SolAmerica Energy completes 1.35 MW for MTU America

sol america energy install

MTU America (a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce) held a ceremony on August 9 in Graniteville, South Carolina, to celebrate a 1.35 MW (DC) ground-mounted solar array installed on a 7-acre site. SolAmerica Energy of Atlanta designed and installed the system and will maintain the project for MTU America. The project will generate energy income for MTU America through a Bill Credit Program with South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G), and was financed under an agreement with Key Equipment Finance, a division of KeyBank.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Congressman Joe Wilson attended the ceremony, along with other government and business leaders, and participated in “flipping the switch” with MTU America to officially launch the project.

Speaking on behalf of MTU America, Joerg Klisch, Director of Operations of MTU America, stated, “This is a very exciting project for MTU. We are committed to pushing the boundaries of technology in the power solutions we provide to our customers, and solar projects like this will be an important part of the power mix in the future. SolAmerica has been a valuable partner in making this project a reality.”

SolAmerica Energy develops, finances, and constructs commercial and utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, SolAmerica Energy has built solar projects for many of the leading companies in the Southeast and has developed projects for nationally recognized investors and owner-operators.

— Solar Builder magazine

ForeFront Power to develop solar canopy portfolio across nine California schools

ForeFront Power and Los Altos School District (LASD) in California announced the development of 1.4 MW of solar canopy systems across nine schools. LASD selected ForeFront Power through a competitive process to provide the turn-key solar power systems. The solar portfolio is expected to save the District over $175,000 annually and up to $2.7 million within the first ten years of operation.

“LASD is excited to partner with ForeFront Power to complete these projects to reduce rising electricity costs,” said LASD Chief Business Official Randy Kenyon. “The ForeFront Power team emerged as a leader in our process due to their team’s extensive track record, sound execution strategy, and professionalism.”

ForeFront Power Logo

LASD will receive solar energy at no upfront cost, and without the use of Measure N bond funds. The project is instead financed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with ForeFront Power. Through this agreement ForeFront is responsible for all project financing, engineering, construction, operations, and maintenance. ForeFront Power, backed by the security and stability of its parent company, Mitsui & Co., Ltd, brings exceptional value and experience to the solar project partnership.

ForeFront Power continues to coordinate the development of these projects with local school staff, parents, and District administrators to design solar arrays that work in harmony with school campus needs. In conjunction with the solar project development, LASD is launching a sustainability initiative with GreenTown Los Altos to shift drivers to bikers and walkers for more long-term sustainable transport in the District. Each of the nine schools will also receive free solar energy lesson plans and curricula through ForeFront Power’s exclusive partnership with Schools Power.

“Our team at ForeFront Power is excited to work with Los Altos in providing energy savings, shade to the parking areas, and STEM education resources,” stated Chief Development Officer, Sam Youneszadeh. “What is truly great about this particular project is that Los Altos is going beyond typical solar adoption to integrate their decision with the community through their initiative with GreenTown.”

 

— 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

Nevada City becomes 41st U.S. city to establish 100 percent renewable energy goal

nevada city solar commitment

Surrounded by city council members, key members of the community and partners, Mayor Duane Strawser announced that Nevada City, Calif., would became the latest in a growing movement of mountain communities to commit to move to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. The city’s near unanimous vote to ensure that the city’s electricity will come entirely from renewable sources by 2030 and that all energy sources would be renewable by 2050.

Nevada City is now the 41st city in the country to establish a 100 percent renewable energy goal and comes on the heels of similar pledges from South Lake Tahoe, California and Park City, Utah, showing that mountain communities are taking control of their energy future.

“Nevada City’s commitment for 100% renewable energy is driven by our community.” said Mayor Duane Strawser. “The passion for the natural environment and our responsibility to take care of it is part of the fabric of what makes Nevada City a very special place to live. I challenge other communities across the nation to join us in this goal.”

Nevada City’s resolution is grounded in a burning reality as the growing impacts of climate change threaten this mountain community. Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record globally have occurred since the beginning of this century, and 2017 is predicted to be the second warmest on record.

Nevada City has an existing Energy Action Plan (EAP) with a goal of a 28 percent reduction in electricity use by 2020. The resolution will lead the way toward updating the EAP to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

Chicago steps up: City buildings to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2025

“The South Yuba River Citizen’s League is thrilled that Nevada City is joining other communities committing to 100% renewable energy”, said Caleb Dardick. “We are proud that Nevada City supports our Wild and Scenic Film Festival that has brought activists and concerned citizens to learn about the latest efforts to protect the environment. Nevada City’s environmental leadership is a model for the type of municipal advocacy that is needed nationwide.”

“The Sierra Nevada Alliance (SNA) is proud to work with cities like Nevada City,” said Jenny Hatch, SNA’s Executive Director. “Nevada City recognizes the many impacts on the local economy and environment that climate change will bring. At Sierra Nevada Alliance, we bring together the passion to fight climate change with the passion to protect our mountain communities to make an unstoppable force for change. That’s why it is no surprise that mountain cities are leading the way on renewable electricity.”

”I am proud to be part of the community of Nevada City,” said Paul Jorgensen owner of The Magic Carpet. “I look forward to helping others commit to and attain a transition to 100% clean energy. Our future depends on it. Nevada City’s success gives a blueprint to other mountain towns, cities, states and countries across the globe to be a part of the climate change solution.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Nautilus Solar acquires Minnesota community solar portfolio from ReneSola

renesola community solar

ReneSola Ltd  and Nautilus Solar Energy sent word that Nautilus acquired an approximately 13.3 MW community solar portfolio previously developed by ReneSola. The community solar portfolio, qualified under Xcel Energy’s burgeoning community solar program, is located in the rapidly expanding Minnesota solar marketplace. The portfolio is expected to be built through the remainder of 2017, coming online during Q1 2018.

Now that Nautilus has finalized the transaction with ReneSola, the projects will be owned by an affiliate of Virgo Investment Group, which is also a minority shareholder of Nautilus Solar Energy. Nautilus, through its full-service platform, will provide development and long-term asset management services for the project. The energy provided by the portfolio directly benefits local community off-takers located offsite by lowering overall energy procurement costs while advancing renewable energy targets.

“This deal continues the exciting growth strategy that we announced last year and expands our focus and capabilities to include community solar developments,” said Jim Rice, CEO of Nautilus Solar. The acquisition also comes as part of Nautilus’s expansion strategy into newer solar markets located throughout the U.S. “This transaction exemplifies how Nautilus is able to work closely together with experienced developers to provide superior results and in a timely fashion. We are excited to be continuing to work with ReneSola’s development team,” added Jeffrey Cheng, COO of Nautilus Solar.

New York makes interconnection policy changes to boost community solar

— Solar Builder magazine