Wind turbines and solar panels have become increasingly common because of the benefits of renewable energies while the adverse effects of non-renewable resources have thus far prompted energy companies to develop cleaner alternatives. The constant use of non-renewable resources has led to climate change. As a result, the effects of non-renewable resources have disrupted public health, wildlife, and even global economies. For instance, the use of coal and petroleum have polluted air and water quality. In turn, the pollution has caused life-threatening effects on humans such as neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. According to a study conducted by Harvard University, it is estimated that the cost of non-renewable effects on public health is approximately USD 74.6 Billion annually. Primarily, human activities are the main cause of climate change. In particular, the constant use of diesel-powered vehicles and large-scale factories have negatively impacted humans and the environment. Now, many around the globe are fighting back to strive for a healthier environment. Predominantly, solar, hydro, and wind are the most popular forms of clean energy because they do not pollute the air or water. Instead, machinery draws energy from their respective sources and harness it into power for consumers. More specifically, solar energy is expected to witness the fastest growth rate, as sunlight is naturally occurring in most regions. In order to harness wind or hydro power, facilities would need to be located on either a mountain top or near a coastal line, which only benefits consumers in the area. Nevertheless, the collective effort to transition towards a cleaner future is further promoting healthier lifestyles and, in return, is mitigating the negative effects of human activity. According to data compiled by BCC Research, the global renewable energy market is expected to reach USD 855.2 Billion by 2023 while registering a CAGR of 6.1%. MGX Renewables Inc. (CSE: MGXR), SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG), First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR)
While solar energy is more prevalent and accessible around the world, there will definitely be periods of time where consumers may not receive any direct sunlight. For instance, a large storm passing over can block sunlight for up to multiple days, which can disrupt solar panel operations. As a result, energy storage solutions have been developed. Energy storages typically charge themselves during the day, but during the night time or whenever the sun is not shining, the battery releases the power back, providing consistent electricity. For small residential homes or businesses, a battery pack is usually installed underneath the property and the panels are installed on the roof. The panels harness the power and output energy during the day. Any excess energy is most likely stored into the battery, or in some cases, it may go straight back to the solar grids, according to Energy Sage. Large-scale areas, such as cities or towns, however, require much more energy in order to provide power for everyone. Some regions around the world have now installed solar panel grids that can span over thousands of acres, however, for more urban areas, it would be difficult to install a grid of that proportion. For example, prominent solar energy leader, Sunrun proposed to Los Angeles city officials about installing solar panels on hundreds of thousands of residential homes in order to power the city. The excess power from residential homes will be used to power L.A. and also charge grids or batteries for future use. The push for solar energy is even resulting in some regions becoming 100% reliant on clean energy sources. “The number of homes with solar will tick up pretty quickly,” said Justin Baca, Vice President of Markets and Research for Solar Energies Industries Association. “We’re personally looking forward to a day when solar is as ubiquitous as AC.”
MGX Renewables Inc. (CSE: MGXR) announced earlier this week, “the appointment of Mr. Fabio Fontana as Director of European Operations. Mr. Fontana will be responsible for setting up and leading European (EU) Operations. Mr. Fontanawill organize the upgrading and certification of MGXR’s Zinc-Air Fuel Cell Battery to EU Standards and negotiate manufacturing, distribution and capital relationships in Europe.
