Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere.

In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.

Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That’s help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar power may be cheaper than using coal on average globally, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Better technology has been key in boosting the industry, from the use of diamond-wire saws that more efficiently cut wafers to better cells that provide more spark from the same amount of sun. It’s also driven by economies of scale and manufacturing experience since the solar boom started more than a decade ago, giving the industry an increasing edge in the competition with fossil fuels.

The average 1 megawatt-plus ground mounted solar system will cost 73 cents a watt by 2025 compared with $1.14 now, a 36 percent drop, said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis for New Energy Finance.

That’s in step with other forecasts.

  • GTM Research expects some parts of the U.S. Southwest approaching $1 a watt today, and may drop as low as 75 cents in 2021, according to its analyst MJ Shiao.
  • The U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Lab expects costs of about $1.20 a watt now declining to $1 by 2020. By 2030, current technology will squeeze out most potential savings, said Donald Chung, a senior project leader.
  • The International Energy Agency expects utility-scale generation costs to fall by another 25 percent on average in the next five years.
  • The International Renewable Energy Agency anticipates a further drop of 43 percent to 65 percent for solar costs by 2025. That would bring to 84 percent the cumulative decline since 2009.

The speed at which the price of solar power will drop below coal varies in each country. Places that import coal or tax polluters with a carbon price, such as Europe and Brazil, will see a crossover in the 2020s, if not before. Countries with large domestic coal reserves such as India and China will probably take longer.

This article was written by Jessica Shankleman and Chris Martin. You can view the full article at Bloomberg.

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The solar industry is growing with the future looking evermore promising. Did you know our product helps end up to 50% of waste produced by solar installation companies? It’s important to cut waste early before excess waste becomes an industry standard. Here’s 4 ways we help reduce waste:

Number 1: We use 85% less aluminum

Our state of the art system uses 85% less aluminum than conventional solar racking. Conventional solar racking consists of fixed aluminum rails across the roof. Sol Attach racking instead uses small mount components which eliminates an entire rail. This reduces our, and your, waste.

Number 2: We use less energy

Compared to traditional solar racking, we use significantly less energy to produce our product. We think green during the development, production, and shipment phases of our business.

Number 3: We use less parts

In number 1, we discussed how solar panels are attached to railing but how does the railing stay in place? Lots of parts: screws, bolts, nuts, etc. Our mount uses less parts and assembly product. We believe this has helped reduce environmental hazards and consumer good consumption.

Number 4: We make shipping more efficient

Have you ever thought about how a product gets shipped to you? Not only does the company need supplies, like boxes, to ship it to you but gas is also an important factor. By shipping less product, we reduce waste because everything you need is in one box.

The Sol Attach racking system was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry.

Sol Attach LLC announces new low in pricing: only .06 per watt

SAN ANTONIOOct. 25, 2016PRLog — Sol Attach LLC, a business-to-business solar racking manufacturer based out of Southern Texas, has announced a new low in pricing.

Sol Attach LLC, which is certified in and distributes to more than 15 states, is now offering their efficient and signature solar racking at a rate of only .06 per watt.

The solar racking being offered is an exclusively manufactured solar mount aimed at reducing inventory, shipping, and labor costs. Sol Attach LLC has helped save solar installers over $2,000,000, dramatically improving their bottom lines. It has also been effective in reducing solar installers’ expenses by up to 50%.

The Sol Attach Solar Racking System was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Racking System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry. Here’s how you can contact the company:

• Email kevin@solattach.com

• Contact Kevin at 210-748-9492

• You can contact the company by visiting their website at http://www.solattach.com

Contact
Sol Attach
Kevin Stapleton
210-748-9492
kevin@solattach.com

The Energy Department today announced $21.4 million in funding for 17 new projects to help reduce the “soft costs” commonly found with solar energy, such as installation, permitting, and connecting to the grid. As more U.S. consumers turn toward renewable energy each year, nine of the awards will focus on how the solar industry can sustain and accelerate this growth by understanding the motivations and factors that influence the technology adoption process, particularly in low- and moderate-income communities. The other eight awards will focus on tackling solar market challenges at the state and regional levels through better strategic energy and economic planning.

“Soft costs have been a pervasive barrier to widespread solar energy in the United States,” said Dr. Charlie Gay, Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office. “Finding new ways to cut these costs remains critical in accelerating solar deployment nationwide and making solar affordable for all Americans.”

