New York to fund $40 million in solar + storage projects

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is making $40 million in funding available to support solar projects that integrate energy storage, accelerating progress toward New York’s energy storage target of 1,500-megawatts by 2025. These projects will build toward Governor Cuomo’s mandate that 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030 to combat climate change and build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system.

“As we continue our aggressive pursuit of clean, renewable technologies, funding for projects like this will ensure New York remains at the forefront of the global fight against climate change,” Governor Cuomo said. “The strategic pairing of energy storage and solar technologies moves us closer to building a clean energy economy that protects critical natural resources and benefits all New Yorkers.”

These funds will be the first storage incentive funds made available since the release of the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap in June. By offering a new incentive for solar-plus-storage projects for the commercial and industrial sectors, including community solar gardens, the storage component will ensure that renewable energy is shifted to times of highest customer usage, such as afternoon hours on summer days. Solar-plus-storage helps reduce consumer energy bills and improves the value of renewable energy to the grid. In addition, paired solar and storage systems can deliver lower costs to consumers by taking advantage of expiring federal tax credits, combining the permitting and interconnection processes, and utilizing less space by co-locating on the same sites.

— Solar Builder magazine

Minnesota approves 1.5 center adder for residential community solar subscribers — is it enough?

Geronimo Energy

Geronimo Energy celebrating another community solar install in Minnesota.

Minnesota has cemented its status as the community solar state, but a design flaw in its program design has left many in the community as non-subscribers — namely, homeowners. Last week the Minnesota Public Utility took action to try and broaden the base, voting unanimously to approve an incentive to residential community solar garden customers of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for 2019 and 2020.

Currently, residents make up about 81 percent of the 9,405 solar garden subscriptions but comprise only 10 percent of the gardens’ power subscription capacity. The commercial to residential ratio in community solar capacity distribution is around 9:1 right now, and this new incentive will certain make a dent, but solar advocates are questioning how much, having advocated for a 2.5 cent kicker.

RELATED: Expand the growth of community solar with factory-direct systems

“My fear is that it’s not going to be enough to move the needle in driving the market toward more residential,” Ross Abbey, of solar garden developer U.S. Solar, said after the vote. “It’s disappointing.”

Often solar advocates have to settle for “beggars can’t be choosers” outcomes because of things like the Minnesota Tribune reporting the state attorney general’s office, which represents ratepayers at the PUC, had opposed a residential incentive. Seen in that light, this incentive is seen as a step forward. David Amster-Olszewski, SunShare founder and CEO, shares his perspective on it:

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“This decision by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is a huge win for Minnesota residents that want to contribute to the growth of solar energy without having to install rooftop panels,” he said. “The previously thriving residential community solar market in Minnesota was dealt a strong setback by the value of solar (VOS) tariff when it was first introduced several years ago because the rate was lower than the old rates and only sufficient for the low cost of service of commercial customers.

“As the cost of obtaining and serving thousands of residential subscribers is naturally higher, the market was not able to support residential participation, which is the backbone of the community solar movement. Now that the Minnesota PUC has responded positively to the industry’s recommendation to implement a higher rate for serving residential customers, companies can afford to sell to residential customers again. I expect this decision to have a very significant and rapid impact on SunShare’s ability to develop new community solar projects in Minnesota, creating local, good-paying green jobs and enabling more Minnesotans to choose a clean source of power.”

SunShare was instrumental in the PUC’s decision – its comment paper filed May 11, 2018 (for PUC Docket No. E-002/M-13-867) introduced significant data around how imperative the adder would be to the growth of the industry in MN for residential subscribers.

— Solar Builder magazine

Boucherville retirement project earns LEED Silver – Journal of Commerce


Journal of Commerce

Boucherville retirement project earns LEED Silver
Journal of Commerce
BOUCHERVILLE, QUE. — The Caleo residential retirement complex in Boucherville, Que. from Le Groupe Maurice has been announced as the first private seniors centre in Canada to earn LEED Silver certification. The four-storey building was completed in …

Montreal’s Technopole Angus designated LEED v4 Platinum – Journal of Commerce


Journal of Commerce

Montreal's Technopole Angus designated LEED v4 Platinum
Journal of Commerce
MONTREAL — The Societe de developpement Angus has announced that the development plan for Montreal's Technopole Angus mixed-use project has obtained LEED v4 Platinum certification for sustainable neighbourhood design. The urban renewal …

Greality: Prairie Heights Middle School receives Gold LEED certification – Greeley Tribune


Greeley Tribune

Greality: Prairie Heights Middle School receives Gold LEED certification
Greeley Tribune
Prairie Heights Middle School was recognized as a Certified Gold LEED building this month for its environmentally sound design and energy and water use, according to a news release. The school, 3737 65th Ave. Evans, received a gold plaque for the honor