LG Electronics to open new solar module assembly plant in Alabama

LG intersolar neon panels

LG Electronics announced plans for a new solar module assembly plant in Huntsville, Ala. Starting in early 2019, the new plant is expected to produce 500 megawatts of high-performance solar panels annually. The new factory will create about 160 new full-time jobs, increasing LG’s Huntsville employment by 60 percent to more than 400 workers.

LG is investing $28 million to establish the new factory with two production lines on LG’s 48-acre campus in Huntsville, where the company has had operations for four decades. This underscores the company’s commitment to investing in America and to driving environmental sustainability.

The new factory will initially assemble LG’s NeON 2 series 60-cell modules, which are high-performance solar panels that generate over 17 percent more power than most conventional 60-cell panels (340 Watts-per-panel rating versus 290W). Light-induced degradation is reduced significantly in these panels to maximize performance and maintain maximum potential power output for the life of the modules.

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— Solar Builder magazine

LG Electronics, Cypress Creek complete large portfolio of solar-plus-storage projects in North Carolina

LG Solar Farm

One of the 12 new utility-scale LG solar farms in North Carolina, developed by LG Electronics with Cypress Creek Renewables. (PRNewsfoto/LG Electronics USA)

LG Electronics joined Cypress Creek Renewables, the nation’s fastest-growing solar farm developer, to celebrate the official opening of one of largest solar-plus-storage installations in the continental United States – an 8.5 megawatt portfolio of utility-scale solar projects, with storage capacity of 12 megawatt hours, in North Carolina.

All told, 21,900 high-performance LG solar panels (395-watt LG NeON 2 72-cell modules) have been installed across a dozen separate solar farms in Columbus and Brunswick counties. LG Electronics provided tax equity financing to the projects in partnership with Cypress Creek.

Cypress Creek acquired the projects from United Renewable Energy, the initial developer of the projects. The power developed on these sites will give the local homes and businesses in the area access to clean and affordable energy. The LG solar panels will charge batteries during off-peak periods. Once the batteries are charged each day, the solar portion of the projects will continue to deliver energy to the grid. During peak load times in the summer and winter, the projects will provide reliable renewable energy using the batteries, and LG solar panels will reduce the utility’s peak power requirements.

RELATED: New guide shows strategies for pairing community solar with storage 

Backed by best-in-class 15-year product and 25-year performance warranties, LG NeON 2 72-cell solar panels are designed to deliver higher efficiency. LG’s flagship panels feature innovative LG Cello technology, which utilizes circular-shaped wires to scatter light for better absorption while reducing the electrical loss and increasing power output and reliability.

“Creating a clean, sustainable future that’s accessible and affordable is central to LG’s goal of providing solutions that match changing needs in our communities, workplaces and homes – including innovative, intelligent solutions for energy conservation, solar energy and energy storage. LG’s involvement in these projects underscores the company’s commitment to providing innovative, market-leading solutions to its partners and customers,” said Tim Distler, head of solar business development, LG Electronics USA.

— Solar Builder magazine

LG Electronics, Cypress Creek complete large portfolio of solar-plus-storage projects in North Carolina

LG Solar Farm

One of the 12 new utility-scale LG solar farms in North Carolina, developed by LG Electronics with Cypress Creek Renewables. (PRNewsfoto/LG Electronics USA)

LG Electronics joined Cypress Creek Renewables, the nation’s fastest-growing solar farm developer, to celebrate the official opening of one of largest solar-plus-storage installations in the continental United States – an 8.5 megawatt portfolio of utility-scale solar projects, with storage capacity of 12 megawatt hours, in North Carolina.

All told, 21,900 high-performance LG solar panels (395-watt LG NeON 2 72-cell modules) have been installed across a dozen separate solar farms in Columbus and Brunswick counties. LG Electronics provided tax equity financing to the projects in partnership with Cypress Creek.

Cypress Creek acquired the projects from United Renewable Energy, the initial developer of the projects. The power developed on these sites will give the local homes and businesses in the area access to clean and affordable energy. The LG solar panels will charge batteries during off-peak periods. Once the batteries are charged each day, the solar portion of the projects will continue to deliver energy to the grid. During peak load times in the summer and winter, the projects will provide reliable renewable energy using the batteries, and LG solar panels will reduce the utility’s peak power requirements.