The projects announced today are funded by the Department’s SunShot Initiative  and support its ongoing work to enable the widespread deployment of safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar energy by developing strategies and solutions that directly reduce the costs and barriers to solar access and deployment. The projects are funded under two distinct topics:

SOLAR ENERGY EVOLUTION AND DIFFUSION STUDIES (SEEDS)

The SEEDS program leverages decisions based on science and solar datasets to improve our understanding of how and why homeowners and businesses choose solar energy. Nine of the 17 projects announced today will partner researchers with data and energy practitioners to create, analyze, and use solar data and other information in order to examine how solar technologies, the electric grid system, and the institutions that create the solar business marketplace support or inhibit the evolution and diffusion of solar technologies.

This second round of funding under SEEDS introduces two new areas of research interest: low- and moderate-income (LMI) solar adoption and institutional decision-making. Projects focusing on LMI communities will focus on identifying solar adoption barriers other than cost, while identifying ways to more effectively engage these communities in the growing solar marketplace. Projects examining institutional decision-making aim to reveal the factors driving change within institutions as they relate to solar, and how institutions within a given system—for example, one university within a state university system—can influence such change. View the list of awardees.

STATE ENERGY STRATEGIES (SES)

Through SunShot’s SES work project teams from state energy offices, regional energy providers, and their partners have the opportunity to gain the planning insights that can support their individual goals to maximize solar’s benefits within their various communities. Eight new projects announced today will help to better inform states how to more effectively adopt solar by providing technical and analytical assistance to help them meet their renewable energy goals. These projects will benefit states at two phases in the solar energy planning process: during the creation of solar deployment targets and identification of strategies to achieve these goals, and then during the implementation of these strategies. For instance, teams may seek technical and informational assistance from DOE to better understand system performance projections, transmission and distribution constraints, or the economic and environmental benefits of various solar programs and projects.

Teams participating in this program will work to support solar planning efforts in 17 states plus the District of Columbia: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. View the list of awardees.

SunShot supports research and development efforts by non-profit organizations, universities, private industry, and the national laboratories to make solar power affordable and accessible for all Americans.

Original article appeared on Energy.gov.

The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry.

Utility customers around the country who rely on individual solar power generation could be under-compensated by their local utility companies, according to research compiled by Environment Texas and released this week.

Forty-one states in the U.S. offer solar energy users net metering, which repays those users at retail prices for the extra energy they offer the grid, according to the report. Those repayments are not equal to the value of the power generated, the Environment Texas report claims.

The advocacy non-profit examined 16 studies of solar power grids around the country–including two in San Antonio and Austin–and found that in most cases solar users are being underpaid in exchange for the energy they produce. The individual studies were published between 2012 and 2016 by mostly solar energy and environmental research groups, although some were done by local public utility companies.

Among the 16 analyses studied, the average value of rooftop solar power was 16.35 cents per kilowatt hour, while the average residential retail electricity rate was around 13 cents per kilowatt hour.

Environment Texas’ report, “Shining Rewards: The value of rooftop solar power for consumers and society,”urged utilities to adopt a more equitable net metering system to encourage more solar power use.

In a state with 300 days of sunshine plenty of open spaces, Texas has long been heralded as place for high solar potential, but solar power has yet to takeoff here. At least five major solar projects in the state have been delayed or cancelled as of July.

Lincoln Clean Energy made the latest attempt, a $320 million solar farm capable of powering 40,000 homes near Amarillo, but construction has been stalled because no one wants to buy the electricity, the company said.

The roughly 300 megawatts of grid-scale solar power in Texas accounts for less than 1 percent of the state’s electricity generation, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees about 90 percent of the power grid.

Credit to FuelFix for the original article.

The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry.

 

solareserve

 

A California-based energy company announced plans Tuesday to build the world’s largest solar project in Nevada, a $5 billion endeavor involving at least 100,000 mirrors and 10 towers as tall as any building in the state.

SolarReserve’s Sandstone project would include up to 10 concentrated solar arrays, each equipped with a molten salt system capable of storing the sun’s energy to generate power after dark, CEO Kevin Smith said.

The company already has built one such array, the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant, on 1,600 acres of federal land outside of Tonopah, 225 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The $1 billion array began delivering power to NV Energy late last year.

Smith said project Sandstone would generate between 1,500 and 2,000 megawatts, enough to supply about a million homes. That’s on par with a nuclear power plant or the Hoover Dam and far bigger than any of the world’s existing solar facilities.

