May 17, 2020

Google's Huge Investment in SolarCity Residential Solar

Solar
Power
Energy
PV
Admin
2 min
Google makes its biggest renewable energy investment to date by teaming with Solar City to install residential home solar photovoltaic panels
On the heels of its $180 million investment in BrightSource Energys Ivanpah solar thermal plant—which will be the largest in the world upon compl...

On the heels of its $180 million investment in BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar thermal plant—which will be the largest in the world upon completion—web giant Google is making an even greater investment into the residential solar market.  Google is teaming up with Solar City to install residential solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.  The $280 million investment is Google’s single largest renewable energy investment to date, bringing the company’s renewable investment portfolio to $680 million.

SolarCity will finance the installation of residential solar PV panels through a $280 million fund set up by Google.  The financing model being used is said to greatly reduce the upfront cost of installation.

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SolarCity also offers a rental option for its solar arrays.  Homeowners can lease the solar panels, while SolarCity owns and maintains them.  Solar City, in turn, collects any federal and state renewable energy tax credits.  Homeowners will pay a monthly fee, similar to paying an electric utilities bill, but the monthly total cost is said to be significantly lower than traditional utilities providers.

San Francisco based SolarCity has a presence in 10 states throughout the west and northeast United States. 

Google’s director of green business operations Rick Needham says, "We think 'distributed' renewable energy (generated and used right at home) is a smart way to use solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to improve our power system since it helps avoid or alleviate distribution constraints on the traditional electricity grid."

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Jun 14, 2021

W3 Energy signs technical operations contract with Luxcara

Wind
Energy
Renewables
Europe
Dominic Ellis
3 min
W3 Energy and Luxcara sign technical operations contract ahead of Global Wind Day tomorrow and new study showing Poland leading Europe's growth

W3 Energy has signed a contract with Luxcara for onsite technical operations management for the Önusberget wind farm, which is Europe's largest single onshore wind farm. 

The wind farm, located outside of Piteå in northern Sweden, plans to have 137 wind turbines on full installation, with an expected capacity of more than 750 MW.

W3 Energy will be responsible for onsite technical operations management and local accounting services as well as operation and maintenance of the electrical infrastructure and transformer stations.

"This contract strengthens our position as a key player in onsite technical operations management. The Önusberget wind farm is the largest single-site wind power project in Europe and we are proud that Luxcara gives us the trust to support with the operational management of their investment", says W3 Energy's COO André Sjöström.

"The contract with Luxcara is extremely important to us and means that we take a firm grip on our home region. This contract allows us to continue to grow and we plan to continue to recruit in Piteå, Umeå, and Skellefteå."

The new contract with Luxcara means that W3 Energy manages approximately 15% of the renewable energy produced in Sweden and lays the foundation for continuing to build growth in other regions.

"Luxcara is an internationally respected asset manager in renewable energy, with high-quality investment criteria and a strong focus on diversity and sustainability. We share their view on sustainability, with a strong focus on environmental as well as social and ethical aspects", stated W3 Energy's CEO Pär Dunder.

Its past engagement with W3 combined with their track record from other large projects and their local experience were decisive factors for choosing W3 Energy, according to Philip Sander, Managing Director of Luxcara.

Global Wind Day will be held tomorrow (June 15), to promote wind's potential to reshape our energy systems, decarbonise economies and boost jobs and economic growth.

Onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation in most of Europe, and offshore wind is not far behind with costs having fallen over 60% in three years, according to WindEurope.

Adrian Timbus, ETIPWind Chairman, said: “Wind energy can help electrify 75% of Europe’s energy demand and thereby deliver climate neutrality by 2050. But we must prioritise the development of the necessary technologies: next generation onshore and offshore turbines, electrification solutions for transport and for industry, and electrolysers for renewable hydrogen.”


Poland leads Europe's wind growth

Poland saw Europe's biggest increase in wind turbine energy production between 2000 and 2018, according to a Save on Energy study, and produced the fourteenth highest percentage of electricity by wind power overall in 2018. 

Czechia has seen second highest percentage increase in electricity production generated by wind power. Despite having the second lowest proportion of electricity generated by wind power in 2018, the country previously produced the lowest percentage overall in 2000, so it has still seen a significant increase in wind turbine energy production over the years.

France has the third largest increase in wind turbine energy production throughout the period studied, with electricity production generated by wind power increasing from 0.009% in 2000, to 4.9% in 2018, while neighbouring Belgium experienced the fourth highest increase in wind energy production, with almost 10% of electricity produced being generated by wind power in 2018, compared to 0.02% in 2000.

Although Ukraine boasted the lowest percentage of electricity produced by wind turbines in 2018 (0.7%), the country had the fifth largest percentage increase since 2000, since only 0.003% of electricity production was generated by wind turbines.

By comparison, Denmark, Luxembourg and Spain each ranked as having the lowest percentage increases when it came to the percentage of electricity production generated by wind turbines between 2000 and 2018, and they lag considerably behind other European nations.

The EU wants wind to account for 50% of the continent's electricity by 2050. The Romanian Wind Energy Association recently launched a Code of Good Practice for renewable energy.

Top 10 countries in Europe for wind growth

1. Poland
2. Czechia
3. France
4. Belgium
5. Ukraine
6. Turkey
7. Norway
8. Austria
9. UK
10. Finland 

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