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Renewables Roundup: Clean World Partners, IKEA, REC, Abengoa

Clean World Partners and Atlas Disposal Industries have broken ground on the construction of what the companies say is the US’s largest commercial-scale, high-solids anaerobic digestion system, and on California’s first AD-based renewable natural gas fueling station. The Organic Waste Recycling Center at the South Area Transfer Station in Sacramento will convert 25 tons of food waste per day collected by Atlas Disposal from area food processing companies, restaurants and supermarkets into renewable natural gas. In 2013, the facility will be expanded to process 100 tons of waste per day, Clean World says.

The United States still lags far behind many countries in the percentage of its energy that comes from renewable sources, despite the country ramping up production of renewable energy by more than 300 percent in the past decade, according to research by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The US’s percentage of renewable power is far lower than Indonesia’s and those of countries in Europe, and is only slightly ahead of Mexico, the report says.

Europe’s largest solar module producer, Renewable Energy Corporation, has launched the REC Peak Energy Plus Series module, the first commercially available multicrystalline product based on cells with backside passivation technology. The module has a nominal power output in watt classes ranging from 240 Wp to 255 Wp with higher watt classes possible in the future. The product’s backside passivation technology improves performance by enhancing the solar cell’s response to red light, REC says.

Abengoa has been selected to carry out the engineering, construction and start-up of one of the largest photovoltaic plants in the world. The plant, which will be constructed in Imperial Valley, south central California and will have a capacity of 200 MW. The contract, worth US$ 360 million, is due to be completed in 18 months and the plant will come into operation progressively during the second half of 2013.

IKEA has announced plans to install solar energy panels on two distribution centers in the eastern United States. Installation will occur this summer on the facilities in Perryville, Md., and Westampton, N.J. Both projects will rank among the largest commercial rooftop solar installations in the US, and their implementation will extend the IKEA solar presence to nearly 89 percent of its US locations.

IKEA also announced that it will install PV panels that will provide 100 percent of electricity needs for its distribution centers in China, and 10 to 15 percent of electricity for its Chinese stores, saving around 6,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. Privately owned power generation company Hanergy will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the solar panels.

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