SolSmart has plans to boost local solar energy from Idaho to Puerto Rico

By SB Staff
July 28, 2021
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The national SolSmart program has selected four new advisor organizations to provide hands-on local assistance to help communities from Idaho to Puerto Rico encourage the growth of solar energy. SolSmart is also announcing three new national partners that will help local governments across the nation go solar.

The new Advisor organizations will focus on reaching underserved communities which may lack the staff or resources to achieve their solar energy goals. Selected through a competitive application process, SolSmart Advisors provide intensive assistance on solar energy to select communities for up to seven months.

“With their local knowledge and technical expertise, SolSmart Advisors have been essential to the success of this program,” said Theresa Perry, Program Director at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). “We are very excited to welcome these new Advisors and partners, particularly to help extend the benefits of solar energy to underserved communities.”

SolSmart is led by IREC and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office. The four organizations selected to serve as SolSmart-funded Advisors include:

The program includes a team of partner organizations with expertise in solar energy and local governments. SolSmart is now pleased to announce three new partner organizations to the team:

National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO):NASEO will help increase state energy office awareness of opportunities to participate in SolSmart, and increase the participation of states currently underrepresented in SolSmart.National Association of Regional Councils (NARC): NARC will assist the SolSmart Program in the outreach, recruitment, and onboarding of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Government and Regional Councils for SolSmart designation.NADO Research Foundation (NADO RF):NADO RF will encourage member Regional Development Organizations to explore the resources and technical assistance provided through SolSmart.

In addition, the state of Michigan will sponsor the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Office, which will help additional communities in the state achieve SolSmart designation. The Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) will provide a funded AmeriCorps volunteer to provide technical assistance to Ohio communities.

The SolSmart program offers no-cost technical assistance to help municipalities, counties, and regional organizations remove barriers to solar energy growth and open up local solar markets. Since SolSmart launched in 2016, more than 400 communities have achieved designation as SolSmart Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

Tags: ICMA, Idaho, IREC, Ohio, Puerto Rico, SolSmart, Utah

Source: https://solarbuildermag.com/news/solsmart-has-plans-to-boost-local-solar-energy-from-idaho-to-puerto-rico/

Pine Gate Renewables solves inrush current issue at North Carolina site with Solar-Ops’ ClearSky

By Chris Crowell
July 28, 2021
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Last month, Pine Gate Renewable’s Grissom Solar went commercial. Grissom is a 6.9-MW solar plus 10-MWh battery storage site. Although Pine Gate has 37 solar facilities in operation or under construction in the state, this was their first solar plus storage site to be energized in North Carolina. For Grissom, Pine Gate sought a solution from Solar Operations Solutions (Solar-Ops) to overcome the challenging requirements that surfaced during the utility’s interconnection study.

Each ClearSky provides revenue-grade metering and recloser protection while eliminating much of the overhead medium voltage equipment, reducing construction time and long-term operational costs.

“AC coupling battery storage to new or existing solar facilities is increasingly common as developers and owner operators look to maximize value from their existing interconnection agreements and PPAs,” says Brad Micallef, Solar-Ops’ President. “The ClearSky product line is ideal for these applications due to its small size and built-in ability to satisfy protection and reporting requirements from the utility and ITC.”

Utilities have concerns regarding power quality issues from increased inrush current. Therefore, distribution interconnected generators, like Grissom, can face approval challenges. When AC coupled battery storage is added to a solar facility, the additional transformers increase the chances of inrush current being a problem.

A distribution grid will experience a rapid reduction in voltage because of the sudden demand for current when too many transformers are energized at the same time. This sudden rapid voltage change can lead to equipment damage for power customers and requires mitigation for the utility to operate within IEEE standards.

Normally requiring a dedicated piece of equipment, the Grissom facility was able to mitigate their inrush current by sequencing the two myPV ClearSky units’ internal medium voltage reclosers. Programming one ClearSky to energize upon grid restoration and the other to delay energization by a few seconds, the inrush event was reduced to an acceptable level. 

“Adding storage to a solar site allows for backup power to be supplied to the grid when people need it, ensuring its reliability,” said Mak Nagle, SVP of Development at Pine Gate Renewables. “We’re excited that Grissom Solar is now online, and Pine Gate Renewables has more than 2.5GW of storage projects currently in development elsewhere around the country.”

Tags: Pine Gate Renewables, Solar-Ops, utility-scale

Source: https://solarbuildermag.com/products/pine-gate-renewables-solves-inrush-current-issue-at-north-carolina-site-with-solar-ops-clearsky/

Sol Systems’ new investor commits up to $1 billion to acquire shovel-ready projects

By SB Staff
July 28, 2021
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Sol Systems has received a significant minority investment from KKR to scale the company’s Impact + Infrastructure approach. The companies also announced a new strategic partnership in which KKR is committing up to $1 billion to acquire shovel-ready projects, helping fund Sol Systems’ development of contracted renewable energy and storage assets to meet North America’s growing sustainability needs.

