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SUNation Solar Installing 700 kW Of Commercial Arrays For Long Island Firm

SUNation Solar Systems Inc. has completed the first 388 kW phase of a two-array rooftop project for IVY Enterprises Inc. of Port Washington, N.Y. Construction of an adjacent building is under way that will support a 329 kW photovoltaic system when complete.

According to SUNation President and CEO Scott Maskin, commercial projects like the one for IVY Enterprises require serious commitment on the parts of both installer and customer. A veteran of residential, commercial and municipal projects, Maskin says commercial rooftops are very different from houses, not just in terms of size, but in the character of the engineering challenges. On a house, he says, he and his team know what to look for. Commercial buildings tend to be more varied and complex structurally.

“Commercial projects require a committed owner,” Maskin says. “These projects can be so fragile. You must have a good relationship with the customer in order to proceed.”

By fragile, Maskin refers to the myriad problems that could cause a commercial building owner to pull out - from zoning and codes to changes in the incentives on offer. Because commercial projects require a serious investment in resources and material on the part of the installer, such a result could be ruinous.

Fortunately, Maskin says, IVY has proven to be a dedicated client and was ready to commit after studying the costs and benefits. “We were able to put up over 1,386 modules in three days,” he says.

The second phase of the installation will require 1,160 modules. SUNation is installing SOLON SOLquick integrated solar module and racking units. When complete, the net metered systems are expected to produce over 892 MWh of electricity per year, which Maskin says will offset about a third of the existing warehouse’s load and half of the new building’s.


KeyBanc Backs
First Wind Solar

Boston-based First Wind has begun construction on 21 MW of solar projects in the Massachusetts communities of Warren and Millbury - inaugurating the company’s entry into the solar sector. The veteran wind power developer is entering the field under the mantle of First Wind Solar Group, which the company says it formed to explore U.S. solar power development opportunities in the Northeast, West and Hawaii.

First Wind says its Massachusetts solar project portfolio will include a 3.9 MW project in Millbury and three sites in the town of Warren with a combined total of 17 MW. Construction on the Warren and Millbury projects is being led by Borrego Solar Systems Inc., which is also building other solar plants in the commonwealth. Construction began on the First Wind solar projects in September, and all four array sites are expected to be operating by June 2014.

Financing for the projects is coming in part from Cleveland-based KeyBanc Capital Markets. KeyBank National Association provided a construction and term facility loan for the project, and U.S. Bank provided the tax equity. Andrew Redinger, managing director and head of the financial services firm’s utilities, power and renewables group, says First Wind’s lack of experience in the solar sector is no deterrent to investment. KeyBanc has financed 60 projects in the wind and solar space - 12 of them with First Wind.

“They are a very good developer from a financing perspective, even if the firm has no installed solar projects to its credit,” he says. “They really know how to put a deal together.”

Redinger says a company’s approach to putting a project together and its overall project management record is more important than specific solar experience. At the end of the day, even if there are not decades of analysis on renewables, it is still possible to identify the characteristics of a well-designed project.

“From a project development standpoint, the process is still the same even if the technology is different,” Redinger says. “You build something that generates electricity and connect it to the grid.”

In all likelihood, a growing number of these connections are going to be with solar energy projects, and KeyBanc is one of a number of financiers looking to establish relationships. Moreover, the sources of capital are increasing as solar projects are becoming more common and, therefore, are seen as less risky.

“We like to be the first mover for deals like this that are well put together,” he says. “We are continually on the lookout for high-quality developers. Most of the activity is in the solar space. Solar is going to continue doing really, really well.”

Most of the electricity generated from the four solar sites will be supplied to the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell campus and UMass Medical Center through a 30-year power purchase agreement. In addition, the towns of Millbury and Orange have agreed to purchase a smaller portion of the power under net metering agreements.

According to Redinger, having a customer in hand is a critical component for a prospective solar project developer in that it takes care of a major source of risk. “If you presell the output, you will be able to find the cheapest source of capital out there,” he says. “You can still get capital for a project where the power isn’t sold; it will just be more expensive.”

In addition to commercial-scale projects like the ones First Wind is taking on in Massachusetts, Redinger says he sees a great potential opportunity in distributed solar, although working out how to finance such projects is still something of a challenge.


APS Touts Solana’s
CSP Thermal Storage

Arizona Public Service Corp. (APS) says its 280 MW Solana Generating Station will be producing electricity at full capacity for up to six hours after dark, due to its combination of concentrating solar power (CSP) and thermal storage technologies.

The facility, built by Abengoa, occupies a three-square-mile site near Gila Bend and incorporates 2,700 parabolic trough mirrors. The mirrors focus sunlight on pipes containing a heat-transfer fluid that boils water to make steam, which drives two 140 MW turbines to produce electricity. APS is purchasing 100% of the output from Solana, which entered into service last month.

