Heliene and Nexamp announce the largest community solar module contract in the US; Study explores solar energy potential along Californian highways; FTC Solar’s new PV asset monitoring solution; Google launches Solar API to provide detailed rooftop data to support solar installations.
Nexamp places solar module order: Heliene, Inc. has announced landing what it terms the ‘largest ever’ community solar module deal in the US. Nexamp has placed an order for 1.5 GW of Heliene’s modules to be produced at the latter’s Minnesota facility at Mountain Iron. Nexamp will equip about 400 new community solar projects in the US over the next 5 years with these modules. Heliene is reportedly planning to expand its capacity in Minnesota with a new 1.5 GW cell and 1 GW module fab . In April 2023, Summit Ridge Energy and Qcells announced a 1.2 GW solar module and 20 MWh energy storage order as the largest community solar module order in the US (see Largest Community Solar Module Order In US).
New software from FTC: Solar tracker company FTC Solar has launched a new cloud-based PV asset monitoring solution called SUNOPS. The company says this ‘differentiated’ solution offers a holistic view of plant operation, analyzing most facets of PV plant performance. It can factor in advanced tracking algorithms and appropriate tracker stowing for extreme weather events, to determine the root cause of underperformance. It then provides accurate solutions to improve plant efficiency, according to the company.
Solar potential along California highways: The counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego in California can generate an estimated 1,960.9 GWh/year of solar energy by covering over 4,800 acres along highways with solar panels. According to a report by The Ray commissioned by the Environment California Research & Policy Center, this 960.8 MW of solar capacity can supply clean electricity to over 270,000 homes/year.
While Los Angeles and Ventura counties could host 320.8 MW potential solar capacity, Ventura alone can install 640 MW. This is the technical solar potential estimated for the 3 counties by taking into account all suitable land since these are controlled by the state and lie near existing transmission lines. For this reason, such projects can be built quickly compared to utility-scale PV projects. When paired with battery energy storage systems (BESS), these can supply electricity to the grid even after the sun sets.
Google’s Solar API: Google has launched a new application programming interface (API) for solar, called Solar API, to provide comprehensive data for rooftop solar potential. Under the Building Insights endpoint, it provides details about a building’s location, dimensions and solar potential for solar professionals and building owners to compare different solar configurations. The Building Insights endpoint provides granular details about raw solar information about the location – for instance shading – that can affect a system’s performance. Companies can use the tool to provide cost savings estimates, array designs and reliable quotes without the need for a home visit, claims Google. Solar API takes forward from Google’s Project Sunroof the global technology giant launched in 2015 starting with Massachusetts and Northern California in the US, later expanding it to the rest of the nation (see Google Extends Project Sunroof To Entire US). Details of the Solar API are available on Google’s website.