- European Commission’s Innovation Fund has selected 32 innovative low-carbon technology projects
- Maxeon Solar’s MaxAir project has also been selected wherein it has proposed to set up 1.4 GW manufacturing capacity in France to produce sticky, lightweight solar panels
- ArcelorMittal has also won part of the grant for its steel and BIPV integrated manufacturing plans
The European Commission (EC) has pre-selected 32 small innovative projects in 14 EU member states, Iceland and Norway to support these with a €118 million grant which will enable the development of low-carbon technologies and bring these to the market. These will further decarbonization efforts into energy intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage and renewable energy.
The EC grants will support projects aiming to bring low-carbon technologies to the market in energy intensive industries, hydrogen, energy storage and renewable energy. In addition to these grants, 15 projects located in 10 EU Member States and Norway will benefit from project development assistance worth up to €4.4 million, with the aim of advancing their maturity, according to the EC.
Among the projects is 32 small innovative projects is Singaporean solar panel manufacturer Maxeon Solar Technologies’ MaxAir project under which the SunPower spin off plans to set up 1.4 GW manufacturing capacity over 10-year period to produce what it terms will be ‘first-of-a-kind, conformable, lightweight, robust, racking free and fire certified sticky solar panel’. It would enable the installation of these sticky panels in inaccessible places. According to the EC, under the MaxAir project modules installed will be able to deliver up to 35% more energy from the same space.
“The project would avoid 100% of GHG emissions compared to a reference scenario based on a conventional panel technology,” it added.
Project description shared by the commission shows Maxeon plans to build an automated production line in its own facility in Eastern France’s Porcelette region for this purpose where it will also conduct research to further improve materials and optimize production processes. Once the entire 1.4 GW capacity is ramped up, it is expected to account for equivalent of 7.2 million MWh of generated electricity.
The Singaporean company had launched Maxeon Air solar panels with IBC cells in May 2021, targeting commercial rooftops calling it ‘disruptive technology’ (see ‘Disruptive Technology Platform’ From Maxeon Solar).
Among other projects selected under the Innovation Fund is Acciona Energia led consortium’s plans to construct 12 standalone large scale PV irrigation systems (PVI) sans back-up batteries. They plan to deploy a new technology, initially developed under Horizon 2020 that solves intermittency problem of PV sources. PVIs will extend the total irrigated area by more than 2,400 hectares, and ensuring farmers benefit from zero-carbon irrigation at competitive prices. The consortium partners also offer to build an innovative financing model that would create power purchase agreements (PPA) to a total of 7.35 MW.
In Italy, Enel X, Fraunhofer ISE and Aeroporti Di Roma wants to set up an energy storage system from second-life batteries to store power produced by a 30 MW PV plant.
Steel giant ArcelorMittal has also secured part of financing for building integrated PV (BIPV) manufacturing to combine steel roof and PV solutions with annual production capacity of up to 220,000 m² of BIPV roof, and will be deployed in non-residential buildings market.
According to the EC, successful projects under the call for small-scale projects are now starting to prepare individual grant agreements, which should be finalised in Q4/2021, allowing the Commission to adopt the corresponding grant award decision and start disbursing the grants. Projects have up to 4 years to reach financial closure, it said. Projects offered development assistance under the call for large-scale projects will be contacted by the European Investment Bank to conclude individual agreements and enable the start of the service in Q4/2021, according to EC.
The European Commission had launched €10 billion Innovation Fund to support innovative low-carbon technologies in July 2020, fixing €1 billion under its 1st call (see EU Call For Proposals Under Innovation Fund).