The heat-transfer fluid also heats up molten salt stored in 12 insulated tanks. These tanks provide the thermal energy storage capability that enable the facility to continue boiling water to drive the turbines after the sun goes down.


EDF Renewable Dedicates
143 MW Catalina Plant

EDF Renewable Energy has dedicated the 143 MW Catalina Solar project located in Kern County, Calif. EDF says the plant is its largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic project to date. Catalina’s electricity is being provided to San Diego Gas & Electric under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

Located on 900 acres of private land southwest of the Tehachapi and Piute mountains, the thin-film PV project incorporates 82 MW of Solar Frontier and 61 MW of First Solar modules, with a total of over 1.1 million solar panels. The plant was designed and built by Bechtel. EDF Renewable Services is providing the long-term operations and maintenance services for the project.


Ivanpah Powers Up
For First Grid Test

NRG Solar says the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has produced its first output of energy when the Unit 1 station was synced to the power grid for the first time in late September. The company says this critical “first sync” is a major milestone for the sometimes controversial CSP project, widely seen as a showcase for the technology.

Power generated from Ivanpah’s initial sync testing will go to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which has a power purchase agreement (PPA) for energy produced out of the plant’s Unit 1 station. Power generated from Ivanpah’s Unit 3 station is also sold under a PPA with PG&E, while Unit 2 is under a PPA with Southern California Edison.

NRG Solar says proof-of-concept testing will also be conducted at units 2 and 3 in the coming months.


Google Invests $103M
In Mount Signal Project

Google Inc. is partnering with Silver Ridge Power LLC - formerly known as AES Solar - and investing approximately $103 million in the latter’s 265.7 MW Mount Signal Solar project. The project, also known as Imperial Valley Solar 1, is a utility-scale solar photovoltaic generating plant under construction in California.

Mount Signal Solar is expected to be fully operational this year and will sell its output to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. under a long-term power purchase agreement. Google’s financial obligations are subject to customary conditions, including the commencement of operations at Mount Signal Solar.


First Solar Acquires
250 MW Moapa Project

First Solar Inc. has acquired the 250 MW Moapa Solar Project in Nevada from K Road Power. Located on the Moapa River Indian Reservation in Clark County, northeast of Las Vegas, the solar project has in place a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Construction of the project could start by the end of the year. First Solar will design and build the project using its cadmium telluride thin-film solar modules.


MetLife And Fiera Axium
Invest In Ontario Solar

Fiera Axium Infrastructure and MetLife Inc. have agreed to jointly acquire eight Recurrent Energy solar power projects in Ontario with a total capacity of 86 MW. The plants are currently under construction and expected to be operational in early 2014. The plants will supply electricity under 20-year feed-in tariff agreements with the Ontario Power Authority.

The acquisition by Fiera Axium and MetLife is expected to close in early 2014, once the solar power projects are fully operational and other customary conditions are satisfied. An institutional construction and term debt facility was arranged by Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada and National Bank Financial.


Invenergy Starts Up
Ontario Solar Farms

Invenergy Clean Power LLC has started commercial operation of the Sandringham and Woodville solar energy projects in Ontario. Both 10 MW facilities are located in Kawartha Lakes, approximately 60 miles northeast of Toronto. H.B. White Canada Corp. served as engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the solar farms.

The Sandringham and Woodville solar projects feature a combined total of more than 86,000 Celestica photovoltaic modules and 30 General Electric Co. solar inverters. Both facilities connect to Hydro One’s 44 kV electrical distribution system. Electricity generated from the projects is delivered to the Ontario Power Authority through long-term feed-in tariff agreements.


Connecticut Adds 20 MW
Solar Plant To Portfolio

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, D-Conn., has announced a 20 MW solar installation in Connecticut to help power the state’s electricity grid.

HelioSage Energy will construct the Fusion Solar Center in Sprague and Lisbon, Conn., on land primarily owned by Connecticut-based Fusion Paperboard Co. Subject to regulatory approval, the plant has long-term contracts with Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2016.


Oklahoma Co-op Issues
RFP For Solar And Wind

Oklahoma-based People’s Electric Cooperative (PEC) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 75 MW of firm, dispatchable generating capacity, up to 50 MW of wind generation and up to 15 MW of solar generation.

The 75 MW of firm generating capacity will be used to satisfy PEC’s capacity margin requirements, while the 50 MW of wind generation and 15 MW of solar generation will be used to satisfy PEC’s internal goal of incorporating renewable resources as a larger percentage of its overall capacity.

Through the RFP, PEC is seeking long-term power purchase agreements, asset purchase options and tolls with a term of 10 to 30 years, although delivery to the PEC service territory in Oklahoma must start between 2016 and 2018. The RFP also specifies that firm capacity bids must be a minimum of 25 MW, wind resources must be a minimum of 10 MW and solar resources must be a minimum of 2 MW in size. Finally, all solar resources must be sited on a PEC-controlled location in Oklahoma.

