Tag Archives: Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

‘Smart charging’ needed to help manage electric vehicles’ toll on power grid

Written by David Thill, Midwest Energy News

Midwest utilities’ plans for preventing electric vehicles from overwhelming the power grid are expanding beyond discounted rates for overnight charging. Time-of-use rates — still in the pilot phase for most utilities — are a big part of the strategy for keeping too many drivers from plugging in during peak hours. But with a potential electric vehicle boom on the horizon, more programs and technologies are being tested to help manage the expected load growth. Known as managed charging or smart charging, the terms broadly refer to any practices and programs to encourage responsible charging behavior. Read more here.



Free SEPA Research:
A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Vehicle Managed Charging

 

 

Photo: ChargePoint’s “NOS,” the company’s system for charging station owners and hosts to use when managing the chargers at their sites.

Upcoming Events
Learn more at the following community events about electric vehicles, including information on available incentives, and how, when and where to charge EVs:

 

 


National Drive Electric Week – Bellevue / Omaha,
September 15, 2019, 12 to 4 pm,
Bellevue University Campus, 812 Bruin Boulevard, Bellevue, Nebraska 68005.

National Drive Electric Week – Lincoln, September 22, 2019, 12 to 4 pm, HyVee Parking Lot, 5020 N 27th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68521

Solar farm, power plant tour set for Tuesday

By Colin Larson, Fremont Tribune

For area residents who might want to learn more about the local solar program, the Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund (NCEF) is hosting a tour of both the Fremont Solar Farm and Lon D. Wright Power Plant on Tuesday, June 5 at 4 p.m. The walking tour is free to attend and will include 40-minute presentations focused on both the Fremont Solar Farm and Lon D. Wright Power Plant. The Solar Farm portion of the tour will feature a presentation from Jeff Berggren, GenPro Energy Solutions Nebraska Project Manager. Read more here.

Photo Courtesy of Troy Schaben, Assistant City Administrator of the Fremont Department of Utilities: Fremont’s First Solar Farm

FREMONT SCHOOLS & COMMUNITY SOLAR
When asked in an email if local schools may participate in Fremont’s Community Solar Program, Mr. Schaben replied, “While they did not participate in this phase of the solar farm, they were eligible to participate.”

More About Fremont’s Community Solar Development

About the Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund (NCEF)
The Nebraska Conservation Educational Fund (NCEF) works to build a conservation movement that transcends ideological and political boundaries, and that is led by a broad coalition of Nebraskans who aim to protect our natural resources and ensure that we have a just, secure, and prosperous future. Working as a non-profit, non-partisan organization, NCEF educates the public, media and elected officials about important conservation issues, works to increase public participation in the democratic process and mobilizes a diverse network of people to engage in public policy.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Award-Winning SUNDA Project

NRECA’s innovative SUNDA Project helps rural electric cooperatives nationwide to accelerate utility solar. SUNDA stands for “Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration.”

The SUNDA team, with the help of the pilot project’s participating 17 rural electric cooperatives, utilized lessons learned from their deployment of 30 megawatts of photovoltaic (PV) solar to develop tools and resources that help other cooperatives to deploy solar in their own communities.

The tools are organized based on the solar project phase, from initial conceptualization to design, implementation, service offering and member engagement:

  1. Just Beginning
  2. Project Scoping
  3. Learning More
  4. Detailed Planning
  5. Building Consensus

SUNDA Project

NRECA Receives Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Award
SEPA recently announced their 2018 Power Players Awards. The awards “honor utilities, their partners, and individual thought leaders providing the vision, models and momentum for the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean, modern energy future.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) was one of three recipients of the Innovative Partner of the Year Award in recognition of the SUNDA Project.

This category recognizes a non-utility partner for a unique method, project, leadership, or innovation that has aided in the expansion of or access to distributed energy resources while working with one or more utilities.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
NRECA and Industry Groups: EVs Are Viable Tool to Meet Fuel Standards, by Cathy Cash
At least 150 NRECA member co-ops provide off-peak charging rates for EV users. Dozens of electric co-ops across the country have programs that implement charging infrastructure in their service territory.

