Savo-Solar delivers solar thermal heating systems in Finland

March 24, 2017-Savo-Solar Plc has announced via Nasdaq Global Wire that solar thermal solutions are gaining more interest also in Finland and Savo-Solar has received an increasing number of requests for quotation. The company has recently won several projects for solar thermal system deliveries during spring and summer 2017.

Savo-Solar has signed a contract with the energy company Elenia Lämpö Oy for a delivery and installation to a nursing home in the city of Hämeenlinna. According to the information available, this will be the biggest operational solar thermal installation in Finland. The collector field is scheduled to be handed over to the customer in the beginning of May.

The company has also another project in Hämeenlinna with Consti Talotekniikka, who is building a HVAC system in the renovated swimming hall. Savo-Solar will be installing solar thermal systems as turnkey delivery, which is covering part of the needed heating of swimming pools and shower water. It further will be connected to district heating network, and eventual surplus energy will be fed to the district heating network of the city of Hämeenlinna. The delivery is scheduled to take place in early summer when the collectors will be installed to the roof of the hall.

Savo-Solar’s third domestic project is for Etelä-Savon Energia in the city of Mikkeli, where the plant for district heating will be provided with solar collectors. The plant provides heat to the district heating network and serves some communal buildings such as a home for elderly and some apartment buildings.

In these deliveries, the collector area varies from 119 to 252 sq meters in each project and the total value to Savo-Solar is more than EUR 300 thousand. Local installation in these deliveries is executed by Sundial Finland Oy, a long-term partner to Savo-Solar. The property owners have decided to introduce solar thermal energy to reach savings in energy costs and to promote the use of emission-free clean energy. The energy produced by solar thermal collectors in these projects will amount to a total of 300 MWh annually.

Jari Varjotie, Managing Director of Savo-Solar: “I am happy that these customers have decided to invest in solar thermal in their projects and that we now have a possibility to install our efficient systems also for Finnish customers’ benefit.

“These projects are a great example of what is going on in Europe in a much larger scale. During the first months of this year we have been invited in tenders or identified tens of projects for solar district heating in several countries. Today our pipeline of these known projects we are working with in different stages is more than EUR 90 million and is growing every week – demonstrating that the market is in fast growth currently. So far ca. 10% of these projects in our pipeline have matured to quotation phase and our quotations today amount to almost EUR 10 million. With our strengthened sales team and capacity investments we continue our growth strategy also during this year.”

More information:

Jari Varjotie, Managing Director, tel.: +358 400 419 734;

Certified Adviser
Mangold Fondkommission AB, tel.: +46 8 5030 1550

This company announcement contains information that Savo-Solar Plc is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication on 24 March 2017 at 2.00 p.m. (CET).

Savo-Solar in brief
Savo-Solar with its highly efficient collectors and large-scale solar thermal systems has taken solar thermal technology to the next level. The company’s collectors are equipped with the patented nano-coated direct flow absorbers, and with this leading technology, Savo-Solar helps its customers to produce competitive clean energy. Savo-Solar’s vision is to be the first-choice supplier to high performance solar installations on a global scale. Focus is on large-scale applications like district heating, industrial process heating and real estate systems – market segments with a big potential for rapid growth. The company primarily delivers complete systems from design to installation, using the best local partners. Savo-Solar is known as the most innovative company in the business, and aims to stay as such. The company has sold and delivered its products to 17 countries on four continents. Savo-Solar’s shares are listed on Nasdaq First North Sweden with the ticker SAVOS and on Nasdaq First North Finland with the ticker SAVOH.

The Company’s Certified Adviser is Mangold Fondkommission AB, tel.: +46 8 5030 1550.


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How Beecher, Ill., plans to end power outages

Kevin Ebi reports for Smart Cities Council North America that disruptive power outages could soon become a thing of the past for residents of the small community of Beecher, Illinois. “Resiliency is always one of the top goals for any utility and this project is worth watching just for that reason. But going further, this is a novel idea that could pave the way for using more renewable sources of power,” he writes.

ComEd, which has already made great strides in making the energy grid more resilient in an area prone to severe weather, is now working with Council Lead Partner S&C Electric to use batteries to ensure the lights never go out. S&C Electric is a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA).

For residents of one village near Chicago, the lights will soon never go out. The city of Beecher, population about 4,400, will soon be part of a pilot project that will use batteries to provide residents with emergency power.

