EnterSolar Builds C&I Success With The Help Of C-PACE Backing

New York-based solar developer EnterSolar has completed a 520 kW solar photovoltaic project for Carling Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of circuit protection components and controls, located in Plainville, Conn.

Peyton Boswell, managing director of EnterSolar, says Connecticut’s commercial property-assessed clean energy (C-PACE) program managed by the Connecticut Green Bank was a major factor in the project’s successful development. C-PACE allows building owners to finance qualifying energy projects through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill.

“The whole project was driven by the C-PACE financing,” Boswell says.

EnterSolar specializes in the commercial and industrial (C&I) solar power segment. For a lot of its clients, the decision whether to invest in a solar generation system comes down to a discussion about capital allocation. They are allocating capital and assessing risk and return.

Boswell says Carling was very creditworthy and could have financed the system any number of ways. “They liked the idea of the Connecticut Green bank with a 20-year fixed-rate proposition. It’s a really nice marriage with the long-term solar asset.”

The roof-mounted array consists of Hanwha 260 W modules mounted on a DCE Solar non-penetrating, 10-degree ballasted mounting system. Although EnterSolar typically specifies central inverters for large C&I installations, the designers used Advanced Energy string inverters for this project, due to the shortage of available real estate for a central inverter pad.

The biggest engineering challenge was an unanticipated one. Despite the client having an existing interconnection service that Boswell describes as robust, utility grid issues in the area required EnterSolar to make some enhancements. This was another way that C-PACE was helpful because these additional costs might have upset the economics of the system.

Boswell describes EnterSolar’s relationship with Carling as very consultative, adding that the origins of the project go back several years. After carefully reviewing the economics of various options, EnterSolar and Carling settled on a third-party ownership approach, which, under C-PACE, would not require any upfront capital expenditures on the customer’s part.

“Connecticut has a very thoughtful approach to C&I solar,” Boswell says. “The Green Bank is a terrific partner.”

The 20-year fixed-rate payment scheme with standard “cookie cutter” terms in Connecticut means that the economic aspects of the project were well understood by all concerned. From the project development standpoint, the backing of the Green Bank means almost any C&I customer is going to qualify.

“It’s a great platform to build a solar project on,” Boswell says. “Being able to know ahead of time what the economics are down the road is a major advantage.”


AES Distributed Energy Completes 4 MW Solar PV Project In Georgia

Colorado-based AES Distributed Energy has commissioned a 4 MW solar photovoltaic project in Dublin, Ga.

The facility is the first of two solar PV projects being developed by AES Distributed Energy and its partners that are collectively expected to supply 20 MW to the Georgia Power utility grid. The 16 MW project is under development and is expected to be operational in the first half of 2016.

AES Distributed Energy co-developed the projects with Inovateus Solar and MS Solar Solutions Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley. Gregory Electric Co. is serving as the primary engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the two projects. MS Solar Solutions is providing construction capital and long-term equity financing, while AES Distributed Energy will be the long-term owner and operator of both solar PV facilities.

The facilities will feature SolarWorld panels mounted on Array Technologies’ single-axis trackers. Schneider Electric is supplying the central inverters.

Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co., will purchase 100% of the energy production from both projects from AES Distributed Energy under 20-year power purchase agreements.


Community Energy Signs PPA With Amazon

Community Energy Inc. is building an 80 MW solar farm in Accomack County, Va., for Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company.

The Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East is scheduled to be operational in October 2016 and is expected to generate approximately 170 GWh of electricity per year. All energy generated by the facility will be delivered to the electrical grids that supply both current and future AWS cloud data centers. AWS has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the electricity from the project.

In November 2014, AWS announced a goal to generate 100% of the electricity used by its global infrastructure from renewable sources. As of April, AWS says that approximately 25% of the power its operations consume comes from renewable energy sources. By the end of 2016, the company hopes to push this to 40%.


