Working together: the pv magazine USA weekly news digest

Before we get into this week’s news, next week the pv magazine team will be attending the Solar Power International trade show in Las Vegas, where we will be hosting our Quality Roundtable with DuPont and other sponsors on Wednesday September 14 at 12 PM. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

As part of our preparation for this roundtable we have published a number of articles on quality and reliability issues, as well as an interview with DuPont covering the company’s quality and reliability initiatives, and their thoughts on lifetime performance of solar projects.

Back to the news: This week news in the solar industry was overshadowed by larger policy actions, with both the United States and China signing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Given that the agreement hinges on voluntary, non-binding commitments from individual nations and that the United States’ contribution, the Clean power Plan, will not take effect for six years, it is unclear what concrete impacts this will have on solar markets. However, the signing on of the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters is generally seen as a positive development.

The United States and China were not the only actors to come at an agreement this week. In the solar industry, BayWa and Geenex announced a collaboration to build 350 MW of solar PV in North Carolina and Virginia over the next two and half years, much of which could end up with power contracts with non-utility off-takers.

Meanwhile, in the C&I sector REC and SolarWorld announced a partnership wherein SolarWorld’s installers will be able to access financial and project development assistance from REC Solar, as part of REC’s new channel partner strategy.

Also this week, GTM Research and Energy Storage Association gave some numbers to the U.S. energy storage market. On a year-over-year basis Q2 fell short of the dramatic growth that many were expecting, but the market still more than doubled compared to Q1, with 41 MW of energy storage installed.

GTM Research’s report also showed increasing geographic diversification, and as these markets expand in scale and scope, energy storage companies are launching more products to take advantage of new market segments, such NEC, which entered the C&I energy storage market with a new distributed energy storage platform.

And while the collapse of the world’s largest renewable energy developer continues to cast a dark shadow over the industry, this week some of the mess that is SunEdison’s bankruptcy started to untangle. D.E. Shaw and Madison Dearborn have agreed not to block the sale of SunEdison assets, which should help widen the options in the fire sale of SunEdison’s former empire.

Finally, this week we saw some indications of concrete progress in Energy Transition in California, where during the summer of 2016 solar and other renewable energy sources reduced in-state fossil fuel generation 20% versus 2015 levels.

Be sure to check the pv magazine USA site for the latest coverage of the SPI trade show next week, including video interviews. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!