“Over the last decade, our guiding principles have been to do good work with good people, and do what’s right for the communities we work in. We bring focus and discipline to delivering on these ideals,” said Yuri Horwitz, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sol Systems. “In KKR, we have found an aligned organization and team that was excited to do this work with us, and is committed to accelerating and supporting our approach to investing in sustainable infrastructure with community impact. Looking ahead, we plan to dramatically scale the work we’re doing with our partners as we all transition to a more sustainable, resilient and equitable future.”

Established in 2008, Sol Systems combines renewable energy development, delivery, asset management and environmental commodity management into one unique infrastructure and impact offering. Sol Systems’ approach is specifically designed to enable customers to procure renewable energy and invest in sustainable infrastructure while creating dedicated income streams for under-resourced communities and communities disproportionately impacted by climate change. For example, Sol’s first of its kind Impact Power Purchase Agreement pairs the development of solar projects with community investment, habitat restoration and job creation opportunities in communities across the US. Through this approach, Sol Systems is enabling many of the world’s largest institutional, corporate and municipal partners to invest in and procure renewable energy while making a positive community impact.

“Sol Systems is a market-leading, integrated provider of truly differentiated sustainable energy solutions. Yuri and his team embody an approach to responsible investment that very much aligns with our own, and one that we are proud to be investing behind,” said Tim Short, Managing Director at KKR. “We look forward to helping grow the platform even further in response to the significant demand for thoughtful and customer-driven renewable energy offerings.”

Tags: KKR, North America, Sol Systems

Source: https://solarbuildermag.com/news/sol-systems-new-investor-also-commits-1-billion-to-acquire-shovel-ready-projects/

Edgehog wants to boost PV modules with super-transmissive, self-cleaning glass

By SB Staff
July 28, 2021
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Edgehog Advanced Technologies announces the first closing of $1.25 million of its $2.5 million Seed Capital raise to scale up the size of its super-transmissive, self-cleaning solar glass and further develop and commercialize its proprietary technology. The company is in the process of scaling up the glass size from the current 6-in. diameter size (as seen in the photo) to full solar panel size by Q1 2022.

What is it? Coming out of startup foundry, TandemLaunch, and building on research originally developed in the United States’ Energy Department’s National Labs system, Edgehog’s eluminar glass utilizes a unique approach to generate nano-sized textures which result in super-transmissive invisible glass and features a self-cleaning surface where water rolls off the surface.

Edgehog will be further developing and commercializing the antireflective glass to enhance solar panel energy generation by up to 12%. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested to improve efficiency of solar panels but very little has been done to increase the amount of light going into solar panels, until Edgehog” said Brad Gunn, Edgehog’s CEO

Edgehog’s CTO Calvin Cheng, commented “Our first product is being implemented in space solar modules, where there is enormous value for additional energy generation without adding extra weight. With the support of our investors, we’re building upon our fundamental innovation by scaling up our glass for terrestrial solar panels.”

“Edgehog ​continues to develop ​its revolutionary nanotextured glass for ​the​ ​fast-growing​ ​solar PV space and numerous other applications,”​ said Helge Seetzen, general partner at TandemLaunch. “What the Edgehog team has developed over the last two years is impressive and we’re delighted to continue our support in the commercialization of their technology.”

Indeed Edgehog is in discussions with several solar manufacturers now and is targeting a market launch by late Q3 or early Q4 2022.

The seed funding round was led by TandemLaunch , E8, and other angel investors. This equity financing comes as Edgehog scales to meet anticipated strong demand in the rapidly growing solar PV sector, including space solar modules. A second closing of the Seed Round of up to $1.25 million is expected to close within the next 60 days.

Tags: Edgehog, TandemLaunch

Source: https://solarbuildermag.com/pv-modules/edgehog-wants-to-boost-pv-modules-with-super-transmissive-self-cleaning-glass/

Hannah Solar Government Services installs 330 kW of solar canopies at Arkansas veterans hospital

Hannah Solar Government Services (HSGS) recently constructed a 330-kW of solar parking canopies for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the North Little Rock VA Medical Center (VAMC) in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Credit: Hannah Solar Government Services

This solar PV system is HSGS’s seventh solar PV system installed for the VA. As a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, HSGS was honored to install this solar energy system for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

HSGS constructed five parking canopies located in three parking lots of the North Little Rock VAMC, which will provide shaded parking for nurses, doctors, patients and workers while producing energy for the medical center.

