Morning Brief: Planners reject $40M, 140-MW battery storage project for fire risk, New York adopts net metering alternative

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Planners say thumbs down to $40 million 140-MW California battery storage project: VC Community Planning Group voted to oppose a large lithium-ion battery storage project dubbed Valley Center Storage. Planners were alarmed by potential safety issues, specifically fire, related to the battery storage facility, previously the Terra Gen Battery Storage. Mark Turner, representing the developer, appeared for the third time before the group. He was buffeted by questions and accusations about the technology’s safety record, and tendency to catch fire and pose a hazard for firefighters. Source: Valley Roadrunner

New York adopts net metering alternative: The New York State Public Service Commission approved an alternative to net metering for residential and small commercial customers, laying out new monthly fees and rules but delaying implementation until 2022 due to the impacts of Covid-19. The new system will charge solar customers between $0.69 and $1.09 per kW based on the utility, customer class and compensation option. Existing net energy metering customers will be unaffected. New York power companies wanted to see net metering replaced with charges based on customer demand, while solar companies say the per-kilowatt charge could slow market growth. Source: Utility Dive

Recurrent Energy has closed $282 million of debt financing to construct the company’s planned Maplewood and Maplewood 2 solar projects in Pecos County, Texas. The financing was provided by a bank club led by Norddeutsche Landesbank and including Export Development Canada, Rabobank, National Bank of Canada and Bayerische Landesbank. The Maplewood Solar Project is set to have a capacity of 327 MW and will deliver energy to Anheuser-Busch under a power purchase agreement (PPA), which is estimated to cover 50% of the electricity consumption of Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. operations. The 40 MW Maplewood 2 Solar Project will deliver clean power to Energy Transfer Partners under a 15-year PPA. Source: Canadian Solar

Minnesota solar installers say they’re waiting too long for Xcel Energy grid connections: After two years of stakeholder meetings, state regulators last year updated interconnection standards for distributed energy projects under 10 MW. Instead of streamlining the process, though, some solar companies say it’s actually become more difficult and time consuming to get clearance from Xcel Energy, which serves more than 1.2 million electric customers in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. “Approvals for projects that used to take a summer now take six months to a year.”  Source: Energy News Network

Lower solar costs lead to new installations in metro Atlanta: Solar installations have sprung up across the metro area this spring in Georgia, a state that often posts some of the highest electricity costs in national consumer surveys.  Source: The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Registrations of Tesla electric vehicles in California dropped 48% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020. Source: Reuters