New York Looking for Partner on 12 MW Solar Project

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul

Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced the auction of New York state’s first “Build-Ready” project to advance large-scale renewable energy development across the state under the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act.

The New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking a partner to transform a former mine in St. Lawrence County into one of the largest solar projects in the Adirondack Park: a 12 MW development sited within the boundaries of Benson Mines on a former tailings pile.

“The Benson Mines solar project will transform otherwise underutilized land, supporting local industry while advancing New York’s clean energy transition,” Hochul says. “I look forward to moving forward with this project to provide lower-cost, zero-emission energy to St. Lawrence County residents.”

NYSERDA has entered into an exclusive lease option agreement with Benson Mines Inc. for the project area and has fully permitted the project with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). NYSERDA has also advanced the project to the mid-stage of the state’s interconnection process and will be providing interconnection cost estimates to eligible bidders.

The agency is the administrator of the state’s Build-Ready program and will facilitate the auction. The awarded bidder will enter into agreements with NYSERDA to buy the project and complete the remaining development and construction needed to bring the project into operation.   NYSERDA will host an informational webinar to provide an overview of the project and the auction process on October 17 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Interested parties can register for the webinar here.   The RFP is being implemented through a two-step process. Step one eligibility applications are due on December 7. Proposers must meet all minimum eligibility qualifications and be invited to submit a proposal in step two. Step two proposals are due on March 14, 2024. Interested proposers can review the application process here.

NYSERDA anticipates notifying the awardee in the second quarter of 2024. 

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Boston Solar Introduces SPAN Panel for Solar+Storage Installations

A Boston Solar installation in Newton, Mass.

SinglePoint Inc. subsidiary Boston Solar has integrated the SPAN Panel into its suite of home energy management systems.

The SPAN Panel offers real-time monitoring and circuit-level control, allowing homeowners to maximize their energy savings. These panels integrate seamlessly with Boston Solar’s existing solar power, battery back-up and EV charging offerings, providing an all-in-one solution for energy management.

Among the SPAN Panel’s features:

Automatic Switch to Battery Power During Outages: In systems designed to operate standalone battery backups, the SPAN Panel has a built-in switch that disconnects the system from the electric grid during a power outage, enabling the battery system to take over instantly;

Longer Battery Life During Power Outages: The SPAN Panel extends the time of usable stored energy by up to 40% during outages, ensuring essential circuits remain operational;

Efficient Energy Usage: The SPAN Panel helps homeowners use the electricity produced by their solar panels as efficiently as possible, leading to greater energy savings;

Support for All-Electric Appliances: The SPAN Panel can power electric appliances like heat pumps, water heaters, and induction stoves;

Remote Control: Users can control their energy usage remotely through a user-friendly app, on their phone, enabling them to adjust based on their preferences and requirements.

The company says customers can take advantage of a $600 tax credit through the Inflation Reduction Act, in addition to the existing 30% solar tax credit.

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Saint-Gobain Signs PPA for 100 MW of TotalEnergies’ Danish Fields Solar

Mark Rayfield

TotalEnergies has signed a new 15-year renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with building materials company Saint-Gobain to support its efforts to decarbonize 125 industrial sites in North America.

Under the 100 MW PPA, TotalEnergies will supply energy from its Danish Fields solar project in Texas, helping offset Saint-Gobain’s North American scope 2 CO2 emissions from electricity by 90,000 metric tons per year.

With a capacity of 720 MW, the project is expected to come online next year and will be the company’s largest utility-scale operated solar farm in the United States.

The contract includes an upside sharing mechanism under which the companies share any potential upside arising from increased market price over the contract term.

“TotalEnergies’ growing solar power generation portfolio in the U.S. provides concrete solutions enabling our industrial customers to decarbonize their electricity consumption,” says TotalEnergies’ Vincent Stoquart.

“With this agreement, Saint-Gobain North America will further reduce its CO2 emissions, demonstrating how fast the manufacturing industry can transform when long term solutions are at hand,” adds Mark Rayfield, CEO of Saint-Gobain North America. “This renewable energy project is a new milestone on the way to meeting Saint-Gobain’s commitment to reduce scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 33% by 2030 – compared to 2017 – and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.”

TotalEnergies has a portfolio of large-scale solar, storage, onsite B2B solar distributed generation, onshore and offshore wind projects that collectively will generate up to 10 GW of power by 2025 and more than 25 GW by 2030.

