Sunrise brief: Canadian Solar starts production of 665W modules based on 210mm cells


Canadian Solar said it started mass production of modules with power output of up to 665 W.

The monofacial HiKu7 and bifacial BiHiKu7 modules are based on 210 mm cells, and are intended to reduce balance of system  and other costs for commercial and utility-scale solar power plants.

The company said that nameplate production capacity of the HiKu7 and BiHiKu7 modules will reach 10 GW by the end of 2021. It said “a significant portion” of that total has been booked, with the first deliveries beginning in April.

(Canadian Solar executives spoke with pv magazine last fall when the company first introduced its 600+W module.)

The modules offer power classes of up to 665 W and module efficiencies of up to 21.4%. The modules include Canadian Solar’s cell technology and module design, including hetero-type ribbon (HTR) and paving technology. Both technologies reduce the gap between solar cells by more than 50%, increasing the power output of solar modules over the same area.

The modules are designed to further reduce light- and elevated temperature-induced degradation (LeTID) using technology that cuts cell and module power degradation, thereby increasing power output and lengthening the modules’ useful lifetime.

The company said the modules are expected to reduce balance of system costs by up to 5.7%, and long-term cost of energy (LCOE) by up to 8.9%, compared to 445 W modules.

Rhode Island climate bill

A climate bill that requires Rhode Island to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 was signed into law by Gov. Daniel McKee on April 10.

The 2021 Act on Climate (2021-S 0078A, 2021-H 5445A) makes the state’s climate goals outlined in the Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 more ambitious and updated with current science. Under the bill, the state would develop a plan to cut all climate emissions from transportation, buildings and heating, and electricity to a level 10% below 1990 levels this year, 45% below 1990 levels by 2030, 80% below 1990 levels by 2040, and net-zero by 2050.

The plan will be updated every five years and addresses environmental injustices, public health inequities, and a fair employment transition as fossil-fuel jobs are replaced by green energy jobs, according to the governor’s office.

The bill directs the state’s Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council to draft plans designed to meet the bill’s goals. The council was created in 2014 to advise the governor on what state agencies can do to address climate change. It includes heads of state agencies, including the departments of environmental management, transportation and health, and the energy resources office.

Opponents said the bill gives the council too much power and could prove costly to homeowners and businesses.

Li-ion battery recycling

Lithium-ion battery recycling company Battery Resourcers said it completed a $20 million Series B equity round with financing led by Orbia Ventures.  Other investors included At One Ventures, TDK Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures and, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures.

The financing will support development of a commercial-scale processing facility with the annual capacity to process 10,000 tons of batteries, equivalent to around 20,000 electric vehicles a year.

The financing will support development of a commercial-scale processing facility.

Battery Resourcers uses a mixed stream of used lithium-ion batteries to produce finished, battery-ready cathode active materials. The company claims 97% metal recovery and said it can produce Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-based cathode active materials with a 35% reduction in cost, 32% reduction in emissions, and 13% reduction in energy consumption compared to the production of virgin cathode.

The company said it is engineering a graphite recovery and purification process, which it said will enable it to return both the cathode and anode active materials back to manufacturers of new batteries.

Cyber security award

The U.S. Department of Energy, Israel’s Ministry of Energy, and the Israel Innovation Authority awarded up to $6 million to two universities for work in the area of cyber security for energy infrastructure. Total value of the investment with cost-shared arrangements could reach up to $12 million over three years.

The winning team, led by Arizona State University and Ben-Gurion University, will perform research and development entitled “Comprehensive Cybersecurity Technology for Critical Power Infrastructure AI Based Centralized Defense and Edge Resilience.” The consortium includes Georgia Tech Research Corp., Nexant, DelekUS Holdings, Duquesne Light Co., Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, The MITRE Corp., Arizona Public Service, OTORIO, Rad Data Communication, SIGA OT Solutions, and Arava Power.

The U.S.-Israel Energy Center was initially authorized by the U.S. Congress in 2014 and funded by the Israeli government in 2016. The total expected government funding $40 million for five years. The Energy Center is managed by the BIRD Foundation.

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