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Fortnightly Magazine - March 2013
Sempra started operations at the first 150-MW phase of the Mesquite PV project in Arizona.

the first 150-MW phase of the company’s Mesquite Solar complex in Arlington, Ariz., about 40 miles west of Phoenix. The PV project now is operational and ranks among the largest in the United States.

Duke Energy Renewables completed construction of a 12.5-MW solar power project in Beaufort County, N.C. North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) is purchasing the output under a 15-year agreement. Duke contracted with SunEnergy1, a solar design, engineering and construction company based in Mooresville, N.C., to build the 53,000-panel PV project. SunEnergy1 designed the array and will continue to handle operations, monitoring, and maintenance of the system.

Alstom signed a €250 million contract with Metals & Engineering Corp. (METEC) to supply turbines and generators for the hydro power plant of the Grand Renaissance dam, located on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. Alstom will supply and supervise the installation of all electromechanical equipment for the plant, including eight 375-MW turbines and eight generators for the first phase. The contract also includes engineering and power plant commissioning, scheduled to start in late 2013 and finish in 2016. When completed, the 6,000-MW Grand Renaissance power plant will be the largest hydro project in Africa.

PG&E began using the EXAscan handheld scanning device to detect gas pipeline damage.

Trina Solar Limited (TSL) will supply 30 MW of PV modules to Gestamp Solar for two projects in South Africa. Large-scale solar systems will be installed in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, in the towns of Prieska and De Aar, with the capacity to generate 20 MW and 10 MW respectively. According to terms of the agreement, deliveries will be made in the third quarter of 2013.

D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and Bright Plain Renewable Energy (BPRE) completed financing the largest solar power project in Pennsylvania. The 5-MW (AC) solar farm was developed by Community Energy Solar in Lancaster County, Pa., and was acquired by an affiliate of DESRI in partnership with BPRE earlier in 2012. Exelon Generation contracted to buy the project’s output under a long-term agreement. groSolar acted as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor.

HERO Solar (Hamilton Energy Resource Opportunities) finalized an interconnect agreement with  Progress Energy Florida  for a 70-MW solar farm in Hamilton County, Fla. The companies entered the agreement after the completion of an interconnection study process.

Wisconsin Power & Light acquired Calpine’s 600-MW Riverside combined-cycle plant for $400 million.

Juhl Wind established an agreement with Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America to develop, install, and operate two utility-scale wind turbines that will generate electricity for the plant in Russell’s Point, Ohio. Juhl Wind is providing full development services along with construction management of the $8 million project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2013. Juhl acquired the development asset from NexGen Energy Partners in 2011, and is expected to take ownership in the project under its Juhl Renewable Asset subsidiary.

GE unveiled the 2.5-120 wind turbine, which the company claims is the world’s most efficient, high-output, and intelligent (“brilliant”) turbine. The 2.5-120 boasts a 25 percent increase in efficiency and a 15 percent increase in power output compared to GE’s current model. Advanced controls allow its 120-meter rotor to produce more output in low-wind areas. The first prototype is expected to be installed