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Generate Capital Invests in Solar Developer Cultivate Power

Peggy Flannery

Cultivate Power, a distributed solar and storage project developer, has secured a corporate equity investment of $10 million from Generate Capital.

“We have worked with the founders of Cultivate Power for many years and are thrilled to invest in the company to support its growth. Cultivate Power’s strong project portfolio, experienced leadership team and focus on distributed clean power projects align with Generate’s mission to accelerate the infrastructure transition,” says Peggy Flannery, managing director at Generate Capital.

The corporate equity commitment from Generate Capital provides Cultivate Power with the resources needed to grow its business, the company says. The investment will be used to expand the development of solar and storage projects, recruit top talent, and support local partnerships that benefit the environment and local communities, including scholarship and workforce development programs.

Led by longtime colleagues and renewable energy development professionals Brian Matthay and Noah Hyte, Cultivate Power develops 10- to 50-acre distributed solar and storage projects in rural communities.

“Generate is a perfect fit for us. They have a strong track record dating back to their early investment and innovation in community solar markets. They share our belief that carefully developed clean power projects can provide significant community benefits such as low-cost power, increased tax revenue, job training programs, and a wide variety of partnerships and funding for community organizations,” says Noah Hyte, managing director of Cultivate Power.

Cultivate Power is headquartered in Chicago, with local development teams throughout the Midwest and California.

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UK BESS industry resilient despite ‘dismay’ at government going back on net zero policies

After rumours swirled a couple of weeks ago that Sunak was preparing to water down environmental policies, such as those relating to the phaseout of fossil fuel-powered cars and heating, the prime minister made his shock announcement in a press conference on 20 September, earlier than reportedly had been planned.

While the clean energy industry and environmental advocates reacted to the news negatively, as might be expected, it also appeared from polling that the populist move had not played out as well with the voting base as Sunak and his Conservative Party might have hoped. Surveys showed, meanwhile, that 89% of energy businesses remained committed to net zero targets.

The prime minister effectively chose “short term political gain at the expense of delivering on net zero,” Atlantic Green’s Bradford wrote in his blog. The postponements of the internal combustion engine and gas boiler phaseouts well into the 2030s will slow the deployment of renewable energy “and the vital integration of battery energy storage systems (BESS) into the grid”.

“Like many, we are dismayed with certain aspects of Sunak’s announcement, particularly the setback it represents in terms of crucial climate targets and the potential impact on investor sentiment,” Bradford wrote.

The prime minister faces an imminent general election, which must be staged during 2024 under UK parliamentary law.

However, aside from the overall big picture gloom that the announcement cast, Bradford did acknowledge that certain measures and policies namechecked or unveiled by Sunak are positive for the industry.

Chief among those is that permitting for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), which refers to grid-connected projects over 50MW in the energy sector, will be sped up; transmission network planning will be overhauled from ‘first come, first served’ to ‘first ready, first served’, as the regulator FERC is also seeking to do in the US; and the addition of spatial planning for project zoning rules.

The government and its relevant agencies had already announced plans to work on and improve in these areas, so Sunak may have alluded to them in order to try and counter a perception that he was abandoning green policy altogether.

Nonetheless, Bradford said the spatial planning and grid overhaul would create positive outcomes, particularly if they can help end the long waits – sometimes of as much as 15 years – to connect to the grid.

The NSIP overhaul meanwhile “would be a material improvement compared with existing application processes which are onerous and puts off investors and developers,” Bradford wrote.

Overall, while Atlantic Green, “like many” was dismayed at the prime minister’s U-turn, for setting back the UK’s commitment to combating the climate crisis and its potential impact on investor sentiment, the developer’s outlook remained optimistic, Bradford said.

“We firmly believe in the resilience of market fundamentals and are committed to pursuing our development strategy with unwavering determination, confident that we can overcome the challenges posed by this announcement and continue to thrive.”

You can read Nick Bradford’s blog for Solar Power Portal, ‘What impact will the Prime Minister’s net zero policies have on BESS development?’, here.

Atlantic Green is a joint venture between independent power producer Nofar Energy and private investor Interland, investing in, developing, owning and operating battery energy storage system BESS projects with a focus on the UK. The company won two awards last week in the Energy Storage Awards 2023, hosted by our publisher Solar Media.