Mr. Fontana spent the early part of his career in senior positions with British Gas Plc. and has served in a variety of roles in the European Energy Industry. Mr. Fontana was Director Brembio Energia Scarl, a developer of a greenfield biomass power plant; Director Spilimbergo Energia, a developer of a greenfield biomass power plant; Managing Director European Power Systems Srl (JV – Carraro Group), developer of micro cogeneration market and introduction of microturbine technology into the Italian market; Director Jucker SpA and Jucker Energia Srl.; COO and Managing Director Lombardia Gas Trader SpA; Director COG.EST SpA, one of the first energy service companies partnered with a public utility in Italy; Regional Business Development Director British Gas Plc. where Mr. Fontana developed the Mediterranean strategy and launched one of the first LNG Projects; Director British Gas RIMI SpA where Mr. Fontanadeveloped British Gas exploration and production activities in Italy; Director, Chief Executive and President Serene SpA (JV – Fiat Avio, BG, Sondel, SanPaolo Bank) where Mr. Fontana lead financing and development of 12 greenfield Power Generation Unit (50MWe/unit); Managing Director and Country Manager British Gas Italia SpA and British Gas Corporation in Milan and London where Mr. Fontana developed the Italian asset portfolio through project investments and acquisition and supported the liberalization process of the Italian energy market; Manager in various roles at Aem (Public Utility of Milan); and Quality Assurance Scai Srl, Suisio for quality assurance of nuclear power plants. Mr. Fontanaholds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering from Politechnico University, Milan, Italy; a Master in Business Administration from SDA BOCCONI, Milan, Italy, and a Nuclear Power Plant Operator License from the Enrico Ferme European Nuclear Studies Institute in Milan, Italy.
MGXR Energy Storage System: The MGXR ESS is a modular Energy Storage System designed to deliver power in the range 20kW – 50MW and energy storage in the range of 120kWh – 1GWh over extended periods of time. With the advantage of rechargeable zinc-air battery technology, the system can be configured to support a wide range of discharge power, recharge power and duty cycle requirements. Since the energy storage capacity of the system is determined only by the size of the zinc storage tank, a very cost-effective and scalable solution now exists as an alternative to the fixed power/energy ratio of the lithium ion battery.Technology: The MGXR ESS is based upon unique patented zinc-air battery technology. Energy is stored in the form of zinc particles, similar in size to grains of sand. When the system is delivering power, the zinc particles are combined with oxygen drawn from the surrounding air. When the system is recharging, zinc particles are regenerated, and oxygen is returned to the surrounding air.
Applications: The flexibility of the MGXR ESS enables it to service a wide range of applications. Typical examples include:
- Storage and smoothing current from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar
- Commercial, industrial backup replacing diesel generators
- Industrial scale, on-demand power for peak shaving or standby
- Grid scale energy storage for energy trading and arbitrage
Architecture: The MGXR ESS is designed according to a modular architecture that enables a wide variety of system configurations to be created from a small number of common subsystems. Each subsystem implements a single element of the technology:
The Zinc Regeneration Subsystem (ZRS) provides the recharging function
- The Fuel Storage Subsystem (FSS) provides the energy storage function
- The Power Generation Subsystem (PGS) provides the discharging function
About MGX Renewables: MGXR has assembled an experienced team to execute the development and commercialization of a dependable low-cost zinc-air battery. This mass storage system offers both environmental and efficiency benefits. MGXR strives to meet the growing need for secure and reliable power. The sun doesn’t shine all the time. The wind doesn’t blow all the time. MGX Renewables mass storage batteries for the rest of the time.”
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SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG) is a global leader in smart energy technology. SolarEdge Technologies, Inc. recently announced that its StorEdge® inverters were selected to be part of National Grid’s ConnectedSolutions program that is being rolled out in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Owners of new and pre-installed StorEdge inverters are eligible to receive financial incentives for participating in the program that relies on SolarEdge’s centrally managed grid services platform. This program enables National Grid to provide affordable and additional types of energy to customers to help meet energy demand peaks. Launched in the beginning of July, the ConnectedSolutions program will charge and discharge batteries of participating StorEdge system owners in order to supply energy during times of high demand. By improving the payback for solar-plus-storage systems and encouraging higher volumes of installations, the program offers benefits to both system owners and PV installers. “National Grid’s leadership in supporting distributed renewable energy resources demonstrates how the energy market is undergoing a strategic transition,” stated Lior Handelsman, SolarEdge’s VP of Marketing and Product Strategy, Founder. “SolarEdge is dedicated to help drive this transition with innovative energy ecosystems that support smart management at both the local and grid level.”
