Energy Freedom act signed in South Carolina, NC approves Duke microgrid: pvMB 5/22/19


North Carolina approves Duke’s first solar+storage residential microgrid – Duke Energy’s proposed microgrid system for the town of Hot Springs, North Carolina has been approved. The project consists of a 2 MW solar system, paired with a 4 MW battery storage system. Additionally, in Asheville, NC, a 9 MW battery storage system will be attached to the existing substation site in the Rock Hill community. Source: Duke Energy


Five ‘Solar in Your Community Challenge’ winners selected by Energy Department – With a focus on increasing solar adoption among nonprofits, faith-based organizations, state and local governments, and low- and moderate-income communities, awards have been given by the Department of Energy to the five winners of the Solar in Your Community Challenge. The winning proposals amass just under 26 MW, to be constructed by 2020. The winners are separated by category as follows:

Best Low- and Moderate-Income Project

  • The CARE Project from Denver, Colorado ($500,000)
  • Runner up: The Community Solar for Community Action team from Backus, Minnesota ($200,000)

Best Low- and Moderate-Income Program:

  • The Kerrville Area Solar Partners team from Texas ($100,000)

Best Nonprofit Project:

  • The Making Energy Work for Rural Oregon team from Portland, Oregon ($100,000)

Best Nonprofit Program

  • The Fellowship Energy team from Burlingame, California ($100,000)

Source: Department of Energy


Vivint to raise $1 million for children’s hospitals – “Vivint Solar, Inc. is proud to announce a new philanthropic partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals). The company aims to raise $1 million annually over the next three years for children’s hospitals in the 22 states that Vivint Solar is currently operating…. Vivint Solar’s partnership with CMN Hospitals will kick off this week with an employee fundraising campaign, all funds raised will go directly to 27 children’s hospitals, coinciding with areas Vivint Solar serves. Funds will be raised through employee and corporate giving initiatives and will be used by the local hospitals to address their greatest needs.” Source: Vivint Solar


Engie North America acquires Genbright – In a move to increase the company’s adoption and growth of distributed energy resources, Engie North America has acquired Genbright LLC. The two companies have worked together previously since 2017. The move also integrates additional wholesale market bidding, scheduling, and dispatch optimization capabilities into ENGIE Storage’s GridSynergy platform. Source: Yahoo Finance


Texas munis partner to buy 7 MW of distributed solar – “Five electric distribution cooperatives in Texas have signed agreements to purchase 7 MWdc of distribution-scale solar generation, providing an increased supply of cost-effective and clean energy to their members while increasing local system resilience. All of the arrays are scheduled to begin operation by June 2020. The buyers include Bartlett Electric Cooperative, Comanche Electric Cooperative, Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative, PenTex Energy and South Plains Electric Cooperative. The projects will be developed, constructed, owned and operated by Canadian renewable energy developer Saturn Power Corporation, which will sell energy to the cooperatives through 20-year power purchase agreements.” Source: Rocky Mountain Institute


Back to the future: solar powered watch of the 70’s – Check out this super space age-looking solar-powered watch developed by Roger W. Riehl in the 1970’s. The Synchronar 2100 was the first watch to hit the market powered by solar cells. The name stands for SYNchronous CHRONometer calendAR, with 2100 referencing the year through which the calendar is guaranteed to be accurate. And no, we’re not going to debate whether sundials are solar powered watches. Source: Gear Patrol


Three munis to get 7.2 MW in Illinois – “Three area municipalities and a non-profit organization will save a combined $14.5 million in energy costs over the next 25 years from solar energy projects approved by the State of Illinois.  When “energized” it will be the largest installation of solar power in the Fox Valley area. The solar fields are expected be online and producing power by the 4th quarter of 2019…. In accordance with the provisions under the agreements, Kendall County, the City of Plano, Fox Metro, and Mooseheart Child City and School will build in excess of 7.2 MW of solar power generation capabilities.  This will generate over 12 million kWh per year and 300 million kWh over the term of the project. For reference, the average home consumes around 10,000 kWh per year.” Source: Progressive Business Solutions


Yesterday was a big day for solar in South Carolina, with Governor McMaster (R) signing the Energy Freedom Act (See our coverage of this landmark bill)


And in final words, Sunpower is recruiting installation dealers in all 50 states.

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