Market Overview

Support Grows for Renewable Energy Initiatives Around the Globe


NEW YORK, July 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The damaging effects of non-renewable resources have prompted countries to reconsider their energy sources. Generally, most non-renewables are fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Fossil fuels are buried deposits of plants and animals that have converted into in forms of oil, gas, or coal due to high pressure and heat from the Earth's crust. The process of developing fossil fuels takes millions of years, which is why they are considered non-renewable resources. Furthermore, due to the constant use of these non-renewable resources, they are quickly depleting, causing concern over future energy supplies. Moreover, the excessive use of fossil fuels has negatively impacted the environment and human health. For instance, non-renewable resources produce the greenhouse effect, which is the process by which the radiation from the Earth's atmosphere warms the surface to a temperature that is above normal. The slightest changes can have severe adverse effects on environments throughout the Earth such as melting glaciers and sea ice, shifting precipitation patterns and forced animal migrations, according to the National Geographic. Additionally, climate change can cause extreme weather events such as floods, hurricanes, droughts, and heatwaves. In particular, rising sea levels have concerned many nations, specifically ones that are located in low regions along the coastlines. As a result, many countries are investing in renewable and clean energy sources to combat the impact of climate change. Notably, energy sources such as solar, water, and wind are becoming increasingly popular. However, most countries are adopting solar energy because it is much more prevalent throughout the world. While renewable energy is still considered a small market, growing government initiatives and increasing environmental concern are expected to accelerate the industry. According to data compiled by Cooked Research, the global renewable energy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.53% during the forecast period from 2019 to 2027. MGX Renewables Inc. (CSE:MGXR), Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ), Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ:RUN), TerraForm Power, Inc. (NASDAQ:TERP), Vivint Solar, Inc. (NYSE:VSLR)

As opposed to other renewables energies, solar is much more readily available. Wind and hydro energy sources would need to be located where those elements occur often such as high mountains or along coastlines, respectively. On the other hand, solar energy can be easily harnessed by placing panels or grids that collect the energy and store it in innovative storage solutions. Solar energy farms can be massive grids that supply towns or even cities. On the other hand, panels can be as small to simply just provide power to houses or businesses. Typically, large-scale grids are located in open areas outside of cities, but panels can be installed onto the roofs of houses as well. However, the biggest concern about the use of solar energy is that on certain days it may be cloudy or raining, blocking sunlight. To combat this, renewable energy providers have developed storage solutions which trap the energy harnessed from panels or grids. The storage solutions collect energy harnessed from the grids during the day or whenever the sun is shining and allow to be used later on during times when the sun is overshadowed by clouds. Moreover, energy can also be used during the nighttime, providing consumers with a continuous supply. "Solar energy is a major renewable energy source with the potential to meet many of the challenges facing the world. There are many reasons to promote its share in the energy market. This power source is increasing in popularity because it is versatile with many benefits to people and the environment," said Vijayalaxmi Kinhal, Ecologist, B.Sc. Agriculture, M.S. Ecology and Environment Sciences. "The importance of solar energy is sure to play a big role in saving the environment, helping people socially and economically, and creating jobs and research."

MGX Renewables Inc. (CSE:MGXR) announced yesterday, "the appointment of Mr. Fabio Fontana as Director of European Operations. Mr. Fontana will be responsible for setting up and leading European (EU) Operations. Mr. Fontana will organize the upgrading and certification of MGXR's Zinc-Air Fuel Cell Battery to EU Standards and negotiate manufacturing, distribution and capital relationships in Europe.

Mr. Fontana spent the early part of his career in senior positions with British Gas Plc. and has served in a variety of roles in the European Energy Industry. Mr. Fontana was Director Brembio Energia Scarl, a developer of a greenfield biomass power plant; Director Spilimbergo Energia, a developer of a greenfield biomass power plant; Managing Director European Power Systems Srl (JV - Carraro Group), developer of micro cogeneration market and introduction of microturbine technology into the Italian market; Director Jucker SpA and Jucker Energia Srl.; COO and Managing Director Lombardia Gas Trader SpA; Director COG.EST SpA, one of the first energy service companies partnered with a public utility in Italy; Regional Business Development Director British Gas Plc. where Mr. Fontana developed the Mediterranean strategy and launched one of the first LNG Projects; Director British Gas RIMI SpA where Mr. Fontana developed British Gas exploration and production activities in Italy; Director, Chief Executive and President Serene SpA (JV - Fiat Avio, BG, Sondel, SanPaolo Bank) where Mr. Fontana lead financing and development of 12 greenfield Power Generation Unit (50MWe/unit); Managing Director and Country Manager British Gas Italia SpA and British Gas Corporation in Milan and London where Mr. Fontana developed the Italian asset portfolio through project investments and acquisition and supported the liberalization process of the Italian energy market; Manager in various roles at Aem (Public Utility of Milan); and Quality Assurance Scai Srl, Suisio for quality assurance of nuclear power plants. Mr. Fontana holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering from Politechnico University, Milan, Italy; a Master in Business Administration from SDA BOCCONI, Milan, Italy, and a Nuclear Power Plant Operator License from the Enrico Ferme European Nuclear Studies Institute in Milan, Italy.

MGXR Energy Storage System: The MGXR ESS is a modular Energy Storage System designed to deliver power in the range 20kW - 50MW and energy storage in the range of 120kWh - 1GWh over extended periods of time. With the advantage of rechargeable zinc-air battery technology, the system can be configured to support a wide range of discharge power, recharge power and duty cycle requirements. Since the energy storage capacity of the system is determined only by the size of the zinc storage tank, a very cost-effective and scalable solution now exists as an alternative to the fixed power/energy ratio of the lithium ion battery.

