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Friday, December 1, 2023

Emissions, aerosols negatively affect PV productivity, say Australian engineers

December 01, 2023 0

A study by engineers at Australia's University of New South Wales (UNSW) shows that aerosols and greenhouse gas emissions reduce the productivity of PV installations, with variations across regions.

From pv magazine Australia

Researchers from the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering have mapped PV productivity across future emissions scenarios in various parts of the world, with a focus on maximizing potential and minimizing costs in warmer climates.

Greenhouse gases affect climate change and global temperatures, but the study identifies additional impacts of aerosols on global horizontal irradiance (GHI). The study assessed the role of aerosols and cloud cover, along with temperature, solar radiation, and wind speed.

In addition to applying different emissions models over different world regions, the research also investigated the difference between mono-crystalline silicon (mono-Si) and thin-film modules to find out which would be more beneficial under different future climate scenarios. This is significant, of course, since mono-Si modules are dominant in the market but thin-film modules are more resilient to warmer climates, highlighting the importance of improving thermal management in PV modules. In Australia, for example, PV reductions were shown to be significant for mono-Si but not for thin film.

The study’s models reflecting different emission-level scenarios made such differences clear across global regions. The study found that, with increasing climate change, solar resources increased in West and Central Europe, South America, and Central North America. In contrast, global horizontal irradiance (GHI) reductions were predicted in northeast Africa, the Tibetan plateau and South Asia.

Image: University of New South Wales, Renewable Energy, Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0

To continue reading, please visit our pv magazine Australia website.

from pv magazine International

M10 solar cell prices dive to new record low

December 01, 2023 0

In a new weekly update for pv magazine, OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides a quick look at the main price trends in the global PV industry.

The FOB China prices of both PERC and TOPCon Mono M10 cells, the mainstream size of solar cells in the current solar market, continued their downward trajectory and were assessed at $0.0550 per W and $0.0616/W this week, respectively. This marks their lowest prices ever, according to OPIS data, amid falling prices of the entire supply chain and weak demand in China and its key export market.

Cell prices were negatively impacted by the ongoing price decline of the supply chain in China. Prices for China polysilicon and Mono PERC M10 wafers both decreased this week by 4.07% and 0.40%, respectively. The price of Mono PERC modules is approximately CNY1.011 ($0.14)/W, which is extremely close to the industry's psychologically low value of CNY1/W, while the prices of TOPCon modules are slightly higher at CNY1.077/W.

OPIS learnt from its market survey that cell manufacturers are making every effort to lower production costs as they are experiencing losses. One of the approaches is to buy wafers of reduced quality. According to a cell supplier, the Mono PERC M10 wafers with reduced quality are available on the China market for CNY1.7/pc while good quality wafers are still priced between CNY2.2/pc and CNY2.3/pc. This may resonate with a few downstream users who have been worried about the impact that this competition to cut production costs may have on module quality for 2024.

Another strategy for cell manufacturers to cut production costs is to outsource their production to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). OPIS has learnt from the marketplace that a major cell manufacturer has an extremely high operating rate, as it has won numerous contracts from other cell companies that have outsourced their cell production.

According to OPIS’ market survey, manufacturers who outsource cell production benefit from the low cost brought by the high operating rates of OEMs, and could provide Mono PERC M10 cells at lower than CNY0.43/W in the China market. Those who continue to produce at low operating rates in their own production facilities are still offering it at around CNY0.45/W.

Sentiment in China remains bearish. According to the National Energy Administration, China deployed 13.62 gigawatts (GW) of solar in October, which presents a month-to-month decrease of 13.69%. This is the third straight month that China's newly installed solar capacity has declined.

China’s key export markets continue to offer little sunshine. A state-owned cell manufacturing enterprise claims that sales of its cells have been hindered since the second half of the year, especially in the cell export market. Purchasing Chinese cells has become a rare occurrence for their Southeast Asian consumers, although formerly they did so regularly.

“The module producers cannot use Chinese cells if they want to ship their products to the US market; the local Southeast Asian market has a very limited solar capacity to digest Chinese cells and modules,” this supplier explained.

Looking ahead, the industry anticipates that the price of Mono PERC M10 cells will continue to decrease, with industry discussions suggesting that it may drop to approximately CNY0.4/W very soon in the Chinese domestic market. This indicates that the sentiment in the cell market will remain subdued.

