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Wind Index 2017

Production under expectations

The wind index 2017 is a key indicator to compare the wind over the year that has just ended with the wind registered over the previous years.
Assuming that:

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Particles counters: how to decrease wind turbine downtimes?

In France, 25% to 30% of the turbines are equipped with a gearbox, whose gears may deteriorate over time. Their maintenance is therefore more than crucial to mitigate downtimes, production & revenues losses.

Benefits of a particles counter

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Greensolver acquires entap to grow its european wind and solar asset management business

Greensolver, the independent wind and solar farm technical expert, has just announced the acquisition of London based asset manager, ENTAP to deliver enhanced European asset management services to investors.

With the increasing investor demand for professional asset management services of wind & solar assets, the acquisition enables Greensolver to deepen its portfolio and expand its offering in the UK and further European countries.

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Bats & wind energy

When developing a wind farm project, one criterion for the environmental acceptability concerns the avifauna impact study. Turbine positions are controlled not to be on migration corridors nor on local species’ hunting territory. In some cases, compensatory actions can be offered to obtain the administrative authorization.

During the operational phase of the project, the French governmental order of August 26th, 2011 on establishments classified for environmental protection (ICPE) imposes a long-term follow-up to estimate the impact of wind turbines on bird and bat fatalities. Until now, post-construction avifauna studies have not lead to restriction. However, with environmental regulations getting more drastic, reading of avifauna studies will lead to more severe impacts on existing wind farms in the near future.

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Remote solutions to measure wind

Wind turbines are getting higher and bigger every year. As a result, it is becoming more and more difficult and costly to install a met mast high enough to have representative measurements of the wind conditions at hub height and all over the rotor plane – especially for large projects.

Alternative and complementary solutions are available on the market to overcome this issue: remote sensor solutions. There are basically two types of remote sensors, aimed to assess the wind conditions for turbines: the Lidar (LIght Detection And Ranging) and the Sodar (SOnic Detection And Ranging). This article aims to explain these solutions, with the understanding that both can be used to complement a wind mast measurement campaign or as a stand-alone tool in specific situations.

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Micromorph solar pannels

The Solar PV industry is full of innovation, in this article, Greensolver’s experts explore the benefits of micromorph solar panels.

Micromorph modules are made of an upper layer of amorphous silicon & a microcrystalline layer at the bottom – see picture. The upper layer uses the visible area of solar spectrum when the bottom one absorbs the infrared region.

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Greensolver Finance: creation of an accounting firm dedicated to REN assets

Greensolver & Premier Monde combine strengths to provide the industry with an accounting management service in line with French market requirements.

Greensolver, the wind & solar technical expert, and Premier Monde, French accounting firm, announce today the creation of a new entity which will operate under the name of Greensolver Finance.

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SDE+ 2018 – 12 billion available in two rounds

Launched in 2013 to compensate the renewable energy production price, Dutch 2018 SDE+ scheme is about to open. In 2018 and divided in 2 rounds, 12 billion should be made available by the Government.

The implementation of the Sustainable Energy Production (SDE +) Regulation in 2018 was announced on 6 December 2017 in the letter to the Dutch Parliament. The SDE+ is an exploitation subsidy, whereby the difference between the cost price of gray (fossil) energy and that of renewable energy is reimbursed over a period of up to 15 years. The amount of subsidy depends on the type and amount of renewable energy produced.

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The best technical articles of 2017

Written by our experts, our technical articles aim to deliver independent & valuable insights on challenges faced by wind & solar assets. We have gathered in this newsletter the best of our articles published in 2017. Stay tuned, more are to come in 2018. If you are interested in receiving our articles directly in your mail box, click here.

1. The five most common problems with solar panels

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Snow and solar photovoltaic panels

We often tend to think that solar panels need direct radiation from the sun to work efficiently. Yet, it is not necessarily the case. Indeed, electricity can still be produced as long as the sunlight, direct of reflected, reaches them in sufficient quantity/intensity. Cleaning the snow on panels is therefore crucial to maintain optimum production level.

Snowfall effects on solar production
We operate solar farms located in regions subject to snowfalls (north-west part of France). Through this experience, we have been able to notice the phenomenon described below.

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SDE+ Autumn 2017 – Candidacy results

Opened early October, SDE+ scheme opening hours are now closed. Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate has published candidacy results. Analysis by our experts in this article.