The project involving ComEd and Council Lead Partner S&C Electric is designed to help residents weather storms, building on the utility’s work to prevent outages in the first place. But it could also lay the groundwork for getting more energy from renewable sources, which are prone to fluctuations.

It’s all about resiliency
The area south of Chicago is prone to severe weather. Lightning strikes and gusty winds regularly knock out power. With most storms, nearly everyone gets their power back within two days, but one windstorm that was accompanied by ice triggered an extended outage.

In Beecher, ComEd plans to install S&C Electric’s PureWave Community Energy Storage System, which features a 25-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the power goes out, residents shouldn’t even notice.

The battery will kick in almost immediately and should contain enough energy to last until crews can restore the regular source. The system will also be located near existing ComEd equipment at participating residences to avoid creating additional points of failure.

Laying groundwork for renewables
In the future, the local batteries could make it easier for residents to get more of their power from renewable sources. But renewable sources like solar and wind are prone to fluctuations. When the wind stops, so does the power generation.

While this project is devoted to keeping the lights on when storms damage the power lines, the battery technology could one day help make renewable energy a reliable source of power.

How to pay for it
Unlike a microgrid project ComEd is working on, financing this pilot won’t be an issue. Funding for it is coming through the base electrical rate, eliminating the need to win grants or find other funding sources.

Funding a microgrid in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago has taken a number of twists and turns. ComEd was counting on help from Illinois, but state lawmakers stripped funding for microgrids last fall, although they kept funding for other energy projects. It’s still working to make that project a reality, although it’s not sure how it’s going to do that.


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Innovative, carbon free ‘turn-down’ demand response sector delivering for UK consumers

Capacity Market Auction results announced today mean dozens of industrial and local businesses will help keep the lights on at peak demand next winter and cut carbon through innovation in the demand response sector, the Association for Decentralised Energy said.

Click illustration to download the report.

A total of 373 MW entered the Auction, of which 83.69% received Capacity Agreements for delivery in 2017/18. Click illustration to download the report.

Approximately 312 MW of carbon free turn-down demand response has been secured as part of the Transitional Arrangements auction, which is aimed at preparing and supporting this innovative sector for the main Capacity Market auction.

The auction, which cleared at £45 per kW on Wednesday, means businesses across the UK will earn just over £14m in revenue, helping them to manage their energy costs and boost their competitiveness simply by turning down or shifting non-critical processes. Examples of demand turn down include temporarily switching off unnecessary lighting, pumps and motors, while demand shifting is the practice of moving a business process to earlier or later in the day.

There is nearly 10GW of untapped business-led demand response, including highly efficient combined heat and power, ready to support the UK’s energy security. To achieve this potential however, user led demand response must be able to access all markets, from the Capacity Market and Balancing Mechanism to the Wholesale Market and ancillary services market, on an equal footing with traditional generation.

ADE Director Dr Tim Rotheray said:

“Today’s results are returning value to energy users for helping keep the lights on, while also cutting emissions through zero carbon demand response. Instead of paying power stations to increase supply, businesses will be managing demand in innovative ways while meeting all their energy needs leading to a more efficient, more affordable and lower carbon system.

“This auction is designed to help lower costs and improve uptake of demand response so that this tool will play a key part of the future energy sector. The Transitional Arrangements are vital in supporting this innovative sector to grow, deliver Britain’s security of supply needs and ultimately help drive a more competitive demand response market.”

Auction results
The full auction results are available here.

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Coal mine to be transformed into 200 MW pumped hydro plant in Germany

reports in Power Engineering International that the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine in Bottrop into a 200 MW pumped-storage hydroelectric plant.

The facility will act like a battery and will have enough capacity to power more than 400,000 homes, according to state governor Hannelore Kraft.

Other mines may also be converted after Prosper-Haniel because the state needs more industrial-scale storage as it seeks to double the share of renewables in its power mix to 30 per cent by 2025, she said.

North-Rhine Westphalia generates a third of Germany’s power.

The consortium running the Prosper-Haniel project, which includes the University of Duisburg-Essen and mine owner RAG AG, are confident that the mine is suitable to become a storage pump.

The plan to reinvent Prosper-Haniel envisages creating reservoirs above and below the closed mine, according to a blueprint posted on the group’s website.

When needed to compensate intermittent wind and solar power, as much as 1 million cubic meters of water could be allowed to plunge as deep as 1,200 meters, turning turbines at the foot of the colliery’s mine shafts. The mining complex comprises 26 kilometers (16 miles) of horizontal shafts.