OPIS, a Dow Jones company, provides energy prices, news, data, and analysis on gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, LPG/NGL, coal, metals, and chemicals, as well as renewable fuels and environmental commodities. It acquired pricing data assets from Singapore Solar Exchange in 2022 and now publishes the OPIS APAC Solar Weekly Report.

from pv magazine International

New Zeland’s largest utility-scale solar project starts generating power

December 01, 2023 0

Lodestone Energy has started generating electricity at its solar plant in Kaitaia, New Zealand – the nation's largest solar array and first utility-scale PV installation to date.

From pv magazine Australia

Renewables developer Lodestone Energy has started generating energy at its 39.4 MW solar project in Kaitaia, on New Zealand's North Island. The developer, which started work in late 2022 and broke ground in April 2023, expects the project to generate 55 GWh of power per year.

Besides the Kaitaia Solar Farm, Lodestone’s phase-one capital program includes solar projects at Edgecumbe, Waiotahe, Whitianga and Dargaville. While Kaitaia is the first of Lodestone’s solar farms to start generating, Edgecumbe is expected to be commissioned early in 2024 and Waiotahe late in the same year.

“This project ushers in a new era for energy in New Zealand. Kaitaia is the first solar farm at this scale and is a key step in helping New Zealand deliver on its climate goals,” said Gary Holden, managing director of Lodestone Energy. “It is also crucially important to our customers who have contracted with us to meet their own sustainable energy objectives.”

The Kaitaia installation is an agrivoltaic project, so agricultural activity can continue in and around the solar installations and even be enhanced by the solar facility. The project is surrounded by regeneration efforts with tree planting, among other elements.

With more than 61,000 solar panels installed at the North Island plant, the farm’s 55 GWh of power annually will flow to residential and commercial energy consumers, including all of the stores in New Zealand’s Warehouse Group, which is signed up to Lodestone’s phase 1 portfolio.

Lodestone Energy is New Zealand’s first utility-scale solar generation company and is wholly New Zealand-owned. About 80% of New Zealand’s electricity is from renewable sources, most of which is hydro generation, and less than 1% is generated by solar power. This looks set to change as the field of solar energy slowly ramps up in Aotearoa.

This week, The New Zealand Herald reported that a smaller solar farm has also started generating power.  The Te Ihi o te Rā solar facility has just started generating power in Gisborne’s airport district on the mid-east coast of the north island. The solar farm produces enough power for 1,000 homes, with about 7,300 MW of electricity produced annually.

from pv magazine International

NYSERDA Opens Expedited Renewable Solicitations for Large-Scale Projects 

December 01, 2023 0

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the launch of expedited renewable energy solicitations as part of the state’s plan to bolster its large-scale renewable industry. 

The solicitations, initially announced by New York governor Kathy Hochul earlier this month, are open to all project developers. As part of these solicitations, NYSERDA included provisions from the latest rounds of renewable energy procurements such as inflation indexing and agricultural land preservation. This was done in order to maintain policy objectives introduced in prior solicitations.

“These expedited solicitations will continue to build upon our momentum toward achieving a zero-emissions electric grid,” says Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “We welcome into this competitive process all developers who are committed and eager to participate in New York’s energy transition, and we look forward to working together to deliver significant economic, public health, and grid reliability benefits to New York State.”

NYSERDA is streamlining these expedited solicitations by selectively removing certain bid requirements that historically required substantial efforts to develop, but provided nominal value in bid evaluations. 

Final proposals for both offshore wind and land-based projects are due in January. These expedited solicitations support progress toward achieving New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to obtain 70% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and develop 9,000 MW of offshore wind by 2035.

The post NYSERDA Opens Expedited Renewable Solicitations for Large-Scale Projects  appeared first on Solar Industry.

from Solar Industry

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Solar irradiance modeling method for east-west oriented vertical PV

November 30, 2023 0

A Finnish-Norwegian research group has investigated model chains for horizontal-to-vertical solar irradiance conversion in east-west oriented vertical PV systems located at high latitudes. They have found that accuracy and bias of the model chains are different for the east and west sides of solar array.

An international research team led by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has developed a new methodology to identify the most effective model chains to estimate solar irradiance in east-west oriented vertical bifacial photovoltaics at high latitudes.

The scientists explained that previous studies focused on the validation of a specific step of a given model chain, and said their work, by contrast, considered the whole model chain and the impact of the combination of different models on the accuracy of the final results.

“This study aims to contribute to filling up the literature gap in solar irradiance modeling considering high-latitude locations and irradiation on eastwards and westwards vertically oriented PV surfaces,” they explained. “By reviewing the state-of-the-art decomposition and transposition models, 29 decomposition and 25 transposition models are chosen for detailed evaluation through model chains.”

