i n d P oW e r

both instances) via passive acoustic recorders during wind turbine foundation installation. It was also necessary to assess the
effciency of the noise mitigation strategy which in both cases, used the IHC Noise
Mitigation System.
For Borkum Riffgrund 1, a methods statement for the monitoring campaign was
drafted and approved by the German government in the early phases of the project.
After that the installation company (GeoSea),
the piling company (IHC Hydrohammer) and
the consent managers at DONG Energy were
monitored to ensure mitigation protocols
were followed and given advice on optimizNoise Mitigationat the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind
ing the piling strategy to minimize noise.
Farm. Credit: DONG Energy, KIRBI A/S and Wommian
The weather played a role in the project.
Demant Invest A/S.
Servicing of acoustic recorders in the North
Sea is challenging when a specific schedfarms, evidence that underule must be adhered to, particularly in winter, as the instruments
water noise has remained
used are very sensitive. To ensure safe working conditions and
below this threshold must be
avoid accidents, servicing must usually be carried out in sea state
given at set intervals during
2 or lower, which meant that most servicing had to be completed
installation before approval
before weather conditions changed, whilst simultaneously fitting
is given for any future installations. In the case of Borkum
Riffgrund 1, the licence initially only allowed the installation
of the first 12 monopiles, with
consent for additional monopiles subject to the outcome of
noise measurements.

How It Works
These two large offshore
wind farm projects in the
North Sea, with 77 and 97
turbines respectively, needed
evidence that noise thresholds
were met and required monitoring of marine mammal
activity (harbour porpoises in
38

JULY/AUGUST 2015

Construction of the Borkum Riffgrund 1 Offshore Wind Farm. Credit:


DONG Energy, KIRBI A/S and Wommian Demant Invest A/S.

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

Nominations are now Open!


Submit your Nominations by August 31, 2015

Honoring excellence in design, construction and engineering


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Awards will be given in the following categories:
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W i n d P oW e r

Pingers like these are used for


marine mammal deterrence.
Credit: Baker Consultants.

around the piling schedule to


ensure no data was lost.

Acoustic Monitoring and


Mitigation Strategy
At Borkum Riffgrund 1, Passive Acoustic Monitoring
(PAM) devices were installed
at set distances from each
monopile and rotated on a
regular basis, following the
BSH guidance. PAM devices measure noise and record
porpoise activity in the area.
A part of the acoustic monitoring included an innovative method for monitoring
40

JULY/AUGUST 2015

porpoise activity using full-spectrum recorders instead of click


detectors. This allowed investigation of the data waveforms to
minimize uncertainty in the results. Specialist bioacousticians
designed automatic classifiers to detect the porpoise clicks more
efficiently and the results were manually inspected and verified
by experienced observers.
The aim of the mitigation strategy was to reduce the underwater noise and keep harbor porpoises outside of the piling zone.
Overarching guidance on noise mitigation traditionally follows
three separate lines of approach: material noise control measures along the propagation path, at the receiver and at the noise
source location; and modification of operational procedures.
In the cases of Borkum Riffgrund 1 and Gode Wind (and other
similar projects), the vast area of the underwater environment
affected by localized, noise-producing activities negates the option
of using the first noise mitigation strategy, as this would not
meet best practicable means (BPM). Therefore, material control

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

W i n d P oW e r

Baker Consultants at work performing


passive acoustic monitoring for noise.
Credit: Baker Consultants.

between piling energy and


blow count was attained.
Operation procedures, too,
were modified through the
adoption of a ramp-up procedure. This procedure was
used as a mitigation measure
(along with the acoustic deterrent devices) to warn marine
mammals about the upcoming anthropogenic activity and
encourage them to leave.

