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Week Review 12-16 September: CEO outlines First Solar's plans; Largest Caribbean PV plant connected

16 Sept. 2016 by Tom van der Linden, Solarplaza


First Solar CEO outlines battle strategy

Mark Widmar, newly appointed as CEO in July, said it wants to accelerate the introduction of the next generation Series 5 and 6 panels (which should deliver more power at a lower cost than the competition) and is considering reopening one of their 'mothballed' factories in Germany/Vietnam.   

"If we’re able to leverage one of those locations, then that accelerates that timeline. This is a truly disruptive product." (Mark Widmar, First Solar)
"The plan is to push as fast as possible on Series 6, which should have a cost below what the Chinese can do." (Jeffrey Osborne, Cowen&Co.) 

58MW PV project connected to Costa Rican grid 

Oriana Energy, subsidiary of the Sonnedix Group, and Yarotek completed the 58MW solar PV plant and connected it to Puerto Rico's electricity grid. It is currently the largest PV plant in the Caribbean region.

“The energization of the largest solar power plant in the Caribbean will bring a large amount of clean, green energy to Puerto Rico. With this milestone, we have more than tripled our operating capacity over the past eighteen months.” (Andreas Mustad, Sonnedix)

Alberta to support development of 5GW of RE capacity by 2030

The Canadian province said it will push for 30% of renewables for 2030, which will include supporting the development of 5,000MW of additional renewable energy capacity.

"The renewable energy target will stimulate billions in investment in the province to build the electricity system of the 21st century."

US Government presents "Desert Renewable Energy Plan" 

The long-awaited plan was designed to streamline development of renewable energy projects on federal private lands in California, while preserving desert habitats. Renewable energy developers have reacted negatively, claiming the plan unfairly favors conservation and limits the ability to build projects, critical to meeting national climate goals.

“It’s just a complete disconnect with our climate change ambitions.”

Enel starts construction on 103MW Brazilian PV plant 

Enel Green Power's Brazilian subsidiary said it started construction on their 103MW solar PV plant in the state of Bahia. The plan is expected to be finished by the second half of 2017 and requires a $110m investment (covered by Enel). There's a 20-year PPA in place with the Brazilian Chamber of Commercialisation of Energy.

Jordan prepares new tender rounds for 400-800MW renewables 

The middle-eastern country is preparing a third round of solar tenders and second round of wind energy tenders, with between 400 and 800MW of capacity on offer in total.

Sunpreme completes largest bifacial PV installation (12.8MW)

The American manufacturer of solar cells and panels announced it completed the deployment of 12.8MW of bifacial solar PV panels in a utility-scale solar project on the American East Coast. Currently, this plant is the largest one in the world to use bifacial solar PV modules.

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