Top 6 solar projects from last week

First Illinois school district to go solar hosts ribbon cutting

solar school project illinois

Lake Park High School District 108 hosted a ribbon cutting event on June 15 to celebrate completion of two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, making it one of the first public school districts in Illinois to adopt solar power on a large scale. The declining installed cost of solar has made this cost effective for the District and will result in an estimated net savings of $5.1 million over 25 years. Both Lake Park West and Lake Park East high schools now have roof-mounted solar panels expected to generate 1.86 megawatts of clean energy. The solar array will provide 2,215,247 kilowatt hours of power to the grid. The project was completed and solar system energized in March of this year.

Implemented in two phases, energy conservation measures at the high schools included new energy efficient vertical classroom units, lighting upgrades and a cooling tower replacement. The Phase One project was completed in August of 2016.

Roof-Mount Project of the Year: Bishop O’Dowd High School

To further reduce energy costs, the District pursued the use of solar power and is now distinguished as one of the largest public school solar installations with net metering in Illinois. Solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) will become an income source for the District as they sell excess solar credits to utility companies that need them to meet certain energy use requirements. Expected revenue from excess solar renewable energy credits is projected to exceed $5.1 million over 25 years.

dynamic energy solar project

Western, Pa.’s Estes Express Lines completes 688-kW rooftop project

Estes Express Lines and Dynamic Energy, a turnkey solar project developer, are pleased to announce the completion of a 688 kW solar project on the roof of Estes’ terminal in West Middlesex, PA. The system is expected to produce 777,400 kilowatt hours of power each year, which will offset 56% of the West Middlesex terminal’s annual consumption.

This project was supported by a state grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA). PEDA is an independent public financing authority with a mission to finance clean, advanced energy projects in Pennsylvania. Estes previously partnered with Dynamic Energy to complete 2 solar installations totaling 583 kW at their terminals in Elkton, MD, and Baltimore, MD.

Panasonic

Denver ‘smart city’ development named ESNA Innovation Awards finalist

A Panasonic-led solar-plus-storage microgrid at Peña Station NEXT, a 382-acre smart city development in Denver, has been named an Energy Storage North America (ESNA) 2017 Innovation Awards finalist. This industry accolade follows on the heels of the microgrid earning an Environmental Leader 2017 Top Project of the Year award earlier this month.

Project partners include Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, Xcel Energy, Denver International Airport, LC Fulenwider, Inc., and Younicos. Partners share microgrid assets and benefits in a multi-stakeholder “portfolio” model that helps the utility modernize and manage its electricity grid with innovative technologies, aids grid integration of solar PV, strengthens resilience (including through backup power) for customers and critical loads, and supports the sustainability goals of diverse organizations.

The Holistic Home: We peer into the future of home energy generation, usage

Where many microgrids are utilized by a single entity (e.g., military, corporate, or college campuses), the portfolio microgrid at Peña includes a set of assets that are shared between stakeholders:

• 1.6 MWdc carport solar photovoltaic (PV) system
• 259 kWdc rooftop solar PV array atop Panasonic’s facility
• Anchor electricity load at Panasonic’s Technology and Business Solutions Center
• 1 MW / 2MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS)
• Switching/control systems to operate the BESS and microgrid functionality

As an example of the portfolio model for sharing microgrid assets, Denver International Airport owns the parking lot and carport structure at Peña; Xcel Energy owns and operates the solar PV system atop the structure under a long-term lease; and Panasonic performs the operations and maintenance on the system.

BlueRock Solar Logo

BlueRock Solar paves way for largest community solar project in New York

BlueRock Solar announced plans for a community solar project just outside Buffalo, N.Y. in Grand Island after the town board voted unanimously to approve the project. It will be completed in partnership with Active Solar Development. BlueRock Solar expects to break ground later this summer and complete the installation within 2-3 months.

