Here are some noteworthy cleantech announcements of the day from around the world:
Global investment firm KKR has launched Stellar Renewable Power. The new platform will source, develop and operate utility-scale solar projects and storage facilities on behalf of KKR’s asset-based finance (ABF) strategy. Stellar will source opportunities through greenfield development and acquisitions of early-stage assets from other developers. Funding for the platform’s activities will come from separate insurance accounts managed by KKR. KKR has deployed more than $5 billion in 49 ABF investments globally since 2016. KKR’s portfolio includes several proprietary loan origination platforms focused on themes in mortgage finance, hard assets, and contractual cash flows.
Total Eren and Gransolar, an Ecuadorian developer, have announced the joint design, development, financing, construction, and operation of a microgrid project in the Galápagos Islands. The partners will work together through a 50/50 joint venture company, E-Quator Energy, which will sign the concession agreement for 25 years with the Ecuadorian authorities. E-Quator Energy will combine a 14.8 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project with a 40.9 MWh energy storage capacity. Located in the Galápagos Islands, declared by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage Site, the project will increase the share of renewables in the local electricity consumption from 15% to up to 70%.
AES Corporation has introduced a solar installation robot, Atlas. The robot, according to AES, represents a significant advance in solar energy technology, making it faster, more efficient, and safer to construct new solar facilities. AES designed Atlas through a multi-year innovation process and built it in cooperation with Calvary Robotics and other third parties. In addition to this first-of-its-kind solar robot, AES has also invested in solar robots from Ecoppia to automate the cleaning of PV panels in 5B and its MAVERICK technology for plug and play solar farm installation.
Cleantech Solar has commissioned a 2 MW rooftop solar PV system at one of Barry Callebaut’s cocoa facilities in Malaysia. The solar power plant’s 4,558 PV modules are expected to generate over 2,400 MWh of clean electricity in the first year of operation, which is equivalent to offsetting over 1,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions, thereby contributing to Barry Callebaut’s target to become carbon positive by 2025. With the project fully financed, designed, installed, operated, and maintained by Cleantech Solar, this arrangement will help Barry Callebaut cut both carbon footprint and electricity cost at zero capital investment under a solar as a service model.
Arjun Joshi is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, he worked as a technical writer for enterprise resource software companies based in India and abroad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Optional English from Garden City University, Bangalore. More articles from Arjun Joshi.