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced module and system technology. First Solar, Inc. recently announced that its Sun Streams 2 photovoltaic (PV) solar plant will power new energy-efficient data centers being built by Microsoft Corp. in Goodyear and El Mirage, Arizona. The 150-megawatt (MW)AC facility, is being developed and constructed by First Solar in Maricopa County and will power the data centers under a 20-year agreement. The power plant will use First Solar’s proprietary Series 6 module technology which has a carbon footprint that is up to six times lower than conventionally-manufactured crystalline silicon PV panels, giving it a superior environmental profile and allowing Sun Streams 2 to deliver cleaner solar electricity. First Solar, which is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, is expanding its manufacturing capacity to meet the demand for Series 6 modules, with its second facility in the United States – representing nearly USD 1 Billion in cumulative investment – expected to start production in early-2020. Once the Perrysburg, Ohio facility is operational, First Solar will be the western hemisphere’s, and America’s, largest solar module manufacturer. “As the global leader in corporate solar, we’re delighted to support Microsoft’s decarbonization commitments,” said Karl Brutsaert, Senior Director of Corporate Renewables at First Solar. “Microsoft operates one of the largest and most innovative cloud infrastructures in the world, so it is only fitting that its latest datacenters are powered by cleaner solar electricity generated by some of the most eco-efficient and innovative solar technology available today.”
Enphase Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH), a global energy technology company, delivers smart, easy-to-use solutions that connect solar generation, storage and management on one intelligent platform. Enphase Energy, Inc. recently announced that more than 500 solar installation companies in the U.S. have benefitted from significantly reduced solar design complexity and logistics by adopting Enphase Energized™ AC Modules (ACMs). Enphase AC Modules, first released in October 2017, are factory-assembled, tested, and sold by Enphase ACM partners, including SunPower, Panasonic, and Solaria. Enphase Energized AC Modules are built by strategic module partners who integrate Enphase microinverters with PV modules on the manufacturing line. ACMs are tested for performance, reliability, and quality right on the manufacturing line and allow solar installers to offer premium solutions to homeowners. Enphase-based AC Modules also help eliminate the design complexities associated with high-power modules and provide an ideal combination of high-efficiency modules paired with the optimal microinverter. When compared to solar installations using combinations of discrete Enphase microinverters and solar modules, ACMs result in an average 10-20% reduction in logistics and supply chain overhead, and between 20-40% reduction in system installation time, especially for high-wattage systems. “The success of the AC Module business is a testament to the dedication to quality and reliability by both Enphase and the world’s leading solar module manufacturers,” said David Ranhoff, Chief Commercial Officer at Enphase Energy. “We firmly believe that solar is an investment and asset designed to last for decades, and our focus is squarely on providing microinverters that stand the test of time. Enphase-based AC Modules also help our installation partners be more efficient, from the warehouse to the roof, and we are grateful to have so many installers who have embraced them.”
SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR), as one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable energy companies, provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. SunPower recently announced that, along with Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, Inc. (NYSE:HASI) and SunStrong Capital Holdings, LLC, it had secured financing commitments for its residential solar lease program that will help meet SunPower’s expected customer demand into 2020. SunPower has provided solar lease financing options to customers since 2010. The attractive financing provisions with this new fund will supplement the solar loan and cash sale alternatives currently offered by the company. The new fund is structured as a levered tax equity partnership with a multi-party forward purchase commitment, allowing generation of upfront cash margins for residential solar leases. The financing commitments for this new fund are being provided largely from a repeat group of loan and equity providers that continue to have strong long-term relationships with SunPower and Hannon Armstrong. “SunPower’s strong suite of acquisition options, and our technologically superior solar energy solutions, allows us to continue meeting growing customer demand,” said Tom Werner, SunPower Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board. “Thanks to our financing partners, who share our clean energy future goals, we’re able to ensure funding to meet the needs of those customers who desire a leasing option.”
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