PetersenDean now offering solar + storage solution via SolarEdge, LG Chem

PetersenDean Roofing & Solar, the nation’s largest privately held solar and roofing company, has joined forces with SolarEdge and LG Chem to offer homeowners an affordable path to solar ownership and energy storage. SolarEdge will supply an intelligent inverter solution to manage PV production, consumption and both on-grid and backup storage to help increase energy independence for PetersenDean’s residential installations. LG Chem will provide the Residential Energy Storage Unit (RESU) 10H 9.8 kWh battery pack, which is compatible with SolarEdge and uses the same technology that has been used in other LG Chem applications.

Petersen Dean

 

“Technology has significantly evolved over the years—especially with batteries and inverters. PetersenDean is proud to offer these two well-trusted brands to customers,” said Jim Petersen, president and CEO of PetersenDean Roofing & Solar. “Both of these companies’ commitment to technology, coupled with efficient and high-quality manufacturing processes produces solutions that exhibit the highest levels of safety, performance, and reliability.”

Providing PetersenDean customers with intelligently managed energy storage from reliable companies, this solution helps meet an important goal for PetersenDean, which installs about 2,000 solar and roof systems each month nationally.

“During the last few years, our customers have been asking us for better home energy storage solutions. While some systems only function when the grid goes down, others only work to help limit grid use in moments when their solar system is not producing the amount of energy needed to power their home. By combining SolarEdge’s StorEdge solution with LG Chem batteries, customers can enjoy both options by managing and monitoring PV and battery status through a single platform. It provides the peace of mind that when the grid goes down, they’ll still have power backup,” said Petersen.

Petersen added that customers will save substantially in the long term. “Storage systems such as this help customers improve their system payback by increasing the amount of PV energy they consume. They can store excess solar and draw from it when needed. This avoids unnecessary fees and taxes, while giving them the flexibility in an ever-changing utility landscape.”

LG Chem is the global leader in lithium-ion batteries with a market-leading position in advanced batteries for grid-scale, residential storage and automotive applications. Its lithium ion battery technology is the product of 23 years of experience in the development and production of mobile batteries and large format batteries for automotive and energy storage systems. For residential storage applications, LG Chem is using the same technology that has been used in its utility-scale projects.

Linh Tran, Sales Manager of LG Chem, said, “With the growth and advancement of residential storage batteries, we are pleased to team up with a leading installer, PetersenDean, specializing in new residential and commercial construction in the US market.”

 

— Solar Builder magazine

This California bill expands access to solar energy generated by already-developed sites

california energy storage

The California Legislature is being commended again for its support of solar energy, passing a bill last week to make it easier for businesses, schools, nonprofits and municipalities to access solar. In turn, this will help generate thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars of investment in the state.

“California has long been our nation’s leader in solar energy, but many of its businesses and schools face practical barriers to adopting solar,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs. “This bill provides an innovative, yet commonsense solution that will unlock access to local clean energy for these organizations, while creating thousands of jobs in California. We thank Sen. Wiener for his leadership in advancing California’s solar economy.”

The bill would require the PUC …

to require each large electrical corporation to establish a tariff or tariffs that provide for bill credits for electricity generated by eligible renewable generating facilities and exported to the electrical grid to be credited to electrical accounts of nonresidential customers of the corporations. The bill would require the commission to ensure that the credit reflects the full value of the electricity from the eligible renewable generating facilities and the credit is established using the same methodology that as used to determined credits under the standard contract or tariff for eligible customer-generators.

The legislation expands access to offsite solar projects for non-residential customers, by allowing them to partner with already-developed sites – such as parking lots, warehouses, brownfields and landfills – and use those sites for solar energy that the local community can access. The bill, SB 1399, was authored by California Sen. Scott Wiener, who represents San Francisco and parts of San Mateo County.

“To meet our aggressive renewable energy goals, California needs to dramatically expand solar, including maximizing use of our empty rooftops and other developed spaces that are ripe for solar,” said Senator Wiener. “However, these locations sometimes have no need for solar power and therefore sit unused, while other energy customers want to access renewable energy but have no space to install solar. SB 1399 brings these two groups together – supply and demand – to drive an increase in solar installations in urbanized areas throughout California. SB 1399 will spur the generation of more clean energy and create more good-paying solar installation jobs in communities throughout our state.”

10 predictions for community solar in 2018 via Clean Energy Collective

California has an abundance of previously developed sites — 35,000 acres in total, including 20,000 in disadvantaged communities — that could provide ideal locations for solar energy. This bill establishes a pathway for non-residential customers to take advantage of clean energy and enhance both the built environment and the local economy.

SEIA urges the California Legislature to pass this bill, and allow solar to deliver more clean, reliable, affordable power to businesses, schools, public agencies and nonprofits in the state.

— Solar Builder magazine

California’s Sunpin awarded SMART program feed-in tariff for Blandford project in Massachusetts

Sunpin logo

California-based solar developer Sunpin, has been awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) issued by Massachusetts’ SMART (Solar Massachusetts’ Renewable Target) program. A 20-year feed-in-tariff incentive contract has been awarded by WMECO (Western Massachusetts Electric) to Sunpin’s Blandford project. When it is completed, the Blandford project, sited in Western Massachusetts, will be 5 MWac. This is one of the largest that the SMART program has selected to date – Sunpin’s proposal having met the stringent requirements of the program’s requirements. It is also the largest solar project in WMECO territory.