Costs
measures were adopted at the source of noise and involved the use
of the IHC Noise Mitigation System, which is a double walled cylinder filled with a bubble layer, to ensure that the right trade-off

Monitoring underwater noise


can be extremely challenging
and the costs of these survey
[continued on page 53]

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Covers smaller commercial and


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G E OT H E R M A L

Energy Storage and Geothermal


Markets Look To Team Up
in the Hunt for Lithium
As the lithium-ion battery market heats up, developers
are seeing exciting opportunities to extract soughtafter lithium from spent geothermal brine.
MEG CICHON, Associate Editor

In todays fast-paced tech environment, no one can make a


splash quite like Elon Musk. So
when he decided to enter the
energy storage game in 2014,
he did it with gusto. Musk is

The Salton Sea. Credit: Shutterstock.

now in the process of building what he coined a gigafactory, which is a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in
Nevada. Of course, the plant is being built at such an effcient pace that its ahead of schedule and is now set to start
production in 2016.
Since the gigafactory plans were revealed, Musk has
continued to wow the industry with
announcements like the unveiling of
Powerwall, a residential storage system
that pairs with rooftop solar, which can
be fnanced and installed by his other
company that you may have already
heard of, SolarCity.
Musk has certainly shined a light on
the lithium-ion battery, and analysts
expect the industry grow at an exorbitant clip within the next few years
alone. However, big growth like this
does not come without its challenges,
and in this case, some industry insiders have begun murmuring about
resource concerns.
If you take a look at [lithium] supply and demand dynamics over the
next few years, [in] 2015, youre already
looking at a possible supply of 300,000
tons and possible demand of 480,000
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

43

G e ot h e r m a l

tons, according to Alix Steel


of Bloomberg. We are seeing
a 7-10 percent annual growth
for demand, so we would not
have enough lithium as projects stand right now.
However, Steel also said
that there are more than
13 million tons of lithium
reserves plenty to satisfy
our growing need but the
problem is extraction: it takes
lots of time and, in some
cases, lots of money.
Lithium is commonly

minerals. Though it is relatively low-cost, the evaporation process can take up to two years and it is diffcult to get most of the
lithium out of the brine.
In order to avoid this process, some developers have turned to
the Salton Sea in Imperial Valley, California, which sits on a massive geothermal resource. If developed, it could potentially unlock
nearly 3 gigawatts (GW) of capacity. Developers have taken notice,
and the Imperial Irrigation District has created a plan to develop
1.7 GW by 2032 if they can get some fnancial backing. While it
sounds like a no-brainer, the project faces several hurdles, including a lack of transmission and long permitting processes.
What does this have to do with lithium? While the Salton Sea
has huge geothermal potential, its also considered one of the
worlds most mineral-rich environments, and developers have
taken notice. To pair these two resources, several companies
around the world have created a
lithium extraction process from
Geothermal power plant
geothermal brine. This technolGenerator
ogy allows companies to bypass
Packaging
the traditional evaporation process, because once a geothermal
Steam
Turbine
Product conversion
CO2
plant uses up hot brine to proCO2
Cooling
tower
Water
duce energy, rather than pumpH2O
Brine
Separation
ing it back into the ground, this
H2O
new technology snaps it up.
Steam Brine
Then, using a series of flters
and absorption techniques, it
Return
separates materials, and eventually extracts lithium.
One company that has caused
Geothermal zone
quite a stir in the U.S. is Simbol
Production
Injection
well
well
Materials, which has demonstrated this technologys viabilGraphic: Simbol Materials lithium extraction process. Credit: Simbol
ity at one of the lone geothermal
Materials.
plants located in the Salton Sea
extracted from either hard
area. In 2012, Simbol established a demonstration plant at the
rock via an energy-intensive
49.9-MW John L. Featherstone geothermal plant, which was a
roasting and leeching pro2012 winner of the Renewable Energy World Project of the Year
cess, or from salty brines.
Awards partly due to this innovative technology.
The brine is laid out in pools
The Salton Sea geothermal feld is among the worlds largwhere it evaporates, leavest and highest temperature resources because it lies directly
ing behind lithium and other
inside an active plate tectonic boundary, said ACOREs Dennis
44

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

G e ot h e r m a l

The John L. Featherstone Plant in California. Credit: Geothermal Resources Council.

