How EnSync completed a complex solar PPA for a multi-family residential community

ensync ppa solar hawaii multifamily

The latest deal from distributed energy resources (DER) developer EnSync Energy Systems cracked the code on multi-family residential PV projects, which is one of toughest segments to sell. The 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) is for a 792-kW solar project for a residential community in Hawaii to an undisclosed buyer. The project will serve over 200 individual meters — with the flexibility to add more meters — and is grid-tied, exporting unused energy to the grid under the Customer Grid-Supply (CGS) tariff.

How did they do it?

Using its proprietary modeling technology, EnSync Energy performed significant technical and financial analyses to optimize project sizing and setup for delivering the least expensive and most reliable electricity. For example, EnSync Energy modeled how unit vacancy interacts with residential load volatility and concluded that a grid-tied project design could protect the value generated by the solar project. The resulting design, execution and successful PPA balanced load needs, special permitting requirements and CGS utility arrangements to maximize savings. EnSync Energy’s modular technology approach also enables the residential complex to easily scale capacity in the future.

“The many complexities of creating a PPA for this large residential development project, with so many units and individual load and production profiles, are indicators of the challenges our solutions address and the value we bring to the residential market-place,” said Brad Hansen, CEO and president of EnSync Energy. “Our capability to perform increasingly intricate analysis and modeling, in addition to applying expertise in policy implications, enables us to construct a customized PPA that benefits all stakeholders economically.”

EnSync Energy, with its suite of integrated project development services that merge design modeling with financial analysis and system implementation, is equipped to manage the future of energy complexity. This site is one of more than 22 contracted commercial projects in Hawaii, which will account for more than $33.4 million in electricity sales over the terms of the agreements.
Construction will commence in the coming months.

— Solar Builder magazine

Details on solar + storage system installed at Spectrum facility in Hawaii

Ensync Hawaii solar storage

An advanced energy generation, storage and management system at a Spectrum facility in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is now live, as part of a power purchase agreement owned by a leading U.S. infrastructure investor, according to EnSync Energy Systems, a developer of innovative distributed energy resources (DERs). Spectrum, the consumer brand of Charter Communications, offers a suite of advanced broadband services and is the second largest cable operator in the United States. The project is sited on a headend operations facility, which handles the processing and distributing of broadband data.

EnSync system made it easy

EnSync Energy’s modular technologies enable greater standardization for similar large-scale telecommunications facilities to increase renewable energy use and implement demand charge mitigation. EnSync Energy designs its systems based on understanding and predictive analysis of the site’s load profile and behavior. Headend and hub facilities have some of the flattest building loads, so EnSync Energy developed this specific system for consistent daily demand.

For Spectrum’s Kailua-Kona facility, the flat load is usually between 90 to 100 kilowatts (kW) and is now being supplied with 400 kW of carport-mounted photovoltaics and two EnSync Energy DER SuperModule units. The excess solar energy is stored in the SuperModules’ cumulative 1,008-kilowatt hours (kWh) of lithium ion energy batteries. When on-site solar generation ceases, the system discharges the batteries to provide the facility with energy. The DER Flex software and Matrix Energy Management hardware, which are housed with the energy storage in a SuperModule standard intermodal container, manage the system’s intelligent features.

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The scalable and adaptable structure of EnSync Energy’s solutions are not only flexible to the facility’s changing needs but also replicable on a larger supply chain scale with other headend and hub facilities, facilitating streamlined, homogeneous implementation across building portfolios. The modular design also enabled faster project commissioning, which was completed over seven days.

The system’s hardware and software use an Internet of Things platform to provide visibility into site operations, assess external variables from market price signals to modeled load needs and control the system to ensure the highest value, most reliable power. The Spectrum facility will use the system for various grid service applications including load shifting and demand charge mitigation. By addressing the facility’s renewable energy use, the project will support Hawaii’s goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

While the project will not export electricity to the grid, the system infrastructure has the capability to export, providing the facility an opportunity to participate in potential export grid services if offered by the local utility in the future.

— Solar Builder magazine

EnSync launches plan for utilities, third-party generators to better integrate DER assets

Ensync energy systems

EnSync Energy Systems is launching a collaborative utility vertical initiative, targeting investor-owned utilities, independent system operators (ISOs) and third-party generators. EnSync Energy’s Matrix Energy Management and DER Flex technologies will provide the initial market entry products and services to accomplish automated visibility and control of distributed electric generation resources on both sides of the conventional utility meter.

EnSync Energy contracted Deborah Galimba, president and chief executive officer of XUTILITY and a former electric generation interconnection senior consultant at PG&E, to lead the utility vertical initiative. She will be responsible for optimizing utility-scale power source deployment, empowering system operators and tapping into new financial opportunities in third-party private markets.

“Utilities are struggling to maintain relevancy during a time of increasing third-party generation contributions,” said Galimba. “DER Flex offers safe distribution solutions that enable utilities to advance into the 21st century with resource planning models that move seamlessly between third-party and utility-controlled energy resources. The grid evolution tools provide remote visibility to system operators and encourage third-party energy generation, while allowing utilities to maintain and extend their roles as the vital service provider. By modernizing utility infrastructure with the DER Flex and Matrix technologies, teams can reduce outage risk, increase grid stability and streamline safe remote power deployment, which ultimately benefits electricity consumers everywhere.”

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EnSync Energy has created a fully integrated product ecosystem that converts behind-the-meter DERs into dispatchable energy fleets. EnSync Energy’s DER Flex and Matrix Energy Management products communicate over NERC/CIP secure control remote platforms so that utilities and ISOs can access and control multi-metered assets and provide additional revenue benefits for the generator owner.

