Israel’s Ecoppia signs 450MW project deal with Azure Power
Ecoppia, the Israeli provider of robotic solutions for PV solar, has signed a 450MW project with Azure Power, the Indian-headquartered independent power producer, developer and operator of utility and commercial scale solar PV power plants.
Ecoppia reports the project, signed in October and now reaching the advanced stages, is scheduled to go live early Q1 2021.
Despite the global pandemic, the Israeli firm has secured new projects for more than 10GW in the last four quarters. Ecoppia recently launched an IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), securing $82.5 million from leading institutional investors and providing a company valuation of $300 million.
It adds that without any physical presence, the firm has enabled its clients across the globe to keep at an optimal level of production, while avoiding soiling losses or potential damage, delivering operation continuity, even during complete lockdown.
“COVID-19 made it even clearer that full automation and advanced technologies are crucial in maintaining an optimal solar production. Over the last seven years, Ecoppia has been a vital pillar of the solar revolution, leading the shift in the way large-scale solar sites are managed and operated, as a key for reducing LCOE,” the statement asserts.
Jean Scemama, CEO of Ecoppia, adds that the significant deployment of robotic solutions for the Azure project is important for the firm as it allow it to deepen its market share in India, while also expanding its global reach, with projects in North and Latin America, as well as the Middle East.
“We are thrilled to be working with such a company that sets high targets both in terms of volume and quality,” says Scemama. “We see this long-term partnership as one of the growing signs that the solar industry is revolutionizing towards automated O&M. Ecoppia takes great pride in being at the forefront of this revolution, supporting the green recovery of the post COVID-19 era” he adds.
Azure Power is a leading independent solar power producer, with a pan-Indian portfolio of 7.1GW as of 30 June 2020. Of that 7.1GW, 1.8GW is operational, while 1.3GW is under construction, and 4.0GW have received a Letter of Award, but PPAs have yet to be signed, the company says.
Azure is part of a growing list of leading energy companies that realise the need for automated solutions and management, the statement adds. While tariffs become lower, the solar industry understands just how crucial efficient O&M can be to remain profitable, the statement from Ecoppia adds.
With a steadily released project pipeline, Azure Power needs a robust solution that can cope with the mass while maintaining an optimal performance, creating clean-green energy production, the statement concludes.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.