“Behind the Meter” Energy Storage Solution Manages Peak Demand Charges for Buildings

Sharp Electronics Corporation’s […] 30 kW storage system is coupled with Baker’s existing 90 kW solar PV system. Baker Electric, a key channel ally of Sharp, has selected theSmartStorage® solution to help cap expensive utility demand charges for its commercial building customers.

Source: www.marketwired.com

>” […]

Peak demand charges are the fastest growing part of utility bills for commercial and industrial customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company’s monthly utility bill. The SmartStorage® energy storage solution is a unique battery-based demand management system designed to reduce commercial and industrial buildings’ peak electricity use. It combines Sharp’s intelligent energy management system with cutting-edge hardware, operating seamlessly as a stand-alone solution or when deployed along with a solar system.

“Baker Electric brings decades of experience offering innovative technologies to its customers, including solar solutions in recent years. Their PV solutions coupled with our SmartStorage® energy storage solution provide a powerful duo for building owners wanting to lower peak demand usage without disrupting their day-to-day operations,” commented Carl Mansfield, General Manager of Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group.

The SmartStorage® system employs sophisticated, predictive analytics and controls to manage the release of energy from the battery, resulting in high performance, high system efficiency and world-class reliability. The SmartStorage® system can also make existing solar installations economically viable where they otherwise would not be.

Baker Electric’s SmartStorage® system installation is backed by Sharp’s innovative 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement which provides all routine and unscheduled maintenance coupled with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee.

“Our customers have come to expect the highest quality, highest performing products available on the market. After an exhaustive search in identifying the best solution to help lower demand charges for our customers and our own facility, we chose Sharp’s SmartStorage® system, not only because it exceeds the quality standards we are known for, but because we also have confidence in Sharp standing behind its product by offering its unique 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement and performance guarantee,” said Ted Baker, CEO of Baker Electric.

The SmartStorage® energy storage solution has undergone more than 18 months of field testing benefitting from Sharp’s world-class attention to quality and safety. The energy storage component of Sharp’s SmartStorage® system consists of state-of-the art lithium-ion batteries, which have been tested, listed and labeled as compliant with UL safety standards.

[…]”<

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Smart Grid Testbed For Industrial Electrical Grid Innovation

Industrial Internet Consortium announces first energy-focused testbed.

Source: www.cbronline.com

The Communication and Control Testbed for Microgrid Applications, the first energy-focused testbed, was today [Mar 27/2015] announced by the Industrial Internet Consortium.

Member organisations including Real-Time Innovations (RTI), National Instruments, and Cisco, will collaborate on the project, working with power utility firms CPS Energy and Southern California Edison. Additionally, Duke Energy and power industry organisation Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) will be also involved.

In order to put an end to renewable energy waste in neighbourhoods or businesses, a new architectural innovation was found to be needed.

Today’s power grid relies on a central-station architecture, which is not designed to interconnect distributed and renewable power sources such as roof-top solar and wind turbines. The system must over-generate power to compensate for rapid variation in power generation or demands.

The Communication and Control Testbed will introduce the flexibility of real-time analytics and control to increase efficiencies, ensuring that power is generated more accurately and reliably to match demand.

The solution proposes re-architecting electric power grids to include a series of distributed microgrids which will control smaller areas of demand with distributed generation and storage capacity.

These microgrids will operate independently from the main electric power grid, but will still interact and be coordinated with the existing infrastructure.

In order to ensure a coordinated, accepted architecture based on modern, cross-industry industrial internet technologies, companies taking part in the venture will work with Duke Energy and SGIP.

The Communications and Control framework will be developed in three phases, with initial developments being tested in Southern California Edison’s Controls Lab in Westminster, CA.

The final stage of the project will culminate in a field deployment that will take place at CPS Energy’s “Grid-of-the-Future” microgrid test area in San Antonio, Texas.

Stan Schneider, RTI’s CEO and IIC Steering Committee member, said: “The smart grid is a critical infrastructure component of the Industrial Internet of Things.

