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India Achieves 20 Gigawatts Solar Capacity 4 Years Ahead Of Initial Target

India Achieves 20 Gigawatts Solar Capacity 4 Years Ahead Of Initial Target

India achieved an operational solar power capacity of 20 gigawatts by the end of 2017, Mercom India Research has claimed.

According to Mercom India Research, a record 9.5 gigawatts of solar power capacity was likely added in 2017, taking the total solar power capacity operational in India to over 20 gigawatts. The figures do not match those released by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, and Mercom attributes the figures to its ‘India Solar Project tracker.’ 

India launched the National Solar Mission in 2009 with a target to have 20 gigawatts of grid-connected and 2 gigawatts of distributed solar power capacity by March 2022. India’s grid-connected solar power capacity now stands at 20 gigawatts — including 18.4 gigawatts of utility-scale and 1.6 gigawatts of rooftop solar power capacity, according to Mercom.

In 2015, the current government revised the capacity targets to 100 gigawatts of solar power capacity by March 2022. The Indian government recently announced a highly aggressive auctions timeline which will see 77 gigawatts of capacity auctioned by March 2020, giving developers at least 2 years to commission all projects.

A total capacity of 3.6 gigawatts has already been auctioned in FY2017-18. An additional 3 gigawatts will be auctioned in December 2017, 3 gigawatts in January 2018, 5 gigawatts in February 2018, and 6 gigawatts in March 2018. A further 30 gigawatts each will be auctioned in FY2018-19 and FY2019-20. Thus a total of 77 gigawatts will be put on the block by 31 March 2020. Developers will thus have ample time to deliver all projects by the March 2022 deadline.

Along with solar, the Indian government also revised the overall renewable energy capacity target upward for 2022 to 175 gigawatts. According to the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the total renewable energy installed as of 31 December 2017 is 64.4 gigawatts. The Indian government expects the capacity to go beyond the 175 gigawatts target by March 2022.

Source cleantechnica.com

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New Solar Collector Tech Could Lower Costs for Concentrating Solar Power

A new solar collector is starting a trend when it comes to concentrating solar power (CSP) technology. For the first time ever, “ganged heliostats” could be a viable option for new CSP systems.

Skysun, a startup out of Bay Village, Ohio, developed the new design that could help cut the cost of a CSP system by more than 30 percent.

new-solar-collector-tech-could-lower-costs-for-concentrating-solar-power

Ganged Heliostat Technology

CSP technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect solar energy and convert it to heat. The mirrors, also known as heliostats, typically require their own base, foundation, and motor.

Skysun’s solar collector groups together heliostats through shared motors and support structures, which has the potential to cut the total installed cost of CSP systems in half. While other ganged heliostat concepts have previously been proposed, none of them have shown to be cost competitive or viable—until now.

SkySun partnered with Sandia National Laboratories through a $275,000 Small Business Vouchers project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative. Sandia reported that Skysun’s ganged heliostats can achieve an average price point around $80/m2. That’s 33 percent lower than the lowest average cost for today’s conventional heliostats ($120/m2) and close to the SunShot Initiative’s goal of lowering the cost of solar collectors to $75/m2.

Path to Market Adoption

Skysun’s biggest barrier was showing that the technology is not just comparable to current heliostats in terms of performance, but more affordable. They used a grant from Innovation Fund America to build their first lab-scale prototype, then worked with Sandia to model and optimize the system. Alongside Sandia, Skysun designed custom codes for mirror positioning to reduce shading from other mirrors within the system, making its peak efficiency comparable to those deployed today. So far, modeling on Skysun’s solar collectors show that its mirrors achieve CSP industry accuracy standards with winds up to 15-20 miles per hour.

Skysun founder Jim Clair believes he will be able to leverage the outcomes from Skysun’s collaboration with Sandia in his search for a strategic partnership to prepare this technology for market adoption. Describing Sandia as “the mecca for CSP,” Clair said Sandia’s support in demonstrating the ganged heliostat’s stability, performance, and cost will be instrumental in showing the technology’s viability to potential partners.

Source renewableenergyworld.com

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