EnSync Energy’s proven technology is currently deployed in an industrial application with the Canadian utility ENMAX. ENMAX’s site uses the Matrix hardware as a physical power plant aggregator connecting multiple generation resources. The DER Flex software — the brains behind the energy — communicates, manages and remotely dispatches DER assets across the meter for ENMAX’s grid stability needs and revenue opportunities.

— Solar Builder magazine

EnSync shares insight on Hawaii solar + storage market

Sunset Lakeview project_Photo credit EnSync Energy Systems

The Hawaii solar +storage market is its own unique beast. Hawaiian Electric Company, the state’s energy utility, faces many modern grid challenges. It has the largest proportion of renewable and distributed energy out of any other utility in the country. In 2016, 26 percent of customer’s electricity demand came from renewable resources, which can present intermittency challenges for the utility to manage. Instability compounded by the high expense of the utilities’ largest energy supply – imported oil – is encouraging the state to look to modern solutions, such as energy storage and energy management systems to create the 21st-century utility.

EnSync Energy Systems knows this well, having today sealed its 20th contracted project in Hawaii. EnSync Energy’s impact on the Hawaiian electric infrastructure, with projects in operation or that will be in operation in the next 12 months, will account for more than $20 million from renewable energy electricity sales over the term of the various power purchasing agreements.

“The Hawaiian market has been foundational to our success as we introduced new products, services and business models over the last two years,” said Brad Hansen, CEO and president of EnSync Energy. “Installing new hybrid energy storage systems, developing and executing our power purchase agreement business model, demonstrating real-time aggregation of multiple DER installations and recently, shipping our first DER SuperModulesTM are all exciting markers of energy progress. We’re proud of our efforts in Hawaii and the 20 projects we closed there.”

Hawaii expands customer grid supply capacity (adding 20 MW)

These customer collaborations – including Spectrum (formerly Time Warner), University of the Nations, Easter Seals, and Villages of Kapolei – support key Hawaiian industries such as agriculture, food processing, telecommunications, hospitality, education, real estate and nonprofit.

EnSync Energy’s storage and generation integration expertise provides grid automation by enabling services across the meter and optimizing local businesses with behind-the-meter application controls. EnSync Energy developed, engineered, financed and installed differentiated DER technologies to deliver electricity-generating projects that meet Hawaii’s evolving energy demands, synchronize power sources and enhance grid stability via improved visibility and control. Through its partnerships with Hawaiian businesses, EnSync Energy sourced balance-of-systems goods and services with local suppliers and partners.

“Our goal is always to deliver the highest value, most reliable and cost-effective electricity, and we’ve been able to achieve this through our integrated DER system technologies – supporting our customers from concept through design, project finance and commissioning,” said Dan Nordloh, executive vice president at EnSync Energy. “EnSync Energy’s technologies are leading the way to providing benefit to all electricity stakeholders in Hawaii: for customers seeking to reduce their electricity spend and achieve resiliency, for the utility to leverage distributed energy resources to improve the grid and for the state’s 100 percent renewable energy plan objectives. Our success in Hawaii is demonstrative of what is possible in creating the electricity grid of the future.”

EnSync Energy’s business model and increasing impact in the state aligns with Hawaii’s current political objectives. Hawaiian Electric has set renewable targets of 48 percent by 2020 and 100 percent by 2040 – five years ahead of the state’s mandated goal. Along with acquiring nearly 400 megawatts of renewable generating capacity, the utility’s latest Power Supply Improvement Plan includes adding energy storage and other grid technologies to aid resiliency.

“EnSync Energy’s comprehensive solutions afforded us offerings that were customized to our needs and enabled us to avoid complex and cumbersome processes that we would have experienced with single-product solar developers or battery providers,” said Charlie Moore, Manager of Century West AOAO in Honolulu. “EnSync Energy has enabled us to reduce operational expenses, which ultimately positions us to bring down costs for our residents.”

 

— Solar Builder magazine

DER power couple: EnSync, Schneider Electric look to advance grid edge market

Ensync energy systems

EnSync Energy Systems, a developer of distributed energy resource (DER) systems and Internet of Energy (IoE) control platforms for the utility, commercial, industrial and multi-tenant building markets, will be working with Schneider Electric to explore technology and opportunities in the DER market.

After reviewing EnSync’s Matrix Energy System, the two companies identified areas of mutual interest for collaboration. Starting in June 2017, Schneider Electric and EnSync Energy Systems will jointly explore market opportunities and technology advancements required to best serve markets utilizing distributed energy resources.

“The grid landscape is changing rapidly and DER deployments are challenging incumbent grid operating models,” said EnSync Energy executive vice president, Dan Nordloh. “Both companies feel that we are in the early stages of transformational grid edge market opportunities. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Schneider Electric to explore these areas of collaboration.”

The growth in distributed solar generation enables decentralization of the grid and bi-directional power flows from all DERs. This provides an opportunity to integrate DER control and use it to the benefit of the overall electrical network.

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Nordloh continued, “We are transitioning from simple distributed generation into an era of integrated distributed energy resources, where renewables, storage, energy management systems and IoE control capabilities replace solar-only installations. These distributed energy resources are an efficient and economical way to solve the shortcomings of the antiquated grid network and benefit the asset owner, enabling them to participate in the capacity and energy markets, as well as provide ancillary services. Distributed energy resources are effectively virtual power plants for the grid network. We are excited to be exploring this market with a globally recognized leader in power systems.”

Navigant Research forecasts the annual market for solar plus energy storage DERs to grow to nearly $50 billion by 2026, with a 2017 to 2026 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 40 percent.

 

— Solar Builder magazine