Tag Archives: Clean Energy Group

Illinois is set to become the Midwest’s solar power leader

By Karen Graham, Digital Journal

Illinois is experiencing a boom in solar energy projects stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, a 2016 law that sets a target of getting 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 . . . At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018, Illinois ranked 34th, up from 43rd in 2017 in solar capacity. The state has only 97.84 MW of installed solar power. Rankings and installed solar capacity are about to change for the better, so much so that Illinois could end up being the Midwest’s leader in solar energy in a matter of a few years. Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

Photo: Shedd Acquarium in Chicago. The 265-kilowatt solar project is a highlight in itself—it is the largest installation at any cultural institution in Illinois—but it’s only the first step of Shedd’s plan to cut energy usage in half by 2020.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

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ENERGY STORAGE RESOURCES

Special coverage of energy storage markets & technology, courtesy of pv magazine, by Christian Roselund. PV Magazine brings you a special edition devoted to the fast-growing energy storage space, including a look at its thornier challenges.

Click image to download and save the PDF.

 

Clean Energy Group has redesigned their Resilient Power Toolkit to make it easier to locate the resources you need to understand resilient power system technologies, their economics, and how to approach developing a new resilient solar+storage project.

“We’re always refining our toolbox of resources and making new additions, like our recent permitting and interconnection guide and a storage guide for homeowners from Solar United Neighbors. If you know of useful resources missing from our toolkit or are looking for something you can’t find, send us an email.” – Seth Mullendore, Vice President, Project Director: seth@cleanegroup.org

Eight Solar And Storage Trends To Keep An Eye On

By Betsy Lillian, Solar Energy Magazine

With the global solar industry expected to reach 100 GW this year, following nearly 20% year-over-year growth in annual installations in 2017, IHS Markit has identified eight solar and energy storage market trends to watch. “Solar Energy and Storage Trends,” a new white paper from IHS Markit, identifies the following significant trends with the most impact on the global solar market: Click here to continue.

The IHS Markit white paper can be downloaded here.

Pixels Photo

MORE CLEAN ENERGY NEWS & REPORTS

NEWS FROM CAMPUSES

RENEWABLES & RESILIENCE – NEW & ARCHIVED RESOURCES

FEATURED ORGANIZATION
American Conservation Coalition (ACC)

  • One of ACC’s ten Principles of Conservative Environmentalism: “A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship—especially of the natural world—is not fundamentally conservative.” Initiatives include the development of an environmental scorecard of Republicans in Congress.
  • ACC Press Release: College Republican Clean Energy Coalition Expands to 30 states

Iowa solar installer using storage to help customers avoid costly demand charges

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

In Iowa, a state with some of the highest demand charges in the nation, a solar installer is offering a storage solution that the company claims could cut power bills in half for some large electricity customers. One year ago the company, Ideal Energy, installed its first solar-plus-storage system at Stuff Etc., a large consignment store in Coralville. Amy Van Beek, the company’s co-founder and its chief marketing officer, said the project has been performing well and the company is now working with several large electricity customers in the state to determine how solar-plus-storage could work for them. Continue reading.

Photo: An Iowa solar company installed battery storage at this consignment store near Iowa City to help avoid high demand charges. Credit: Ideal Energy

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ALSO WRITTEN BY KAREN UHLENHUTH

New NREL and Clean Energy Group Analysis: Five Million Commercial Customers Could Cut Costs with Battery Storage

First public survey of utility rates details economic potential for
commercial behind-the-meter battery storage market

Table: A summary of demand charges for the states with the
highest utility demand charge rates in the U.S. (NREL)

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Clean Energy Group (CEG) have released the first comprehensive public analysis detailing the potential size of the commercial behind-the-meter battery storage market in the United States.

NREL analyzed over 10,000 utility tariffs in 48 states, finding that more than five million of the 18 million commercial customers across the country may be able to cost-effectively reduce their utility bills with battery storage technologies.

These findings, grouped by utility service territory and state and illustrated in a series of maps and tables, are presented in NREL and CEG’s white paper, Identifying Potential Markets for Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage: A Survey of U.S. Demand Charges.

The analysis determined that economic opportunities for storage exist not only in first-mover states like California and New York, but also across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. For example, tens of thousands of commercial customers in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio may be subject to utility tariffs with sufficiently high demand charges to make storage a viable economic investment. Anticipated future declines in battery storage costs would enlarge the market potential in these and other states.

“With this analysis, we have identified the areas where customers have the greatest potential to benefit from investments in battery storage,” said Seth Mullendore, coauthor of the paper and a project director at CEG. “Utilities know where these opportunities exist, and now the rest of us have that information too.”

Nearly all medium to large commercial customers in every state are subject to utility demand charges, yet customers often do not understand how these charges are structured or accounted for.

For more information about demand charges, see the accompanying fact sheet.

The charges affect private and nonprofit businesses, as well as a wide array of additional customers, including community facilities, public buildings, and multifamily housing properties. In many cases, these demand charges can comprise anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of a customer’s utility bill.

