Clean Power Research

CA, United States

Clean Power Research

CA, United States

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | November 9, 2015
Site: www.renewableenergyworld.com

What's the true, overall value of combined “behind the meter” energy storage plus solar PV deployment to U.S. power utilities and their customers? That's the big question facing stakeholders in Hawaii and other U.S. states with a need to integrate fast-growing amounts of solar and renewable energy on to power grids.   A new valuation methodology set out in a report commissioned by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and carried out by Clean Power Research offers utilities, grid operators and regulators the means to find out. With Hawaii's electricity market providing the basis, the IREC-CPR report, “Valuation of Solar + Storage in Hawaii: A Methodology,” fills a gap in the analytic toolkit utilities have at their disposal, IREC and CPR explained in interviews.    A rough analysis using the valuation methodology indicates the incremental value of adding battery storage capacity to solar PV installations in Hawaii comes in at 10 cents per kWh. Those net capacity added benefits accrue to the utility and rate payers. Costs of 7 cents per kWh, which include the costs of solar and storage losses, are paid for by utility customers who deploy these hybrid systems, CPR's Ben Norris explained.   While these figures are specific to Hawaii, IREC-CPR's valuation model can be used to determine the value of solar-plus-storage installations in any state or region, he added. 


News Article | January 20, 2016
Site: www.greentechmedia.com

The Department of Energy’s SunShot program is already well on its way toward achieving its goal for solar PV at $1 per watt installed cost, or 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. But that price is paying for an intermittent resource, one that flows when the sun is shining and falls off when clouds pass overhead, and lacks any ability for utilities or owners to control it for the good of the power grid. On Tuesday, DOE's SunShot launched its latest program, dubbed Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES), that’s set a new price target of 14 cents per kilowatt-hour for a new class of solar power, one that’s fully integrated with energy storage and the grid at large. It’s the first DOE funding specifically aimed at solar-plus-storage systems, and it will test behind-the-meter and grid-tied batteries with smart inverters, dynamic load management, utility control systems, and smart buildings and smart appliances, to help make PV a much more flexible and dispatchable resource. To get the ball rolling, the SHINES program is directing $18 million in grants toward six projects across the country. Participants include utilities such as Hawaiian Electric, Commonwealth Edison, Austin Energy and Southern Company, research organizations Fraunhofer and EPRI, and an exhaustive list of solar, storage and grid companies including 1Energy Systems, General Electric’s Alstom, Aquion Energy, Clean Power Research, EnerNOC, OSIsoft, S&C Electric, Siemens, Samsung, SolarEdge and Tesla. The goal of all six projects is to demonstrate distribution-grid-scale balancing of distributed solar at scale, using a combination of demand-side and grid-facing resources, according to David Danielson, DOE assistant secretary of energy efficiency and renewable energy. “Without a doubt, innovation in energy storage will help drive adoption in the United States to new heights,” he said in a Tuesday conference call. The U.S. has about 24 gigawatts of solar today, but DOE wants to help drive improvements to support hundreds of gigawatts in future years, he said. That involves cheaper solar, of course. But it also requires dealing with intermittency, two-way power flows and challenging ramp requirements that could limit growth at the edges of the grid, he said. The program’s new target of 14 cents per kilowatt-hour bears some additional explanation, since it doesn’t track exactly to how solar PV prices are calculated. Specifically, DOE is looking for “solutions [to] enable widespread, sustainable deployment of reliable PV generation and provide for successful integration of PV power plants with the electric grid at the system levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of less than 14 cents per KWh,” according to Tuesday’s announcement. Ravi Manghani, GTM Research senior storage analyst, noted that "unlike solar, where levelized cost is a more passive metric, for integrated solar-plus-storage systems, levelized cost is a function of use cases." These dictate battery sizing and operating parameters, storage size in megawatt and megawatt-hour terms, the number of cycles per day they're expected to manage, and the depths of discharge they'll be asked to achieve over time. In this context, DOE's new price goal will have its work cut out for it, given today's storage prices, Manghani said. For instance, 1 megawatt of solar coupled with a 1-megawatt/2-megawatt-hour storage system with 90 percent depth of discharge and daily cycling