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Sunseap Group is a solar energy system developer, owner, and operator in Singapore, with over 2000 megawatts (peak) of solar energy projects contracted across Asia. This week, Frank Phuan, co-founder and chief executive of Sunseap, told Reuters his company plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farm near the city of Batam in Indonesia, about 50 kilometers southeast of Singapore.

The floating photovoltaic system is expected to have a capacity of 2.2 gigawatts (peak). It will cover 1600 hectares (4000 acres) of the Duriangkang Reservoir on Batam Island and cost about $2 billion to construct. An agreement between Sundeap and the Batam Indonesia free zone authority (BP Batam) to move forward with the project was signed on July 19.

“This single project will double our entire portfolio, more importantly build our capability towards hyperscale solar and energy storage projects. Floating solar systems will go a long way to address the land constraints that urbanised parts of Southeast Asia face in tapping renewable energy,” said Phuan. Construction of the project, which will be financed through bank debt and Sunseap capital, is due to begin in 2022 and is planned for completion in 2024, the company said.

According to Sunseap, the energy generated and stored will supply non-intermittent solar energy around the clock. [That implies battery storage will be part of the project, but there is no confirmation of that in the Reuters story.] A portion of the electricity produced will be consumed within Batam, while any excess may be exported to Singapore via an undersea cable. At the present time, Batam has a total power generation capacity of 540 MW from gas, steam, and diesel plants. “This investment by Sunseap will be a timely boost for Batam’s industries as they seek to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations,” Muhammad Rudi, chairman of BP Batam, said in the statement.

In densely populated areas of southeast Asia, authorities would like to have access to more renewable energy but often do not have room available to mount solar farms on land. Floating solar not only solves that problem, but is also somewhat more efficient (about 5%) than land-based systems because the water beneath the panels helps keep them cool when exposed to strong sunlight.

The US Department of Energy says combining floating solar with hydroelectric installations could supply 40% of the world’s electrical energy needs. Floating solar also eliminates the NIMBY problem. People who might object strongly to cutting down trees or converting farmland to solar are apt to be less concerned by plans to cover a local reservoir with solar panels.

Is floating solar the answer to all solar power needs? Of course not. But if it’s more efficient and has fewer siting and permitting issues, it deserves to be a significant part of the renewable energy conversation.

Related story: One Of World’s Largest Floating Solar PV Power Projects Completed In Singapore


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Battery powered trailer boost range, efficiency — now for $120,000 less

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Battery powered trailer boost range, efficiency — now for 0,000 less

The RA electric trailer from Range Energy promises to turn your diesel truck into a hybrid or extend the range of your electric semi – and now it qualifies for a $120,000 voucher in California.

California’s Clean Off-Road Equipment (CORE) Voucher Project aims to make it easier for commercial fleets to decarbonize. Last July, Range became the first trailer electrification platform to be accepted into CORE with an $80,000 rebate.

This year, Range Energy bumped its largest battery offering to 300 kWh. The state, in turn, showed its confidence in the electric trailer concept by bumping that rebate a full 50%.

“Becoming eligible for CORE proved that trailers truly matter in the transition to electric, and that CARB recognizes the meaningful impact electric-powered trailers can have on reducing the emissions of the commercial trucking sector,” said Ali Javidan, founder and CEO of Range. “Increasing our trailer platform’s incentive value by $40,000 further solidifies that position and makes Range a realistic near-term solution for fleet owners and operators.”

The company claims the Range Energy electric trailers can double a trucks’ fuel economy and slash its NOx emissions by as much as 67%. When we last covered Range, its electric trailer system had just undergone independent testing that found a 36% real-world improvement on a 25-mile urban/high loop at 60 mph top speeds with a 59,000 lb. gross vehicle weight (well below the 80,000 lb. maximum).

Electrek’s Take

Image via Range Energy.

It’s great to see concepts like this electric trailer come into play with some government dollars behind them. If they work (and if their weight penalties don’t hurt shippers’ profit margins), they’ll make it real easy for truck fleets to dip their toes into the waters of electrification while hydrogen and batteries battle it out for ultimate supremacy.

I’m betting batteries, for what it’s worth – but Range Energy customers will be able to put their electric trailers to work behind either!

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Quick Charge Podcast: February 26, 2024

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Quick Charge Podcast: February 26, 2024

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from Electrek. Quick Charge is available now on Apple PodcastsSpotifyTuneIn and our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

New episodes of Quick Charge are recorded Monday through Thursday and again on Saturday. Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast player to guarantee new episodes are delivered as soon as they’re available.

Stories we discuss in this episode (with links):

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Drop us a line at tips@electrek.co. You can also rate us in Apple Podcasts or recommend us in Overcast to help more people discover the show!

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You won’t believe who bought almost $1 million worth of Tesla Roadsters

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You won't believe who bought almost  million worth of Tesla Roadsters

In a surprising turn of events, we now learn that billionaire Dan O’Dowd bought the 3 Tesla Roadsters that were lost in a Chinese port for over a decade.

Last year, we reported on a strange story of three brand-new Tesla Roadsters that were found inside a shipping container in China.

It appears that a Chinese company bought the Roadster back in 2011 with the hope of reverse-engineering them. However, the shipment was blocked by customs in China and the vehicles never made it to the company.

Last year, someone finally was able to get them and ship them to the US.

Tesla ever only produced just over 2,000 original Roadsters between 2008 and 2011, making them rare in the first place.

On top of the usual unit you lose to accidents and time, Roadsters had a few bad luck incidents, including losing dozens of units to two separate fires at Gruber Motors, which specializes in fixing first-generation Tesla Roadsters.

It makes the remaining ones more valuable, and ironically, Gruber was leading the auction for the lost Roadsters.

At one point, the company claimed that the three Roadsters together would go for over $1 million.

Almost a year later, we now know who bought them.

Dan of the popular YouTube channel What’s Inside got an exclusive look at the Roadsters – giving us a great look at this little piece of EV history:

Dan revealed Dan O’Dowd, the billionaire founder of Green Hills Software, is the new owner of the Roadster.

To Tesla fans, O’Dowd is better known as the guy running the Dawn Project, which is basically a campaign against Tesla’s Full Self-Driving effort.

It could be surprising, considering how consistently O’Dowd has been attacking Tesla and Elon Musk, but he is apparently a fan of Tesla vehicles other than its Autopilot and FSD Beta, which the Roadster is not equipped with anyway.

He already owns a couple of Roadsters, according to What’s Inside’s video.

Now, if you are familiar with What’s Inside, you know that they tend to cut through things to find out what’s inside them, but obviously, Dan won’t be doing that with these Roadsters. The video is still a great look at what could be some of the best-preserved Roadsters on the planet.

Also, we now learn how much O’Dowd paid for the Roadsters.

Carl Medlock of Medlock and Sons, an independent Tesla repair shop, helped O’Dowd in the purchase and confirmed that the billionaire paid $800,000 for the three Roadsters.

That’s well below the up to $2 million offers that Gruber teased. In fact, Medlock claims that the only other big serious offer was for $500,000.

Regardless, at an average of over $250,000 per Roadster, it makes them some of the most valuable Roadsters to date.

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