Jordan extends deadline for bids on 100-150 MW solar hybrid power plant; China installs 16 MW production line for monocrystalline solar cells; Thai Photovoltaics seeks investment of US$11 million to make Thailand a top country for PV production; power output from PV cells may benefit from breakthroughs in the use of carbon nanotubes; Chinese city of Kunming wants to become global ‘Sun City,’ more.– The government of Jordan has extended the deadline for firms to bid on development of a 100 to 150 MW solar hybrid plant to be built in the souther region of Quwairah. The January 15 deadline has been by one month to give local and international firms more time to study the US$200 million facility that will solar energy assisted with oil or natural gas boilers. The developer must file a detailed environmental impact assessment before constructing the plant. – China’s State Power Corp says Baoding Yingli Newenergy has installed the most advanced production line in China for monocrystalline solar cells. With annual capacity of 16 MW, the plant in northern Hebei Province, ranks among the world’s ten largest producers of solar cells. It also produces PV modules, power inverters and charge controllers. – Thai Photovoltaics Ltd, a subsidiary of a U.S. company, is seeking an investment of US$11 million for a 54 percent stake in its solar energy venture, which it claims will turn Thailand into one of the top five countries for the production of PV solar cells. The company plans to make thin-film silicon solar modules in commercial quantities at its plant in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Rayong by next March, with 90 percent of output under the Asirus brand, destined for export to developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region. – Power output from PV cells may benefit from breakthroughs in the use of carbon nanotubes. Researchers at Cambridge University in Britain have developed photovoltaic devices that perform better when doped with single-wall carbon nanotubes. The nanotube diodes were made by depositing organic films containing SWNTs onto glass substrates coated with indium-tin oxide. When aluminium electrodes were thermally evaporated under a vacuum to form a composite sandwich, the composite’s conductivity increased by a factor of 10, indicating percolation paths within the material. Doping of P3OT polymer diodes with SWNTs improves the device’s performance, increasing the photocurrent by two orders of magnitude and doubling the open-circuit voltage. – The Chinese city of Kunming wants to develop a global reputation as a ‘Sun City.’ It plans to increase the use of solar water heaters from 30 to 50 percent in the next 15 years, and sees market potential from its solar energy resources. – The vice-chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Gini Mba-nefoh, says the application of solar energy in healthcare, sports, transportation, information technology and recreation is critical. He says the Nigerian National Centre for Energy Research & Development was created to train people to manage solar and other renewable energies. – Honduras has received a US$8.5 million low interest loan from the Inter-American Development Bank for the development of educational and business services in low-income communities. Communities are equipped with solar panels, as well as cellular telephones, computers and fax machines, if they prepare a development plan showing the value of the resources. – A California semiconductors company has introduced a high current, high efficiency Schottky rectifier. IXYS Corp says the low voltage drop of the rectifier makes it particularly suitable for PV cells and fuel cells. – A ‘smart’ electronic control system for solar PV applications is being developed in China by a partnership of a university and private company. The Xinjiang Economic & Trade Council did not give details of the research between the Xinjiang New Energy Company and Qinghua University. – Shares in the alternative technology firm, Ion Technology Inc, have begun trading in the over-the-counter markets. Ion produces a solar technology system for use in heating swimming pools, saunas and spas, as well as water purification equipment for pools and cooling towers, using ionization technology.