used for time-shifting has levelized costs ranging around 30 cents per kilowatt-hour today, he said, assuming $1.50-per-watt solar and about $650 per kilowatt-hour in upfront storage costs. To reach below 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, storage costs will have to fall by more than 50 percent, in addition to the projected drop in utility-scale solar costs, he said. Danielson noted in Tuesday's call that DOE's target price will include a lot of factors, not all of them under the private sector’s control. To be sure, the cost of batteries and storage balance-of-system costs are both falling rapidly, which helps improve the still-expensive proposition of storing solar power for grid needs. But the most effective forms of solar-storage integration will also include tight and seamless integration with flexible loads behind the meter, as well as the distribution grid communications and control systems to make the most of this more flexible resource. “One of the big opportunities around new distributed devices, demand response, distributed energy like solar photovoltaics, and energy storage, is that there are a number of valuable services that these new forms of distributed energy can provide to the grid -- and the grid isn’t currently set up to take advantage of them,” Danielson said. “We’re hoping to drive an analytical foundation” for utilities and the private sector to find the most cost-effective combinations of these pieces of the puzzle, and make them available to others, he said. Today, batteries or other forms of energy storage account for less than 1 percent of all solar projects, Rhone Resch, head of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said during Tuesday’s conference call. But to enable solar to shift grid support to later in the day, or ride through moments of intermittency without disrupting local grid conditions, “storage is the missing piece of the puzzle,” he said. “By combining solar with storage, we create the most transformational development, really, since the creation of the grid.” Tuesday’s awards are part of a larger DOE plan to invest $220 million in grid modernization over the next three years, something Danielson told us was coming back in June at GTM's Grid Edge Live conference in San Diego. While Congress still has to authorize the bulk of these funds, this year’s round of grants has been largely secured, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. The $18 million in SHINES grants is already on its way to participants, and will be matched with at least as much in member contributions, Danielson said in Tuesday’s call. DOE is planning to hold a grid modernization summit in the coming months to help bring its larger-scale plans to the public, and to help connect researchers from the 14 regional DOE labs that are organizing the effort. Some of these projects are building on previous DOE-backed work, such as Hawaiian Electric’s edge-of-network distributed energy resource control platform, and Commonwealth Edison and IIT's microgrid research. Most of them involve a half-dozen or more partners, although two are more exclusive -- Carnegie Mellon University’s project with battery startup Aquion Energy and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and Fraunhofer USA's project with National Grid and EnerNOC. As for establishing the rules for how the target of 14 cents per kilowatt-hour can be attained, that’s the job of Texas utility Austin Energy and associated distributed energy research hub Pecan Street. The utility is trying to “demonstrate a solution adaptable to any region and market structure that offers a credible pathway to an LCOE of 14 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar energy, when augmented by storage and other distributed energy resource management options.” At the same time, it’s going to “enable distribution utilities to mitigate potential negative impacts of high penetration levels of PV caused by the intermittency and variability of solar production,” according to the project description. Here’s a list of the projects, partners and what they’re working on.


Hoff T.E.,Clean Power Research | Perez R.,University at Albany | Kleissl J.,University of California at San Diego | Renne D.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Stein J.,Sandia National Laboratories
Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications | Year: 2013

Metrics used in assessing irradiance model accuracy, such as root mean square error and mean absolute error, are precisely defined. Their relative (%) counterpart, however, can be subject to interpretation and may cover a wide range of values for a given set of data depending on reporting practice. This note evaluates different approaches for the reporting of relative metrics quantifying the dispersion accuracy of a model and formulates recommendations for the most appropriate approach. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Perez R.,University at Albany | Zweibel K.,George Washington University | Hoff T.E.,Clean Power Research
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

