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Final week, the California Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) introduced a new decision that can simplify the interconnection course of for distributed energy sources (DER) like {solar} and storage.

For the primary time ever, the evaluate of DER tasks searching for interconnection in California will likely be primarily based on a mannequin of the situations on the grid, generally often called a internet hosting capability evaluation (HCA), and referred to in California because the Integration Capability Evaluation (ICA). This may substitute components of the ceaselessly imprecise “guidelines of thumb” used for the expedited screening course of that may end up in pricey, time-consuming, and infrequently pointless challenge evaluations. California has additionally eradicated limits on the scale of tasks which can be eligible for “quick observe” evaluate, growing entry to the expedited evaluate course of which is able to velocity up interconnection for eligible tasks.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) has been engaged on the the event of California’s ICA since 2014. A ruling in September 2020 established the intention to make the most of ICA within the state’s interconnection course of. Nonetheless, it has taken an extra two years to finalize particularly how that can work. Now, inside 45 days from Friday’s ruling, this new course of will lastly turn out to be out there to all DER tasks searching for to hook up with the grid.

“At the moment’s determination displays the fruits of years of dogged engagement by IREC to allow using cutting-edge approaches that simplify the interconnection course of so renewable energy may be deployed sooner and extra affordably,” stated Larry Sherwood, IREC President and CEO. “IREC applauds California in changing into the primary state to start utilizing internet hosting capability information to streamline and simplify the interconnection course of.”

The brand new course of will substitute the “15% of peak load” display screen, which has traditionally been used to judge if a challenge requires extra detailed evaluate to find out whether or not any grid upgrades are wanted earlier than it’s accepted to interconnect. Below the newly adopted guidelines, tasks that don’t exceed 90% of obtainable capability as proven within the ICA (a conservative buffer requested by utilities) will have the ability to cross the brand new display screen. Initiatives that don’t cross this improved display screen will likely be topic to supplemental evaluations; nevertheless, the rule adjustments additionally embody important enhancements to the supplemental evaluate course of which can be anticipated to permit a larger quantity of DERs to be built-in by the screening course of.

Additional improvements in California’s interconnection course of are nonetheless pending, together with a “restricted technology profile” strategy that might enable a DER (similar to a solar-plus-storage system) to design a system utilizing a technology profile to keep away from system constraints that come up throughout totally different months of the yr. This idea was accepted in a 2020 determination by the CPUC however a subsequent ruling on how will probably be applied continues to be pending.

“At the moment’s determination by the CPUC takes step one towards a vastly improved interconnection course of that higher displays the realities of the grid and makes it sooner and simpler to put in the degrees of unpolluted energy that will likely be wanted to achieve California’s decarbonization objectives,” stated Sky Stanfield, Companion at legislation agency Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger and legal professional for IREC on this continuing. “We stay up for the Fee finishing this course of with a future determination on the implementation of restricted technology profiles.”

The usage of internet hosting capability information additionally provides clear energy builders larger company to keep away from time-consuming and dear interconnection processes. Builders can discover the ICA map from the utility of their space (similar to this one from Southern California Edison) to establish preferable places for DER tasks the place there may be adequate extra capability for the challenge with out the necessity for a grid improve. The information proven on the map would be the similar information used to judge the challenge, minimizing the quantity of guesswork concerned within the interconnection course of.

Information merchandise from IREC



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Consumers Energy Powers Over 1,200 Mich. Public Buildings

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Consumers Energy’s Sets Agreement to Switch Electric Generation to Cleaner Energy


Consumers Energy and the State of Michigan have pledged to energy 1,274 publicly owned authorities buildings solely with clear energy, a visual dedication by the state’s authorities and its largest energy supplier to guard the planet.

“Customers Energy and the State of Michigan are working collectively to energy Michigan’s clear energy transformation,” says Garrick Rochow, Customers Energy’s president and CEO. “This dedication will speed up our already industry-leading Clear Energy Plan to develop carbon-free energy sources right here in Michigan.”

“As governor, I’m proud that the State of Michigan is main by instance to cut back greenhouse gases, shield the planet, and decrease energy prices,” states Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “We’re proud to announce that Customers Energy is becoming a member of BWL and DTE in an settlement with the State of Michigan to energy state buildings with clear energy. It is a crucial step that may assist us attain the objective I proposed in 2020 to have all state buildings run on 100% clear, renewable energy by 2025. Let’s hold working collectively to struggle local weather change with common sense steps that may decrease taxpayer energy prices and make sure that state operations have the energy they should succeed.”

The State of Michigan has made a 20-year settlement with Customers Energy to make use of clear energy at state authorities buildings for all departments all through the Decrease Peninsula.

This dedication helps roughly 68 MW of emission-free renewable energy in Michigan, which is equal to greenhouse fuel emissions produced by over 20,000 automobiles, in accordance with U.S. Environmental Safety Company calculations.

Customers Energy is working to guard the planet, with a Clear Energy Plan to shut all of its coal-fired vegetation by 2025 and change into carbon impartial by 2040. The state authorities’s new dedication builds on the energy supplier’s plans, and Customers Energy will meet the state’s pledge by including new {solar} energy vegetation in Michigan over the following three to 4 years.

