United Utilities is preparing plans to deploy solar canopies at its Warrington headquarters in an effort to boost its renewable capacity with a project that, if approved, could be under construction by Spring 2018. The North West water company already has more than 50 operational solar arrays around the North West including a 3MW floating system at the Godley Reservoir near Hyde. The firm is now considering the installation of a number of solar canopies over the car parking bays at its head office to add to its installed capacity across the region.
Solar Power Portal 1st Nov 2017 read more »
Gone are the days, it seems, when being a solar developer was all about erecting solar panels on fields and rooftops across the country. Squeezing revenues from solar has become a much more complex job, as subsidy regimes across Europe have tightened and an explosion in smart grid technologies have opened up a wealth of opportunities to connect PV to smart tariffs and battery storage. Such changes mean many of the big beasts of the renewables sector are being forced to rethink their approach to solar, both in the UK and beyond. Just a few weeks back we saw the launch of the UK’s first subsidy-free solar project from Anesco, a 10MW facility that plans to boost its revenues with on-site battery storage, enabling the farm to supply reliable clean power during times of peak demand. Meanwhile, a number of leading developers have embraced new financing approaches and power purchase agreement contracts in a bid to curb their reliance on policy support. Now Solarcentury, one of the world’s largest and longest-established solar companies, has today announced a new plan it claims puts it on a course for continued long-term success in the sunshine business. At its core, Solarcentury’s deal with Capital Stage is about giving the firm much more control over the operation and management of solar assets over the long term, chief executive Frans van den Heuvel tells BusinessGreen. The agreement will see Capital Stage and Solarcentury invest between £800m and £1bn over the next two to three years in the development, construction, acquisition and operation of solar assets across Europe and Mexico. The move will deliver at least 1.1GW of additional capacity under joint ownership, Heuvel says, with which the firms can experiment with new types of revenue generation offered by emerging flexible energy technologies, while also securing more control over long-term revenues.
Business Green 2nd Nov 2017 read more »
Solarcentury has announced a major partnership with European renewables funder Capital Stage in a move which will provide a substantial boost to its international expansion. The duo have entered into a jointly-owned framework to develop, acquire and operate more than 1GW of solar assets across the UK, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Mexico.
Solar Portal 2nd Nov 2017 read more »
One of the more interesting ideas put forward by Helm is an Equivalent Firm Power (EFP) auction process to replace FiTs and CfDs. Helm argues that such auctions would allow contracts to better reflect the inherent variability or intermittency of specific generators and, in turn, the costs they add to whole system costs. With a given load factor of 17%, under Helm’s design solar would be at a distinct disadvantage and effectively forced to co-locate with storage to compete. But, given the obvious benefits of co-located renewables, perhaps that’s not such a bad idea. What hasn’t been made abundantly clear however is just how Helm came to consider the whole system costs of renewables and how attaching the corresponding load factors in an EFP auction would solve this. Ofgem’s State of the Market report earlier this week placed intermittency costs at around £5-10/MWh – a figure which, albeit at the lower end of the spectrum, tallies with various other estimates – but Helm’s own take is nowhere to be seen. And it’s that kind of oversight which triggered the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit’s Richard Black to ask Helm to show his working, arguing that actual, bonafide evidence was lacking within the 242-page review.
Solar Power Portal 2nd Nov 2017 read more »