Amy Ericson, Alstom’s US president, said uncertainty seems like the new norm in the energy industry, making investment in large-scale energy projects more complex, requiring evaluation of a broader range of technical, market and political drivers. She sees this uncertainty leading to more specific questions: “Should I install scrubbers on my plant, or retire it?; “Do we invest in new generation, or the grid?”; “Is it better to build a simple cycle, or a combined cycle gas plant?” In approaching these critically important decisions, Ms. Ericson had three simple recommendations on page 5: learn from the rest of the world; invest in the grid, and keep all generating options on the table.
Mark Albenze, CEO of Siemens Energy’s Wind Power Americas Business Unit, will be overseeing projects in North and South America. Recently announced were two projects in Texas, a project in the Pacific Northwest, and smaller projects in Canada, Brazil, Peru, and Chile. But the standouts are in Iowa and Massachusetts. In 2004, Siemens began with an 82-meter blade and since then have moved to 92-, 101-, 108- and 113-meter blades. On page 6, he states that Siemens now has about $100 million invested in wind power manufacturing in the United States.
Larry White is the Vice President/After Market Services for the newly formed joint venture between Mitsubishi and Hitachi named Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems America-Energy and Environment, Ltd. (MHPSA). As coal-fired boiler operators consider the economic future of their units, White points out on page 7, their owners are taking into account the advantages of firing lower cost natural gas and assessing the capital costs required to meet increasingly restrictive air emissions regulations. That was a core component of the strategy behind the joint venture set up by the two iconic Japanese industrial giants, which was officially sealed and announced on February 1, 2014.
Since 2005, Soltage has been offering its solar business model. The business model stripped away the belief that solar energy’s capital costs were barriers to implementing a turnkey Soltage™ PowerStation. Soltage evaluates current energy consumption as part of a free on-site analysis and tailors a power station. Soltage handles the up-front cost and risk involved with the engineering, development, and maintenance of the solar system. In exchange, the client agrees to purchase solar electricity from Soltage and to host the solar energy generation system on their premises. Soltage monitors the productivity and output of the PowerStation in real-time, 24 hours a day and has service crews standing by. Installation of the Soltage™ PowerStation takes an average of six weeks and ensures no interruption in power supply, Vanessa Stewart shares on page 8.
Conrad Burke answered us on page 9 that DuPont is the leading supplier of specialty materials for the photovoltaic industry with the largest portfolio of products designed to deliver the highest electrical power generation as well as reliable performance over the lifetime of solar panels. This ensures lower overall system costs and the best investment returns for this type of energy production. Some examples of key materials from DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions include DuPont™ Solamet® PV18x- series photovoltaic metallizations - the latest frontside silver pastes designed to deliver higher solar cell efficiency, which improves the power output of solar panels; DuPont™ Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) films- provide 30 years of proven durability and reliability for solar panels even when exposed to harsh outdoor conditions. Dupont has 12 solar installations on its sites worldwide representing 8.1 megawatts with a total output of 10,936,023 kilowatt hours per year.
Recurrent Energy started out as a rooftop solar developer in 2006 but shifted to utility scale solar. Sheldon Kimber, COO traces the company’s development on page 10. 2013 was a banner year for Recurrent having completed more than 300 megawatts of projects. Kimber sees the growing need for a more flexible distribution infrastructure and predicts numerous energy related products to enable this flexibility. He would like to expand Recurrent through M & A and deeper strategic partnerships where possible. World-Gen met Mr. Kimber at the Platts’ 2013 Global Awards dinner where he won the “Strategic Vision Rising Star Individual” Award.
AEG Power Solutions Group is a global provider of power electronics systems and solutions for all industrial power requirements with two operating businesses, Renewable Energy Solutions (RES) and Energy Efficiency Solutions (EES). The RES portfolio consists of systems and solutions for solar power plants and the EES portfolio includes high performance uninterruptable power supplies (UPSs), industrial chargers, and DC systems. On page 11, AEG’s Enrique de la Cruz tells us about AEG PS’ global footprint which includes 22 subsidiaries, offices and competence centers around the world with 1,600 employees, 33 in the USA. AEG’s PS US office was established in 2003 in Plano, TX.
Hal Romanowitz was the driving force behind the development of the 4,500-MW Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, Tehachapi Mountain in Kern County, California has long been considered the number one wind resource area in California and the new transmission has allowed wind resource development to quadruple in the area in the past five years. Romanowitz organized early cooperative studies between Southern California Edison and the local wind industry to document the wind potential in the Tehachapi area and the need for additional transmission projects. Beginning in 2003, the California Public Utilities Commission took up the issue of transmission needs in the area and Romanowitz became the wind industry proponent in the series of hearings the CPUC held documenting the potential for 4,500 MW in Tehachapi. Eventually, the CPUC produced a four-phase transmission development process and approved Southern California Edison’s applications to build the transmission lines in several phases. Romanowitz sees pumped storage as the next challenge on page 12. Solectria Renewables, LLC is a US-based grid-tied photovoltaic inverter manufacturer, offering residential, commercial and utilityscale inverters. In 2013, Solectria introduced its new PVI 23TL and PVI 28TL. These inverters are 1000 VDC transformerless string inverters, 480 VAC with leading peak and CEC efficiencies and also the 23 and 28 kw.
Solectria Renewables PVI 23TL AND PVI 28TL inverters are designed to maximize return on investment through their lightweight design, high efficiencies, easy installation dual MPPT zones and wide MPPT range. Adding two more transformerless, three-phase string inverters is in line with our growth strategy, broadening our product portfolio and keeping us at the forefront of the PV industry, comments Phil Vyhanek, President of Solectria Renewables on page 13.
Tim Healy tells us on page 14 that ARB was founded in 1946. ARB, Inc. is the legacy entity among the group of companies that are now part of Primoris Services Corporation (PSC). ARB founded PSC in 2004 as the parent company of affiliates ARB had either acquired or founded. Through various subsidiaries, PSC has grown to become one of the largest specialty contractors and infrastructure companies in the United States. ARB was one of the pioneers in solar technology.
Alan Beale, President of SolarMax US, firmly believes that the growth in the US solar market is just getting underway and there is enormous opportunity for SolarMax. Residential and commercial customers alike are realizing that solar now makes sound economic sense, said Beale on page 15.
SolarMax is positioned internationally and currently has approximately 300 employees at the headquarters in Switzerland and at its worldwide locations.
Clean Power Finance® is a business-to-business financial services and software company for the distributed generation solar industry. Its mission is to drive the massmarket adoption of residential solar, James Tong offers us on page 16. CPF’s online solar finance marketplace, the CPF Market®, allows investors to deploy capital at scale with managed risk and attractive returns.
In the past five years, the financial community has made it clear that it is unwilling to finance any new large-scale coal-fired generating facilities. Meanwhile, many older or smaller units are being retired as the costs of repairing aged equipment and improving emissions controls far outweigh the expected value of these older units, ABB’s Richard Vesel explains on page 17.
John Vernacchia said on page 18 that Eaton is committed to providing customers with the solutions required to maximize the effectiveness of solar installations throughout their entire lifecycle.
Eaton’s acquisition of Cooper Industries significantly expanded its electrical business and added a range of solutions and expertise to support reliable and safe solar power generation.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said on page 18 that we stand at an exciting and critical crossroads in the future of US wind energy.
He feels we’re spreading the word that American wind energy is now 43 percent cheaper than it was in 2009, and 72 percent of the value of U.S. wind turbines is built right here in the USA, up dramatically from just a few years ago.