Earlier this year, on March 27, 2020, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a report exploring Community Solar + Storage, noting its benefits for energy consumers and looking at the progress of Community Solar + Storage in a number of U.S. States including Massachusetts, Colorado, Texas, and Hawaii. Below, we will explore some key points from this report. If you would like to read the NREL report in full then click here.
The pairing of storage and community solar could improve the value of the electricity generated for project developers. In turn, this would allow developers to offer lower-priced community solar subscriptions to consumers. These subscribers could then purchase subscriptions which include both solar and storage—with the battery storage component used to manage subscriber demand charges.
Massachusetts Community Solar + Storage
Massachusetts's SMART Program has successfully implemented a community solar program that includes incentives for community solar + storage systems. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program includes incentives for two community solar programs:
Low-Income Community Shared
The SMART Program offers an incentive for battery storage with PV systems—the Energy Storage Adder. This incentive ranges from $0.0247 to $0.0763 per kWh of electricity. If you visit the SMART Program website, there is an Energy Storage Adder Calculator available.
Colorado Community Solar + Storage
Colorado’s first commercial-scale battery storage project went live in November 2018. The Firestone Storage System, implemented by United Power, is the first of several planned storage projects. It employs a 4 MW/16 MWh storage system, and the batteries store energy produced by all sources on United Power’s grid—including solar electricity generation.
United Power’s subscription model for this project is similar to a conventional community solar subscription model. Customers purchase a share of the battery storage system, for which they receive a credit. However, instead of a credit for power generated, as with community solar, the credit offsets peak demand charges for customers.
Want to pair your solar system with an energy storage system? Get in touch today. YSG will assist you in making your ideal solar + storage project a reality. Send us an email, or call at 212.389.9215 to get started.
YSG Solar is a project development vehicle responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.