The group tested its approach on an east-west oriented vertical bifacial PV system located in Turku, Finland. It implemented the modeling in six steps consisting of data acquisition, review of existing solar decomposition and transposition models, implementation of the models’ library, initialization of the model chains, experimental validation, and inter-model chain comparison.

The academics considered 725 possible combinations of the decomposition and transposition models for both sides of the PV installation.

The performance of these models was then compared to that of benchmark models used to estimate the solar irradiance on inclined surfaces. They also created a dataset with the data required to initialize the model chains considering solar zenith and azimuth angles, air mass, and angle of light incidence, as well as to validate their results.

Through its analysis, the research team came to the conclusion that identifying a single model chain that can perform the best, regardless of the system orientation, is a difficult task at high latitudes. “Model chains optimally operating for the East side of the panel achieve a different level of accuracy when modeling solar irradiance impinging on the West side,” it added.

The researchers recommended using two different model chains for the front and rear sides of the vertical PV system.

“Models from the families of Yang and Perez should be preferred for the solar decomposition stage when assessing the West side of the system,” they said referring to models adopted in previous literature. “Erbs models and Perez family of models should be preferred for the solar decomposition stage when assessing the East side of the system.”

They also added that the so-called Hay and Steven transposition models should be preferred for the west and east sides of the system, respectively.

They introduced the new methodology in the study “Validation of model chains for global tilted irradiance on east-west vertical bifacial photovoltaics at high latitudes,” published in Renewable Energy. The research group includes scientists from the University of Turku and the Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) in Finland.

“To enhance the accuracy of the results from solar analysis, there is a need for a metamodel-based approach that can apply different model chains according to a parameter, such as the angle of incidence or the geometry of the investigated surface,” they concluded.

Other scientists from the University of Turku in Finland have recently created a new method to calculate performance loss rate (PLR) in vertical bifacial PV systems. This metric is commonly used by project developers to assess the expected power output of a PV system over its installed life.

The same research group unveiled in July a methodological workflow to boost electricity yield in bifacial vertical PV systems that are connected to low-voltage (LV) grids located at high latitudes and have different panel locations, orientations, and technologies.

from pv magazine International

Lobbyists call for more front-of-meter solar in California

November 30, 2023 0

California should put front-of-the-meter distributed solar on an equal footing with transmission-connected utility-scale solar and behind-the-meter solar, say several US advocacy groups.

From pv magazine USA

Six advocacy groups have challenged California's process to evaluate pathways to 100% clean electricity by 2045 for failing to maximize cost-effective front-of-the-meter distributed generation.

The groups propose an approach they call the “Max DG Pathway,” which would maximize cost-effective solar on the built environment, including warehouses, shopping malls, schools, parking lots, irrigation canals and highway rights-of-way. They have said that several studies have evaluated the technical potential to deploy solar on such sites.

The groups backing the proposal include The Climate Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition, and Vote Solar. They submitted comments to three state agencies that are evaluating pathways to achieve the state’s clean electricity goal.

On sites in the built environment with suitable solar exposure, a “small-to-medium-size” utility-scale solar array could be deployed, probably with co-located storage, the groups say. Each solar array on the built environment would have its own front-of-the-meter (FTM) utility interconnection, even if it is physically located on the premises of an end-use customer.

The sizes of these arrays “would generally be appropriate for distribution-system interconnections,” the groups said. The solar developer could earn revenues through a power-purchase agreement with a load-serving entity, or through some other business model.

Maximizing cost-effective FTM solar and storage, the groups said, could supply a substantial amount of renewable electricity without triggering land-use concerns or other sources of public opposition, while reducing the costs of transmission upgrades and providing valuable local benefits.

Those local benefits include resilience benefits from incorporating FTM solar plus storage as grid-forming resources in community microgrids, the groups said. The resources could be developed under local, municipal or tribal ownership models “that help build community wealth and advance energy justice.”

To continue reading, please visit our pv magazine USA website.

from pv magazine International

Sol Systems Announces New CTO

November 30, 2023 0

Sol Systems has announced the addition of its new CTO, Scott Day. 

Day previously spent 11 years as the CTO for music tech company SoundExchange. Prior to SoundExchange, Day led the technology team behind The Motley Fool. He will focus on scaling Sol Systems’  technology and customer offerings. 

“We are excited to have Scott expand our IT infrastructure and capabilities across our businesses,” says Yuri Horwitz, Sol Systems’ CEO. “His unique experience better positions Sol as a renewable energy leader, enables our business to expand into new corporate offerings and gives us the opportunity to better service our customers.”

Sol Systems is currently developing more than 2 GW of new solar projects across the U.S.

The post Sol Systems Announces New CTO appeared first on Solar Industry.

from Solar Industry