The Land of Opportunity for Off-Grid Solar

Consolidation is picking up in Africa’s off-grid renewables market, where big investors like Engie are betting on the electricity consumers of the future. While a variety of technologies and products are considered part of the off-grid ecosystem, solar home systems have been the star from an investment perspective, and particularly those sold under a pay-as-you-go (paygo) model. Under such a model, customers are provided with a solar-generation unit, usually backed up with a battery, and the homeowners make lease payments over time as they benefit from the electricity. Paygo allows companies to tap into a vast base of potential customers that cannot pay for a system upfront.

Energy Storage Solicitations to be issued by California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission (CEC) Oct. 30 will release two energy storage solicitations totaling $31 million to support the state’s goal under SB 100 of attaining 100% fossil-free electricity by 2045. Proposals for the energy storage projects will be due by the end of the year, and the commission will issue the awards between April and June.

Microgrid to Serve as Core of Connecticut Mixed-Use Project

The developer of a $110-$120 million mixed use project in Manchester, Connecticut plans to incorporate a microgrid that taps into opportunity zone federal tax breaks. The Manchester Broad Street Parkade microgrid will include around 1 MW of solar PV,  2-3 MW of natural gas-fired combined heat and power, batteries, and a water heating loop. The microgrid will be capable of operating continuously in tandem with the utility grid or autonomously, in island mode, in the event of grid outages.

Sunnova Partners With California Roofer Ahead of Solar Mandate

A high-profile solar-homebuilder partnership has emerged from the flurry of activity surrounding California’s new solar home mandate, which goes into effect in 2020. Residential solar provider Sunnova and PetersenDean, a California-based company that installs roofs and solar, will work together on solar and storage leases and power-purchase agreements in the state. California’s new policy requires solar installations on new residential buildings under three-stories.

Stitching Together the Grid of the Future

Autonomous Energy Grids is the name of a multifaceted project that the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has created to envision the electricity grid of the future, where output from many decentralized energy sources is managed simultaneously to ensure a secure and consistent energy supply. The concept is focused on smart technology and autonomous communication, based on a series of interconnected microgrids, which communicate with each other and make use of algorithms to continually find the best operating condition in response to constantly shifting energy demand, availability and pricing.

Georgia Power Unveils Atlanta’s First Smart Neighborhood

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently helped unveil a new community of 46 smart townhomes in Atlanta which will serve as a living laboratory for DOE researchers to evaluate how homeowners are using energy in a real-world, smart home environment. This research is instrumental to understanding how emerging smart technologies and distributed energy resources can impact energy efficiency, energy management and resiliency. The Altus neighborhood, known as the Georgia Power Smart Neighborhood, is a set of townhomes on a microgrid that have been outfitted with solar photovoltaic panels, batteries, and state-of-the-art, grid-connective, energy-efficient building components and appliances.

Eversource, UNH, Durham Plan Community Microgrid

In order to enhance the resiliency of the local electric system and advance clean energy technologies, Eversource, the University of New Hampshire and the town have entered into a partnership to plan the development of a community microgrid. The Oyster River Clean Innovation Project will propose an interconnected system of distributed energy resources, including solar and battery technology, that will act as an island during extreme weather, ensuring that power serving the campus and critical town facilities is not interrupted.

Ameresco Completes 10 Megawatt Distributed Energy Security Project at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island

Ameresco, Inc. has announced the completion of construction of a comprehensive energy resiliency and energy infrastructure project at the United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island, South Carolina. The $91 million project, which required no upfront capital from MCRD PI, features resilient distributed energy systems designed to withstand potential storm and seismic conditions.