pvMB: Borrego Solar breaks 500 MW, Alabama gas+solar+storage microgrid, bill introduced for 100% renewables nationwide


Borrego Solar breaks 500 MW of total solar power installed. Borrego is the largest U.S. private commercial solar EPC according to Wood Mackenzie’s Q4 Leaderboard. Last year the company installed 130% more solar and energy storage capacity than in 2017, and has grown its market share to become the second-largest commercial solar provider nationally. The company has also deployed more commercial solar than any other provider in Massachusetts and New York, and projects that it will install 100 MW of solar (and energy storage) in 2019. Source: Borrego Solar press release.


A deeper dive into a year-old Alabama microgrid managing multiple sources of electricity and energy storage. Construction of the community-scale Shannon-Oxmoor microgrid was completed in December 2017 by Southern Company subsidiary PowerSecure, and it has been supplying energy to the grid since January 2018. The site features three distributed energy resource (DER) technologies: including a 360 kW natural gas generator, 330 kWAC photovoltaic (PV) solar array and 300 kW/680 kWh lithium ion battery system. Future tests for the microgrid include volt-volt-ampere-reactive (volt-VAR) regulation, inclusion of the dispatchable residential loads (HVAC and water heater), effectiveness at maintaining zero power flow across the point of common coupling, net-zero energy, long-duration islanding and transactive energy trials. Source: T&D World.

An artist’s rendering of distributed assets at the Shannon-Oxmoor microgrid site.


Bill introduced for 100% renewables by 2035 – nationwide – Two U.S. congressmen from California have introduced a bill that would require that 100% of the electricity sold in the United States be generated from renewable energy sources by 2035, as well as setting an efficiency standard, and calling for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. As has been the case with similar efforts at the federal level, this bill is likely to go nowhere. But the increasing calls for a rapid transition to renewables are only becoming stronger, and this is indicative of increasing action at the state, city and county level. Source: Office of U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu.


Trump makes former coal lobbyist’s role running EPA permanent – While the world is increasingly waking up to the severe danger posed by climate change and taking action to speed the inevitable transition to renewable energy, U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, from acting to permanent head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Source: Bloomberg.


Jeff Waters appointed CEO of SunPower’s Technologies business unitThe high-efficiency solar leader has pulled an executive with a strong semiconductor background from materials science company Isola to lead the manufacturing of its Next Generation Technology (NGT) back-contact cells and modules. Additionally Executive VP of Operations Bill Mulligan will be transitioning out of his role during 2019. Source: SunPower press release.


Union of Concerned Scientists outlines key strategies to advance new policies, refine market rules, and adopt and expand procurement programs. These include: 3. Plan for an orderly and equitable transition away from natural gas generation. 4. Use renewable generation technologies to provide grid reliability services. 5. Invest in energy storage at various timescales and locations. 6. Enable greater integration of western electricity markets. 8. Electrify cars, trucks, and buildings. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists (pdf).


In the below tweet, the EIA projects 24 GW of new utility scale capacity in the USA in 2019, 46% wind (11 GW), 18% solar PV (4.3 GWac), and 34% natural gas (8.2 GW). Expect more coverage by pv magazine USA on this estimate in the coming days.


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