Israeli CSP technology developer Ener-t International, China Minsheng Investment Group and Qinghai MingDe Energy Logistics Group have agreed to jointly-develop some 2.5 GW of CSP capacity in China.

Ener-t and QMEL will organize “all resources, patents and proprietary technologies” to help build a CSP industry in China, the Israeli company said in a statement.

Ener-t’s parabolic trough technology has been used in California’s 354 MW SEGS project since 1985. The technology has a proven high efficiency and can be fully integrated with thermal energy storage, the company said.

Ener-t owns proprietary design and manufacturing capabilities for the entire CSP plant system, including components such as collectors, receiver tubes and reflector mirrors.

Concentrated Solar Power capacity in China

QMEL is a privately owned company which focuses on energy investments. QMEL will focus on the deployment of Ener-t’s technology and has carried out research and development work in Qinghai, Tibet, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang.

QMEL also signed a cooperation agreement with CMIG New Energy Co., Ltd., a 100% sub-company of China Minsheng Investment Group.

Together the firms will aim to develop 2.5 GW of CSP projects “in the forthcoming years,” Ener-t said.

Europe R&D agencies launch durability project

Germany’s DLR Institute of Social Research is to lead a new four-year EU-funded research project to improve the durability of CSP plants components, the research agency said July 1.

The 11 million-euro RAISELIFE project will see eleven European R&D partners, as well as Moroccan Research Institute MASCIR and Israel’s BrightSource, collaborate on improving the lifetime of materials.

The project will focus on extending the in-service lifetime of the following five key materials:

1) Protective and anti-soiling coatings of primary silvered-glass reflectors.
2) High-reflective surfaces for heliostats consisting of silvered ultra-thin glass reflectors.
3) High-temperature secondary reflectors.
4) Receiver coatings for solar towers and line-focus collectors.
5) Corrosion resistant high-temperature metals and coatings for steam and molten salt application.

Abengoa sheds telecoms division to cut debt

Spain’ s Abengoa has agreed to transfer its Abentel telecommunication assets to Ericsson, under an Activity Transfer Agreement (ATA) signed by the two firms, Abengoa said July 6.

Abentel has designed, built and maintained telecommunication networks since 1968 and the transaction is the latest step in Abengoa’s divestiture plan as it re-centers around core assets.

“Under the agreement, due to close in the third quarter of 2016, it is planned that approximately 500 professionals specialized in fiber network rollout and Abengoa’s services will join Ericsson,” Abengoa said.

“Similarly, this operation will allow Abengoa to progressively reduce its debt with creditors and suppliers as well as the guarantees associated with Abentel’s projects,” it said.

Abengoa filed for Chapter 11 and 15 bankruptcy protection at a U.S. court earlier this year and the company has already announced the sale of its participation in the Shams-1 thermo-solar plant in United Arab Emirates, as well as its Campos Palomas wind farm in Uruguay.

The struggling Spanish renewable energy firm employed about 28,000 people globally in 2015 but has since carried out cost cuts affecting more than a third of its global workforce. Abengoa currently employs some 17,000 workers worldwide – of which 5,000 in Spain – but is hoping to cut more jobs by selling assets and through voluntary departures and lay-offs.

Abengoa said May 3 it is planning to undertake adjustment measures that could affect up to 10% of its workforce in Spain.

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