“It’s a big project. It’s an ambitious project,” he said.

Smith expects to be able to announce a roughly 16,000-acre site for the new project within the next six to nine months. He said company officials have looked at about a dozen locations over the past year and narrowed the list to two, both on federal land in Nye County.

Crescent Dunes solar array near Tonopah, Nevada (Gabriel Utasi/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Construction probably won’t start for another two or three years, Smith said, but when it does, it should create about 3,000 jobs lasting about seven years, as the solar arrays and towers are built one or two at a time.

SolarReserve also will need to build new transmission infrastructure to carry its renewable product to market, he said.

Smith unveiled the new venture during an event Tuesday that drew U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to the Crescent Dunes plant in northwestern Nye County.

That facility uses more than 10,000 mirrored heliostats, each with the square footage of a small house, to focus sunlight on a 640-foot-tall central tower, heating the molten salt inside to more than 1,000 degrees.

The heat stored in the molten salt is then used to boil water, creating steam that drives generators to produce electricity day or night.

SolarReserve says its patented storage system allows Crescent Dunes to deliver power on demand like a coal, natural gas or nuclear plant, but with zero emissions, little water use and no hazardous waste.

The plant took more than four years to construct, significantly longer than company officials predicted. Smith expects both the cost and construction time to decrease significantly with each new facility SolarReserve builds.

He also expects to be able to pay for the new project with commercial financing, though he said his company will explore federal loan programs. Crescent Dunes was backed by $737 million in federal loan guarantees.

NV Energy agreed to buy that plant’s entire output at 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour — roughly twice the cost of power from a natural gas-fueled plant — for the next 25 years.

Smith said the bulk of the power from the Sandstone project likely will be “exported to the California market,” which is already awash in cheap solar power when the sun is out but has a growing need for renewable energy that can be delivered reliably day or night.

No power purchase agreements have been struck yet, but “we’ve certainly identified potential buyers,” he said.

Not everyone shares his optimism.

Some energy analysts have raised concerns about the large capital and maintenance costs associated with concentrated solar projects, particularly as comparatively cheap and easy-to-build photovoltaic arrays produce power at a lower cost.

Then there are the impacts of such massive projects on wildlife and the landscape.

Crescent Dunes in Nevada and the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California, just across the border from Primm, have made headlines and drawn the wrath of environmentalists for the number of birds that are killed in collisions with the mirrors and central towers or incinerated in beams of concentrated sunlight that can top 900 degrees.

But Smith believes the problem is overblown, especially at Crescent Dunes, where the full-time biologists on site have logged around 60 bird deaths over the past year.

“That’s probably less than the office building we work out of in Santa Monica,” he said.

Credit for article to Las Vegas Review Journal.

The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry.

Residential Solar Module Racking

Sol Attach Mount

Add a new steel front door to your house and you’ll likely recoup the investment if you have to sell. But what about a solar power system?

 

A group of California economists looked at that question in a recent study and found that on average, homeowners in California who install photovoltaic solar panels to power their homes can recover nearly all the investment costs if they move–and that’s on top of the annual energy savings.

The economists looked at utility data, sales records of single family homes and building permit data in San Diego County and Sacramento County from 2003 through year-end 2010.

The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, titled “Understanding the Solar Home Price Premium: Electricity Generation and ‘Green’ Social Status,” is available here.

For the average installation, the authors found that solar panels added a $20,194 premium to the sales price of the house based on repeat sales data (houses were in the mid-$500,000 range).

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory offers a useful guide when determining how much your property’s value will go up. According to its research, each additional $1 in energy bill savings (from your solar installation) adds $20 to your home’s total value.

The exact numbers vary from property to property and installation to installation, but recent research shows an average increase in resale value being $5,911 for each 1 kilowatt (kW) of solar installed. In a state like California, for example, a small 3.1-kilowatt (kW) system can add an average of $18,324 to the value of a medium-sized home.

The property value advantages of solar energy only increase as you scale up. Installing 5kW of solar panels adds an average of $29,555 to the retail value of a medium-sized home.

It’s important to note that these statistics only apply to today’s housing prices and utility rates. As electricity prices go up (as they most certainly will), the advantages of solar energy rise proportionally as well.

With the right-sized installation, solar energy is an investment that potentially pays a 200%+ return – far exceeding most any other financial vehicle you can imagine.

And unlike most investments on the market, you actually begin enjoying those returns on Day 1.

