QUICK NEWS, February 29: CHINA SHOPPING FOR U.S. WIND; BETTER BIPV; THE POWER OF BUILDINGS
CHINA SHOPPING FOR U.S. WIND
China's State Grid in talks to buy AES' U.S. wind assets: sources
Wan Xu and Don Durfee (w/Ian Geoghegan and Jason Neely), February 27, 2012 (Reuters)
"State Grid Corp of China has had talks with U.S. power firm AES Corp (AES.N) about taking a controlling stake in its U.S. wind power business…as China's cash-flush state-owned power companies go on an overseas buying spree…[T]he assets could be worth around $1.65 billion…The deal involves wind power assets with capacity of around 1,100 megawatts (MW) and would give State Grid a roughly 80 percent stake in AES's U.S. wind power business…
"…It would be State Grid's first foray into the United States…China's cashed up state power groups have been scooping up bargains, with dominant power distributor State Grid establishing a presence in the Philippines, Brazil and Portugal…One driver for such deals is a tightly regulated Chinese market that holds down profits for power firms…[The] agreement…[and] specific details… are still under negotiation…"
"AES Wind Generation, a wholly-owned part of AES Corp, operates more than 1,800 MW of wind power generation capacity in the United States, China and Europe. Of that, nearly 1,346 MW is in the United States…[It] has a market value of $10.5 billion…Any deal would need both Chinese and U.S. regulatory approval…Since the failure of China's state oil firm CNOOC's bid to buy California rival Unocal in 2005, few Chinese companies have tried to buy U.S. conventional energy assets…[A] successful deal by State Grid would represent a significant step for China's efforts to enter the U.S. power market...
"…[T]he Chinese company signed a deal to buy a 25 percent stake in Portuguese power grid operator REN for around $508 million. [I]t bought seven Brazilian power transmission companies with investments totaling nearly $1 billion…[A] consortium led by State Grid [won] operation of the Philippine power grid…[in] an auction for a 25-year operation license for $3.95 billion…AES, in which sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp CIC.UL holds a 15 percent stake…[wants] to sell all or part of its businesses in China, a deal that could raise $300-400 million…"
Report Recommends Ways To Improve BIPV Glass For Solar Applications
24 February 2012 (Solar Industry)
"The total market for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) glass will reach $6.4 billion in revenues in 2016, compared to $1.5 billion this year….
"Today's BIPV glass provides transparency well below 50%, and the initial markets for BIPV glass are found in skylights, facades, spandrels, curtain walls and atrium roofing, where high levels of transparency are not required…[B]y improving on the current level of transparency, manufacturers of BIPV glass may be able to expand their addressable markets…"
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"[O]ne way that transparency can be improved is through new absorber materials, such as very thin layers of copper indium gallium diselenide or advanced dye-sensitized cells (DSC) using more transparent dyes…Another approach is to use advanced optics to enable the positioning of the PV panels so that they do not block sunlight to the same degree as in conventional BIPV glass panels, the report adds.
"A similar evolution is expected to occur in the nature of the BIPV glass products themselves. Currently, all BIPV glass is highly customized to the needs of specific projects…[A]s BIPV glass shifts…to the broader commercial construction market, off-the-the-shelf products will have to be developed that can be sold through large construction firms and PV systems integrators…[F]uture generations of BIPV glass products will be characterized by monolithic integration and the incorporation of lighting, dimming and self-cleaning capabilities."
THE POWER OF BUILDINGS
Viridity, ConEd Solutions Take On Demand Response 2.0; Viridity and ConEd Solutions launch a commercial-scale effort to turn buildings into energy market resources.
Jeff St. John, February 24, 2012 (Greentech Media)
"Demand response -- turning down building power loads to shave peak grid demand -- sometimes gets split into 1.0 and 2.0 versions…[DR 2.0] comes when buildings can lower their peak power use not only to respond to utility emergency calls (DR 1.0), but to actually bid their power reduction into energy markets…But to manage it, this DR 2.0 technology has to stretch from the individual building, all the way to the energy markets where blocks of power are bought and sold every day...Viridity Energy and big energy services company ConEdison Solutions…[have built a platform to do that and thereby offer] building owners a chance to lower power bills and bring in new energy revenues, all at little to no cost.
"The program has…a big target market, in the form of ConEd Solutions’ energy services (ESCO) and commodity energy trading customers…As a sister company of New York utility Consolidated Edison, ConEd Solutions is comparable to Honeywell and Johnson Control in terms of ESCO work, and competes against the likes of Constellation Energy and Dominion Power in the business of buying and selling power for big customers."
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"Viridity and ConEd Solutions bring a distinct new challenge to the competition for the title of the first commercial-scale demand response 2.0 project…[against] EnerNOC, Comverge, Constellation Energy, Johnson Controls, Honeywell…[which are] working on projects that link building control systems with energy markets ready to pay a premium for fast-responding, reliable power shed…
"…ConEd Solutions’ big customer base gives it an advantage…[and] its energy commodity trading business [offers] more insight into how to better manage customer energy use to lower their rates and bills…Viridity has also proven its ability to handle both the emergency capacity demand response markets, which pay customers a monthly fee in exchange for a promise to cut power drop a few times a year, and the energy, or economic, demand response markets, where customers actually bid power reductions into energy markets…"