This article identifies the combined value that solar electric power plants deliver to utilities' rate payers and society's tax payers. Benefits that are relevant to utilities and their rate payers include traditional, measures of energy and capacity. Benefits that are tangible to tax payers include environmental, fuel price mitigation, outage risk protection, and long-term economic growth components. Results for the state of New York suggest that solar electric installations deliver between 15 and 40 ¢/kWh to ratepayers and tax payers. These results provide economic justification for the existence of payment structures (often referred to as incentives) that transfer value from those who benefit from solar electric generation to those who invest in solar electric generation. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Perez R.,University at Albany | Kivalov S.,University at Albany | Schlemmer J.,University at Albany | Hemker K.,University at Albany | And 2 more authors.
Solar Energy | Year: 2010

This paper presents a validation of the short and medium term global irradiance forecasts that are produced as part of the US SolarAnywhere (2010) data set. The short term forecasts that extend up to 6-h ahead are based upon cloud motion derived from consecutive geostationary satellite images. The medium term forecasts extend up to 6-days-ahead and are modeled from gridded cloud cover forecasts from the US National Digital Forecast Database.The forecast algorithms are validated against ground measurements for seven climatically distinct locations in the United States for 1. year. An initial analysis of regional performance using satellite-derived irradiances as a benchmark reference is also presented. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Hoff T.E.,Clean Power Research | Perez R.,University at Albany
Solar Energy | Year: 2010

This paper presents a novel approach to rigorously quantify power Output Variability from a fleet of photovoltaic (PV) systems, ranging from a single central station to a set of distributed PV systems. The approach demonstrates that the relative power Output Variability for a fleet of identical PV systems (same size, orientation, and spacing) can be quantified by identifying the number of PV systems and their Dispersion Factor. The Dispersion Factor is a new variable that captures the relationship between PV Fleet configuration, Cloud Transit Speed, and the Time Interval over which variability is evaluated. Results indicate that Relative Output Variability: (1) equals the inverse of the square root of the number of systems for fully dispersed PV systems; and (2) could be further minimized for optimally-spaced PV systems. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Perez R.,University at Albany | Kivalov S.,University at Albany | Schlemmer J.,University at Albany | Hemker Jr. K.,University at Albany | Hoff T.E.,Clean Power Research
Solar Energy | Year: 2012

In this article, we report on the correlation between the irradiance variability observed at two neighboring sites as a function of their distance, and of the considered variability time scale. Correlation is the factor that determines whether the combined relative fluctuations of two solar systems add up when correlation is high, or attenuate when correlation is low.Using one-dimensional virtual networks in 24 US locations and cloud motion derived from satellites as experimental evidence, we observe station pair correlations for distances ranging from 100. m to 100. km and from variability time scales ranging from 20. s to 15. min.Within the limits of the assumptions from one-dimensional virtual networks, results show that the relationship between correlation, distance and time scale is predictable and largely independent of location and prevailing insolation conditions. Further, results indicate that the distance at which station pairs become uncorrelated is a quasi linear function of the considered time scale. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Hoff T.E.,Clean Power Research | Perez R.,University at Albany
Solar Energy | Year: 2012