The 18-acre solar array will be the largest New York State community solar installation project in the state and will power up to 400 homes and businesses. At least 60 percent of the power generation will be allocated for residential customers with a guaranteed savings as compared to the incumbent utility. The project will consist of approximately 12,000 solar panels installed off I-190 between Bedell Road and Industrial Drive.

This will be BlueRock Solar’s second community solar project and one of only a few in the state. Earlier this year, the company successfully completed installation and interconnection of a community solar project in Millport, NY, in a partnership with Ithaca, NY-based Renovus Solar.

SunPower and UC Merced

The University’s Second SunPower Project on Campus to Support its Zero Net Energy by 2020 Goal (PRNewsfoto/SunPower Corp.)

‘Triple Zero Commitment’ project aided by SunPower PV system

The University of California, Merced’s precedent-setting Triple Zero Commitment aims for zero net energy use, the creation of zero net landfill waste and climate neutrality on campus by 2020, a goal that coincides with the university’s expansion project to nearly double the campus’s physical capacity by that same year.

The university is working with SunPower Corp. to install a 5-MW solar power system featuring a carport-and-rooftop installation, complemented by a 500-kilowatt energy storage solution from Stem. The system will be UC Merced’s second featuring SunPower solar technology. A 1-megawatt ground-mounted tracker system has been in operation and exceeding performance expectations since 2009, and the two systems combined are expected to supply more than 50 percent of the campus’s energy needs. UC Merced will own the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the new solar energy system, which is estimated to generate clean electricity equal to removing approximately 30,000 cars from the road every year for 25 years. The 5-megawatt photovoltaic system and 500-kilowatt battery storage system will be financed by a power purchase agreement (PPA).

sunation pv install

SUNation installs 2,500th PV system on 14th anniversary

Ronkonkoma-based solar design and installation company, SUNation Solar Systems, is celebrating its 14th anniversary as a company this month, which coincides with their 2,500th solar photovoltaic (PV) system installation on Long Island. SUNation’s installation team completed the milestone installation today at the home of Holbrook resident, Chris Cirneanu. The 8,829 watt SunPower system is expected to produce 9,949 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, offsetting over 100% of the homeowner’s annual electricity expense.
SUNation Co-Founder and CEO Scott Maskin says, “We are proud to be celebrating 14 years of providing our friends and neighbors with a better way to create electricity. In that time, we’ve grown a work family of over 100 people and played a major role in building a local solar industry on Long Island.”

Since its inception in 2003, SUNation has installed 27,535,971 watts and over 94,000 modules for Long Island customers. SUNation Solar Systems’ customers have produced an accumulated lifetime total of 103,528,268 kWh and saved over $20.7 million dollars over the last 14 years.

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Panasonic solar module posts world-leading output temperature coefficient

Panasonic Corp. says it has achieved the world’s leading output temperature coefficient for mass-produced silicon photovoltaic modules, at -0.258%/°C. This record-breaking innovation sets a new standard for the solar industry, improving on the previous temperature coefficient by 0.032 points at the mass production level, highlighting the positive temperature characteristics of heterojunction solar cells and further improving Panasonic’s unique heterojunction technology.

panasonic modules

Temperature coefficient explained

Output temperature coefficient is a vital metric in evaluating solar modules as a measurement of how quickly their conversion efficiency degrades as the temperature rises, thereby reducing the output. The standard silicon solar cell’s output temperature coefficient is -0.50 percent, which denotes a decline of 0.50% in the conversion efficiency as the module temperature rises by 1° C. For instance, at the module temperature anticipated in the summer months (75° C), the conversion efficiency will decrease by 25% in comparison to the environment at 25°C.

Panasonic HIT modules, which boast an improved output temperature coefficient, will nearly halve the decline in the conversion efficiency, significantly increasing performance in high temperature settings.

