Sunrise brief: Array Technologies to supply 4 GW of trackers for at least 10 solar projects


Array Technologies said it won a contract for up to 4 GW of trackers from Primoris Services Corp., a provider of specialty contracting services. The contract includes a commitment to buy 2.5 GW of DuraTrack HZ v3 single-axis solar trackers. The trackers are slated for use on at least 10 projects across North America. The deal also includes an option to buy an additional 1.5 GW for other projects. Shipments will start in June. The agreement builds on the 2 GW that Primoris has already bought from Array.

Battery plant opens

Greece-based battery maker Sunlight opened a $10 million, 2 GWh lithium and lead battery assembly plant in North Carolina, its largest such facility to date. Sunlight focused on batteries and energy storage for the industrial sector, including energy storage for solar and wind, as well as large-automotive electric vehicles like shipping, buses, and tractors, plus automated guided vehicles such as forklifts and other warehouse machinery. Sunlight is part of the Olympia Group, which active in 10 countries and invests in industries such as energy, retail and telecoms.

Bloom hydrogen fuel cells

Bloom Energy and its South Korean partner, SK Engineering & Construction Co., an affiliate of SK Group, deployed 100 kW of solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) powered by hydrogen in Ulsan, South Korea, generating zero-carbon onsite electricity.

Bloom Energy first announced its plans to enter the commercial hydrogen market in July 2020, which included an intended 1 MW hydrogen-powered installation with SK E&C by 2022.

The SOFCs use hydrogen byproduct generated by SK to create power without carbon emissions. The fuel cells are supplied, operated, and maintained by Bloom Energy.

Bloom Energy’s hydrogen SOFCs are intended to support South Korea’s Changwon RE100 initiative, as well as other projects. The RE100 is a global renewable energy initiative led by the Climate Group to accelerate the move toward zero-carbon electricity grids. Bloom Energy and SK E&C won a bid in November from the Changwon RE100 to supply Bloom Energy’s hydrogen-powered SOFCs and hydrogen electrolyzers to an industrial complex.

In addition, Bloom Energy intends to supply solid-oxide electrolyzer cells (SOEC), which are designed to produce green hydrogen via solar and battery, to South Korea in 2022 as part of the RE100 project. The green hydrogen produced by the SOEC, which is created through electrolysis by converting water and renewable electricity into hydrogen without carbon emissions, will be used to power the hydrogen SOFC.

Microgrid under way at Connecticut campus

Schneider Electric and Citizens Energy Corp., a Boston-based non-profit energy company, began work on a microgrid to serve four facilities on the campus of The Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception in New Britain, Connecticut.

The microgrid includes technologies to enable predictive management and energy use optimization during grid connected and island modes. It builds on an already installed roughly 700 kW solar array, and and will add another 100 kW of solar capacity. The project specs included a 100 kW 255 kWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system and  a 225 kW natural gas-fueled generator.

Citizens Energy will complete the microgrid, including power system upgrades and controls. The group is funding and developing the project using the Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) business model, and will deliver energy through power purchase agreements. The project won $3.87 million from the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Microgrid Design & Installation Grant for Critical Facilities to will help offset project costs.

Two Connecticut companies, Ecosolar Installations and Associated Real Estate Services, helped with the grant process and local stakeholder management. Ecosolar will serve as the primary construction lead, responsible for the site work, construction and electrical work associated with all aspects for the project including solar, storage, natural gas generator and controls. The microgrid is expected to enter service by the end of 2021.

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