McGinn during a press call. In addition to generating thermal


power, Salton Sea geothermal brines are well-known for their
exceptionally high concentrations of minerals. These minerals
include lithium, manganese and zinc, which are important to
battery and energy storage technology, and are truly a national
strategic asset.
Simbol has since produced the worlds frst battery grade
Li2Co3 lithium from geothermal brine. The company said that it
is currently able to process 6 gallons of brine per minute, but it
believes it can increase to 6,000 gallons per minute to produce
more than 15,000 tons of battery-grade lithium per year.
Salton Sea initiative supporters are hoping that this extraction technology coupled with the growing demand for lithium
in nearby Nevada, and Musks desire to only use materials produced in the U.S. will bring an extra incentive to develop more
geothermal plants, and ultimately boost the local economy and
protect the environment.
In fact, Simbol was reportedly planning to build a commercial-scale plant that would create to up to 150 permanent jobs in
an employment-weary area, according to The Desert Sun. However, it couldnt happen soon enough and in early 2015, the company laid off the majority of its employees citing fnancial diffculties, leaving its bright future in question.

Meanwhile, other regions


are investigating the viability of this technology, including geothermal-rich New
Zealand. The Ministry of
Business, Innovation and
Employment commissioned a
two-year study to determine
if and how mineral extraction
could succeed. The April 2015
report stated that though the
composition and volume of
geothermal fuids in New Zealand also offers considerable
potential for the extraction of
various metals and minerals,
the report questions the technologys economic viability.
While extracting products from geothermal fuids is
technically feasible, positive
economics is the key driver
for commercial success.

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

45

the
he

project

Profling Stand-out
Renewable Energy
Projects Worldwide

The PV Salvador Solar Project


Located near Diego de Almagro
in Chile, the PV Salvador project
delivers energy to the Sistema Interconectado Central grid,
where it is sold on the spot market in direct competition with
traditional sources of electricity
without government subsidies.
Salvador is jointly owned
by Etrion, Total and Solventus
Energas Renovables; the majority fnancing was done through
non-recourse project debt from
the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC); and it was
built by SunPower on approximately 328 acres leased from the
Chilean government.

Credit: @Total Laurent Zylberman.

By the

Numbers

70mw

solar
power
capacity

160,000
SunPower modules

Credit: @Total Laurent Zylberman.


46

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

300

jobs created
during
construction

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Create Brand Awareness.
Generate Leads.
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H Y D RO P OW E R

Mini-hydro Making A Big


Impact on Nepalese Power
In the wake of the devastating earthquake
that hit Nepal in April, development of its 83
GW of hydropower potential has emerged as a
key opportunity for rebuilding a country that was
already struggling to meet its electricity demand.
DAVID APPLEYARD, Contributor

Renowned for its vast hydropower resources, the Himalayan


nation of Nepal has nonetheless long struggled to meet its
growing power demand. Now though, the devastating earthquake that struck the country in April 2015 is placing even
more emphasis on the development of hydropower at a range
of scales.
The quake not only killed an estimated 8,000 people and
destroyed parts of the country, it also had a profound effect
on the national infrastructure. As one of the worlds poorest
The earthquake that struck Nepal
in April 2015 left Kathmandu city
in ruins. Credit: My Good Images /
Shutterstock.com.

48

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

developing nations, even


before the magnitude 7.9
earthquake hit, Nepal was
subject to signifcant load
shedding, with rolling blackouts right across the country
for some 12 or more hours a
day. With a number of existing hydropower projects damaged in the seismic event,

One of the many


rivers in Nepal.
Credit: Shutterstock.

capacity margins have fallen


still further.
Putting this in context, the
latest available fgures from
the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) from its 2014
annual report reveal a
peak power demand estimated at 1201 MW, which refected a growth of almost 10 percent over the previous year.
However, the peak generating
capacity was just 791 MW,
leaving a 410 MW estimated
shortfall something over
20 percent. [See sidebar for
more information on electricity in Nepal today.]
Raghuveer Sharma, Chief
Investment Offcer of IFC,
explained that a sizeable portion of the current installed
capacity of Nepal consists of
small hydropower projects
and with the earthquake having damaged larger hydropower projects, the country has set further focus on