Why high-efficiency modules are the best value for installers, homeowners

The combination of the high conversion efficiency with the new temperature characteristics, will increase the conversion efficiency at 75°C by 46 percent in comparison to standard silicon products. When most solar panels are struggling with the increased temperatures during the summer months, Panasonic HIT modules reliably generate power and limit efficiency losses in the heat. Not only that, Panasonic modules come with a 25 year warranty vs the industry standard of 10 year warranty, and guarantees output of 90.76% at the end of the 25th year, which in itself is industry’s best performance guarantee coming from a 100-year-old world leading electronics company.

— Solar Builder magazine

Panasonic, Pika partner on DC-coupled solar smart battery

pika solar storage

Panasonic Eco Solutions North America and U.S.-based inverter manufacturer Pika Energy, Inc. are partnering to offer a DC-coupled solar smart battery with industry-leading performance specifications. The Harbor 10P/15P will begin shipping in late 2017 and is available for pre-order today, the companies announced.

The solar-ready Harbor Smart Battery combines Panasonic’s renowned Lithium-Ion battery modules and Pika Energy’s power electronics in a slim, floor-standing, wall-mounted enclosure. Powered by Panasonic’s Li-Ion battery technology, this smart battery provides 10 kWh or 15 kWh of usable energy and up to 6.7 kW of continuous power. Harbor 10P/15P can be used for clean back-up power, self-supply, time-of-use and other solar-plus-storage applications.

How it works

Harbor 10P/15P uses Panasonic’s innovative Lithium-Ion battery modules, which feature exceptional energy density and redundant safety protections. The smart battery is directly compatible with the award-winning Pika Energy Island, a single-inverter solution for grid-tied solar-plus-storage. Harbor 10P/15P is installed as a plug-and-play smart battery coupled with solar PV on a common DC bus that feeds the Islanding Inverter. This simple, efficient connection of solar and storage is enabled by Harbor 10P/15P’s internal DC/DC converter using REbus, Pika Energy’s patented nanogrid platform.

“As a world-leader in both the Lithium-Ion battery and solar modules, we understand the value in bringing innovative solar-plus-storage solutions to customers,” said Dan Silver, President, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “We’re very pleased to be working with Pika Energy to continue pushing the boundaries of performance and efficiency to unlock even greater benefits for users for a wide variety of applications.”

PV Pointers: How to future-proof PV systems with a storage-ready inverter

What sets it apart

For system integrators, the simplicity and price-performance of the Harbor 10P/15P Smart Battery set it apart from other grid-tied battery systems, said Ben Polito, Pika Energy’s President and Co-founder.

“A single technician can install and commission a Harbor 10P/15P in less than an hour,” Polito said. “Harbor is pre-wired for the Panasonic battery modules, making assembly incredibly fast and simple. Combined with our transformer-less inverter, the Pika Energy Island with Harbor 10P/15P offers a vast improvement over heavy wall-mounted battery systems and outdated multiple-inverter configurations that suffer from low efficiency, extraneous hardware and complex installations.”

Harbor 10P/15P enables customers to take full advantage of the Pika Energy Island’s built-in operational modes for solar-plus-storage. In islanding mode, the Harbor 10P/15P seamlessly powers heavy loads like well pumps and refrigerators without a grid connection, providing customers with a superior backup power system. When grid-connected, its 10kWh (model 10P) or 15kWh (model 15P) capacity provides self-supply of local loads during evening hours when energy rates are highest.

“The smartest, simplest way to build solar-plus-storage systems is by combining batteries and solar PV on a common DC bus,” said Polito. “The Panasonic-powered Harbor 10P/15P Smart Battery brings that concept to life, without compromising power output, scalability or flexibility. As solar PV adoption continues to boom, the grid needs smart, distributed storage. We’re thrilled to be working with Panasonic to offer what we believe is the solar-plus-storage solution the industry has been waiting for.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Berkshire Photovoltaic Services selected as Authorized Panasonic solar installer (can offer longer warranty)

Panasonic solar solutions

Panasonic Eco Solutions North America has selected Berkshire Photovoltaic Services Inc. (BPVS) of Adams, Mass., as an Authorized Solar Installer, certified to offer their exclusive HIT photovoltaic module with a 25-year enhanced workmanship and labor warranty covering solar module power output.