“Sunpin began developing Massachusetts solar projects six years ago. Our plan is to continue to focus our efforts on solar development in Massachusetts, as well as the rest of the U.S., over the next few years,” said Sunpin President Tom Li. “Ultimately, by 2021, we aim to develop a portfolio of a gigawatt’s worth of solar projects in the U.S.; a significant portion of them will be located in Massachusetts.”

In total, Sunpin has over 100 MW of solar installations under development in Massachusetts. Sunpin will submit these projects in the next round of Massachusetts’ SMART incentives when they become available. Additionally, Sunpin is currently building a 96 MW solar project in Southern California, which is expected to be in commercial operation by May 2018.

Massachusetts DPU approves demand charge on residential solar customers, Vote Solar challenges

— Solar Builder magazine

Battery showcase: Four solar + storage solutions for your next project

Recommending a battery to a customer in a solar + storage project is no less complicated than recommending a particular solar array solution. Depending on customer goals of low initial cost, ease of maintenance, frequency of use, depth of discharge, source of recharge energy, longevity and warranty, however, choices narrow down rapidly. Lowest life-cycle cost, or total cost of ownership calculations, performed for site-specific use, also help customers understand the variations in side-by-side options. We dove into choosing among all of those options in this article. Now, here’s a roundup of four of the top solutions on the market.

1. SimpliPhi

simpliphi-battery

The SimpliPhi High-Output Battery, launched to the market in 2015, was designed to address the Marine Corps requirements for a high-output battery that could provide a sustained peak power output of 10 to 15 minutes without any risk of overheating, thermal runaway, fire or shutting down, as well as longer duration base power delivery over 20 or more hours. The battery architecture creates minimal electrical impedance, so SimpliPhi’s batteries do not have a thermal profile that requires temperature management or cooling and have never suffered dangerous thermal runaway or fires. This design allows for one unit to provide both peak and long duration power, while also being modular, scaleable, non-toxic and safe.

2. Crown Battery

crown-battery

Eco-friendly Crown1 batteries are optimized for renewable energy and the widest array of configuration options. According to the U.S. EPA, Crown1 batteries are 99 percent recyclable — more recyclable than an aluminum can or any other battery technology. Crown1 combines robotic assembly in Fremont, Ohio, with the industry’s heaviest plates and most active materials to enhance performance and lifespan. Proprietary Cast-On-Strap systems are 100x more precise than manual welding, for greater reliability and longevity. Automated testing and vision systems maximize precision, power and uniformity. Crown1 features 6-, 8- and 12-volt models with 33-390 Ah (20-hour rating) capacities.

3. U.S. Battery

US batter

U.S. Battery RE Series deep cycle batteries use the company’s exclusive XC2 formulation and Diamond Plate Technology to create highly efficient battery plates to deliver greater watt-hours per liter and watt-hours per kilogram than other flooded lead-acid battery in the market. In addition, U.S. Battery RE Series batteries reduce mossing and sulfation conditions by incorporating the company’s Defender moss shields and Outside Positive plate battery design. Defender moss shields are effective in preventing mossing shorts caused when positive active material particles dislodge from the battery plates and collect under the plate connectors. Also, unlike chemical carbon additives that are intended for use in AGM batteries, the Outside Positive (OSP) battery design mitigates the effects of positive and negative plate sulfation and further increases battery life, overall capacity and stable performance.

4. Trojan Battery

trojan battery

The Trojan Battery Solar product line features both true deep-cycle AGM and flooded batteries which are specifically designed for solar and other renewable energy applications. Trojan Solar AGM features a non-spillable, maintenance-free design which enables installers to customize the use and position of the batteries in various applications. Trojan’s Flooded Solar batteries leverage its 90 years of deep-cycle flooded technology expertise and are engineered to provide the best cycling in the industry. Both solar flooded and AGM batteries are manufactured in the U.S., and Solar AGM is certified for non-hazardous shipping per U.S. DOT/IATA regulations and tested to an eight-year design life under the IEC 61427 standard for solar batteries.

This section was featured in the January/February 2018 issue of Solar Builder magazine. Sign up for a FREE subscription here.

— Solar Builder magazine

What makes a highly rated residential solar installer? Here’s three common attributes

solar contractor success

SolarReviews.com has analyzed consumer data from more than 3,500 solar installations and has identified these three characteristics that they think define the most successful residential solar installers as expressed by the customers themselves.

The most successful residential solar installers, based on information provided to the site by consumers themselves, are:

  1. Either family or privately owned,
  2. Limited in geographic scope (are not national companies) and
  3. Aren’t larger than 100 employees.

In contrast, the three companies with the worst consumer-provided ratings—all of which are national installers—are:

  1. Publicly held,
  2. Large companies with national (and sometimes international) footprints.

“Our data reinforces that in general, consumers prefer companies with deep roots in their communities, owned by people they know and see around town,” said Andrew Sendy, CEO of SolarReviews.com. “Companies like these receive the highest rankings in customer satisfaction and are often praised for their laser-like focus on customer service—and that makes sense. Once companies reach a certain size, it’s harder to maintain a personalized customer-service experience.”

The data also reveals that the average review score for all 2,800 installers reviewed on the site in 2017 is 4.63 out of 5 stars, indicating solar electricity still maintains a high standing among solar consumers. SolarReviews.com features a Top Rated Solar Installers list where customers can directly check the reviews of their prospective contractors. The site is a comprehensive solar information service providing prospective and current solar customers a wide variety of resources including, industry news, actual solar customer reviews, cost calculators by state/region, access to payback calculators and a vast array of content and advice written specifically to help solar customers.

Four steps for converting more solar sales

— Solar Builder magazine