SEIA hails Massachusetts passing Act 5060 into a law as groundbreaking for renewables; Clearway commissions 39 MW solar+156 MWh storage project in O’ahu; Activate Renewables purchases over 115 MW RE; Sol Systems’ 5 MW AC bifacial solar plant online in New York.
Massachusetts gets RE law: Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has signed Act 5060 titled Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind into law, relaxing net metering cap for residential solar projects of up to 25 kW capacity. It establishes incentives for pollinator friendly community solar and commercial and industrial (C&I) projects. The law will lead to the creation of a new council that will proactively work to improve the state’s transmission and distribution grid planning, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The Northeast Regional Director for SEIA, Valessa Souter-Kline called it a groundbreaking climate legislation and said, “This will drive demand for larger residential solar and storage projects and help even more homeowners and small businesses realize the full value of their solar energy systems.”
39 MW solar and storage project in Hawaii: Independent power producer (IPP) Clearway Energy Group has commissioned its 4th solar plant on O’ahu of Hawaii, which it says is the island’s maiden utility scale solar and battery storage power plant. With 39 MW solar and 156 MWh battery energy storage system, the Mililani Solar Power Plant in Mililani Agricultural Park, is equipped with more than 123,000 solar PV panels. It will enhance grid reliability and provide grid services at a critical time with the decommissioning of the state’s last coal plant in September, stated Clearway. The project had been under construction since April 2021 led by Moss and Wärtsilä supplying batteries (see North America PV Snippets: Clearway, Wells, Morgan, Swift). In Hawaii, Clearway has already completed 3 utility scale solar projects and has another solar and storage facility under construction in Waiawa that’s scheduled to come online in 2022. Altogether all these 5 facilities make up 185 MW capacity.
Activate Renewables closes in on over 115 MW RE: Activate Renewables has closed in on the purchase of a portfolio of renewable ground leases from a fund managed by the Infrastructure Opportunities strategy of Ares Management. The portfolio comprises over 115 MW wind and solar capacity spread across 3 US states with long term power purchase agreements (PPA) with high-quality offtakers, it added. Under its business model, Activate Renewables acquires real estate and royalty interests in wind, solar and energy storage projects.
5 MW AC bifacial solar plants online in NY: Monroe County Water Authority (MCWA) announced the commissioning of a 5 MW AC ground mounted solar array, developed by Sol Systems, in Penfeld, New York. It is one of the 1st in New York State to use bifacial solar modules and single axis tracking. It has come up on MCWA’s property and is part of the agency’s long term goal to reduce energy expenses. The project is expected to generate 8 million kWh of clean energy annually, representing over 15% of MCWA’s energy needs for water pumping and treatment.