Panasonic’s solar technology makes HIT modules among the most efficient and reliable products in the industry. The selection of BPVS recognizes the company for its high-quality installation practices and strong performance history, both of which are strong considerations in qualifying for the enhanced warranty. For the two pioneers in the solar industry, 2017 marks BPVS’ 32nd year in business and Panasonic’s 99th.

Christopher Brown, Business Development and Regional Sales Manager for Panasonic Eco Solutions, announced the new warranty today and notified BPVS of its selection. “Berkshire Photovoltaic Services Inc. has demonstrated the same commitment to reliability and high-performance that we value at Panasonic,” said Brown. “We are proud to stand behind our products for this extended period of time and hold them to the highest testing standards. We have a similarly stringent criteria for our authorized installers, so we are thrilled to bring on BPVS in that relationship.”

Why high-efficiency modules are the best value for installers, homeowners

“Panasonic’s announcement today was a complete surprise,” said Chris Kilfoyle, President of BPVS. We’re honored to have Panasonic recognize our work and pleased to offer our customers this enhanced warranty. Most of our contracts this year are for projects where the owners chose Panasonic modules in part because the brand name is trusted, but also because they’ve surveyed the competition and understand how well these solar modules perform. Panasonic’s commitment to the highest environmental standards in their manufacturing process and composition is very important to us.”

Since 1985, Berkshire Photovoltaic Services Inc.(BPVS) has installed hundreds of photovoltaic systems in the area. BPVS is fully licensed (MA HIC 131996) and insured for commercial, institutional and residential PV Systems. A pioneer in the solar field operating under the same name and from the same place for 32 years, the BPVS mission is to provide safe, efficient and durable PV Systems.

— Solar Builder magazine

Panasonic backs up high-efficiency HIT solar modules with 25-year warranty

Panasonic Eco Solutions North America took a big step forward in guaranteeing the long-term viability of its HIT high-efficiency photovoltaic module, with the introduction of one of the longest product workmanship warranty in the residential solar industry. The warranty for HIT panels now extends to 25 years, backing up the claim that high-efficiency solar panels are a long-term investment and that they should be treated as such.

panasonic modulesPanasonic first entered the solar industry in 1975 and has been revolutionizing solar technology ever since. The innovative heterojunction technology was unveiled in 1990, and Panasonic has meticulously advanced and perfected this high-efficiency solar panel since its inception. With an extensive history in the industry, this product workmanship warranty is the latest example of Panasonic standing behind its products and offering unparalleled guarantees for customers.

“At Panasonic we are proud to not only offer top-of-the-line residential solar panels that will provide huge savings for our customers, but to also stand behind those products and ensure their longevity,” said Dan Silver, President, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America. “This 25-year warranty and industry-leading temperature characteristics give our installers yet another asset when advocating for Panasonic HIT® panels to customers.”

RELATED: Why high-efficiency modules are the best value for installers, homeowners 

While most conventional solar panel manufacturers offer 10-year product warranties, Panasonic not only offers a product guarantee that is more than twice as long, but it also now guarantees 91% of rated power over the 25-year warranty, a figure that is significantly better than any other solar module on the market today. Over four decades of R&D, rigorous quality standards and 20 years of mass production have resulted in Panasonic’s well-earned reputation for extreme reliability and exceptional performance.

The HIT photovoltaic panel also features an industry leading temperature coefficient of -0.258%/C, which reflects recent test results from a 3rd party safety organization. This speaks to the ability of the panels to maintain optimal performance even in high temperature. Panasonic’s unrivaled 25-year product warranty, coupled with this advanced temperature co-efficiency standard, will make the HIT high-efficiency photovoltaic module a secure and profitable long-term investment for homeowners across the country.

— Solar Builder magazine