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Interest Growing in Commercial and Community Microgrids
When looking to develop commercial or utility scale solar projects, identifying your financing options is one of your top priorities. In today’s solar industry, most developers are using a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to get their deals done.
The transmission industry enters 2014 with a lot of work ahead as it continues to recreate the grid and make it more renewable energy-ready. On the macro level, transmission lines are being developed worldwide to move green power long distances from remote regions to power-hungry population centers.
On a recent gray December morning, nearly 8,500 solar panels covering 13 acres in Germantown tilted toward the sky, straining to harness any glimmer of sunlight. Their host: a sewage-treatment plant in Montgomery County, one of the first in the Washington region to try solar power.
Energy storage is a fairly overlooked option when it comes to solar projects. Batteries are a necessary addition when the solar system is out in the wilderness and most definitely off-grid, but when it comes to larger commercial installations in urban environments, energy storage isn’t often included in the plans.
While electricity sourcing from storage technologies for renewable energy is only emerging, it could soon become mainstream. Inspired by electric car energy storage, tech companies are providing customers of residential solar systems with batteries that can store solar power, according to Fortune Magazine.
Two large fields of several solar panels were unveiled at the Western Branch Wastewater Treatment Plant in Upper Marlboro, Md., and the Seneca Wastewater Treatment Plant in Germantown, Md., by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).
It hasn’t been easy to live in Connecticut the last couple years. First Hurricane Irene slammed through the state in August 2011, leaving some residents without electricity for weeks. A freak Halloween snowstorm two months later brought wires down again.
It is the first, commercial, islandable, clean-powered microgrid in the state of Maryland and one of the first in the entire country.
On the surface, it makes little sense to put a big battery bank next to a commercial solar array. As it is, solar power is still more expensive than the grid in many places, so adding pricey batteries would just push the cost of energy up more.