In time for the kick-off of the UN conference on climate change, Ecoppia has inked a deal to retrofit a 40 MW PV solar site jointly owned by EDF RE and Arava Power with its autonomous and waterless robotic cleaning solution.
The agreement lends increasing commercial clout to a technology that is disrupting the solar energy business. Dirt and dust cover (soiling, in industry speak) on solar panels are a significant challenge and can decrease energy output by up to 40%. Existing solutions - oftentimes labourers with water and brushes - can damage panels, use huge amounts of water and be cost-inefficient. Ecoppia provides a solution in the form of autonomous, waterless robots that are managed through the cloud and clean panels every night after production stops.
"It's the next step for the solar industry," says Eran Meller, CEO of Ecoppia. "We're seeing significant value creation in all the projects we're currently involved in, both here in the Middle East and in India. For many of the big industry players, a solution that can clean panels nightly, can respond instantly to weather and is waterless – we feel solutions like ours have the potential to become the industry standard."
The site is among the largest solar parks in the Middle East and is located in Southern Israel's Arava Valley – next to the Jordanian border and 20 and 60 miles from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, respectively. The cleaning technology is so promising that Meller has been asked by Israel to attend COP21 as part of a special delegation of green technology companies from Israel.
"It's very exciting to see the progress Ecoppia is making in terms of winning large clients – it's because of promising technology like theirs that we believe Israel has a bright future in the International Solar Industry and why Ecoppia was chosen to take part in a side event on "Israeli Innovation in response to climate change". This special event which the Government of Israel has organized together with Israel Green Energy Association, is part of the COP21," said Ron Adam, the permanent representative of Israel to IRENA.