For this round of SDE+ 5,783 applications has been submitted for a total budget of € 9.9 billion, and are currently under careful review for technical, financial & economic feasibility. Indeed, budget commitment implies that only a budget of €6 billion is to be allocated, not all projects will be able to be granted with a subsidy, but the amount of applications, demonstrate the renewable sector’s dynamic & growth.

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Happy holidays!

2017 has been another great year for us, and we would like to thank you for the continued confidence you put in us over this past year and for all the wind & solar successes we have achieved together with you.

We are looking forward to continue along this path in  2018!

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Strike actions in the energy sector: impacts on wind & solar farms

Started earlier in November the strike movements called by several French grid operators (Enedis, RTE, EDF, GRDF) should continue in December and may have some consequences on wind & solar parks production.

Strikes actions are conducted on a national level and consist in decoupling the substation from the electrical network. This was for example the case in the Alpes de Haute Provence & Aube French départements on November 30th.
The main problem of such grid outage, apart from producers not being warned in advance, is their length. At Greensolver, some of the assets we operate remained disconnected for more than 8 hours. Moreover, it has to be noted that disconnections are usually abrupt and even after reconnection to the grid, some wind farm or solar park units were not able to restart, leading to unexpected repairs and expenses for asset owners. Production losses related to the substation decoupling are therefore increased.

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Wind farm: blade’s leading edges erosion

As its name suggests, the leading edge is the blade’s part which enters first in contact with the wind. Therefore, it is naturally the most vulnerable part towards environment’s stress.

Every wind turbine located in an environment that includes abrasive particles like rain, snow, hail, dust or insects is a lot more subject to erosion than a wind turbine located in a place where those factors are absent. Moreover, the turbine’s size has not stopped increasing. Yet, the bigger the rotor’s diameter, the faster the blade’s tip speed, which increases the damages on the blades.

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Solar PV: price & technology evolution

With the cost reduction battle carried out during the last 15 years (mainly due to the massive introduction of the Chinese solar products in the market), solar energy has now become a very competitive energy source. We estimate that prices have reduced by more than 90% over the last 15 years.

As one of the core parts of a PV project, the photovoltaic modules represent between 45 and 55% of the overall costs of a solar project. Likewise, the solar cells represent around 50 - 60% of the cost of the PV modules. Traditional crystalline cells are still the most efficient for solar technology (industrial efficiencies of around 20%). If we take a look to its price evolution, we’ll be able to see that it has drastically reduced: more than 90% in the last 15 years.

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SDE+ Autumn 2017 - Greensolver forecast

Since 2008 about 29,500 projects have been rewarded with subsidy allowing The Netherlands to develop its capacity in terms of renewable energy production. With the 2020 objectives getting closer, rounds of SDE+ have become larger and budget have been increased by 33% by the Government in order to reach the objectives – now reaching 12 billion euros to be allocated only for the year 2017.

Divided into two rounds which each have three phases, with a price per kWh increasing (from 0.090€/kWh to 0.125€/kWh), first round of 2017 subsidy have rewarded mainly solar PV (73%) & on-shore wind projects (20%), the rest (10%) being allocated to biomass, geothermal and hydro – largely rewarded in 2016 and previous years.

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Technical Management Contracts

As technical expert and manager of more than 860 MW of wind & solar assets, we would like to emphasize the importance of having a technical expert who will take away the burden of daily operation of your assets by managing both the technical and commercial sides. Indeed, managing an asset is a tedious work which requires to source all the competences internally, which you may not have.

When operating a wind or solar asset, our primary goal is to run efficiently the asset and to improve its performances. Hence, you’ll find below a resume of what should be mandatory included in your technical management contracts:

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Greensolver welcomes a new wind & solar construction project manager

Our Parisian office has recently welcome a new construction project manager on board, Guilaume Fauthoux.

Guillaume Fauthoux GreensolverAlong with our construction team, Guillaume will be in charge of supervising our wind and solar farm construction activities in Europe, including:

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Operating wind farm performance analysis

Technical management of a wind asset is a tedious work which requires not only to supervise the wind asset production, but also to analyze the turbine performances in order to detect if the turbine is under or over performing.

Data analysis is key when managing a wind asset. By transforming data into insight, into information, asset manager and owners are provided with a set of information useful to challenge the turbine manufacturer.

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Greensolver announces strategic partnership with Smart Blade

Partnership will focus on delivering exclusive products and services dedicated to blades.

GREENSOLVER, the independent technical expert for wind & solar assets, announced today a strategic partnership with innovative German company SMART BLADE GmbH. The partnership will provide the industry with services and products dedicated to wind farm production optimization.

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