RELATED: New guide shows strategies for pairing community solar with storage 

Backed by best-in-class 15-year product and 25-year performance warranties, LG NeON 2 72-cell solar panels are designed to deliver higher efficiency. LG’s flagship panels feature innovative LG Cello technology, which utilizes circular-shaped wires to scatter light for better absorption while reducing the electrical loss and increasing power output and reliability.

“Creating a clean, sustainable future that’s accessible and affordable is central to LG’s goal of providing solutions that match changing needs in our communities, workplaces and homes – including innovative, intelligent solutions for energy conservation, solar energy and energy storage. LG’s involvement in these projects underscores the company’s commitment to providing innovative, market-leading solutions to its partners and customers,” said Tim Distler, head of solar business development, LG Electronics USA.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar Builder Project of the Year C&I: Worcester Greenwood Landfill

Worcester Greenwood Landfill

How’s this for timing: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt made headlines, as we were writing this, for proudly proclaiming that he would get rid of the tax credits for the solar industry. Let that marinate as we tout the virtues of our Commercial & Industrial Project of the Year Award winner.

Developer: Honeywell • Contractor: Borrego Solar Systems • Modules: LG Electronics • Inverter: SunGrow • Mounting: SunLink

Stretching across 25 acres (19 football fields), the Greenwood Street Solar Array is the largest municipally owned landfill project in New England. The city signed an energy savings performance contract with Honeywell in 2011 that targeted to bring renewable energy to 92 city-owned facilities, and this $27 million project is expected to pay for itself in six years and save the city $60 million over its expected 30-year life span. It will produce enough clean energy to power 1,340 homes per year.

Because the solar array is municipally owned, it allows Worcester to sell the electricity at net-metering rates. The city also paired this project with an initiative to replace 14,000 street lights with LED bulbs to reduce energy demands while also infusing renewable capacity.

Tough to argue against that value to the city, but then consider the land used for the project was a landfill — an unusable swath of earth; a blight on the community — that is now actively being used to power homes. In order to protect the integrity of the landfill cap, SunLink and Borrego worked closely together to ensure that loads superimposed by the array will not exceed allowable limits at any time, including heavy snow and wind events. SunLink’s GeoPro systems come with terrain adjustability designed in, allowing the array to easily adapt to existing site conditions without grading work.

“The next time you hear someone say, ‘what are we doing for the taxpayers,’ tell them to look up on the old Greenwood Street landfill,” said City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. at the ribbon cutting.

Or, as Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty summed it up: “This project makes good environmental sense and fiscal sense. It’s just one of the ways we as a city are planning for decades to come.”

Anyway, we’d be curious to know how the head of our environment’s protection would object to incentivizing more projects like Worcester Greenwood Landfill.

— Solar Builder magazine

Aurora Solar tells us how it can improve solar cell manufacturing

Aurora Solar Technologies provides inline measurement and control technology for the PV manufacturing industry, and the West Vancouver, BC-based company says its solar cell manufacturing technology allows solar cell producers to increase cell power and yield.

Aurora Solar

“On average, 15-25 percent of [solar cell] production is downgraded and sold at or below cost,” says Michael Heaven, President and Founder, Aurora Solar Technologies. “Attaining ‘Grid Parity’ with fossil fuel energy sources is the solar industry’s most urgent and important challenge. Attaining profitability in a sector with very slim margins is the solar industry’s most urgent imperative.”

RELATED: Rayton Solar opens crowdfunding to support its low-cost PV module manufacturing method 

When the founder of Aurora first saw his first cell production line, he was shocked to find no in-line measurement and control anywhere in the process. Raw wafers go in one end and cells come out the other and are graded into 40-60 power level bins. Adding in a quality control system, Heaven believes, would eliminate variability and produce only one power level of cells.

With Aurora’s technology, a typical cell production line can save between $0.5M and $2M in lost profits by eliminating low grade cells, immediately adding to the bottom line of panel manufacturers.

Aurora’s message is gaining steam as it recently received an order from LG Electronics for 12 Decima CDs and multiple Veritas Servers to boost production on several of the company’s lines in 2017.

 

— Solar Builder magazine