Earlier this yr, Normal Motors agreed to energy three Michigan vegetation with 100% green energy provided by Customers Energy.

“Customers Energy is ready to ship dependable and inexpensive energy whereas defending the planet. This partnership will additional assist Michigan being a frontrunner in clear energy,” Rochow provides.

Customers Energy’s Renewable Energy Program gives companies a versatile, turnkey answer to make use of {solar} and wind energy to attain their sustainability objectives and shield the planet for future generations. Their enrollment not solely advances greening Michigan’s grid, but additionally helps Michigan jobs created by constructing and working renewable energy tasks.

Customers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy supplier, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy.



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Clearway Energy Group’s Mililani Solar is O’ahu’s first utility-scale solar + storage plant

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Clearway Energy Group

Photograph courtesy of Wärtsilä

Hawai’i-based {solar} developer Clearway Energy Group accomplished development and reached business operations at its Mililani {Solar} I plant — Clearway’s fourth {solar} plant on O’ahu and the island’s first utility-scale {solar} and battery storage energy plant.

The 39-MW Mililani {Solar} energy plant is paired with a 156 MWh battery storage system and contains over 123,000 PV panels mounted on {solar} trackers measuring 6.5-feet tall and barely greater than three ft broad. Situated on 131 acres in Mililani Agricultural Park, the challenge will present grid providers at a crucial time with the decommissioning of the state’s final coal plant in September.

“Renewable energy is crucial to Hawai‘i to be extra reasonably priced and resilient,” stated Governor David Ige. “We’re a step nearer to that objective immediately due to the Clearway crew, which understood the urgency and stepped as much as ship their challenge forward of schedule.”

The $140 million challenge broke floor in April 2021 and set up of the panels and battery storage was accomplished forward of schedule. Mililani {Solar} and Clearway’s second {solar} and storage plant below development in Waiawa are collectively anticipated to contribute $9 million in taxes to the Metropolis and County of Honolulu. Greater than 240 native union jobs have been created throughout development of each crops and a everlasting workforce will help ongoing operations and upkeep.

“Wärtsilä is proud to be main the clear energy financial system in Hawaii and addressing local weather change in partnership with Clearway Energy Group and Hawaiian Electric. Energy system optimization know-how and adaptability options akin to energy storage play a key position in balancing the state’s renewable energy energy methods and making certain energy reliability for island residents,” stated Håkan Agnevall, president and CEO, Wärtsilä.

Clearway has developed and operated renewable energy crops in Hawai‘i for the previous 4 years. In 2019, the corporate accomplished the development and commissioning of three utility-scale {solar} amenities: a forty five.9 MW website in Waipi‘o, a 14.7 MW in Mililani, and a 49 MW website in Kawailoa on O‘ahu’s North Shore.

“Initiatives like this one assist our clients by offering electrical energy to the grid at one-third the price of oil and assist Hawaiʻi by transferring us on the trail to a decarbonized energy system,” stated Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. “Working with skilled energy builders like Clearway, we will likely be bringing eight extra initiatives on-line over the subsequent two years on Oʻahu, offering even higher advantages to our communities.”

Building of Clearway’s second {solar} and battery storage plant in Waiawa, being constructed on Kamehameha Faculties land, is anticipated to be full later this yr.

Altogether, Clearway’s 5 {solar} energy crops totaling 185 MW will serve Hawaiian Electric’s grid and generate sufficient clear electrical energy to energy greater than 45,500 O‘ahu houses every year.

Venture development was led by Moss and the batteries have been equipped by Wärtsilä.

Have you ever checked out our YouTube web page?

We have now a ton video interviews and extra content material on our YouTube web page. Lately we debuted Power Forward! — a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to debate greater degree business matters in addition to greatest practices / tendencies for working a {solar} enterprise immediately.

Our longer working facet challenge is The Pitch — through which we’ve got awkward discussions with {solar} producers and suppliers about their new know-how and concepts in order that you do not have to. We have discusses all the pieces from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new residence solar + storage microgrids.

We additionally put up our Project of the Year bulletins there! Interviews with this yr’s winners will likely be up beginning the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe immediately to remain on high of all this additional stuff.

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Sol Systems completes 5-MW bifacial solar project for New York water authority

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Sol Systems completes 5-MW bifacial solar project for New York water authority


{Solar} developer Sol Programs has accomplished a 5-MW bifacial {solar} array in Penfield, New York, for the Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA).

The set up of the brand new {solar} array, situated on the Water Authority’s property on the nook of Penfield Street and Watson Hulbert Street, is a part of the Water Authority’s long-term objective to cut back energy bills. The array is anticipated to generate 8 million kWh of electrical energy per 12 months, which represents greater than 15% of MCWA’s energy wants for water pumping and remedy.

“Reliably offering high quality, inexpensive water is our high precedence. MCWA ought to understand substantial financial savings over the course of this 25-year contract, serving to maintain water charges inexpensive,” mentioned MCWA Government Director Nick Noce. “Past the monetary advantages of the {solar} array, using sustainable, clear energy is a big step ahead in our dedication to environmental stewardship.”

The array spans roughly 29 acres. For sustainability, throughout building, the positioning was planted with a seed combination of pollinator crops, which can create new habitats for native pollinators in a lift to the encompassing ecosystem.

Information merchandise from Sol Programs



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