“The IIoT will span industries, sensor to cloud, power to factory, and road to hospital. This key first step will address a significant barrier to the efficient use of green energy.” […]”<

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SEC Rule Changes – Small Businesses Get Funding Cap Raise to $50 Million

Nearly three years after the law was signed, the Securities and Exchange Commission has taken an important step toward implementing the so-called JOBS Act, making it easier for small and mid-sized businesses to raise capital through small public offerings.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

>” […] Commissioners on Wednesday approved rule changes that allow companies to raise up to $50 million a year, up from a longstanding cap of $5 million, through what’s known as Regulation A offerings. Under Reg A offerings, as they’re commonly called, companies looking to raise relatively small amounts of money through a public offering are subject to a much simpler SEC registration process, putting fewer bureaucratic hoops between them and investors.

Until now, the Reg A path, which is nearly as old as the SEC itself, has been sparingly used. Congress voted to lift the cap as part of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed into law in April 2012, largely to encourage more small and mid-sized companies to consider that option. […]

The finalization of the rules was the latest step in what has become an exceptionally long process to breathe life into the JOBS Act. Now on the cusp of its third birthday, only about half of the provisions in the statute – which, by providing better access to capital to new and growing businesses, was touted as a potentially powerful gust of wind in the economy’s sails – have been put in place by the SEC.

Among the most highly anticipated changes mandated by Congress but not yet implemented by the SEC are rules allowing companies to raise small amounts of money from mom-and-pop investors via what are known as online crowdfunding portals. Initially, the SEC was to give that process the green light by the end of 2013; however, the agency has been slow to move on the rule-making process. The SEC put forth proposed rules in October 2013, but it isn’t clear when they will be finalized.

While the crowdfunding rules, which are outlined in Title III of the JOBS Act, have drawn most of the JOBS Act’s spotlight, Paul explained that the Reg A changes (contained in Title IV of the legislation) will likely have a much more significant impact for certain companies.

“With Reg A, we’re talking about businesses that are going to be much further along in their life cycle than the ones that would benefit from Title III,” Paul said, noting that the online crowdfunding rules will limit entrepreneurs to raising no more than $1 million from non-accredited investors. “Obviously, a company raising $1 million is in a very different place than a company raising $40 million, or even $10 million.”

“It’s all part of a continuum,” Paul added. “While crowdfunding will be important for getting capital to genuine start-ups – ones that have three people working for them – this will help those that have 300 people working for them and are still looking to grow.” […]”<

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France now requires all new buildings to have green roofs or solar panels

Originally posted on Sustainability:

France just passed atrailblazing new lawthat requires that all new buildings constructed in commercial areas to be partially-covered by either solar panels orgreen roofs. Not only will this bring dramatic changes to the nation?s skylines and bolster the efficiency of all new commercial construction, but the law will help France pick up the pace the solar adoption?which has lagged behind other European nations in recent years.

Read more:France requires all new buildings to have green roofs or solar panels | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building



Source: inhabitat.com

“Here’s hoping that other nations can soon follow suit.” I had to go back and dig through my sources to make sure I hadn’t dreamed this!

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CloudSolar Helps Renewable Energy Fans Who Can’t Install Their Own Solar Panels

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Solar panels are becoming increasing affordable, but many people still face barriers to harnessing the power of the sun for their own homes. For example, they might live in an apartment or in a house where the roof is angled or structured improperly for solar panel installation.

A new Boston-based startup called CloudSolar is offering an intriguing solution. Founded by a team including two electrical engineering Ph.D. candidates and currently raising funds on Indiegogo, CloudSolar lets people buy a solar panel, or a share in one, on a farm that is expected to be completed by 2016 (erecting the solar panels will only take a couple of months, but the company also has to deal with utility and land permits, which will take longer).

Once the farm is up and operating, electricity generated by the solar panels will be sold to local utilities. Solar panel owners are promised 80 percent of…

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The 50 Year Underground Coal Mine Fire

By the early 1980s, the mine fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania was growing worse and increasingly threatening the people who lived there. GAI, Inc., a private geotechnical engineering company, was hired to review the situation and propose a solution to finally contain the fire. What they eventually came up with was so drastic, it might easily have been called Centralia’s “Nuclear Option.”

