Tigo Energy adds handheld rapid shutdown signal detector to RSS product line

Tigo Energy

Tigo Energy continues to innovate in the solar rapid shutdown space. Its latest products is a handheld RSS (Rapid Shutdown System) Signal Detector to accompany its RSS Transmitter released last quarter. Tigo’s RSS Signal Detector is a testing device for sensing the power-line communication (PLC) signal which is generated by Tigo’s RSS Transmitter and controls Tigo’s TS4-F (Fire Safety) units.

The RSS Signal Detector is used during installation and commissioning to verify that the TS4-F units are receiving the rapid shutdown keep-alive signal from the RSS Transmitter. It is a handheld, failsafe tool that PV installers use to test the system or identify the source of a problem with systems that do not function properly. The RSS Signal Detector identifies the controlling signal for systems that are compliant with U.S. National Electric Code (NEC) 2017 690.12 rapid shutdown specifications.

The TS4-F, RSS Transmitter, and RSS Signal Detector comprise Tigo’s most cost-effective rapid shutdown system architecture when paired with Tigo’s UL-certified TS4-F (integrated) or TS4-R-F (retrofitted/add-on) solutions along with the standalone or inverter-integrated RSS Transmitter. The RSS Transmitter Kits are available as Single Core and Dual Core with accessories to make it an ideal fit for any PV system size.

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“This RSS Signal Detector is first-to-market and the only testing tool for rapid shutdown,” says Zvi Alon, Chairman & CEO at Tigo. “After launching the Fire Safety solution, we designed this failsafe tool for PV installers so they can save time and money to ensure keep-alive signal at any time and at any installation. Almost all states have now adopted NEC 2017, and this completes the most cost-effective compliant solution available today.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Origis Energy forms new third-party O&M, asset management subsidiary for solar, storage portfolios

origis energy

Origis Energy USA has formed a new wholly owned subsidiary to provide the U.S. solar and energy storage markets with operations, maintenance and asset management services. The new company, Origis Services LLC, will serve Origis’ pipeline and growth as well as provide third party services. Senior solar industry professional, Michael Eyman, will lead the new firm as Managing Director.

Origis Services currently manages a solar portfolio of over 500 megawatts (MWs) with integrated operations and maintenance (O&M) and asset management services. Expansion underway includes an advanced Remote Operations Control Center located in Austin, TX.

Michael Eyman joined Origis Energy in 2018 to organize the internal O&M and asset management team into the new operating unit serving owners of large-scale and distributed generation solar facilities, portfolios, energy storage, and other renewable generating assets. He brings over 20 years of leadership and operations experience and served in previous positions with MaxGen Energy Services and SunPower. Eyman is a retired Commander for the U.S. Navy Reserve, with a proven track record of safety, execution, and the creation of innovative strategies and processes to advance operational excellence.

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“We have over a decade of experience ensuring the performance of utility and distributed generation solar plants,” said Guy Vanderhaegen, Chief Executive Officer & President, Origis Energy. “The formation of Origis Services is a natural extension of our track record. We will leverage our inherent economies of scale and expertise to the broader solar and energy storage markets.”

Today’s high performing solar and storage assets depend on high quality, integrated O&M and asset management services. To realize strong Return on Investment (ROI) over 30+ years of asset operation, Origis Services provides 24/7 continuous monitoring services utilizing cloud-based solar enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, a seasoned team for responsive incident resolution and extensive reporting capabilities focused on owner’s requirements.

“Origis is now one of the leading solar and storage developers in the country,” said Michael Eyman, Managing Director, Origis Services. “The same dedication to excellence pervasive in the origination and construction group is how Origis is approaching plant management. Now we will deliver the same focus and proven suite of O&M and asset management services Origis has fine-tuned internally to the broader market.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Consumers Energy outlines new clean energy plan for Michigan, includes 5 GW of solar by 2030

Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy and other stakeholders have filed a settlement with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on the company’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) outlining its Clean Energy Plan for Michigan. Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider and the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents.

The company filed its IRP with the MPSC last June, which set the company’s Clean Energy Plan in motion, outlining the path to zero coal. The plan details how the company will meet the state’s energy needs with increased use of energy efficiency programs that save customers money and energy, along with significantly more renewable energy.

The settlement agreement supporting Consumers Energy’s plan comes after more than a year of listening to key stakeholders’ ideas and input. The next step in the process is for the MPSC to review the settlement agreement.

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The settlement includes:

  • CARBON EMISSION REDUCTION: Carbon emissions would be reduced by more than 90 percent by 2040.
  • RENEWABLE ENERGY: Consumers Energy’s renewable energy supply would increase by 400 percent with the addition of 5 GW of solar to the company’s system through competitive bidding by 2030.
  • COAL RETIREMENTS: The elimination of coal as a fuel source to generate electricity by 2040.
  • AFFORDABLE ENERGY: The plan significantly ramps up Consumers Energy’s successful energy efficiency programs, which have already saved customers $2 billion since 2009. Through a competitive bidding process, Consumers Energy will provide customers with the most affordable prices for new renewable energy sources.

“We’re proud to be partnering with major business customers, residential advocates and environmental organizations to bring the cleanest and most competitively priced energy to the people of Michigan so our home state can grow and prosper,” Poppe said. “We’re grateful for the contributions of all stakeholders throughout this process and look forward to the MPSC’s decision on our plan.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Madison Gas and Electric looks to expand its Shared Solar program with 5-MW project

madison gas and electric

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to expand its popular Shared Solar program with a second, large-scale solar installation in the City of Middleton.

