Morning brief: Solar on the family farm, LIPA shutting down steam, PG&E emerging from bankruptcy


The Fritz Family Farms in New Windsor, Maryland partnered with Standard Solar on a 2.7 MW solar array on 12 acres of their 400-acre grain, hay and cattle farm.“This project provides economic benefit to the landowner, operator and community while harnessing clean renewable energy,” said Jeffrey Fritz. (Jeffrey’s great-great grandfather purchased the farm in 1912.) It’s a single-axis tracking solar array configured for Maryland’s Virtual Aggregate Net Energy Metering program. Standard financed and will own and operate the 7,336-panel project. Power will be purchased by WSSC Water, one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the U.S. Source: Standard Solar

The Long Island Power Authority, faced with coronavirus-impacted revenue declines and a growing surplus of power, plans to retire at least one large steam generating unit. The decision to wind down a portion of the National Grid-owned fleet of old steam generators marks a major turn for LIPA as the state prepares for a carbon-free grid in coming decades and as LIPA seeks to renegotiate the tens of millions of dollars it pays in property taxes for the sites. LIPA CEO Tom Falcone said the first retirement of 400 MW to 600 MW of generating capacity would be followed by more retirements after 2024, when the first big offshore wind turbines are slated to be operating off the Long Island and Massachusetts coasts. Source: Newsday

California regulators backed PG&E’s plan to allow the state’s biggest utility to emerge from the bankruptcy case it filed last year, clearing the last major hurdle the company faced. The bankruptcy court’s approval is also required to wrap up the case. PG&E sought bankruptcy protection in January 2019 after it amassed $30 billion in liabilities related to wildfires. The 2018 Camp Fire, left 85 people dead and destroyed the town of Paradise. Source: The New York Times


A few product announcements:

Point Load Power, a startup founded at technology incubator Idealab, recently completed UL and FCC certifications for its rooftop solar tracker for commercial and industrial buildings. We’ll have a detailed report early this week.

GAF Energy, a provider of roof-integrated solar, launched a virtual sales, design, and support program for certified contractors that install GAF Energy products — allowing roofers to maintain sales and essential services while observing health guidelines for social distancing. We’ve reported, in detail, on GAF Energy’s solar roofing product.

REsurety is a provider of clean energy valuation and risk analytics. The company’s REmap tool integrates weather and power market data — and shows how the Covid-19 shutdown, low natural gas prices, and high winds drove the wholesale value of electricity (weighted for time of production) to all-time lows in parts of the Lower Midwest – even dropping below $2 per MWh in some locations in April.

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