small and micro-hydropower development. As many as 2000


MW capacity worth new power purchase agreements (PPAs) have
been signed, which goes to show the potential and promise of
small hydropower projects, he said.
For example, last May the World Bank Group signed off on
$84.6 million in fnancing for the Kabeli-A Hydroelectric Project
a peaking run-of-river hydroelectric plant with an installed
capacity of 37.6 MW. It will be built in Panchthar district in the
east of Nepal together with the Kabeli Corridor Transmission
Line, a separate project under construction that also has World
Bank fnancing.
Key to the development of Nepals hydropower potential is
the issue of fnance. But this is not insurmountable, said Sharma. Attracting fnance for hydropower projects is not dependent on size of the project whether small, medium or large. Rather, it is the bankability of the project that determines fnancing.
The bankability criteria include techno-economic, environmental, social, legal and commercial aspects. Each of these has risks
inherent in them, and it is how the risks are assessed and mitigated that determines bankability.
Sharma said that access to transmission is also key: If small
hydropower projects are near a transmission line, they become
more viable, he said, adding that needing to build out transmission could mean that capital costs render the projects unviable.

Small and Smaller Still


Micro- and pico-hydro plants of a few tens of kW upwards are
also attracting interest where transmission system connection is
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

49

H y d r o p ow e r

Electricity in Nepal Today


Nepal has an annual energy demand estimated at 5910 GWh, of
which only 4632 GWh could be supplied. Nevertheless, Nepal
continued to export power to India last year. NEA fgures give
2013-2014 sales to India as 3.32 GWh, down from the 3.6 GWh
exported in the previous year.
While this may seem paradoxical, power sales represent
a valuable if not vital source of revenue for the national
treasury coffers. In fact, just two weeks prior to the earthquake
Nepals investment board cleared China Three Gorges Corp to
build a new $1.6 billion 750-MW hydropower project on the West
Seti River.
Of the available generating capacity actually supplied, 436.4
MW came from NEA-owned hydropower plants, 22 MW from
state-owned thermal capacity and 216.4 MW was generated by
hydropower from independent power producers. The rest was
imported from neighboring India, which supplied something on the
order of 20 percent of Nepals total power demand over the year.
According to the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre of
Nepal, about 85 percent of the total energy consumption in
Nepal is met through traditional biomass. The rest is met through
imported commercial sources such as petroleum and diesel.
Out of the total biomass, frewood contributes about 89 percent,
animal waste 7 percent and the remaining 4 percent from
agricultural residues.

unlikely even in the longer term. With an inclusive community-driven model, micro-hydro initiatives in Nepal are meeting
the energy needs of rural communities and powering economic development.
To date, the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) has
facilitated the construction of more than 1,000 micro-hydro
plants in 52 districts under the auspices of the National Rural
and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP) launched in 2012.
A consortium of fve governments, two multilateral banks and
three intergovernmental organizations support the US $184
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RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

million budget to execute this


fve-year program that aims
install close to 7,000 kW of
micro-hydro capacity.
Among the micro and picohydro fnancing projects
administered by AEPC are
the Micro Hydro Debt Fund
(MHDF), which is supported by GIZ, the German development bank. Initially budgeted at EU 500,000 and
later increased by 42,000,
the fund envisages more than
400 kW of additional capacity to bring electricity to about
19,000 individuals.
Further, in 2012 AEPC
with the support from United
Nations Capital Development
Fund (UNCDF) and UNDP
launched its Clean Start program. The program plans to
invest US $1.3 million over
a period of four years (20122015) to develop business
models for scaling up microfnance. By the end of the program, more than 150,000
low-income households will
have access to energy.
Similarly, a program called
Scaling up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income
Countries (SREP) aims to
provide electricity access to
250,000 households through
30 MW of mini/micro hydropower. Further, the Micro
Hydro Village Electrifcation
Program (MHVEP) is another joint initiative of AEPC and

H y d r o p ow e r

Rice fields around the Nepalese village


of Shivalaya. Only some 5 percent of
Nepals rural population has access to
grid electricity. Credit: Shutterstock.

the World Bank and funded by the Power Development


Fund (PDF).
During 2012-2013, the latest year for which fgures are
available, some 133 pico- and
micro-hydro projects with
a total capacity of 3.2 MW
were supported. Furthermore, an additional 125 projects are under construction
with a combined capacity of
4.3 MW.
There are around 42 small
hydropower projects currently operating in Nepal with a
combined capacity of some
16.3 MW. These projects are
joined by around 1300 microhydro plants with a combined
output of more than 24 MW
and some 1600 pico hydropower plants generating 3.7
MW, collectively.