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20-MW Fuel cell park dedicated in South Korea reports that FuelCell Energy (FCEL), based in Danbury, CT, has announced the dedication of the 20-megawatt Noeul Green Energy Co. fuel cell park in Seoul, South Korea.

Constructed by South Korean partner POSCO Energy, the fuel cell park supplies ultra-clean power to the electric grid and high quality heat to a district heating system.  FuelCell Energy executive management, including President and Chief Executive Officer Chip Bottone joined POSCO Energy executives, Government officials and customers to celebrate the operation of this fuel cell park, which was constructed in just 10 months.

“This project exemplifies the benefits of fuel cell installations by locating the project in the middle of Seoul City, which enhances grid resiliency as well as supporting environmental initiatives,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy. “This fuel cell park occupies less than two acres of land and benefits Seoul by generating enough power for approximately 43,000 Korean households and heat for approximately 9,000 households. That is a significant supply of energy produced from a very compact footprint, and its generating power in an environmentally-friendly manner benefiting South Korea’s air quality.”

The project majority shareholder is Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power  (KHNP), a repeat customer of the POSCO Energy fuel cell division and the largest utility in South Korea.  The ultra-clean power produced by the fuel cells is sold to KPX (Korea Power Exchange).  The high-quality heat generated by the fuel cell park is sold to Korea District Heating Co. (KDHC), the largest heat supplier in South Korea. KDHC is a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA).


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Have California’s efforts to value distributed resources hit a roadblock?

Just about the only thing parties in the state’s DER valuation working group can agree on is that the tool they developed is “not yet ready’m” writes in UtilityDive.

California’s landmark effort to value distributed energy resources by their location on the grid appears to be running into speed bumps.

If there’s one thing the parties in the state’s locational net benefit analysis (LNBA) working group can agree on, it’s that the valuation tool they have developed is “not yet ready” and “needs refinements.”

The phrases are from the working group’s final report to state regulators. The group was tasked with building a locational value tool to inform key proceedings in California’s effort to open its marketplace to distributed energy resources (DER).

“The tool should not be used as a sourcing mechanism or to determine payments to DERs for several reasons,” Dhaval Dagli, principal manager of regulatory affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE) told Utility Dive. One is that it includes avoided cost inputs that are a simplified representation of utilities’ cost-benefit analyses but “not an appropriate proxy to determine payments to DERs.”

Brad Heavner, policy director at California Solar Energy Industries Association (CalSEIA), was even more adamant that the working groups tool is not ready for prime time.

“We have the start of how to value distribution system expenditure deferrals,” he said. “But the bigger question, and the bigger value of DER is, what never gets built? If you model out the entire system right now, the answer is too complicated with too many places for errors.”

The report does not discourage Marc Monbouquette, senior regulatory analyst for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

“This start gives the commission plenty to work with because it shows what the tool can and cannot do and we know where it needs to go,” he told Utility Dive.

“The longer-term goal is for an LNBA tool that can be used to more proactively identify locational value of DER without the input of new data,” he added. “The entire system would be mapped out and all its components and attributes would be available as the basis for a very granular value estimation.”

Now, stakeholders in the working group, including some who say the valuation goal cannot be achieved, await further commission guidance.  More…

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As solar booms, utilities look to build new business models with strategic investments

reports in UtilityDive that beyond simply contracting for solar, utilities are increasingly investing in the sector to “position themselves to be the utility of the future”.

Solar energy is becoming a generation resource so ubiquitous that utilities are looking beyond simply contracting for new capacity and are increasingly moving into the sector themselves.

Solar added a record-breaking 14,762 MW of capacity in 2016, nearly doubling its 2015 growth. The resource added 39% of all new U.S. generation capacity in the year, making it the leader among all resources for the first time.

Growth was dominated by utility investment in 2016, a trend that’s expected to continue, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research. Utilities will provide two-thirds of the 13.2 GW of solar capacity forecast for 2017, estimates the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year In Review.


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University of Michigan central power plant to receive major upgrades

Dana Elger reports in The University Record that the Central Power Plant that heats and powers most of the University of Michigan’s Central and Medical campus buildings will receive equipment and upgrades focused on increasing reliability and safety, including the installation of new sophisticated switchgear and a gas turbine system that will reduce emissions. The projects have been approved by the Board of Regents.

“The switchgear will include a power preservation system that will benefit critical hospital and research operations with the capability to maintain generated electric and steam supply during a disruption or loss of external utility-provided electricity,” said Kevin Hegarty, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

First constructed in 1915, the Central Power Plant was converted from coal fuel to natural gas in the 1960s to operate more efficiently.