This paper introduces a novel approach to estimate the maximum short-term output variability that an arbitrary fleet of PV systems places on any considered power grid. The paper begins with a model that demonstrates that the maximum possible variability for N identical, uncorrelated PV systems equals the total installed capacity divided by 2N. The paper then describes a general methodology that is applicable to arbitrary PV fleets. A key input to this generalized approach is the correlation, or absence thereof, existing between individual installations in the fleet at the considered variability time scale. In this respect, the article includes a presentation of new experimental evidence from hourly satellite-derived irradiances relating distance and fluctuation time scales in three geographic regions in the United States (Southwest, Southern Great Plains, and Hawaii) and from recent high density network measurements that both confirm and extend conclusions from previous studies, namely: (1) correlation coefficients decrease predictably with increasing distance, (2) correlation coefficients decrease at a similar rate when evaluated versus distance divided by the considered variability time scale, and (3) the accuracy of results is improved by including an implied cloud speed term. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Back in December, Texas utility Austin Energy won a $4.3 million grant from the Department of Energy’s new SHINES (Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV) program. The goal: to test integrated, reliable, almost dispatchable solar PV, backed by batteries, thermal energy storage, and flexible demand-side resources, all at the cost of 14 cents per watt. It’s a tall order, involving a combination of utility-owned and third-party-managed hardware, software and communications systems. On the utility side are Austin Energy’s already formidable advanced distribution grid management and control capabilities, as well as a “distributed energy resource optimizer” from Seattle-based startup 1Energy, solar analytics from Clean Power Research, and integration with Texas grid operator ERCOT. On the edge of the grid will be an array of grid batteries from Tesla and Samsung SDI, smart inverters from SolarEdge and Ideal Power, smart meters and communications from Landis+Gyr, and a host of behind-the-meter devices in the homes of residents in the Pecan Street neighborhood smart grid pilot project. All of this adds up to a price tag that’s a little higher than any of the other five projects getting SHINES funding, Karl Popham, head of Austin Energy’s emerging technologies team, noted in an interview last week. But at the same time, “We also think that ours is the biggest in scale and scope.” And, unlike some technical DOE-funded projects of the past, “We want something repeatable, and by repeatable, that means affordable,” he said. In fact, the municipal utility’s SHINES project is the one specifically tasked with demonstrating the SHINES price goal. That means that it’s not just about the technology deployed, but also about the programs being offered to the customer, through the markets being offered by Texas grid operator ERCOT. “The scope is all three of the major tiers of the grid,” he said. “There’s grid stuff -- a grid solar farm, two big grid batteries being deployed. There’s commercial stuff -- commercial solar and commercial-scale storage, with a third-party aggregator. And there’s even residential,” via the closely sensored, solar PV and EV charger-equipped homes of Pecan Street. Overlaying those demand-side resources is a “hierarchy of software and communications that will take everything here, and ultimately manage it under one system,” he said. Here's a diagram of how the different layers of technology interact. Seattle-based startup 1Energy is playing an integral role in controlling the distributed energy resources (DERs) that will make up this mix, Popham said. The startup’s battery management and control platform is being expanded to cover the role of a distributed energy resources management system, or DERMS -- a class of software deployed by utilities or third-party aggregators to network, monitor and control DERs at scale. 1Energy has already started working with Austin Energy economists and rate designers on the system's levelized cost of energy (LCOE) metric, he added. "The system LCOE takes a larger view of how these things are taken together, to drive the benefits of a VPP," or virtual power plant -- a system of individual DERs that can be optimized to reduce grid stresses and add grid values, as well as other forms of distributed energy, he said. The same thing can be called a microgrid. Lubbock, Texas is home to another project, funded by DOE's ARPA-E research program, to build a DER-powered environment that can both power itself and interact with the grid. Austin already has its unusual value-of-solar tariff (VOST) structure for compensating customer-owned solar, which could serve as a template for other forms of distributed energy or capacity, he noted. VOST structures replace blanket net-metering policies with compensation based on the PV’s value to the grid, taking issues like coincident peak load and local circuit conditions into account. Popham stressed that the program is just in the early planning stages, with work not set to start until next year. But pieces of the rollout, such as the Tesla storage project, 1Energy's distributed energy resource optimization (DERO) software, and Clean Power Research's FleetView  distributed PV forecasting and planning software, are underway. The 448,000-customer municipal utility has reasons of its own to seek out the right combination of smart grid investment and customer and third-party engagement to manage a lot of solar, he said. It’s been ordered to get 55 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025, including 900 megawatts of solar, 100 megawatts of customer-sited solar, and 10 megawatts of energy storage. It’s also aiming for a 900-megawatt contribution from energy efficiency and demand response.