Thank you to our friends at Forbes for providing the original article below.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2011/08/01/how-much-do-solar-panels-boost-home-sale-prices/#3c8b1de729dd

The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry.

In an effort to drive an increase in solar energy installation and usage, a major San Antonio Solar player announced a new incentive on Monday.

“What this program is geared around is reaching out to some of the lower-income households, lower-value homes, some sectors of the community that have not thus far participated in the rebate program,” Advanced Solar owner Don Dickey said during an announcement held at City Hall.

Residents in the wealthier areas of San Antonio have taken advantage of CPS Energy Rebates and the CPS Data backs that up.

Advance Solar is offering the rebate to CPS Energy customers in City Council Districts 1 through 5. The rebate can also be claimed if you reside anywhere in the CPS Energy territory with a house valued at $100,000 or less, as reported by the property tax assessment.

From 2009 to January of 2016, CPS Energy paid approximately $11.6 million in rebates to customers residing in Districts 6 through 10, which lie in the wealthier west and north sides. Customers in districts 1 through 5 have only received approximately $3.1 million in rebates during that same time.

CPS customers residing outside the city limits have received approximately $21.5 million in rebates. The CPS Energy grid spans over several counties including Wilson and Guadalupe.

CPS Energy customers who receive the $1.14 per watt rebate could simultaneously receive a rebate from CPS Energy in the amount of $1 per watt. The Federal Government also offers a 30% tax credit on residential solar installations.

Advanced Solar broke down the cost of a typical 4.335-kilowatt residential solar project with the combination of the company’s rebate, CPS’ rebate and the federal tax credit.

The sales price of a system that size would be $15,936 with no incentives or rebates, according to Advanced Solar. The CPS rebate and federal tax credit would bring that cost to the consumer down to $8,488.90. The Advanced Solar rebate would bring the cost down to $5,822. The company also offers in-house financing programs.

Such a system would save the customer an estimated $52.16 per month, adding up to $626 in the first year, according to Advanced Solar.

Aside from some residents being able to afford the up-front cost before qualifying for a rebate, education is another reason people who want solar do not buy their own panels, Ben Rodriguez, Director of Project Management said. He asked those present to promote it on their email blasts and social media pages.

“Advanced Solar does not have the resources of H-E-B or Walmart or CVS,” Rodriguez said. “We have to leave it up to our community leaders. That’s a call to action to everybody who’s here at this table.”

The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry.

Could we be seeing the end of international oil companies? According to Professor Paul Stevens, a distinguished fellow in the Energy, Environment and Resources department at Chatham House, their business model is, and has been, failing:

 

“The future of the major international oil companies (IOCs) – BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total – is in doubt. The business model that sustained them during the 20th century is no longer fit for purpose. As a result, they are faced with the choice of managing a gentle decline by downsizing or risking a rapid collapse by trying to carry on business as usual.”

 

While Professor Stevens attributes the fall in recent prices as a contributor to their failure, he believes their failures began long ago. According to him, their failures began before many governments and countries became serious about tackling climate change and the price of oil collapsed. He writes:

 

“The most recent iteration of the IOCs’ business model emerged during the 1990s and was built upon three pillars: maximizing shareholder value based on a strategy that provided benchmarks for financial returns, maximizing bookable reserves and minimizing costs partly based on outsourcing. This model began to face serious challenges as the operating environment changed. It is the accumulation of these challenges, on top of those evident since the 1970s, and the failure of the IOCs to adapt to them that indicates that their old business model is gradually dying.”

 

While the international oil companies have been able to weather the storm for the past 25 years, they are beginning to exhibit signs indicating their businesses are faltering:

 

“As well as poor financial performances, the symptoms include growing shareholder disillusion with a business model rooted in assumptions of ever-growing oil demand, oil scarcity and the need to increase bookable reserves, all of which increasingly lack validity.”

 

Professor Stevens goes on to explain the different strategies available to ensure their survival which include: shuffling their portfolios around, expanding diversification, rebuilding their in-house technology, and more mergers.

Regardless of the actions taken by these oil companies, none alone is great enough to deter the threat faced with their current business models. Oil companies can no longer just wait for oil prices to increase once again. They cycle of low and high prices is no longer attainable. These international oil companies must make fundamental business model changes or face their death.

 

The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System was developed by Sol Attach, LLC and is certified to operate in 15 states. The Sol Attach Solar Mounting System requires less product to purchase, ship, inventory, and install. We believe you’ll agree: it’s a game changer for the solar industry.

