pvMB: Community solar, storage filling up in MA’s SMART, 75 MW more big solar in Hawaii, FERC’s McIntyre passes & more

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Community solar, energy storage filling up in SMART: On Wednesday afternoon the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) revealed that in the more than 2,500 applications received for the SMART program in the first week, the several tranches for “adder” incentives for community solar projects and projects paired with energy storage have filled up, with 463 MW of projects applying for 80 MW of capacity in the first community solar tranche, and 135 MW of projects applying for the energy storage adder. As previously reported by pv magazine USA, all of the large-scale (over 25 kW) solar tranches were over-subscribed in the service areas of a number of the state’s utilities, with the remaining projects going to a waitlist. DOER also clarified that the total project volume applied for in the SMART program during the first week totaled roughly 629 MW. Source: Massachusetts DOER.

 

75 MW more large-scale solar (and batteries) coming to Hawaii: Last night Hawaiian Electric Companies announced that it has signed power contracts with Clearway Energy Group for the output of two large solar projects on Oahu, both of which will include battery storage. The Mililani 1 Solar project is 39 MW, and the Waiawa Solar project is 36 MW. Hawaii is the one state that has been dominated by rooftop solar, not large projects, and as such these and the other three Clearway projects totaling 110 MW that are under construction will significantly add to the state’s utility-scale solar volume, which will be needed as it pursues the path to 100% renewable energy by 2045. These two projects are part of seven that HECO is asking state regulators to approve, as we covered this morning. Source: Clearway Energy Group and Hawaiian Electric Company sign PPAs to develop 75 MW of low-cost renewable energy, PR Newswire.

 

FERC Commissioner Kevin McIntyre passes away: Yesterday afternoon we learned that former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chair and current FERC member Kevin McIntyre (R) had passed away, after a long struggle with health problems. McIntyre will be remembered for his professionalism while serving on FERC, which like many other federal agencies has become increasingly staffed with extreme ideologues under the Trump Administration. In particular, despite being appointed by President Trump McIntyre’s chairmanship oversaw a unanimous vote at FERC to reject an attempt by the U.S. Department of Energy to ram through a bailout for coal and nuclear plants in the name of reliability, a rationale which was unsupported by DOE’s own evidence.

 

Luminant’s big Texas solar + storage project goes live: Yesterday afternoon Luminant announced that it has put online the largest battery in Texas, a 10 MW/42 MWh system paired with its 180 MW Upton 2 solar project in West Texas (covered originally here). Luminant notes that the battery will allow the solar plant to meet late afternoon/early evening demand, and says that this project is “direct evidence that competitive generators will invest in batteries in Texas when supported by market economics”. As we’ve documented, Texas is also getting ready for a massive boom in solar projects, with 37 GW of solar projects in grid operator ERCOT’s interconnection queue. Source: Luminant brings large-scale energy storage to Texas, PR Newswire.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this brief described the community solar and energy storage adder tranches in Massachusetts’ SMART program as being “over-subscribed, when in fact some tranches have filled up but others appear to still be open. We regret the error.