THE FRIDAY NOTE: SunEdison mulls USD 480m solar projects in Peru and more top news
Featured image by David Goehring/CC BY 2.0
This week it was reported that SunEdison is mulling a USD-480-million solar investment in Peru, solar cell maker Solland Solar went bankrupt, and the UK proposed severe cuts in the FiTs for small-scale renewables.
Other hot news include the approval of the 485-MW Blythe Mesa solar project in California, Vestas’ progress on a 400-MW nacelle factory in Brazil, and the newly release list of participants in Ontario's 565-MW renewables tender.
SOLAR PERU, SOLAR CHILE
Daily Gestion said on Monday that SunEdison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) may invest USD 480 million (EUR 427m) in four solar power plants in southern Peru, each of between 50 MW and 100 MW. The US renewables company will make a decision on the projects when details on the next renewable energy auctions are announced.
Meanwhile in Chile, Verano Capital's CEO told El Mercurio the company aims to operate 100 MW of solar parks in five years and an additional 300 MW through partnerships.
Brazil’s federal energy planning authority EPE has approved bids with a combined installed capacity of 11,261 MWp to enter the solar power auction today. "The large number of qualified projects signals strong competition in the auction, which will benefit the consumer," said Mauricio Tolmasquim, the president of EPE.
On the local wind energy front, news came that Danish turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS) is building a 400-MW nacelle factory in Ceara state
The feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for small-scale solar, hydro and wind projects in the UK could be cut significantly from as early as January 2016 under a new government proposal. The cuts are part of measures “to place policy costs on bills on a sustainable footing”.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) said the 87% reduction in support for domestic solar and up to 82% cut in FiTs for commercial rooftops “will savage an industry and gut demand for the technology”. Scottish Renewables, meanwhile, warned that the tariff reduction could spell the end for much of the small hydro industry, and also hurt small wind investment.
Nearly 1,400 MW of projects proposed by units of NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE), Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and SunEdison have qualified for Ontario's Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) programme. The round targets 565 MW of capacity. NextEra's 200-MW Northpoint II Wind Energy Centre is the largest single project competing for a contract.
In the US, the Department of the Interior (DOI) on Monday gave the green light to RRG Renewables for its 485-MW Blythe Mesa solar photovoltaic (PV) project in California.
Business daily Mint said Thursday India will appeal against a ruling by a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel, according to which the country’s domestic content requirement for certain solar projects contradicts global trade rules. The dispute settlement panel has also criticised the subsidies provided by the Indian government for domestic cell and module manufacturing.
Dutch PV cell maker Solland Solar was declared bankrupt on Tuesday, as the Pufin Group subsidiary has been unable to meet financial obligations. Equipment from it manufacturing site is being auctioned with offers expected by September 30.
Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) this summer signed a contract to buy 200 MWp of polycrystalline silicon solar cells, manufactured by Solland. Speaking of Trina, the Chinese solar major recently reached record quarterly photovoltaic (PV) module shipments of 1,231.6 MW.