However, the NEA noted that hydro alone is not suffcient


to minimize load shedding, and added other probable sources of renewable energy, including solar power will [need to] be
connected to the national grid. In December the World Bank
approved a US $130 million credit for the Nepal Grid Solar and
Energy Effciency Project. The project aims to increase electricity
supply to the national grid through grid-connected solar, which
should reduce distribution losses. It includes the design, supply, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of
grid-connected solar, with a total capacity of 25 MWp.
As Johannes Zutt, the World Bank country director for Nepal,
had previously observed: Nepal will need rapid and sustained
growth to continue reducing extreme poverty and increase the
incomes of the bottom 40 percent [of the population]. This will
require the country to boost investment and narrow a massive infrastructure gap, which is the single most important constraint to growth.
It seems clear that while Nepals massive hydro resources do
offer an attractive route to lift much of the population beyond
energy poverty and reliance on bioenergy for domestic heating
and lighting, the needs of this developing country are such that
other renewable energy technologies will also experience a signifcant uptick in growth in the coming years. The key, as ever, is
in achieving a market for attractive and sustainable fnance.
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

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51

Product Showcase
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RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

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Renewa ble Energ y


Tra ining Event s
Here is a sampling of training institutions that offer renewable energy educational events and certificate programs throughout the year.
Visit their websites to see specific dates, locations and topics offered. Many universities and community colleges also offer renewable energy training programs.

Forecasting & Modeling the


Future Energy Mix
Green Power Conferences
London, UK
20-24 July 2015

Introduction to Wind Systems


Midwest Renewable Energy Association
Online
27 July 23 August

Wind Power
The European Energy Centre
Edinburgh Napier University
29-30 July

Solar PV Mastery Training


Kaplan Clean Tech Education
Arlington, TX, USA
20-25 July

Design & Install Grid Connect


Photovoltaic Systems
Global Sustainable Energy Solutions
Sydney, Australia
22-24 July

Hydropower Financing and


Project Economy
The International Centre for Hydropower
Trondheim, Norway
19-23 October
Application deadline: 7 August

Renewable Energy and Communication


TowerTechnician Program
Airstreams Renewables
Tehachapi, CA, USA
3 August 11 September

Solar PV Mastery Combo


everblue
Los Angeles, California
3-7 August
(Other US locations and dates available)

Free Course: PV Project


Development Using RETScreen 4
Heatspring and Renewable Energy World
Online
On-demand

If you would like your training event to considered for inclusion in this listing, please emailREWNews@Pennwell.comsubject line: Education and Training.

[continued from page 41]

techniques have to be balanced with the added


value of gathering this information. However, in
recent years, the technology available for monitoring underwater noise and marine mammal presence has improved dramatically, with
several affordable and good quality instruments now readily available. This means there
are now multiple ways in which surveys can
be conducted, depending on individual needs.
Most importantly, instruments are now available that allow the monitoring of sound underwater both short and long term, autonomously
or from a boat, and allow real-time data transmission to a remote location.
As Passive Acoustic Monitoring requires
minimal human intervention and can be used
when weather conditions are highly adverse, it
therefore reduces time and costs over more traditional methods.
Holly Waterman is a communications manager with Baker Consultants, based in the UK.
For more information, enter 20 at REW.hotims.com
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

JULY/AUGUST 2015

53

Renewa ble Energ y Wor ld C a lenda r 2015


Selected multi-day conferences, expos and events for the Renewable Energy Industry
UK AD & Biogas Exhibition
1 - 2 July 2015
Birmingham, United Kingdom
W: http://adbioresources.
org/uk-ad-biogas-2015

Wind Power Central America


15 - 17 July 2015
Panama City, Panama
W: http://www.
greenpowerconferences.com/

Energy Storage USA 2015


7 - 8 July 2015
San Diego, CA, USA
W: www.energystorageupdate.com/usa/

Green Building Brasil


11 - 13 August 2015
Sao Paulo, Brasil
W: http://www.expogbcbrasil.
org.br/2015/en/