The North Little Rock VAMC is part of the South Central VA Health Care Network which serves over one million veterans each year in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida and parts of Texas. CAVHS is one of the largest and busiest VA medical centers in the country offering inpatient and outpatient healthcare services.

“We are honored to build another solar PV system for the VA and be a part of their initiative to utilize renewable energy resources,” said said Col. Dave McNeil. “HSGS has worked across the country for the VA for nearly a decade now, including Puerto Rico.”

News item from Hannah Solar Government Services

Source: https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2021/07/hannah-solar-government-services-installs-solar-canopies-at-arkansas-veterans-hospital/

Sunfinity solar array powers Texas highway repairs

NTE Mobility Partners of North Central Texas is incorporating renewable energy into its daily operations with a solar installation on its Tarrant County maintenance facility. The 202-panel, 79.79-kW solar array was designed and installed by Sunfinity Renewable Energy of Dallas.

Credit: Sunfinity Renewable Energy

“We’ve been very pleased with the performance of our initial solar system at our LBJ facility in North Dallas, and it makes sense to extend those same environmental and financial benefits to our Tarrant County operations,” said David Serrano, COO of North Tarrant Express.

The installation is expected to supply almost 50% of the highway operation company’s maintenance center’s electricity needs. The facility typically runs all day, as the central hub for all crews in charge of ongoing operations, maintenance and repairs of the North Tarrant Express corridors with 13.3 miles of lanes on I-820 and SH-121/183 and another 10.1 miles of NTE 35W TEXpress Lanes on I-35W.

“Solar is a great fit for a wide range of businesses and non-profits, from retail to manufacturing to educational,” said John Billingsley, Chairman and CEO of Sunfinity. “With the extension of the federal tax credit for going solar at 26%, now is the time to see how much solar can save your operations.”

News item from Sunfinity Renewable Energy

Source: https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2021/07/sunfinity-solar-array-powers-texas-highway-repairs/

New Jersey Board Approves Successor Solar Incentive Program

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) are implementing a new solar incentive program that will pave the way for up to 3,750 MW of new solar generation by 2026, doubling the state’s solar capacity. The Successor Solar Incentive Program (SuSI Program) is the culmination of a nearly three-year Solar Transition process mandated by the Clean Energy Act of 2018 to replace the State’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program with new incentives that encourage solar development while minimizing ratepayer cost. Solar energy is expected to generate approximately 10 percent of New Jersey’s total electricity needs once the program is fully implemented.

“In establishing the SuSI Program, we are solidifying New Jersey as a magnet for green jobs and taking yet another step toward Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” says Joseph L. Fiordaliso’s NJBPU president. “This tremendous action has taken many perspectives into consideration and ensures the solar industry will remain a vibrant part of our clean energy innovation economy while prioritizing long-term affordability for ratepayers.”

The SuSI Program contains two sub-programs. The Administratively Determined Incentive is a fixed incentive payment for net metered solar projects of 5 MW or less, including all residential customers and most commercial and industrial buildings, and all community solar installations. The incentive value will vary based on project type and size and will be guaranteed for a term of 15 years.

The Competitive Solar Incentive is a competitive solicitation designed to incentivize the lowest financial contribution from ratepayers for grid supply projects and net metered commercial and industrial projects larger than 5 MW. The first competitive process is anticipated to launch in early-to-mid 2022, following additional stakeholder engagement throughout this summer and fall.

The SuSI Program’s two-part hybrid market approach is designed to uplift solar market segments through long-term, tailored incentives for a variety of project types, allowing NJBPU to contain program costs and provide financial certainty for market participants. The program will provide one New Jersey Solar Renewable Energy Certificate-II for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar electricity produced by a qualifying facility, with an additional $20/MWh adder for public entities—such as school districts, municipalities, and public colleges and universities—as well as a temporary incentive for projects built on contaminated lands.

Source: https://solarindustrymag.com/new-jersey-board-approves-successor-solar-incentive-program

NJBPU approves Successor Solar Incentive Program, doubling state’s solar capacity

Solar carport installed by KDC Solar at CentraState in Freehold Township, New Jersey.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today voted unanimously to implement a new solar incentive program that will pave the way for up to 3,750 MW of new solar generation by 2026, doubling the state’s solar capacity. The Successor Solar Incentive (SuSI) Program is the culmination of a nearly three-year Solar Transition process mandated by the Clean Energy Act of 2018 to replace the State’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program with new incentives that encourage solar development while minimizing ratepayer cost. Solar energy is expected to generate approximately 10% of New Jersey’s total electricity needs once the program is fully implemented.

“In establishing the SuSI Program, we are solidifying New Jersey as a magnet for green jobs and taking yet another step toward Governor Murphy’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050,” said NJBPU president Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “This tremendous action has taken many perspectives into consideration and ensures the solar industry will remain a vibrant part of our clean energy innovation economy while prioritizing long-term affordability for ratepayers.”