Source: www.centraliapa.org

Additional Information:  Zip Code 00000 (Washington Post) http://wapo.st/1eMhdGq

>” […]

GAI’s review and associated containment plan took months to complete. It analyzed mountains of data about Centralia PA, its abandoned mines, and the geology of the surrounding area. GAI also explored the beginnings of the fire, the current location of the burn, and the previous, failed attempts to stop it.

Finally on July 12, 1983 the findings were announced to the public. At that time, the mine fire was determined to be under 195 acres and burning in the Skidmore, Seven Foot, and Buck Leader coal veins. It was suggested that the fire could eventually grow to a maximum size of 3,700 acres of land.

GAI’s report made it clear that containing the Centralia mine fire would neither be easy nor cheap. The plan to contain the fire would require excavating a trench of massive proportions. This would need to be 3,700 feet long and 450 feet in depth – deep enough to hold a 45 story office building!

Worse yet, the trench would cut through the middle of the town. Although it would eventually be filled in with incombustible material to prevent the mine fire from moving further west, half of the borough of Centralia Pennsylvania would be destroyed while excavating it. The whole project would take years to complete.

If the damage caused by GAI’s plan wasn’t “nuclear” enough, there was always the price tag. GAI estimated it would cost a jaw-dropping $660 million to complete the project. This was over 100 times more expensive than the 1965 rejected plan to contain the mine fire. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, $660 million in 1983 is roughly equivalent to $1.5 billion in 2015. Today these cost estimates are still shocking.

It is no wonder that in August of 1983 the majority of Centralia PA’s residents voted to be relocated. After years of struggling with the mine fire, the “nuclear option” proposed by GAI to stop the fire and level half of the town was more than most could bear.”<

 

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China’s Capital City to Shut Major Coal Power Plants due to Excessive Pollution

(Bloomberg) — Beijing, where pollution averaged more than twice China’s national standard last year, will close the last of its four major coal-fired power plants next year.

Source: www.bloomberg.com

>” […]

The capital city will shutter China Huaneng Group Corp.’s 845-megawatt power plant in 2016, after last week closing plants owned by Guohua Electric Power Corp. and Beijing Energy Investment Holding Co., according to a statement Monday on the website of the city’s economic planning agency. A fourth major power plant, owned by China Datang Corp., was shut last year.

The facilities will be replaced by four gas-fired stations with capacity to supply 2.6 times more electricity than the coal plants.

The closures are part of a broader trend in China, which is the world’s biggest carbon emitter. Facing pressure at home and abroad, policy makers are racing to address the environmental damage seen as a byproduct of breakneck economic growth. Beijing plans to cut annual coal consumption by 13 million metric tons by 2017 from the 2012 level in a bid to slash the concentration of pollutants.

Shutting all the major coal power plants in the city, equivalent to reducing annual coal use by 9.2 million metric tons, is estimated to cut carbon emissions of about 30 million tons, said Tian Miao, a Beijing-based analyst at North Square Blue Oak Ltd., a London-based research company with a focus on China.  […]

Closing coal-fired power plants is seen as a critical step in addressing pollution in China, which gets about 64 percent of the primary energy it uses from the fossil fuel. Coal accounts for about 30 percent of the U.S.’s electricity mix, while gas comprises 42 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.  […]

Air pollution has attracted more public attention in the past few years as heavy smog envelops swathes of the nation including Beijing and Shanghai. About 90 percent of the 161 cities whose air quality was monitored in 2014 failed to meet official standards, according to a report by China’s National Bureau of Statistics earlier this month.

The level of PM2.5, the small particles that pose the greatest risk to human health, averaged 85.9 micrograms per cubic meter last year in the capital, compared with the national standard of 35.

The city also aims to take other measures such as closing polluted companies and cutting cement production capacity to clear the air this year, according to the Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. […]”<

 

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State and Solar Advocates Complete Legal Agreement for Full Net Metering Credit to Utilities

The Act 236 agreement also settles rules for legal solar leasing.