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S&P: China’s battery storage system integrators move into top five globally

According to S&P, the top five system integrators by installed projects as of July 2023 are:

Sungrow, a China-headquartered inverter and battery storage provider

Fluence, a listed pure-play battery storage system integrator

Tesla Energy, a energy storage division of electric vehicle giant Tesla

Wärtsilä, a Finland-headquartered power solutions firm

Hyperstrong, a Beijing-based battery storage system integrator

Meanwhile, the top five by installed and contracted projects are the same companies but in a different order:




Tesla Energy


The latter ranking represents a shift from two years ago when IHS Markit, which S&P acquired and integrated into its S&P Global, pegged the top five as Fluence, NextEra Energy Resources, Tesla Energy, Wärtsilä and Oregon-headquartered Powin Energy, in descending order.

The companies making up the latest top five account for around a quarter of global battery storage installations to-date, and around 10% of contracted projects, as shown in S&P’s infographic below.

S&P added that competition in international markets will intensify as Chinese companies look to expand globally by offering highly price-competitive products. It went as far as saying that a ramp-up in battery manufacturing targeting the energy storage system market will “lead to oversupply and highly competitive market conditions”.

A battery developer, speaking anonymously, told that the price difference between Western and China-based battery energy storage system (BESS) integrators has grown this year.

A separate delegate at the Energy Storage Summit Central Eastern Europe (CEE) last week added that a big part of BESS product and capex prices starting to fall in 2023 has been due to an oversupply in China, where a ramp-up in BESS manufacturing capacity has outpaced the domestic market demand for BESS.

Fluence won System Integrator of the Year at last week’s inaugural Energy Storage Awards, organised by our publisher Solar Media.

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Hydrostor in binding agreement with mining firm Perilya to progress Australia A-CAES project

Specifically, the agreement includes access to property transactions and existing mine infrastructure, the provision of construction support services and supports the continued and longer-term operation of the Potosi Mine during and after Silver City project is being built, Hydrostor said.

Silver City is being designed for an energy storage capacity of 200MW/1,600MWh, equating to 8 hours of duration, with 250MWh set aside to provide backup power to the town of Broken Hill having been chosen by regional transmission system operator (TSO) Transgrid to do so last year.

The mine has several features which make it a good site for the Canada-based firm’s A-CAES technology, including very hard and impermeable rock, existing underground mine development witha cavern at 600m of depth, and existing mine support infrastructure.

Paul Rasmussen, Hydrostor’s Vice-President of Integration said: “By leveraging the existing mine investment and infrastructure, this partnership enables us to improve project delivery timeframe, since we can build the underground air storage cavern much faster, with reduced setup costs and a better understanding of the geology at site”.

The Silver City project won AU$45 million (US$29 million) in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) this time last year.

The project is expected to reach financial close by late 2023 after which construction can start, although the firm has not communicated an expected completion date. Its total cost is pegged at AU$652 million (US$420 million).

The company is also developing two large-scale projects in California, including a 500MW/4,000MWh one in Kern County which recently suffered a minor setback when Hydrostor revealed it was in the process of assessing alternative locations and delivery dates.

That project’s completion could move from 2028 to 2030, though the Canada-headquartered firm said it remained fully committed to the project, which secured an offtake deal with a utility for part of its capacity in January 2023.

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Progress for New South Wales REZ, as government pledges AU$1 billion for ‘storage CEFC’

Roughly 20,000km2, Central-West Orana REZ will be built near the villages of Dunedoo, Mudgee and Dubbo, which are in a rural area about 330km north west of Sydney.

The government is putting renewable energy capacity onto it through competitive tenders and received 27GW worth of expressions of interest (EOI) in 2020, well above its planned capacity. It has been a similar story for other REZ calls for prospective bidders in NSW, most recently the Illawarra REZ in August 2022.

The filing of its EIS is a critical step in the cycle of approvals and “demonstrates our commitment to ensuring NSW households, businesses and industry can access clean, affordable and reliable energy as coal-fired power stations retire,” NSW’s minister for energy Penny Sharpe said.

The EIS is on public exhibition for a month, through EnergyCo, the state-run energy corporation tasked with delivering the REZ.

The government kicked off the Central-West Orana project in earnest last November when it officially declared the REZ. Its planned grid export capacity will be an initial 3GW when it goes online by the middle of this decade.

EnergyCo said in August that the government plans beef up the network further to accommodate 4.5GW of export by 2030. The government is exploring options for the REZ to eventually reach 6GW export from mostly wind and solar PV resource by 2038.

Minister Diane Sharpe also noted in a statement made 28 September that it is planning to also include 2GW of long-duration energy storage.  

