pvMB 3/22/19: The largest U.S. bifacial plant breaks ground, SunPower & SEIA soft on Green New Deal, and more!


American’s largest bifacial solar project break ground“RES has announced the start of construction on the Southern Oak Solar Project in the state of Georgia. The project, which was developed by Invenergy, will be America’s largest bifacial solar project to date. The solar energy output from the project, including all the renewable energy credits and environmental attributes, is sold to Georgia Power through Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI) program. Bifacial solar modules generate power from both sides of the panels. This allows project owners to make better use of available space by capturing additional solar energy within the same footprint. In addition to debuting LONGi’s bifacial modules, Southern Oak will also see the implementation of NEXTracker’s single axis tracker racking system.” Source: RES.


NY’s largest rooftop solar array coming to Javits Center – Siemens has been chosen as the developer of the largest rooftop solar plant in New York on the roof of the Javits Center, located on Manhattan’s West Side. The installation will clock in at 1.4 MW, and construction is expected to begin in early 2020. Developers have not yet ruled out battery storage associated with the project, so that could be on the way too. Source: Siemens


BP ponders solar purchasing to power U.S. operations – BP is looking to purchase solar in the United States in as little as the next six months. The purchases would come through Lightsource BP, a solar development company that BP partially owns. This comes less than a year after the company vowed to be more transparent with how its business aligns with the Paris climate accord. Source: Bloomberg


SunPower, SEIA not for Green New Deal“U.S. solar and wind power companies may have the most to gain from the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal backed by several Democratic presidential candidates to end U.S. fossil fuel consumption within a decade. But do not expect the renewable energy firms to endorse it… “If you just broadly endorse the Green New Deal, you are liable to upset one side of the aisle or the other. And that’s not constructive,” said Tom Werner, the CEO of SunPower Corp…“We love the enthusiasm the Green New Deal has brought to the climate issue … but we need to operate in political reality,” said Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry’s main lobby group.” Source: Reuters


Southwestern Indiana to get 50 MW – Indiana regulators have approved Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana’s bid to construct a 50 MW plant in eastern Spencer County. The plant would be located on 300 acres and is anticipated to be fully operational by the end of 2020 Source: Vectren Corporation


MGE to expand shared solar -The popular Madison Shared Solar program, their community solar program, will be expanded thanks to a 5 MW solar project announced for the City of Middleton’s municipal airport. Eligible subscribers can sign up for as much as half of their annual electricity usage. Source: MGE


California judge proposes statewide renewable procurement – Arguing that current utility resource plans are not doing enough to meet state greenhouse gas reduction goals, a judge in California has proposed statewide procurement for renewable resources. The proposal would implement a statewide Preferred System Portfolio. This portfolio would outline and guide emissions reduction until 2030. Source: Utility Dive


Rocky Mountain Power proposes 600-battery apartment building among trio of Utah DSM projects“PacifiCorp subsidiary Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) has asked the Public Service Commission of Utah for authorization to implement three “innovative utility programs”… The programs include a battery demand response project in a 600-unit multi-family development, and an intermodal transportation charging and power balancing system.” Source: Utility Dive


New “Ten Ways to go Solar” toolkit provides blueprint for Maine cities – Environment Maine Research and Policy Center has released a new toolkit: Ten Ways Your Community Can Go Solar. The toolkit details how cities can expand access to solar, remove obstacles in place for future installations, penetrate solar into previously underserved areas and act as a model for other communities that may want to make the switch to solar. The toolkit also has a corresponding webinar series, hosted by Environment Maine Research and Policy Center and Environment America. Source: Environment Maine


The New Hampshire House has passed an expansion of net metering to include projects up to 5 MW in capacity, although – as Madeleine noted to me on Twitter – it still has to pass the Senate and get the signature of the governor.


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