Source: www.utilitydive.com

>”[…]  The South Carolina Public Service Commission last week approved a settlement agreement between Duke Energy Carolinas, South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) and major environmental groups that allows rooftop solar owners to get full retail value for electricity their systems send to the grid.The agreement on net energy metering (NEM) is part of Act 236, passed in 2014 after a consultation process involving renewable energy-interested stakeholders. Solar systems installed before the end of 2020 will earn full retail value bill credit for each kilowatt-hour that goes to the grid.Act 236 also legalizes third party ownership of solar, more widely known as solar leasing, and sets up rules by which leasing companies like SolarCity and Sunrun must operate.

Dive Insight:  To study the emerging solar opportunity, a South Carolina General Assembly-created oversight group organized a coalition of environmentalists, solar advocates, and utilities and electric cooperatives into an Energy Advisory Council in 2013. Act 236 was formulated out of its report.

The NEM settlement also raises the size limit of eligible systems from 100 kW to 1 MW and raises the cap on NEM systems from 0.2% of each utility’s peak capacity to 2%.

Act 236 requires leasing companies to be certified by the state and limits the size of leased residential systems to 20kW and leased commercial systems to 1000kW. Leased systems can only serve one customer and one location and cannot sell electricity to third parties. The total of leased solar is capped at no more than 2% of a utility’s residential, commercial, or industrial customers average retail peak demand.

Groups that led the settlement with the utilities include the Coastal Conservation League, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. […]”<

 

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Industrial Plant to be Re-Developed into Mega-Indoor Vertical Farm Factory

AeroFarms, a leading commercial grower for vertical farming and controlled agriculture, together with property management firm RBH Group, a slew of investment partners along with the City of Newark and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced the intent to redevelop a former industrial site in Newark’s Ironbound district into a state-of-the art 69,000 square foot indoor vertical farm.

Source: archinect.com

>” […] Currently under construction, the first phases will open in the second half of 2015, creating approximately 78 jobs in a local community with an unemployment rate that is twice the national average. Additionally, AeroFarms has partnered with the Ironbound Community Corporation to create a recruiting and job training program targeting local residents.

The building is located on a 3-acre industrial site in the center of the Ironbound community in Newark, NJ. It is adjacent to elevated truck Route 1 and 9, a freight rail right of way, and to other industrial businesses along Rome and Christie Streets.

When completed, AeroFarms will have the capacity to grow up to 2 million pounds per year of baby leafy greens and herbs in an environmentally controlled, safe, and sanitary facility. It will provide healthy foods to the local community as well as to other markets. AeroFarms is a model for successful, sustainable farming offering 75 times more productivity per square foot annually than a traditional field farm while using no pesticides and consuming over 95% less water. […]”<

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Global Distributed Energy Storage Capacity Expected to Increase Nearly 10-Fold

The worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems is expected to increase nearly 10-fold over the next 3 years, according to a new report from Navigant Research, which analyzed the global market for distributed energy storage systems through 2024.

Source: cleantechnica.com

>” […] The primary conclusion of the report is that distributed storage is one of the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally, thanks to the focus of rapid innovation and intense competition, causing the market to greatly exceed market expectations. This growth and subsequent demand has led to grid operators, utilities, and governments looking to encourage storage installations that are physically situated closer to the retail electrical customer.

According to the report from Navigant Research, worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems (DESSs) is expected to grow from its current 276 MW, to nearly 2,400 MW in 2018.

“Distributed storage is among the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally,” says Anissa Dehamna, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “In particular, residential and commercial energy storage are expected to be the focus of technological advances and market activity in the coming years.” […]

Two specific types of DESS are classified in the report: Community energy storage refers to systems installed at the distribution transformer level; Residential and commercial storage, on the other hand, refer to “two behind-the-meter applications targeted at either homeowners or commercial and industrial customers.” Together, these two technologies include lithium ion (Li-ion), flow batteries, advanced lead-acid, and other next-generation chemistries, such as sodium metal halide, ultracapacitors, and aqueous hybrid ion.

Similarly, the two categories of DESS each have specific market drivers. Community energy storage is being driven by the improved reliability yielded in case of outages, load leveling and peak shifting, and improved power quality. Almost as importantly, community energy storage systems can communicate with a grid operator’s operating system, allowing the operator to mitigate disruptions to the grid.

Given its primary use as an energy cost management solution, the prime driver behind commercial storage systems is the rate structure for customers. “<

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