The SuSI Program will take effect beginning at 12:00 a.m. E.T. on August 28, 2021, and contains two sub-programs:

The Administratively Determined Incentive (ADI) — a fixed incentive payment for net-metered solar projects of 5 MW or less — including all residential customers and most commercial and industrial buildings — and all community solar installations. The incentive value will vary based on project type and size, and will be guaranteed for a term of 15 years.
The Competitive Solar Incentive (CSI) — a competitive solicitation designed to incentivize the lowest financial contribution from ratepayers for grid supply projects and net-metered commercial and industrial projects larger than 5 MW. The first competitive process is anticipated to launch in early-to-mid 2022, following additional stakeholder engagement throughout this summer and fall.

The SuSI Program’s two-part hybrid market approach is designed to uplift solar market segments through long-term, tailored incentives for a variety of project types, allowing NJBPU to contain program costs and provide financial certainty for market participants. The program will provide one New Jersey Solar Renewable Energy Certificate-II (NJ SREC–II) for every megawatt-hour of solar electricity produced by a qualifying facility, with an additional $20/MWh adder for public entities — such as school districts, municipalities and public colleges and universities — as well as a temporary incentive for projects built on contaminated lands.

Incentive levels for the ADI Program, shown below, range from $70-$120/SREC-II, providing continued support for solar development in New Jersey while also offering significant savings over the prior SREC value of approximately $220.

In designing the SuSI Program, NJBPU has relied on extensive modeling and a robust stakeholder engagement process to determine how best to meet the ambitious solar targets identified in Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and recently codified in the Solar Act of 2021. Currently, NJBPU is evaluating 410 applications for Year 2 of its historic Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, and is examining the potential for dual-use solar facilities sited on agricultural lands pursuant to legislation recently signed by Governor Murphy.

News item from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)

Source: https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2021/07/njbpu-approves-successor-solar-incentive-program-doubling-states-solar-capacity/

ZF North America Joins DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program





Martin Fischer

ZF North America, Inc. is now enrolled in DTE Energy’s voluntary renewable energy MIGreenPower program. The program enables DTE Electric customers to attribute a greater percentage of their electricity use to DTE’s wind and solar projects beyond the 15% already included in customers’ energy mix. ZF North America has committed to a 10-year, escalating MIGreenPower contract with the company attributing 100 percent of its usage to renewable energy by 2030.

By 2030, ZF will have switched all 270 locations across the globe to renewable electricity, either by its own production or purchase of clean energy from renewable sources. This will enable a total reduction of ZF’s own carbon emissions by 80%. By 2040, ZF plans to reach net zero carbon emissions.

“The enrollment in DTE’s MIGreenPower program is a major step in reducing our carbon footprint in North America and in contributing to our overall carbon neutrality goals,” says Martin Fischer, head of the ZF North American region and a member of its board of management. “We applaud DTE’s efforts to accelerate renewable energy projects that give ZF and other major industrial partners the opportunity to utilize solar and wind energy sources and protect the environment for future generations.”

ZF North America joins more than 350 businesses and 35,000 residential customers who are using MIGreenPower to reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of future wind and solar projects in Michigan.









Source: https://solarindustrymag.com/zf-north-america-joins-dte-energys-migreenpower-program

Companies Collaborate on Launching Four Maine Solar Projects

Jared Schoch

Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC and TurningPoint Energy are working on four community solar projects in Maine, totaling 25.5 MW DC of solar capacity. The projects, located in Somerset, Kennebec, Androscoggin and Knox Counties, are in the late stages of development with construction started in Q2 2021. When fully operational the projects are expected to generate approximately 25 million kWhs annually, contributing to Maine’s goals of providing economic growth, workforce opportunities, and 80 percent clean energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.

These projects are developed by TurningPoint Energy as part of Maine’s Net Energy Billing program. Nautilus is the long-term owner of the projects and responsible for overseeing construction, maintaining its long-term performance, and acquiring and managing customer subscriptions. Any residential Central Maine Power utility customer is eligible to join one of the projects through Nautilus with no upfront cost, no long-term commitment and no cancellation fees.

This is the second transaction between Nautilus Solar and TurningPoint Energy demonstrating the strong partnership between the two organizations. TPE expanded its business operations to Maine in an announcement last year.

“This is TurningPoint Energy’s first demonstration of coming through on our commitment to invest in Maine’s community solar market we made in 2019 and we’re thankful to continue to work in strategic partnership with Nautilus Solar to make good on this commitment,” says Jared Schoch, president of TurningPoint Energy.

Source: https://solarindustrymag.com/companies-collaborate-on-launching-four-maine-solar-projects