News Article | December 13, 2015
Site: cleantechnica.com

Check out this solar news if you need more of a “solar news fix” post COP21. Also, there’s a token wind energy stpry at the very end (and a few stories are broad solar + wind stories). The Future Of PV: Consume All You Capture Hawaii’s Public Utilities Commission recently approved two new tariffs to cover future rooftop solar installations, including an option that’s gaining favor with consumers: Solar “Self-Supply.” Also known as “PV self-consumption”, it’s an option where a home consumes all the solar energy produced by its PV system, rather than pushing a portion of that power out to the grid. The Proof Is In: Integrating PV Into The Grid Is Better With Behind-The-Meter Solar Forecasts In recent years, Clean Power Research created a solar forecast method to accurately predict power production of “invisible,” behind-the-meter PV systems — typically, those found on homes and commercial buildings. In our approach, forecasts are generated by simulating the power output of an individual system based on its defined specification and the predicted solar radiation at its specific location, and then aggregating the power output of all the systems within a particular service territory. All I Want For Christmas Is My Free Solar Quote The holiday season can bring out the best in all of us, as we try to give our friends and loved ones gifts that can lighten their lives, brighten their smiles, or tickle their funny bones, and for the next month or so, many of us will be on the constant lookout for that perfect present. Of course, if we’re to be completely honest, it’s also a great time to shop for ourselves, thanks to the huge discounts, seasonal sales, and other incentives that are often available this time of year. What Paris Means For The Energy Sector: Start Of A Whole New Clean Economy As the UN climate talks in Paris are nearing completion, the implications for the energy sector are becoming clear. The 186 national action plans that will form the basis of an agreement really amount to clean energy investment plans, observers say. “A whole new economy will be created.” Around Australia, communities are gathering to create community energy projects which deliver triple bottom line benefits to regional and urban communities. However, only a handful of projects have succeeded so far – thanks largely to the compliance cost of current investment regulations. In this article we explain how equity crowdfunding reform – if done appropriately — could open the floodgates to the community energy sector. 112 MW Of Solar Panels To Be Supplied By Canadian Solar To Sunrun Canadian Solar and Sunrun have signed an agreement that Canadian Solar will supply 112 MW of solar panels to Sunrun in 2016. They will be CS6P-260|265P panels, which are 260 or 265 watts, with a module efficiency up to 16.47%. They also have a product warranty of 10 years and a linear power output warranty of 25 years. PG&E is a utility operating in Northern California that serves 15–16 million people. It recently announced contracts for 75 MW of energy storage projects employing lithium-ion batteries, zinc/air batteries, and flywheel technology. The lithium-ion batteries are for 42 MW, the flywheel tech is for 20 MW, and the zinc/air batteries for 13 MW. Tesla owners on the lookout for a bed & breakfast with an electric vehicle charger in Vermont may be interested to hear that the West Hill House B&B in Warren, Vermont, has gone 100% solar and also possesses a Tesla charging station (not a supercharger of course, but rather a destination charger). I’ve managed to distill good energy communication down to six basic rules, which hopefully can provide our industry with some inspiration to make energy as magical as a hit song. Why Growth Is the Enemy of Solar Stocks On the surface, you would think renewable energy companies that can grow quickly and exploit the industry’s massive potential should be the kind of companies investors will want to buy and hold for the long term. But time after time, the companies that grow the fastest have been abysmal investments. Suntech Power, LDK Solar, Yingli Green Energy, and SunEdison are just a few of the former industry highfliers that have gone from darling status to bankruptcy, or that teeter on the verge of financial insolvency. They also provide a similar story of growth, debt, and massive losses that couldn’t be overcome by even more growth. Germany produces more power from renewable energies than ever, yet pushing dirty lignite out of the power market has proven to be a contentious issue. Steve Baragona summarizes the social, political and economic hurdles currently delaying a coal phase-out. Wind Power Ties For #1 Electricity Source in Germany in November Record wind power production put German wind farms in the pole position last month, though critics will still complain that two types of coal counted separately should be counted together.    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

Loading Clean Power Research collaborators
Loading Clean Power Research collaborators