Solar park gets R1.8 billion in funding
Global solar energy services and technology provider SunEdison Inc., through its South African affiliate, recently announced it had secured R1.8 billion (U.S. $185 million) in foreign debt funding from the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC). This amounts to 75 percent of the R2.4 billion project cost for the Boshof Solar Park Project, located in South Africa's Free State province near Kimberley.
Electricity generated by Boshof, with an installed capacity of 60MW AC, will feed into the South African grid, under the terms of a 20-year power purchase and implementation agreement signed with national power utility Eskom and the Department of Energy. The plant is scheduled to begin generating electricity in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Boshof is the first project in South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) to be supplied by a local South African majority-owned photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer. SunEdison will maintain a 51 percent ownership stake in the project, with South African companies holding the remaining 49 percent.
Support for local economy and community
“Access to a reliable source of energy is essential to addressing a wide range of development challenges from producing food to educating students and building modern infrastructure,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “OPIC is pleased to be supporting a project that will provide a clean and reliable source of electricity and help stimulate economic development.”
The Boshof project is expected to create approximately 280 jobs during its construction and operational phases, and through the use of local sub-contractors the project is expected to support over 1,000 jobs. Approximately 50 percent of the project's total value will go to South African manufacturers supplying local components and South Africa service providers including the SunEdison AP90 Single Axis trackers that will be locally manufactured for the project. Total procurement from black economic empowered entities is estimated at R685 million (U.S. $67.9 million).
“Helping improve developing economies by creating jobs is one of the many ways our company is transforming lives through innovation,” said Pashupathy Gopalan, SunEdison vice president and managing director for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. “Boshof is a landmark project which will benefit the entire South African economy as it contributes to energy security and creates green jobs throughout the value chain.”
Over R200 million (U.S. $19.7 million) is set aside for projects that will transform the community by improving access to education and healthcare, supporting enterprise development and other projects to improve the quality of life for residents throughout the Free State and Northern Cape.
Construction has begun on two other utility-scale projects developed by SunEdison in Limpopo province, Soutpan and Witkop, which together total 58MW contracted capacity. As with Boshof, these projects rely on local subcontractors to help improve the overall economy and create employment opportunities.
UK Nissan fleet owners receive commercial charging service
UK fleet owners of Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 models can avail of a new commercial charging service using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
The V2G technology developed by DREEV, which is a joint venture between EDF and Nuvve, which specialises in V2G technology, allows for two-way energy flow; both recharging an EV’s battery when electricity is at its cheapest, and discharging excess energy to sell back into the grid.
Fleet customers will save around £350 savings per charger each year, which equates to approximately 9,000 miles of driving charge per year.
EDF’s V2G business solution includes:
The supply and installation of a two-way connected compact 11kW charger capable of fully charging a Nissan LEAF, depending on the battery model, in 3 hours and 30 minutes - 50 per cent faster than a standard charger - with integrated DREEV technology.
A dedicated DREEV smart phone app, to define the vehicles’ driving energy requirements, track their state of charge in real time, and control charging at any time
Philip Valarino, Interim Head of EV Projects at EDF, said today’s announcement marks an important step on the UK’s journey towards electric mobility. "By combining the expertise and capabilities of EDF, Nissan and Dreev we have produced a solution that could transform the EV market as we look to help the UK in its journey to achieve Net Zero," he said. “Our hope is that forward-thinking businesses across the country will be persuaded to convert their traditional fleets to electric, providing them with both an environmental and economic advantage in an increasingly crowded market.”
Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director, NMGB, said Nissan has been a pioneer in 100% electric mobility since 2010, and the integration of electric vehicles into the company is at the heart of Nissan's vision for intelligent mobility.
He added the Nissan LEAF, with more than half a million units already sold worldwide - is the only model today to allow V2G two-way charging and offers economic opportunities for businesses "that no other electric vehicle does today". Click here for more information.
FirstEnergy Corp, which aims to electrify 30% of its approximately 3,400 light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, has joined the Electric Highway Coalition. The group of electric companies, which has grown to 14 members, is committed to enabling long-distance EV travel through a network of EV fast-charging stations connecting major highway systems.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030. While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips. Through their unified efforts, the members of the EHC are addressing this "range anxiety" and demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for traveling long distances as well as driving around town.
Volta Industries has installed new charging stations at Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Renton, Washington.