Solar development taking hold in Kazakhstan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:JSC Kazakhstan Electricity and Power Market Operator (JSC KOREM) has revealed that the winner of the auction for a 50 MW solar power project in Kazakhstan’s Otyrar district is Italian oil and gas producer Eni.The group’s LLP Arm Wind unit offered the lowest price (not including VAT) of KZT 12.49 ($0.032)/kWh. “The ceiling auction price – KZT 29/kWh (excluding VAT) during the trading session decreased by 2.3 times,” JSC KOREM said.The 50 MW project is a joint initiative under the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in cooperation with the UN Development Program. Eni is already active in the Kazakh energy market as a joint operator of the Karachaganak field. It is also an equity partner in various projects in the northern part of the Caspian Sea, including the giant Kashagan fieldThe auction has delivered a price which is lower by at least a third than those seen in the country’s first renewable energy auction in October 2018, when the final prices of the four selected PV projects, totaling 170 MW, ranged from KZT 18.6 to KZT 18.6.In another auction that was finalized in September, JSC KOREM selected a 10 MW PV project submitted by Russian developer Solnechnaya Sistema LLP, which offered a price of KZT 9.9/kWh, and a 26 MW solar project presented by KazSolar 50 LLP, which submitted a bid of KZT 16.97/kWh. The Solnechnaya Sistema LLP project will be built near the country’s Aral district, while the KazSolar 50 LLP plant will be built in the Shet district.Several more projects are being built outside the country’s auction scheme, including a 128 MW solar project by Total Eren and a 50 MW project by Suntech, among others. In January, German developer Goldbeck Solar said it had finished a 100 MW solar project near the town of Saran. That project also operates under a 15-year PPA, at a price of KZT34.61/kWh ($0.091). [Emiliano Bellini]More: Italy’s Eni wins Kazakhstan’s 50 MW solar auction with $0.032/kWh bid
New joint venture to develop 500MW of solar in Ireland FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Solar Power Portal:Irish solar developer Shannon Energy is to develop 500MW of solar in Ireland over five years in a joint venture with Danish renewables investor and developer Obton Energy.In interviews on Wednesday morning with sister site PV Tech, both companies confirmed that Ireland’s forthcoming inaugural renewable energy auction scheme spurred the €300 million (£256 million) plan.Gerry Shannon, who runs the Dublin-based company with his brother, explained, “Ireland is fertile ground thanks to the government’s new auction process”. Ready-to-build projects totaling 150MW have already been secured and developed, he said, and the partners intend “to reach further back into the development process and look to secure greenfield sites” over the next five years, too.Details of Ireland’s long-awaited Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) were unveiled in December. The first, 300GWh, auction is scheduled for the summer. The government has devised the scheme, which will be administered by Ireland’s transmission system operator EirGrid, in order to increase renewables’ share of Ireland’s electricity to 70% by 2030 from about 40% today.Both Shannon and [Anders Marcus, chief executive officer of Obton] confirmed that while energy storage was not included in short-term plans, it is likely to be included in the long-term.Corporate offtakers will also be considered in due course. “Corporate PPAs tend to be shorter term, five or seven years, and we’re going to hold these projects for 30 years, meaning we would prefer to have a longer-agreement,” said Shannon. “In the future, if we can find a corporate PPA or a private PPA that would be suitable for us, then of course we will go ahead and construct, provided that the bank regards to paperwork of such a PPA to be a viable risk.”[Cecilia Keating]More: JV between New Obton and Shannon Energy to spend £256m on 500MW of Irish solar
A red handle, a small white cross, a blade or two, and fold-out tools for the job— a Swiss Army Knife is an icon of utility and smart design recognizable the world over. Invented in the 1880s, and today still made exclusively in only two factories in Switzerland, the pocket knives are produced in dozens of varieties at a tune of more than 15 million per year.This summer, on a trip to Europe, I toured Swiss Army Knife factories in Ibach and Delemont, the idyll Swiss towns where pocket knives have been made for more than 100 years. Amid the pounding of machines and the bins of knife implements on the factory floor, workers assembled knife after knife to meet the world’s demand.It was in Ibach, in 1884, where Karl Elsener and his mother, Victoria, opened a cutlery cooperative that would soon produce the first knives sold to the Swiss Army. The original model, called the Soldier Knife, was made for troops who needed a foldable tool that could open canned food and aid in disassembling a rifle. The Soldier Knife included a blade, a reamer, a can opener, a screwdriver, and oak handles.Today, similar simple pocket knives roll continuously off the line at Victorinox A.G., the company that grew out of Elsener’s small cooperative decades back. Blades, corkscrews, files, punches, can openers, scissors, saws, and tiny toothpicks are long-time features.Other Victorinox knives include 21st-century touches like laser pointers, USB storage drives, and fingerprint scanners with data encryption built in. All the implements, from blades to data drives, are foldable or set on springs to disappear when not in use.In Switzerland, I traveled by train from city to city. Across the country, in the French-speaking region of Jura, I toured Wenger S.A., the other half of the Swiss Army coin.The Delemont company, founded as a cutler in the 19th century and later modernized by businessman Theodore Wenger, shares the Swiss Army knife trademark with Victorinox. Both companies’ knives have a similar history, and both have been purchased in bulk quantities by the Swiss Army since the 1890s.Like Victorinox, the Wenger Swiss Army Knives come in dozens of types. The company sells simple pocket knives on up to multitools like the Mike Horn Knife, a half-pound beast with two blades and a pliers. Its EvoGrip line has added ergonomic contours to knife handles. In 2006, Wenger introduced the Giant, a gargantuan, nine-inch-wide “pocket knife” with 85 implements that sells as a collector’s item for $1,400.Wenger and Victorinox are distinct companies. But both are owned by the Elsener family, with the great-grandchildren of Karl Elsener still overseeing production and managing a business that employs thousands of Swiss workers.In Ibach, after a tour of a factory where up to 28,000 Swiss Army Knives are made every day, I sat down with Charles Elsener, one of the great-grandchildren of the company’s founder. He pulled a couple knives from his pocket and started snapping blades and implements out for show.Charles Elsener talked about the hidden springs on which the blades and screwdrivers snap open and closed. It was a type of this spring mechanism, invented in the original Ibach cutlery, that made Swiss Army Knives stand out 100 years back.At my meeting this summer, Charles Elsener spoke about new implements, test products, and the science of metallurgy for making a perfect blade. From the factory below, I could hear the machines beat. It’s been 126 years in Ibach. The Swiss Army Knife machine continues to crank on.—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.
Photo © Pixabay Ireland’s Dan Martin has finished sixth at the Tour de France.Martin competed the tour four minutes and 42 seconds back from Chris Froome, who won his third tour title in a row, and fourth in total.