Pro-Tech Builds 9.9 MW Solar Plant In N.J.

Pro-Tech Energy Solutions has completed a 9.9 MW solar installation in Howell Township, N.J., for NJR Clean Energy Ventures.

Pro-Tech was responsible for the design, engineering, procurement and construction of the project, which covers approximately 45 acres of abandoned property. Pro-Tech installed four arrays with a total of about 33,000 solar modules. Each array was equipped with Advanced Energy Powerstation inverters mounted on helical screws rather than a poured concrete foundation.

Installation of the arrays also required a substantial civil engineering effort, which included significant site grading, removal of 77,000 square-feet of asphalt, management of conservation easements for local wetlands and boring under New Jersey Transit tracks adjacent to the property. This was necessary to bring power from the arrays to Jersey Central Power & Light’s point of interconnection.

Pro-Tech was also responsible for site restoration and beautification efforts, which included the installation of a mix of vinyl, split rail and chain link fencing, as well as the construction of 1,200 feet of new planting berms covered with a mixture of evergreens, trees and plants.


Ameresco Completes Energy Project For Army Lab

Framingham, Mass.-based Ameresco Inc. has completed a multi-phase renewable energy and energy-efficiency project at the U.S. Army’s Adelphi Laboratory Center in Adelphi, Md.

Under the most recent phase of the $45 million energy-savings performance contract, Ameresco installed facility-wide energy conservation measures, including rainwater harvesting, in addition to 2 MW of solar photovoltaic systems on carports and rooftops. The PV installations include 331 kW installed on rooftops and 1.7 MW from solar carports.

During the earlier phases, the company installed a number of lighting systems; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning improvements; high-efficiency transformers; and a 2.2 MW combined heat and power system, among other improvements.

Ameresco is also providing long-term operations and maintenance services for the major equipment installed.


Hanwha Commissions 8.1 MW Tower Hill Solar Park In The U.K.

Hanwha Q Cells has commissioned the 8.1 MW Tower Hill solar farm in South Gloucestershire, in the southwest of England.

Hanwha Q Cells, which owns the project, managed the environmental, procurement and construction services and will provide operations and maintenance services, as well. The facility operates under the 1.4 Renewable Obligation Certificates scheme.

The Tower Hill solar park has approximately 30,650 Q.Pro-G3 PV modules with power ratings of 265 W. The park has been built in Hanwha Q Cells’ modular construction scheme. The park is expected to produce 8 MWh of electricity per year.


BM Solar Provides Optimizers For 40 MW Power Plant In China

Italy-based BM Solar SRL has supplied its BlackMagic power optimizers for a 40 MW solar power plant in Bayan Hot, located in Inner Mongolia, China.

The plant, originally built in 2012 and then expanded in 2014, was retrofitted with the optimizers to improve the performance of specific sections of the plant. Operations and maintenance provider China GuoDian made the decision after a study and a determination to improve overall electricity production.

The BlackMagic optimizers provide panel-level maximum power point tracking and can be used on specific strings without having to equip the entire plant. According to BM Solar, China GuoDian’s decision to use BlackMagic was largely determined by the technology’s ability to work with the existing panels and inverters without having to amend any system settings.


SunEdison Developing Municipal Projects On Long Island

SunEdison Inc. has signed agreements with five municipal entities on New York’s Long Island to build seven solar power plants with a combined capacity of 14 MW.

The contracts with the towns of Southold and Easthampton, the counties of Nassau and Suffolk, and the Suffolk County Water Authority were all awarded under the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) 100 MW Clean Solar Initiative feed-in tariff program.

The electricity from the power plants will be sold to PSEG Long Island, the successor to LIPA, through separate 20-year power purchase agreements. TerraForm Power Inc., SunEdison’s yieldco affiliate, expects to purchase the projects upon completion. SunEdison will provide operations and maintenance services. S

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EnterSolar Builds C&I Success With The Help Of C-PACE Backing




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