Could energy storage be the next tax break?

On June 2, 2016 – “U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley, Calif.) introduced H.R. 5350, the bipartisan Energy Storage for Grid Resilience and Modernization Act. Honda was joined by Reps. Chris Gibson (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mark Takano (D-CA).” The purpose of the legislation is to clarify that energy storage industry receives a 30% tax credit equivalent in nature to what the Renewable Energy industry gets. The 30% Solar Power Tax Credit, is credited with being one of the major drivers for the solar power installation boom in the United States.

H.R. 5350: Energy Storage Act of 2016 has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration. GovTrack.us gives it a 4% chance of being enacted. The full text of the bill can be reviewed here. Other energy bills are being considered by Congress right now – including, S. 2012: Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, the first significant national energy bill since the 1990s.

Pricing for batteries is falling quickly. Microgrids – dependent on local energy storage – are being installed by standard solar power players like SolarCity, but also equipment groups like CAT. Tony Seba thinks that the Tesla Gigafactory, all on its own, will lower the price of lithium ion batteries by 30-50%.

Just 4 days ago, The White House put out a list of organizations sponsoring programs, pilots, and projects in eight states:

  • California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recently released draft study results demonstrating that a regional market would promote more renewable energy at a lower cost in the Western United States.  CAISO commits to exploring the possibility of expanding its balancing authority across a larger geographic footprint to more efficiently optimize the grid and integrate renewable energy resources.  CAISO also commits to developing business rules and procedures to coordinate operation of the transmission system with distribution systems operators that are experiencing a proliferation of distributed energy resources.
  • California Public Utilities Commission commits to developing a regulatory framework that enables a flexible, efficient, clean and reliable power grid.  To accomplish this goal, California will continue to allow customers to effectively and efficiently choose from an array of distributed energy resources and promote the collection, analysis, and, where consistent with customer privacy protections, dissemination of smart meter and grid condition data.
  • The Commonwealth of Massachusetts announces, as part of its Energy Storage Initiative, an initial $10 million investment for demonstration projects and a comprehensive study in order to identify the potential benefits of incorporating advanced storage technologies into the state’s energy portfolio.  Conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the study seeks to analyze the national and Massachusetts storage industry landscape, review economic development and market opportunities for energy storage, and examine potential policies and programs that could be implemented to better support energy storage deployment.  Following the release of this study in mid-2016, DOER and MassCEC will work with stakeholders to begin testing and implementing both the regulatory and the policy recommendations detailed therein, including grant opportunities to begin demonstration projects to further test the viability of energy storage technology and innovations in the Massachusetts energy market.
  • Community Storage Initiative (CSI) announces that it has been joined by over 40 organizations, including utilities, manufacturers, and technology suppliers.  CSI was launched in February 2016 by the American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Peak Load Management Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council.  The CSI also announces the Inaugural CSI Leadership Forum on July 20 and 21, 2016 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Over 100 leading practitioners will meet to exchange their experiences in and ideas for coordinating distributed energy storage resources that are located throughout a community.
  • Con Edison announces a new partnership with Siemens to use data from Con Edison’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure rollout, which will cover 4.8 million customers, to enable consumers to benefit from cost-effective renewable energy integration.  The new system will make available detailed data for use by consumers and renewable energy providers for planning and economic analysis purposes, as well as time-varying price signals for when renewable energy production is most valuable to the grid. The initiative includes implementing Green Button Connect to allow customers to share data with third parties.
  • Duke Energy commits to deploy at least five megawatts of energy storage in the Asheville region of North Carolina.  Energy storage, coupled with more efficient natural gas generation, solar power, and innovative customer solutions, will enable Duke Energy to maintain a high degree of energy reliability while also reducing its carbon footprint by closing all of its coal-fired power plants in the Asheville community.
  • Green Button Alliance announces its commitment to explore a pilot program to provide aggregated and anonymous energy usage information for research and the public benefit.  The potential energy usage data pilot would entail a database of anonymous energy-use information from participating utilities that would be collected from smart meter deployments.  By customer consent, the data would be made available in the standardized Green Button format to universities and research entities to study energy use patterns which could then be used for grid reliability and forecasting, infrastructure planning, or integration of distributed energy resources.  Participants considering the viability of a potential pilot include Green Button Alliance founding utilities: Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and London Hydro.