“Our Shared Solar program is fully subscribed with a waiting list of customers who want to participate,” MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler said. “We have significant customer interest in Shared Solar, and by proposing this expansion, we are meeting the needs of our customers who want affordable and locally sourced solar energy.”

The 5-megawatt (MW) solar project would be built in partnership with the City of Middleton at the Middleton Municipal Airport, also known as Morey Field. The proposed expansion gives residential and business customers throughout MGE’s electric service territory the option of powering their home or business with locally generated solar energy. Subscribers to the voluntary program can purchase up to half of their annual electricity use through the Shared Solar program.

“This project builds on the success of our first Shared Solar project,” Keebler added. “It also advances the City of Middleton’s and MGE’s clean energy goals. We look forward to working with our customers and the City of Middleton in growing our Shared Solar program with this new, large-scale project.”

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Renewable Energy Rider

A 1 MW share of the 5-MW solar array will serve the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District under MGE’s Renewable Energy Rider (RER). A 0.5-MW share will serve the City of Middleton under a separate RER agreement.

Under a Renewable Energy Rider, MGE partners with a large energy user to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet that customer’s energy needs. The model advances shared sustainability goals and grows clean energy in our community.

Construction is expected to begin this summer, with the solar array producing electricity for customers later this fall. Interested customers should visit mge.com/SharedSolar to learn more.

This proposal follows MGE’s first Shared Solar project, a 500-kilowatt array on the roof of Middleton’s Municipal Operations Center. The array came online in January 2017 fully subscribed.

— Solar Builder magazine

Morningstar’s Energy Storage Partner Program keeps growing, now includes specs for 12 battery providers

Morningstar Multiwave

At one of the solar industry’s most respected events — the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners education conference — Morningstar Corp. announced that its Energy Storage Partner Program (ESP) has more than doubled in size since being introduced just last September.

Morningstar launched the ESP program to make it easier for solar professionals to specify lithium batteries into new systems or drop them into and upgrade existing ones. Initially including five leading advanced battery brands – Discover Battery, NEC Energy Solutions, PowerPlus Energy Solutions, RELiON, and SimpliPhi Power -ESP eliminated the uncertainty and “lithium anxiety” for installers by doing their homework in advance.

How Morningstar designed its software-first solar inverter for the lithium battery age

All critical settings required for switching a system’s electronic control over to lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry were determined in advance, between Morningstar and the battery brand partner. Installers no longer needed to “ping pong” between a battery manufacturer and a solar system component manufacturer to get the information they needed – ESP provides it up-front in verified documentation. All the installer has to do is access the documentation free of charge, saving them considerable design and set-up time.

Based on its initial success, the next wave of battery partners has joined Morningstar’s ESP program. They include: Trojan Battery, Pylon Technologies, Dragonfly Energy, KiloVault, Blue Planet Energy, Battle Born Batteries, and Lithium Werkes BV.

Information on the program and all its partners is available here.

Here’s every company in the program so far:

Battle Born Batteries, Reno, NV specializes in rugged, high-quality and high-value lithium-iron phosphate deep-cycle batteries for active applications including RV, marine, overland/van and off-grid, in bundled solutions with other essential solar system components.

Blue Planet Energy, Honolulu, HI, is known for complete, cost-effective energy storage systems built for and proven in one of the leading solar markets in the United States: Hawaii. Their proprietary Blue Ion BMU battery management system ensures long life and maximizes battery protection.

Discover Battery of Richmond, BC Canada is a world leader in designing and manufacturing transportation, motive power and advanced energy storage solutions.

Dragonfly Energy, Reno, NV is dedicated to popularizing green, renewable energy by developing more efficient lithium batteries through improved manufacturing and assembly technology. The company is known for both standard and customized battery packs for specific project use.

KiloVault Lithium Batteries are distributed by Alternative Energy Store, Inc. Boxborough, MA, a complete on-line solar distributor for consumers and professionals. Designed for demanding hybrid and off-grid installations, KiloVault’s HLX series is engineered for more efficient, zero-maintenance use.

Lithium Werks BV, Hengelo, The Netherlands, unique U-Charge® technology enables twice the run time and up to 10 times more cycles at 2/3 the weight of similar sized lead-acid battery modules, making them an ideal replacement/upgrade solution. Their unique built-in battery management system provides complete communications and control.

NEC Energy Solutions in Westborough, MA is widely recognized as a pioneer and leader in the market for utility scale energy storage. NEC’s ALM series is ideal for tough, critical off-grid applications.

PowerPlus Energy Solutions (Bayswater, Vic) offers rack battery systems that are precision-crafted in Australia for that market, and represent a reliable storage solution for AC and DC-coupled, on and off-grid solar systems.

Pylon Technologies Co. Ltd., Shanghai, China, is an emerging brand in lithium batteries for storage and transportation uses, and unique with an entirely vertically-integrated manufacturing chain. Their new advanced US2000B Plus is designed for flexible integration into systems with hybrid inverters.

RELiON of Charlotte, SC. specializes in a wide range of unique, integrated energy storage products. RELiON’s wide line provides a popular drop-in replacement/upgrade solution for lead-acid.

SimpliPhi Power in Oxnard, CA; field proven for 15+ years with roots in off-grid power for the film industry and military. The brand’s PHI batteries set a standard for performance, safety and reliability in high-profile commercial and residential energy systems.

Trojan Battery Company, Santa Fe Springs, CA, is a venerable 90-year old brand that’s now a global supplier of deep-cycle batteries for a wide range of applications including renewable energy. Trojan’s new Trillium Intelligent lithium batteries offer built-in diagnostics and extraordinary cycle life.

— Solar Builder magazine