Intersolar North America


14 - 16 July 2015
San Francisco, CA, USA
W:www.intersolar.us/

Guangzhou International Solar


Photovoltaic Exhibition
18 - 20 August 2015
Guangzhou, China
W: www.chinaexhibition.com

HydroVision International
14 - 17 July 2015
Portland, OR, USA
www.hydroevent.com
POWER-GEN Africa
15 - 17 July 2015
Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
W:www.powergenafrica.com

Adver t iser s Index

MED GREEN FORUM


26 - 28 August 2015
Florence, Italy
W: www.wrenuk.co.uk/congresses
Renewable Energy World Asia
1 - 3 September 2015
Bangkok, Thailand
W: www.renewableenergyworldasia.com

POWER-GEN Asia
1 - 3 September 2015
Bangkok, Thailand
W: www.powergenasia.com
POWER-GEN Asia Financial Forum
1 - 3 September 2015
Bangkok, Thailand
W: www.powergenasiafinance.com
Intersolar South America
1 - 3 September 2015
Sao Paulo, Brasil
W: www.intersolar.net.br/en/
Solar Power International
14 - 17 September 2015
Anaheim, CA, USA
W: www.solarpowerinternational.com
Husum WindEnergy
15 - 18 September 2015
Husum, Germany
W: www.husumwind.com

For more information on the products and services found in this issue click here.

Distributech 201541

REW Asia26

Ecofasten Solar52

Shoals Technologies20

Everglades University41

Siemens2

Nexans14

Smarter Shows53

Northern States Metal25

Socomec52

Nuscale Power9

Solar Energy Trade Shows4

Power-Gen Middle East 201529

Spice Solar16

Projects of the Year/Woman of the Year 201539

Surrette Battery Co. 13, 52

REW North America 201542

Trojan BatteryCV2

The Adveritsers Index is published as a service. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions.

54

JULY/AUGUST 2015

RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD MAGAZINE

Last
the

WORD

Why Smarter Grids Demand Smarter


Communications Networks

Mark Madden

is the Regional
Vice President for
Utility Markets in
Alcatel-Lucents
North American
Region where he
is responsible for
Alcatel-Lucents utility
market strategy,
strategic partnerships,
and business
development.Mark
joined Alcatel-Lucent
in 1996 and has
more than 30 years
of experience with
leading companies in
the Information and
Communications
Technologies industry,
with the last 10 years
directly engaged
with power utility
communications.

Historically, utility networks and communications networks have had little


in common. These two types of networks have intersected, of course
utilities have relied on communications networks for decades to support
a variety of critical capabilities, which
have generally run on equipment
leased from telecommunications carriers. Similarly, these carriers relied
on power grids to power to their communications networks. However, these
intersections were few, and the two
types of networks were built, managed
and operated in very different ways.
The world has changed since most
grids were built. Today utilities face
challenges that aging infrastructure cannot support. In fact, the carrier networks that utilities have relied
on for remote monitoring, control and
grid automation will soon be shut
down in favor of IP-based networks.
Meanwhile, the need to manage renewable energy resources,
such as wind and solar, have introduced additional demands. Notably,
this renewable component typically
involves small-scale, distributed energy resources that tend to be connected
to the least automated part of the grid
the medium-voltage and especially the low-voltage parts of the distribution network. Utilities need to modernize their grids to make them smarter.

Part of this transformation is the transition to a more modern and reliable


communications network.
This transition is similar to the shift
that is taking place in communications networks. IP and Multiprotocol
Label Switching (IP/MPLS) technology was developed to serve as the foundation for next-gen communications
networks. Carriers have used IP/MPLS
networks to consolidate a variety of
services and applications voice,
data, video onto a single, converged
infrastructure, making it possible to
deliver a variety of services to customers. Not surprisingly, IP/MPLS has
emerged as the chosen path for T&D
utilities globally to connect substations, operation centers, data centers
and remote grid devices. This is due
to its deterministic performance, efficient support of packet-based traffic
and ability to support legacy traffic. IP/
MPLS enables utilities to support multiple application-specific operational networks on a single network while
optimizing the performance of the
growing number of real time IP-based
smart grid applications.
All of the capabilities carriers and
utilities must support from movie
streaming to linking sensors for substation automation can be served
using a dynamic, secure, and missioncritical communications network.

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