Technology: The MGXR ESS is based upon unique patented zinc-air battery technology. Energy is stored in the form of zinc particles, similar in size to grains of sand. When the system is delivering power, the zinc particles are combined with oxygen drawn from the surrounding air. When the system is recharging, zinc particles are regenerated, and oxygen is returned to the surrounding air.

Applications: The flexibility of the MGXR ESS enables it to service a wide range of applications. Typical examples include:

  • Storage and smoothing current from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar
  • Commercial, industrial backup replacing diesel generators
  • Industrial scale, on-demand power for peak shaving or standby
  • Grid scale energy storage for energy trading and arbitrage

Architecture: The MGXR ESS is designed according to a modular architecture that enables a wide variety of system configurations to be created from a small number of common subsystems. Each subsystem implements a single element of the technology:

  • The Zinc Regeneration Subsystem (ZRS) provides the recharging function
  • The Fuel Storage Subsystem (FSS) provides the energy storage function
  • The Power Generation Subsystem (PGS) provides the discharging function

About MGX Renewables: MGXR has assembled an experienced team to execute the development and commercialization of a dependable low-cost zinc-air battery. This mass storage system offers both environmental and efficiency benefits. MGXR strives to meet the growing need for secure and reliable power. The sun doesn't shine all the time. The wind doesn't blow all the time. MGX Renewables mass storage batteries for the rest of the time."

For our latest "Buzz on the Street" Show featuring MGX Renewables Inc, recent corporate news, please head over to:

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:CSIQ), founded in 2001 in Canada, is one of the world's largest and foremost solar power companies. Canadian Solar Inc. recently announced it has been awarded a 51.1 MWp solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the Sixth Brazilian Federal Energy Auction (A-4) held on June 28th, 2019. Canadian Solar will develop and build the project located in the State of Minas Gerais. Construction of the solar project will start in early 2021 and it is expected to reach commercial operation before January 2023. This Brazilian Solar power project will use Canadian Solar's latest high efficiency bifacial poly modules, capable of generating power from both sides of a module, and thus significantly boost the power output from a solar power system. Approximately 130,000 Canadian Solar high efficiency BiHiKu modules will be installed, and each module output will exceed 400 W. Once in operation, the solar power plant will generate approximately 107,748 MWh of electricity annually. 50% of the electricity generated will be purchased by two utilities under the two awarded 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs), with an average contracted price of 73.60 BRL/MWh, or approximately USD 19.37/MWh, and the other 50% will be purchased under a long-term private PPA. Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman of Canadian Solar commented, "We are proud to be the only company that has been successful in winning projects in all six federal energy auctions held to date in Brazil. It shows our long-term commitment to solar in Brazil and to initiate the investment in mix-models with revenues coming from both regulated and free markets."

Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ:RUN) is the nation's largest residential solar, storage and energy services company. Sunrun, Inc. was recently awarded a landmark contract by the East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) board of directors to help replace the retiring jet-fuel Oakland Power Plant in Oakland, California with home solar and battery systems on low-income housing in West Oakland and Alameda County. Sunrun's project with EBCE represents a leading example in the United States of home solar and battery systems directly contributing to the replacement of a retiring fossil fuel-fired power plant. Through this project, Sunrun will bundle solar energy stored in home battery systems and send it back to the electricity grid, forming what's known as a "Virtual Power Plant" to help power the area. "Sunrun is excited to partner with East Bay Community Energy to help pave the way towards a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system," said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "Our company is built on the foundation that solar energy should be accessible to everyone, particularly those communities most impacted by pollution and which today lack access to clean energy. Shifting from an aging, dirty fossil fuel power plant to energy provided by home solar and batteries will ensure that West Oakland residents are at the center of the clean energy transition."

TerraForm Power, Inc. (NASDAQ:TERP) acquires, owns and operates a best-in-class renewable power portfolio of solar and wind assets located in North America and Western Europe. TerraForm Power, Inc. recently announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a high-quality, unlevered distributed generation platform with up to ~320 megawatt of capacity in the United States from subsidiaries of AltaGas Ltd (TSX:ALA) for a total purchase price of USD 720 Million. "Following the close of this transaction, TerraForm Power is expected to own one of the largest portfolios of distributed generation in the United States. The acquisition will increase TerraForm Power's average contract duration to 14 years and enhance its resource diversity," said John Stinebaugh, Chief Executive Officer of TerraForm Power. "Furthermore, this demonstrates our strategy of recycling capital from stabilized assets with limited opportunities for further value creation into newly acquired assets that meet our return targets and have commercial and operational upside that we can extract through our integrated operating platform."

Vivint Solar, Inc. (NYSE:VSLR) is a leading full-service residential solar provider in the United States. Vivint Solar, Inc. recently announced that it had launched a new fixed rate solar lease plan. Initially available in select markets in California, the new solar plan allows new customers to install solar panels for no money down, lease them from Vivint Solar for 20 years and pay the same fixed monthly payment over the entire contract term. The new offering underscores Vivint Solar's commitment to expand the solar plans homebuilders can offer to homebuyers as they prepare for California's 2020 mandate requiring rooftop solar installations on new homes. In collaboration with Vivint Solar, homebuilders in California can offer multiple solar plans to homebuyers, who will have the opportunity to choose their preferred financing option. "In order to provide a best-in-class customer experience, we must continue to diversify the ways homeowners can go solar and save money on energy bills," said Vivint Solar Chief Executive Officer David Bywater. "This new solar plan introduces a simple, flexible option for embracing clean, renewable energy and gives new customers the assuredness that they will pay the same amount for solar energy in 2038 as they will in 2018."

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