Weekly Intelligence Brief: March 12 -19

This week’s CSP Today news brief includes Novatec Solar, ABB, Solar Millennium; Corporate Ispat Alloys, Shriram EPC, Siemens Energy; Solar Energy Industries Association, GTM Research, US Department of Energy; Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, Denham Capital, Qualitas Equity Partners.

Novatec Solar appoints new chief

German CSP technology company Novatec Solar has appointed Dr. Christoph Wolff as Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Dr Wolff was associated with Solar Millennium as its CEO last year. He retired from the German solar thermal specialist at his own request in October 2011. To his credit, he has more than 20 years management experience in the logistics, automotive and chemical sectors.

Novatec Solar, a technology provider and original equipment manufacturer of direct solar steam generators based on Fresnel collector technology, referred to Dr Wolff’s extensive experience in the areas of infrastructure and logistics, and also mentioned that his brief tenure at Solar Millennium has given him a solid understanding of the global solar thermal market.

Power and automation technology group ABB acquired a 35% stake in Novatec Solar last year.

Last month ABB signed an agreement with Johannesburg-based FG Emvelo, an independent solar power plant company, to develop CSP plants at Karoshoek Solar Valley in Northern Cape province, South Africa. The plants will use the ABB-Novatec Solar turnkey concept for CSP plants.


Siemens wins Shriram EPC contract

Siemens Energy has extended its contract winning spree in India. The company has been awarded an order to supply UVAC 2010 (Universal Vacuum Air Collector) solar receivers for a parabolic trough power plant to be built in Rajasthan, India.

Siemens has signed a deal with Shriram EPC for the Abhijeet plant, which is owned by Corporate Ispat Alloys. Siemens will supply over 17,000 solar receivers, which will generate all of the heat for the 50MW facility. Startup for the solar plant is scheduled for spring 2013.

The Abhijeet power plant is being constructed as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), the Indian government's programme that envisages installing up to 20GW of solar power capacity in India by the year 2022.

Earlier this year, Siemens was chosen to supply a steam turbine generator unit for the Abhijeet plant. The company had confirmed three orders to supply a total of four steam turbine generator units for solar thermal power plants in Rajasthan.

The contracts featured order from Godawari Green Energy, Corporate Ispat Alloys and Lanco Solar Energy to supply a total of four steam turbine generator units. The steam turbines of type SST-700 are intended for the Godawari, Abhijeet and Diwakar and KVK parabolic trough power plants.

The parabolic trough power plants Godawari (owned by Godawari Green Energy) and Abhijeet are each rated 50 MW. Siemens bagged contracts for an SST-700 steam turbine generator unit and auxiliary systems for each of these units.


SEIA: US solar capacity to crank up in 2012

A new report has shared that cumulative PV capacity in the U.S. reached nearly 4,000 MW and cumulative CSP capacity topped 500 MW as of year-end 2011.

According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report, released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, no new concentrating solar thermal electric capacity was brought online in 2011. In all, more than 1,000 MW of CSP are under construction.

It is expected that 81 MW of CSP and CPV projects will come on-line this year in the US, up from 12 MW in 2011.

Several concentrating solar projects closed DOE (US Department of Energy) loan guarantees in Q3 including: the 250 MW Mojave Solar trough CSP project, the 110 MW Crescent Dunes tower CSP project and the 250 MW Genesis trough CSP project. The DOE also finalised a $1.6 billion loan guarantee for the 370 MW (net) Ivanpah plant. In another development, Solar Trust of America sold its 2.25 GW, four-project CSP pipeline to Solarhybrid, which plans to use PV for the four projects.

As of December 31st, 2011, there was a total of 516 MW of concentrating solar capacity operating in the US.

The Association mentioned that policies are working to open new markets and remove barriers for solar. At the same time, it added that not all developments in 2011 were positive. With regard to installations, the highly valued 1603 Treasury Programme expired at the end of the year, subsequently complicating the financing of many new solar projects.


FRV ties up with Denham Capital

Spain’s Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a global solar company that develops, builds and operates solar plants, recently entered into a partnership with private equity firm Denham Capital to invest over US$ 190 million in new solar energy projects.

FRV, which has worked on projects based on photovoltaic and thermosolar technologies, intends to strengthen its ability to make investments in Australia, South Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. FRV will continue to provide asset management services to existing partners and will also consider new asset management contracts.

The company has over 185 MW under management and a consortium led by FRV is involved in the development process for a 150 MW plant in Australia within the Solar Flagships Programme of the Australian Government.

Denham Capital will be the lead investor in FRV, providing capital to be invested in solar energy projects worldwide, alongside Spanish private equity firm Qualitas Equity Partners and FRV’s founding members.