PEC has retained Burns & McDonnell to assist with the preparation of the RFP and act as an independent third party during the evaluation of bids. Bids are due by Nov. 25, and PEC expects to begin negotiations in the first quarter of 2014.


Canadian Solar Closes On
Sale Of Solar Plants

Canadian Solar Inc. says its subsidiary, Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., has completed the sale of the Brockville 2 and Burritts Rapids solar plants totaling 16 MW to TransCanada Corp. The value of the sale was reported as $92.2 million.

The 9 MW Brockville 2 plant and the 7 MW Burritts Rapids plant are part of the nine solar power plant portfolio totaling 86 MW that Canadian Solar has agreed to build and sell to TransCanada. Canadian Solar sold the 10 MW Brockville 1 plant to TransCanada in June.


NADB Funding
San Diego Solar Plants

The North American Development Bank (NADB) closed four loan agreements totaling $50.8 million for the construction of four solar energy parks with a total generation capacity of 19.5 MW located in San Diego County, Calif. Macquarie Infrastructure Co. Solar LLC will build the plants, which will provide the electricity generated to San Diego Gas & Electric.

Two of the projects, with a combined generation capacity of 10.2 MW, will be constructed on a 46-acre parcel of land in the unincorporated community of Valley Center. The other two, with a combined generation capacity of 9.3 MW, will be built on a 45-acre parcel of land in the community of Ramona. All four projects will use polycrystalline modules on single-axis tracking systems.


Firm Offers Investments
For Military Base Solar

California-based Mosaic Solar Investments LLC has launched a “crowd-sourced” investment program to fund a 12.27 MW distributed solar installation on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a combined U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy base in New Jersey.

The installation is expected to involve 55,189 Long Energy photovoltaic panels with SMA inverters. The solar panels will be mounted on the rooftops of 547 homes, providing 30% of the electricity needs of the U.S. service members and their families on the base. The project is being financed through a partnership with CIT.


Solectria Inverters Set
For Airport Solar Plant

Solectria Renewables LLC says Cenergy Power has selected its inverters for the 12.5 MW IND Solar Farm at Indianapolis International Airport. Cenergy Power is providing engineering, procurement and construction services for the project.

Twenty Solectria SGI 500XT systems will be installed at the site. The facility is expected to generate more than 12.5 million kWh of electricity per year.


Mecasolar Supplies 24 MW
Solar Plant In Australia

Spain-based Mecasolar is supplying the fixed structure for the 24 MW Royalla solar plant near Canberra, Australia. Deliveries began in August and are scheduled to be completed in December.

Fotowatio Renewable Ventures is developing the project, with Acciona Energy Oceania performing the construction work. JinkoSolar is supplying the photovoltaic modules for the project.

Mecasolar says the solar farm will use a two-post structure carrying two modules in portrait layout, treated with a hot-dip galvanizing method. Given the characteristics of the ground, the developers chose the micropile anchoring system that supports the structure posts.


Silfab Supplies PV For
First Nation Solar Farm

Canada-based photovoltaic module manufacturer Silfab Ontario Inc. says the Alderville First Nation has used its Silfab PV modules on a 5.7 MW ground-mount solar project.

The Alderville First Nation array consists of over 23,000 solar modules sited on 50 acres. Silfab says the plant is owned by the community of 1,100 people, which sells the electricity supplied to the grid.


Dresser-Rand Sells 11 MW
Of PV Plants In Italy

Texas-based energy equipment and engineering services provider Dresser-Rand Group Inc. has reached an agreement with Germany-based MBB Clean Energy AG for the latter’s acquisition of three photovoltaic power plants with a combined capacity of 11 MW, designed, built and commissioned by Dresser-Rand in Italy.

The plants are in full operation with approved feed-in tariffs and produce about 16 GWh of electricity per year. All told, the facilities incorporate 44,764 polycrystalline silicon solar modules. Dresser-Rand will provide long-term operations and maintenance services for the facilities.

MBB Clean Energy says it aims to become one of the leading clean energy producers in Germany through the acquisition and operation of European and international energy projects.


USG Manufacturing Plant
In California Goes Solar

Chicago-based building products firm USG Corp. has entered into a power purchase agreement with Green Light Plaster City Solar 1 LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Green Light Energy Corp., to install a 1 MW solar array at its Plaster City, Calif., manufacturing plant.

Local engineering firm ZGlobal Inc. will install solar panels on eight acres of USG’s Plaster City site. Installation began in September and should be completed by December.


Abengoa Fires Up Solaben
Solar Plants In Spain

Abengoa has begun operation of Solaben 1 and Solaben 6, two 50 MW parabolic trough solar plants located in Extremadura, Spain. The two plants belong to the 200 MW Extremadura Solar Complex.

Abengoa has also closed €200 million financing on both plants, which the company says will free up the equivalent amount of equity it has invested as part of its divestment plan. S

Projects & Contracts

SUNation Solar Installing 700 kW Of Commercial Arrays For Long Island Firm




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