The cogeneration system uses steam to heat buildings and waste steam to generate electricity resulting in an overall efficiency of 80 percent.

The $23 million project will replace the existing 13,200-volt electrical switchgear equipment, which is beyond its typical useful life, with a system that uses the latest technology, increases reliability and system safety and improves worker safety.

It also includes the architectural, electrical and mechanical work necessary to accomplish the improvement.

The architectural firm of Black & Veatch, a member of the International District Energy Association (IDEA) will design the project.  Construction is expected to be completed in the winter of 2019 with no impacts to parking. The project is anticipated to provide an average of 53 on-site construction jobs.

Funding will be provided from utility resources in accordance with the long-term capital plan.

In addition a new combustion turbine at the University of Michigan’s Central Power Plant is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, lowering emission levels halfway toward the university’s 2025 sustainability goal.

The 15-megawatt combustion turbine, which will be housed in a 12,000-square-foot addition, is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 100,000 tons per year. That’s equivalent to the amount of energy used by 10,000 homes annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The $80 million project was approved March 16 by the Board of Regents.

“Our targeted greenhouse gas emissions reduction is an ambitious goal and this project marks a significant step in the right direction as well as providing a sound financial projection for the university,” said Kevin Hegarty, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

The Central Power Plant provides heat and power to most Central and Medical campus buildings.

First constructed in 1915, it was converted from coal to natural gas as a primary fuel in the 1960s to operate more efficiently. The current cogeneration system uses steam to heat buildings and waste steam to generate electricity, resulting in an overall efficiency of 80 percent.

The addition of the turbine to the Central Power Plant was among the efforts recommended to President Mark Schlissel to improve progress toward the university’s sustainability goals, specifically the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 2006 levels by 2025.

The avoidance in emissions is made possible through the onsite cogeneration technology that produces less greenhouse gas emissions than regional power sources.

The project will require a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality air emission permit and will incorporate all appropriate pollution control technologies.

The architectural firm of Black & Veatch will design the project, which is anticipated to provide an average of 130 on-site construction jobs.

Project funding will be provided from utility resources.

The project will return to the regents for approval of schematic design and the construction schedule.


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Fire safety issues dog battery storage growth in New York City, slowing deployment

reports in UtilityDive that a lack of consensus on fire safety codes for battery storage has limited deployment for storage projects in New York City.

March 21, 2017–Last fall, New York City became one of the few cities in America to implement an energy storage mandate when Mayor Bill Di Blasio announced a 100 MWh by 2020 solar-plus-storage target, but progress has been slow. By the end of 2016, the city had only installed 4.8 MWh of storage.

A new report by the City University of New York, the National Renewable Energy Laboratories and Meister Consultants examines the barriers to deploying solar-plus-storage installations in New York City. The report cites the high cost of battery storage and the lack of city and state incentives for storage. The report also identifies the city’s arduous permitting process as one of the barriers developers face. More….

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Gas turbine microgrids on two continents: mirror images of reliability

reports in Microgrid Knowledge that microgrids with gas turbines as prime movers in Alaska and Australia offer mirror images of microgrid capabilities, as explained in this excerpt from Gas Turbine Microgrids: Reliability and Sustainability through Intelligence.

One of the benefits of gas turbine microgrids is their ability to “island” electrical operations from the surrounding grid.

Sitka Alaska

In Sitka, Alaska, the grid is always islanded. The city is the grid, and the city—the largest in the United States in terms of area—occupies most of Baranof Island.

Baranof Island is not electrically connected to the mainland, so all the power for Sitka’s roughly 9,000 inhabitants is produced locally. The power comes from two hydroelectric plants, which give this city on Alaska’s pristine Panhandle the distinction of deriving nearly 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources….

Mirror image in Australia

On the other side of the globe, the City of Esperance, Australia, also operates in isolation. It is not on an island, but it might as well be. The city sits on the south coast of Western Australia State, but is not connected to the grid.

Esperance is also the home of Australia’s first wind farm. The Salmon Beach Wind Farm began operating in 1987, but was decommissioned 15 years later because of urban encroachment. It was replaced by the Ten Mile Lagoon and Nine Mile Beach wind farms. Together they can provide nearly 25 percent of Esperance’s electricity.

Unlike hydropower, however, wind power is not reliable. The primary source of power in the region, an area that extends about 80 miles from the city, comes from gas turbines, the 38.5-MW Esperance Power Station.


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