NREL and CEG will host a webinar on Tuesday, September 19th to discuss the findings of the report. Authors Joyce McLaren and Seth Mullendore will present their research and answer questions from the audience. For more information on this free webinar and to register, click here: Identifying Potential Markets for Commercial Behind-the-Meter Battery Storage

New Resource: Energy Storage Procurement Guidance Documents for Municipalities

Clean-Energy-Group-logocesa-logo

 

Clean Energy Group and the Clean Energy States Alliance, with support from Bright Power, Sandia National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity, and the Barr Foundation, have drafted a series of energy storage procurement guidance documents for municipalities.

The materials are designed to give specific examples of the elements that should be included in a solicitation for the procurement and installation of a battery energy storage project that is designed to provide backup power during outages.

This document is available here.

The document is a revised version of material previously presented in a webinar on the topic of energy storage procurement. The webinar, “Procurement Guidance for Energy Storage Projects: Help with RFIs, RFQs and RFPs,” is available here. The Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) produced the webinar. Learn more about ESTAP here.

In states implementing additional charges, net metering caps & other regulatory changes: “Can storage rescue solar?”

By Todd Olinsky-Paul, Clean Energy Group

Todd Olinsky-Paul postIn addition to benefiting customers: From the utility perspective, behind the meter storage should be viewed as an opportunity as well. After all, the more storage is paired with solar, the more control we will have over solar’s variable output, which is the main issue utilities cite for limiting the amount of solar on their networks (a potential $2 billion in lost revenue to conventional generators from rooftop solar is rarely mentioned). The more forward-looking utilities are even investing in small behind-the-meter storage systems at customer sites, which they can use to provide grid services and cut costs, while providing resilient power and other services to the host.

Unfortunately, the majority of utilities seem to be either neutral or negative on the question of distributed energy resources in general, and solar in particular. As Rocky Mountain Institute predicted more than a year ago, the more utilities try to decrease incentives and add fees for solar customers, the more incentive these customers will have to invest in storage, as a way to protect the value of their solar investment and further reduce their reliance on grid-purchased electricity.
Read the entire post here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING IN CLEAN ENERGY GROUP’S LATEST NEWSLETTER
The Case for Solar+Storage Tax Credits: Clean Energy Group’s Comments to the IRS Vermont Microgrid Included in State Energy Plan as Example for Replication
New Jersey Opens First US Energy Storage Rebate Program 

“Resilience for Free” – New Clean Energy Group Report

Resilience for Free

The first-of-its-kind analysis of how solar+storage could benefit low-income communities, Resilience for Free: How Solar+Storage Could Protect Multifamily Affordable Housing from Power Outages at Little or No Net Cost, stresses the need to make vulnerable populations – including seniors, disabled people, and low-income families – more power resilient in the face of natural disasters.

Clean Energy Group will be hosting a webinar on this report on October 29th. Details on this free webinar are available here.

Resilience for Free is part of a multi-year effort for the Resilient Power Project, a joint project of Clean Energy Group and Meridian Institute.

About Clean Energy Group

Clean Energy Group is a leading national, nonprofit advocacy organization working on innovative technology, finance, and policy programs in the areas of clean energy and climate change. Clean Energy Group also manages the Clean Energy States Alliance, a coalition of state and municipal clean energy funds. Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project is designed to help states and municipalities with program and policy information, analysis, financial tools, technical assistance, and best practices to speed the deployment of clean, resilient power systems in their communities. For more information, visit www.cleanegroup.org and www.resilient-power.org

New Report Highlights Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Energy Storage Markets

Clean Energy Group report provides analysis of  how energy storage is valued in U.S. electricity markets.

Clean Energy Group logo

Montpelier, VT — Key issues surrounding the deployment of energy storage and its participation in U.S. electricity markets are examined in a new report by Clean Energy Group, Energy Storage and Electricity Markets: The value of storage to the power system and the importance of electricity markets in energy storage economics. The report analyzes electricity markets where structures have been implemented to compensate energy storage services adequately enough to encourage increased deployment. The report also details energy storage opportunities for cost savings in regions with high utility demand charges or that employ time-of-use rates, which encourage less consumption during peak periods. These and other potential value streams are discussed along with successes and limitations in existing markets.

From renewable generation smoothing to demand charge reduction, energy storage technologies have the capacity to benefit each segment of the power system. Energy storage, primarily in the form of batteries, can deliver value not just to utilities and grid operators but to commercial and residential consumers alike. Unfortunately, the full value of energy storage cannot be realized under current market conditions, which can make it a challenge to find financing for these systems. However, markets are beginning to emerge that provide viable revenue streams for battery storage and its unique attributes and benefits to the grid and to electricity customers.

“Not only can battery storage improve resiliency as a source of critical backup power, it can boost the economic resiliency of communities by reducing consumer utility bills and generating revenue by providing grid services,” said report author Seth Mullendore. “Though energy storage technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, the market mechanisms supporting them are still in their infancy. Until markets have been developed and properly structured to value energy storage services, the full beneficial impact of energy storage on the power system will remain unrealized.”

The full report is available on Clean Energy Group’s website here.

A free webinar focused on this report will be hosted by Clean Energy Group and the Clean Energy States Alliance on Thursday, August 27 from 12-1:30 pm Central Time to provide more detail on the report’s key findings. For more information and to register, please visit http://www.cesa.org/webinars/webinar-electricity-markets-and-the-economics-of-energy-storage/view/2015-08-27.