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Morning Brief: ERCOT market excitement and price jump, McCarthy completes world-record 250-MW storage project


The ERCOT market saw a little excitement Monday afternoon as prices jumped over $1,600 during one afternoon hour only to be topped the next with 5-minute prints over $2,000. This type of action has been few and far between this summer as the solar profile has doubled the capacity on the grid to which most hits right when the grid needs the energy. The issue that still persists is the shape of the wind generation within the Lone Star state as the middle of the day takes a sharp turn down only to return by the end of the evening ramp. Source: Energy GPS

McCarthy Building Companies’ Renewable Energy & Storage EPC group just completed construction of LS Power’s 250-MW Gateway Energy Storage Project in San Diego County, Calif. LS Power’s Gateway system will be the largest operational battery storage facility in the world when it is fully energized this month. The Gateway Energy project has a 15-year contract with Southern California Edison and another long-term agreement with Pacific Gas and Electric. Initially, the system will offer one hour of energy storage, increasing to nearly three hours in 2021 and to four later. Source: McCarthy

Nationwide and Sol Systems’ joint venture, Helios, completed the purchase of four operating Texas solar projects totaling 47 MW from Cypress Creek Renewables. Three of the projects have a PPA with NRG Power Marketing and one project has a PPA with the Lower Colorado River Authority. Crestmark, a division of MetaBank, provided construction financing, while West Town Bank & Trust provided permanent loan financing and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, provided tax equity financing. Source: SolSystems

The Alabama Public Service Commission dismissed a challenge against Alabama Power’s discriminatory solar charge, which, since 2013, has limited the rights of Alabama homeowners and businesses to create solar power on their own properties and reduce their electric bills. Keith Johnston, Office Director of SELC’s Alabama office, comments, “As the nation moves forward with cleaner energy and the jobs that it creates, the Commissioners and Alabama Power continue to do everything they can to stop it.”  Source: SELC

More than two years after the FERC issued Order 841, its last major legal hurdle was recently settled by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court affirmed that FERC has ultimate say over even small-scale storage on the distribution system if that storage is participating in wholesale markets. However, despite Order 841 being heralded as the start of an energy storage revolution, projects being deployed and announced today are driven by policies completely unrelated to the order. While FERC and others are lauding the removal of some barriers to ESR participation, other FERC proceedings are erecting new ones, and many longstanding obstacles have been outright ignored. Source: Utility Dive

NuScale Power announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission completed Phase 6 review—the last and final phase—of the Design Certification Application for the company’s small modular reactor with the issuance of the Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER). The FSER represents completion of the technical review and approval of the NuScale SMR design. Customers can now proceed with plans to develop NuScale power plants with the understanding that the NRC has approved the safety aspects of the NuScale design. Source: NuScale

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  1. $2,000/kWh is way cheaper than last year’s $9,000/kWh that was seen several times in ERCOT. Solar must be killing those peaker plant dollars.

    Alabama state slogan: Just as backward as you think we are.

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