State budget includes AU$1 billion for storage, firming resources

A couple of weeks ago, the state government, headed up by Premier Chris Minns’ Australian Labor Party, committed AU$804 million (US$514.7 million) funding for its Transmission Acceleration Facility. The facility aims to speed up the process of connecting REZs to the grid.

That was among energy transition investments announced in the Labor Party’s budget for the current 2023-2024 financial year. The other big one was the creation of a so-called Energy Security Corporation which would invest into energy storage and firming resources on behalf of the state.

The government compared it to the role played by the national Clean Energy Finance Council (CEFC), which invests in and helps finance commercial clean energy projects across a range of technologies.

The Energy Security Corporation could invest into resources such as pumped hydro energy storage (PHES), community batteries and virtual power plants (VPPs), with the government committing AU$1 billion to its creation.

In July the state gave planning approvals to two large-scale BESS plants adding up to 270MW output which would be in the Central-West Orana REZ, while New South Wales is also home to Australia’s biggest BESS project in construction, Waratah Super Battery, a “giant shock absorber” for the grid, as the government has described it.

Premier Minns and energy minister Sharpe have both said that policies such as increasing privatisation under the previous government of the Liberal Party have put New South Wales behind schedule in pursuing net zero emissions. Labor has recommitted to that goal and the implementation of the state’s Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap that set out the path to achieve it, including plans for the REZ developments.

That roadmap had been put in place in 2020 and included the 2GW LDES capacity in the Central-West Orana’s design from the outset along with 12GW in total of renewable generation across the five REZs.

An interactive map on the EnergyCo website shows the different clean energy projects proposed for the Central-West REZ and relevant transmission network infrastructure projects.  

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Energy Storage Awards 2023: Winners revealed as industry celebrates on big night out

An outright winner was selected for each category, while Highly Commended trophies were handed to runners-up.

Amid the chaos wreaked by the global climate crisis, it was a rare night off and night out for attendees and a chance to celebrate the tremendous progress made by the industry so far, while acknowledging that the real work is only just beginning.

Comedian Jayde Adams admirably kept the excited audience in order and entertained. Some gossip from her appearance on the primetime TV show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was augmented by plenty of jokes and anecdotes.

Meanwhile, her attempt at asking ChatGPT to write a joke about energy storage demonstrated clearly that, much like when it comes to battery storage asset optimisation, rumours that the role of human ingenuity will soon become redundant have been heavily exaggerated.

The awards were for activities taking place across the past year in the European industry, although it was perhaps no surprise that the Great Britain (GB) market, which leads the continent for deployment by some way, was largely dominant.

However, although system integrator and technology/service provider Fluence and developer Atlantic Green perhaps led with their two award wins each, there was an interesting spread of different names engraved onto the 12 main and runner-up trophies.

We look forward to seeing how the industry dynamic shifts next year, given the growing focus on renewable energy in Europe.

We’d like to thank our esteemed panel of judges for the hours of work put in to choose a worthy set of winners, a task that was not easy given the high standards and high volumes of nominations.

Scroll down to read the list of winners of the inaugural Energy Storage Awards.

Developer of the Year

Winner: Zenobe Energy

Highly commended: Kyon Energy

Winner Zenobe’s remit is providing end-to-end electrification solutions, including smart fleet solutions for electric vehicles (EVs), but it was the company’s activities in designing, financing, building and operating battery energy storage system (BESS) assets that caught the eye of judges this year.

Zenobe Energy collects its Developer of the Year award. Company founder James Basden stands second from left, with host Jayde Adams (third from left). Image: Solar Media

System Integrator of the Year

Winner: Fluence

Highly commended: TrinaStorage

Formed in 2017 but built on more than a decade of work in energy storage by AES and Siemens, the former joint venture partners which launched it, Fluence was a deserving and perhaps unsurprising winner in the prestigious system integrator of the year category.

Fluence collects its first trophy of the night, for System Integrator of the Year. Image: Solar Media.

Outstanding Contribution to Energy Storage

Winner: Alex O’Cinneide, Gore Street Capital

Highly commended: Lars Stephan, Fluence

Gore Street Capital CEO Alex O’Cinneide was rightly recognised for a longstanding contribution to the rapid development of the energy storage industry. From having the vision and early foresight to launch Gore Street Energy Storage Fund to taking the developer-investor into international markets, O’Cinneide has been at the forefront and someone the market looks up to.