  • Green Mountain Power (GMP), building on its eHomes program, announces its partnership with Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont, and the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation to pilot a community-scale comprehensive energy transformation in Panton, Vermont in June 2016.  The year-long project is expected to decrease energy usage, energy costs and carbon pollution.  It will include town buildings, local businesses, 80% of the homes in Panton, and utility-scale solar paired with battery storage to microgrid parts of the town.
  • Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), an AES Company, announces the commercial operation of a 20 MW energy storage array.  This is the first grid-scale battery energy storage system in the 15-state Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region.  It is also the first grid-scale energy storage system in the United States that will be used to provide primary frequency response, an essential reliability service.  IPL’s energy storage will enhance system reliability and help reduce costs and emissions across the electric system.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) plans to procure 24 MW of energy storage by 2016 and commits to a target of 178 MW by 2021.  LADWP also plans to procure 60 MW of demand response by 2016 and commits to target the procurement of 200 to 500 MW by 2026.  LADWP will dedicate up to $2.9 million in funding for its Interval Data for Energy Efficiency effort in order to identify approximately 40 GWh in actionable savings at commercial and industrial customer sites.  LADWP will also deploy its Sustainability Analytics Tool to premier accounts and major customers over the next year.
  • NextEra Energy’s Florida Power & Light (FPL) announces a pilot project to test storage technology applications under real-life conditions.  FPL will install different types of battery systems in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties to research energy storage benefits, including: improved reliability for isolated areas and microgrid foundations via a battery back-up system to be built at the southern tip of Everglades National Park; reuse of electric vehicle batteries and “peak shaving” via small-scale installations in residential areas in Miami and repurposing “second-life” batteries from more than 200 electric vehicles; and mobile storage capacity to prevent power interruptions at major economically important events via a portable system to be tested during the 2017 Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne.  These applications will also help with renewable integration as FPL continues to expand its use of solar energy to serve its 4.8 million customers.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) plans to invest approximately $3 billion a year through 2020 to make the grid more resilient and facilitate its vision of a grid that will integrate distributed solar, energy storage, electric vehicles and other low-carbon technologies.  To facilitate the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), PG&E is proposing five pilot projects to demonstrate: Dynamic Integrated Capacity Analysis methodology for integrating all line sections or nodes within a specific distribution planning area (DPA); Optimal Location Benefit Analysis methodology for a DPA that has one near-term and one longer-term distribution infrastructure project that can be deferred due to DER integration; DER locational benefits; distribution operations at high penetrations of DERs; and DER dispatch to meet reliability needs.
  • Portland General Electric (PGE) commits to implementing a new standard communication interface for smart water heaters that will enable customer-friendly and affordable large-scale residential demand response.  PGE, Oregon’s largest electric utility company, is co-leading a market transformation effort with the Bonneville Power Administration that would replace the region’s 3.5 million water heaters with smart water heaters, creating a 10,000 MWh “battery” for less than $40/kWh, and will launch a mass-market water heater program pilot including these new technologies in 2017.  PGE also commits to investing $366,000 in 2016 in energy storage research and development and early-stage technology deployment and to using smart meter data and distributed energy resources in its resource planning and investment decisions, including launching a second generation energy information system by the end of 2016.  PGE is also announcing a pilot on time-variant prices for residential customers.
  • San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), as part of a pilot program, is planning to install 3,500 electric vehicle charging stations at businesses, in multi-family communities, and in underserved neighborhoods, all while maximizing the use of renewable energy to charge the cars.  SDG&E recently signed a contract for a 20-MW energy storage facility, which would be the largest in the San Diego region, and expects to reach 165 MW of storage capacity by 2020.
  • Southern California Edison (SCE) commits to procuring at least 580 MW of energy storage projects by 2020 (which must be operational by 2024) to support grid optimization, renewable energy integration, and greenhouse gas reduction.  SCE is also committing to offset local load growth through an additional planned procurement in 2016 of a minimum of 100 MW of clean energy resources.  SCE will launch requests for offers for energy storage projects in 2016, including projects that could help maintain grid reliability to mitigate risks of outages caused by the limited operation of the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Facility.
  • U.S. Green Building Council and its sister organization Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), in partnership with Urban Ingenuity, announce a public-private convening on July 11 to support the District of Columbia’s efforts to encourage microgrid development.  GBCI and the National Association of State Energy Offices commit to co-sponsoring at least two regional webinars in 2016 to engage utility and state stakeholders on smart grid development using PEER – the first ever rating system for power system performance – to advance innovative, more flexible, and affordable grids.