Watch: Check out the 4.4-MW solar project at the Campbell Soup headquarters

The world headquarters of the Campbell Soup Company is now home to a 4.4-MW solar system thanks to BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, SunPower Corp. and ORIX USA Corp. Construction began on the Camden-based project in May 2017 and joins four existing renewable energy projects at Campbell facilities in the U.S.

  • A 9.8 MW solar array in Napoleon, Ohio;
  • A 1 MW solar array in Bloomfield, Conn.; and
  • A 1.2 MW fuel cell and 1.4 MW fuel cell in Bloomfield, Conn.

In total, these projects contribute more than 27,000 MWh of renewable energy to the grid annually.

Project details

The Camden project features rooftop, carport and ground-mount solar solutions, with 2.7 MW arrays installed across Campbell’s World Headquarters campus and an additional 1.7 MW ground mount array on an adjacent 4.5-acre remediated brownfield that BNB purchased specifically for the project, making use of otherwise unusable land and increasing the capacity of the system. It is the largest solar array in the City of Camden.

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The system will generate more than 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, or the equivalent of approximately 20 percent of the annual electricity usage of Campbell’s World Headquarters. Under the terms of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), Campbell has agreed to purchase all electricity from the array at a predetermined rate. The fixed PPA rate, which is currently well below the cost of traditional electricity for Campbell, provides the company with significant savings on power as well as a long-term visibility for this portion of its electricity costs.

The project is jointly owned by BNB and ORIX USA. BNB is managing the project under a 20-year management services agreement with the project company, BNB Camden Solar LLC. The debt is being financed through PSE&G’s Solar Loan Program. The project will also feature five electric vehicle-charging stations, provided by PSE&G via its EV Workplace Charging Program, for use by Campbell employees.

— Solar Builder magazine

OGE Energy Corp. brings 10-MW SunPower Oasis solar system online

Covington

10-megawatt (AC) solar power plant in Covington, Oklahoma (PRNewsfoto/SunPower Corp.)

OGE Energy Corp. electric utility subsidiary Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) and SunPower Corp. completed a 10-megawatt (AC) solar photovoltaic power plant in Covington, Okla. A SunPower Oasis Power Plant system was installed at the 80-acre site by Moss Solar, a division of the construction firm Moss.

The Oasis system is a complete power plant solution that installs quickly to maximize value for customers. Product features include 50 percent fewer parts than conventional solar tracking systems, an integrated design that streamlines construction and reduces operations and maintenance costs, and cost-effective, high efficiency SunPower P-Series solar panels, which produce more energy than conventional solar panels over the lifetime of the system.

“With Covington online, we now have 12.5-megawatts of solar generation in our portfolio, all of which has been presold to customers who want the benefits of solar power,” said OG&E Chief Operating Officer Keith Mitchell. “Along with our solar facility in Mustang, Oklahoma, Covington helps us continue to learn how solar can complement our other generation sources to provide reliable and low-cost power to our customers.”

SunPower is now providing operations and maintenance services at the site. OG&E owns the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

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— Solar Builder magazine

SunPower gets approval to use drones in regulated air spaces to survey solar sites

sunpower logo

SunPower Corp. has received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) for automatic access to operate a drone in regulated airspace over controlled airports.

The new access category, called Low Altitude Authorization Capability (LAANC), was released this month in a beta test at four airports including San Jose (SJC), Cincinnati International Airport (CVG), Reno (RNO), and Lincoln (LNK). SunPower received LAANC authorization through Skyward, an FAA-approved vendor.

“Leading through innovation, SunPower is proud to be the first company granted the new LAANC access, enabling us to aerially evaluate a broader range of potential project sites for our customers more quickly and comprehensively,” said SunPower CEO and President Tom Werner. “As part of the SunPower Oasis Power Plant platform, drone flights enable us to efficiently generate solar power plant system layouts to optimize site use and reduce project cost.”

SunPower uses drones as part of the SunPower Oasis Power Plant platform to survey potential solar power plant sites for customers. Information and images gathered by the drones is used to quickly develop solar plant layouts to optimize site use and achieve customers’ project goals.

“Digital, automated, free access to controlled airspace, in the form of LAANC, is one of the greatest moment we’ve experienced in the U.S. commercial drone industry so far,” said Skyward Co-President Jonathan Evans. “I’m excited for SunPower and the company’s customers, who will get to benefit from LAANC right away.”

— Solar Builder magazine

SunPower gets approval to use drones in regulated air spaces to survey solar sites

sunpower logo

SunPower Corp. has received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) for automatic access to operate a drone in regulated airspace over controlled airports.

The new access category, called Low Altitude Authorization Capability (LAANC), was released this month in a beta test at four airports including San Jose (SJC), Cincinnati International Airport (CVG), Reno (RNO), and Lincoln (LNK). SunPower received LAANC authorization through Skyward, an FAA-approved vendor.

“Leading through innovation, SunPower is proud to be the first company granted the new LAANC access, enabling us to aerially evaluate a broader range of potential project sites for our customers more quickly and comprehensively,” said SunPower CEO and President Tom Werner. “As part of the SunPower Oasis Power Plant platform, drone flights enable us to efficiently generate solar power plant system layouts to optimize site use and reduce project cost.”

SunPower uses drones as part of the SunPower Oasis Power Plant platform to survey potential solar power plant sites for customers. Information and images gathered by the drones is used to quickly develop solar plant layouts to optimize site use and achieve customers’ project goals.

“Digital, automated, free access to controlled airspace, in the form of LAANC, is one of the greatest moment we’ve experienced in the U.S. commercial drone industry so far,” said Skyward Co-President Jonathan Evans. “I’m excited for SunPower and the company’s customers, who will get to benefit from LAANC right away.”

— Solar Builder magazine

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