Morning Brief: Sol Systems and Microsoft partner on 500 MW of solar, PVEL’s new inverter test lab

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Sol Systems, a solar energy finance and development firm, launched an initiative with Microsoft that creates the first community investment fund and the firm’s single largest renewable energy portfolio energy purchase agreement. Sol Systems will finance, develop and operate a portfolio of over 500 MW of solar projects in the U.S. and will sell energy from those projects to Microsoft. In parallel, working with local leaders in nearby communities and those disproportionately impacted by climate change, the partners will invest at least $50 million for community-led grants and investments that support educational programs, job and career training, habitat restoration, and programs that support access to clean energy. Source: SolSystems

Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary NV Energy plans to build 500 miles of transmission lines and three solar-plus-storage projects as a part of its integrated resource plan. Nevada is betting on solar-plus-storage projects to reach its 50% renewable portfolio standard, announcing three new solar-plus-storage projects: the 150-MW Dry Lake Solar Energy Center, paired with a 100-MW, four-hour battery; the Boulder Solar III Project, a 128-MW array paired with a 58-MW, four-hour battery; and the 200-MW Chuckwalla Solar Project paired with a 180-MW, four-hour storage system. Source: IEEFA

PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), an independent test lab for the global downstream solar industry, has opened an advanced inverter test center with 1500 V capabilities at its newly renovated South San Francisco lab. The company is now evaluating the performance, reliability and functionality of string inverters and power electronics for solar projects of almost any scale under one roof. More at PVEL.

Array Technologies, a maker of single-axis solar tracking, and RINA, an independent testing, inspection, certification, and engineering consultancy, released a comprehensive analysis and lifetime cost assessment of the two most common utility-scale PV single-axis tracker designs in the market today. The analysis provides developers as well as asset owners and plant operators with real-world financial data to make more thoughtful project component selection and insight into how these initial choices affect the total lifetime cost of ownership of a PV power plant. The study can be downloaded at Array Technologies.      

115 groups sign presidential policy agenda recommending executive actions on race, climate and pollution: MoveOn, Greenpeace, Sunrise Movement, 350.org, Hip Hop Caucus, among the signers. Platform and policy memo is here. List of signatories here.