Thinkstock Photo

After Back-to-Back Years of Double-Digit Growth, U.S. Solar Passes 50 GW Milestone

Solar Energy Industries Association Blog

At the end of 2015, there was just north of 25 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV installed in the United States. Now, after back-to-back years of double-digit gigawatt growth (15 GW in 2016 and 10.6 GW in 2017), the solar industry has more than doubled its total installed capacity to 53.3 GW through the end of 2017. The release of the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2017 Year in Review finds that the solar industry is doing pretty well, even after a year of obstacles, from the trade case to a number of state policy actions. Read more here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FREE REPORTS FROM SMART ELECTRIC POWER ALLIANCE (SEPA)

SEPA Case Study – Selling Out 1.55 MW of Community Solar in 7 Weeks: Inside the City of Fremont, Nebraska‘s Community Solar Program

Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Few think of rural towns as the perfect case study for community solar, but they don’t know Fremont, Nebraska. The town has a long history of environmental stewardship and latent demand for renewable energy. When Brian Newton arrived in Fremont as the new Utility General Manager, he set about discussing the possibility of a community solar farm for his customers. Through a series of public meetings, Brian was able to launch, and twice expand, the community solar farm within seven weeks. This case study lays out the principles and tactics Newton undertook to ensure the 1.55 MW community solar farm was a success.

  • Click here to read more and to download the free research report.
  • Learn more about Fremont’s Community Solar Farm by watching this YouTube video.

Report: Energy storage is starting to become standard for utilities

By Frank Andorka, PV Magazine

According to a new report by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), utilities are about to enter the energy storage market in a significant way. The survey, based on responses from 115 utilities, shows that 72% of them are planning on offering behind-the-meter energy storage opportunities for their residential customers, while 80% plan on offering programs to their commercial/industrial customers.. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Louis Lester, energy storage and batteries expert at OPPD, will be one of several speakers this Saturday at this event. His topic: “Meeting the Demand for Electricity and Battery Technology.”

The Top Utilities of 2016 For Solar And Energy Storage

By Joseph Bebon, Solar Industry Magazine

Every year, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) crowns the top U.S. utilities for solar, and with the release of its 10th annual utility market survey, the group has now launched additional rankings for the utilities leading on energy storage. “One of the reasons we started the utility solar top 10 lists back in 2007 was to highlight the key, but often unrecognized, role utilities were taking in putting new solar on the grid,” explains SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “With utility-scale solar now well established as a mainstream power source, we wanted to similarly recognize utilities’ leadership in realizing the full potential of storage to drive critical system changes that will benefit customers and the grid.” Continue reading.

Image: Shutterstock

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Community Solar Technical Assistance Opportunity

SEPA-LogoThrough funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiativethe nonprofit Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is able to provide technical assistance to parties currently pursuing or interested in pursuing a community solar program. The structure of the assistance will depend on the needs of the recipient and on SEPA’s capabilities.

Past examples of technical assistance for utilities and other organizations include:

  • Educational workshops
  • Stakeholder meetings
  • Program design support and recommendations
  • Customer research & marketing strategy
  • Financial modeling
  • Procurement review
  • Past program evaluation
  • Case study development
  • Customer recruitment costs and peer effects analysis

Technical Assistance Application Form
Apply online to be considered for this opportunity. SEPA began informing the first successful applicants on April 8, 2016. This opportunity will remain open through 2017, and applicants will be considered on a rolling basis.

Have a question? Need more information? Contact Dan Chwastyk at dchwastyk@solarelectricpower.org

Community Solar Resources

Central City Solar Development. Photo Credit: Cliff Mesner

Central City Solar Development. Photo Credit: Cliff Mesner

The Solar Energy Industries Association’s numerous resources include information on community solar: quick facts with links to more information, brief descriptions of various community solar models, and additional links. Community solar / shared renewables are also called “solar farms” and “solar gardens.”

From SEIA’s website
Shared renewable energy arrangements allow several energy customers to share the benefits of one local renewable energy power plant. When the power is supplied strictly by solar energy, it is sometimes called “community solar.” The shared renewables project pools investments from multiple members of a community and provides power and/or financial benefits in return.

Quick facts

  • There are 25 states with at least one community solar project on-line, with 91 projects and 102 cumulative megawatts installed through early 2016.
  • At least 12 states and D.C. have recognized the benefits of shared renewables by encouraging their growth through policy and programs.
  • Four states — California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Minnesota — are expected to install the majority of community solar over the next two years.
  • The next five years will see the U.S. community solar market add an impressive 1.8 gigawatts,  compared to just 66 megawatts through the end of 2014.
  • Placed in service in 2006, the shared renewables project in Ellensburg, Washington claims to be “the first community solar project in the nation.”

Read more here.

Community Solar News in Nebraska
Lincoln Electric System’s SunShares Community Solar Project
Creighton University Technology Students Complete Community Solar Feasibility Study
Central City solar garden receives Earth Day honor, The Grand Island Independent
Focus groups provide direction on solar energy, Scottsbluff Star Herald

Additional Recommended Reading
Community Solar: Program Design Models, Solar Electric Power Association, now renamed the Smart Electric Power Alliance