Gore Street CEO Alex O’Cinneide (centre) with his Energy Storage Award for Outstanding Contribution. Image: Solar Media

Trading and Optimisation Team of the Year

Winner: Habitat Energy

Highly commended: EDF UK

The increasing sophistication of teams behind trading desks and optimisers has underpinned the success of the battery storage industry. Habitat Energy, which like Gore Street is on a wave of international expansion, showed judges plenty of evidence of its success in pairing artificial intelligence and human expertise to maximise revenues of its clients’ portfolios.

Grid-scale Standalone Energy Storage Project of the Year

Winner: Pillswood Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)

Highly commended: Capenhurst 100MW BESS

Harmony Energy’s 96MW/198MWh project in northern England won the standalone project of the year gong. Officially opened in March 2023, the Pillswood BESS was profiled by Harmony operations director Alex Thornton for our quarterly journal PV Tech Power (Vol.35) a few months ago, and you can read all about it in an exclusive extract of the article here.

Product of the Year

Winner: UltraStack, Fluence

Highly commended: Li-Ion Tamer GEN 3 Lithium-Ion Battery Off-Gas Detection System

Fluence’s UltraStack is the company’s (and perhaps the industry’s) first product aimed at the transmission segment. The system integration award winner has identified ‘storage-as-a-transmission-asset’ (SATA) as a high value application, which needed its own high-spec solution, which Fluence launched at the beginning of 2023.

Breakthrough R&D/Innovation of the Year

Winner: EnZinc

Energy Storage Awards 2023 trophies. Image: Solar Media.

One of a number of companies developing stationary energy storage based around zinc chemistry batteries, EnZinc targets applications including data centre and backup power systems.

Newcomer/Startup of the Year

Winner: Atlantic Green

Investor-developer-operator of BESS assets Atlantic Green was formed as a joint venture between private investment group Interland and independent power producer (IPP) Nofar Energy, racing out of the blocks to win the newcomer/startup of the year award.

Challenge of the Year

Winner: Atlantic Green

Atlantic Green’s second win of the night saw the company and its partners recognised for coming through challenging circumstances to successfully deliver a grid-scale BESS project.

Grid-scale Co-located or Hybrid Energy Storage Project of the Year

Winner: EasyPower’s Hybrid EV Charging Station

Greek tech company EasyPower delivered a project in its home country that enabled electric vehicle (EV) charging to take place in a grid-constrained area, through smart combination with solar PV and BESS. One judge said it represented an “interesting application of rapidly in-demand technologies, evidence of innovation and problem-solving in design and execution”.

Distributed Energy Storage Project of the Year

Winner: Elisa Distributed Energy Storage

Finnish utility company Elisa’s virtual power plant (VPP) project, which utilises existing telecommunications network infrastructure to host battery storage and smart energy management solutions, won distributed project of the year.

Grid Operator-led Project of the Year

Winner: ELES Sincro.Grid Project

Slovenian grid operator ELES led the way for this project, which aims to use battery storage to enhance and reinforce operation of the grid in Slovenia and Croatia. A project of major strategic importance for Europe, it looks to be part of a wider effort we can look forward to seeing in the continent and elsewhere as the energy transition progresses.

Winners’ gallery and more information including the judging panel can be seen on the official event site here.

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Sunrun Securitizes Solar Leases, PPAs

Danny Abajian

Sunrun, a provider of residential solar, storage and energy services, has closed the securitization of leases and power purchase agreements, known as Sunrun’s solar-as-a-service offering, and raised additional subordinated non-recourse financing.

“We are pleased with Sunrun’s record-setting transaction, placing the largest ever residential solar securitization for the industry and subsequently raising additional non-recourse financings,” says Danny Abajian, Sunrun’s CFO.

“Sunrun’s execution demonstrates our non-recourse, asset level financing strategy provides attractive capital to fuel growth, with strong advance rates, allowing unit-level cash generation over time without increasing leverage at the parent level.”

Similar to prior transactions, Sunrun raised an additional subordinated subsidiary-level non-recourse financing totaling $253 million after the securitization transaction closed, which increased the cumulative advance rate obtained by Sunrun.

Deutsche Bank Securities was the sole structuring agent and served as joint bookrunner along with Atlas SP Securities, BofA Securities and MUFG Securities Americas. Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Agricole Securities, ING Financial Markets, J.P. Morgan Securities, SG Americas Securities, TD Securities and Truist Securities served as co-managers for the securitization.

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