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BlueSel Commercial Solar Blog

Solar History_ISO-New-England-Apr 21 2018

Solar Energy Milestone in New England

A Solar Energy Production Peak in 2018

Every homeowner and business wants steady, uninterrupted electricity. A stable and resilient power supply network to make this happen is a challenge. On any given day, there is a wide diversity in demand. If power on the network doesn’t match the demand at any moment, the results are usually noticeable. Everyone experiences light flickering as a symptom. When mismatches are worse, there could be short brownouts.

From power plant operations to energy transmission and distribution management, every party that manages a piece of the supply must be ready. They cannot just be reactive. Planning and forecasting is a large part of the task in keeping the network stable. Teams of people are looking at hour ahead needs, and all the way up to 2 and 3 years out.

As operators look ahead to predict the need to increase or decrease supply levels throughout the grid, they have limited options. Energy may be redirected in some cases. Dispatchable generating plants – or ones that can be scaled up or down relatively quickly – are usually cycled as  first option.

With the growth of solar power, many utilities have modified their forecasting and planning. Solar peaks and demand peaks fluctuate differently during the day. Having more flexibility in using the existing dispatchable capacity is a big deal.

Solar History_ISO-New-England-Apr 21 2018
A First Time Record is Made on April 21, 2018

A Historic Solar Energy Event

On April 21, 2018, something happened within the New England power grid for the first time. The mix of electricity demand and solar energy production made history. The midday peak energy demand from the power grid was lower than at the lowest point overnight. The nighttime demand wasn’t higher than usual. The reason for this historic first is the effectiveness of energy efficiency and the combined output of 130,000 small, medium and large solar installations in New England. The capacity of off-the-grid solar installations in New England — mostly rooftop solar panels — has grown almost tenfold since 2012, to more than 2,500 megawatts (MW).

Solar power’s ability to drive grid-scale reductions in demand was expected: The capacity of off-the-grid solar installations in New England — mostly rooftop solar panels — has grown almost tenfold since 2012, to 2,400 megawatts. Roughly speaking, that’s enough to power almost 2 million homes — when the sun is shining.

There are a number of reasons why this is an important solar power milestone. Two of the more important reasons are:

This is tangible evidence of the changing nature of power supply within the ISO New England territory. On the sunniest of days, the existing dispatchable plants are least needed. This also gives planners more flexibility to keep the grid stable. With more idle plant capacity, the first plants to be scaled up can be the cheapest to operate. Of course, the more they are idle or running at reduced capacity, the less fuel they burn and the consequences of those emissions are lowered.

The debates about expanding fossil fueled generating capacity, natural gas pipelines, importing more hydropower from Quebec, etc., are all now changed as more local solar energy generating capacity slows down those needs. To be fair, the debate about how to best prepare dispatchable capacity for the future is changing, too.

Adding a solar energy system to your business or organization is a quick way to realize immediate savings as well as 25+ years of reducing or eliminating reliance on your utility. And with each new commercial solar installation, the chances of the next historic solar energy event grow. Soon we might see successive days where daytime gird demand is lower than overnight demand.

We encourage you to take a serious look at solar for your location. Simply request a free evaluation and we will provide you with a summary of options.

solar-powers-effect-on-regional-electricity-demand-2016-2-25_sm
Just 3 Short Years Ago Solar Impact Was Small

More Details: About the Solar Energy Duck Curves (above)

People who are immersed daily in the solar energy market have been introduced to what has been labeled the “duck curve”. Utilities have long plotted the energy demand and power generation levels each day, week, month, and over longer periods. As more renewable energy is added, and especially solar energy, a unique shape appears almost regularly. As the sun begins to set, the levels of solar energy production lessen. Energy demands are often still at or near daily peaks. So the grid power supply curve bends upwards in the late afternoon and early evening. The nominal shape has earned the name of “duck curve”.

This phenomena first because obvious and repeated in California as early as 2012 and 2013. The  local April 21 event marks the first time we could say New England is “catching up” with California. And if you look closely at the shape of the above visual from ISO New England, you see the point where the difference between solar generation, and grid power demand resulted in the “belly of the duck” being lower than the previous night’s lowest demand. From about 1:30 PM to about 3:30 PM history was made.

About ISO New England

ISO New England is responsible for power markets and grid operations that extend across Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
It is officially defined as an independent, non-profit Regional Transmission Organization (RTO), headquartered in Holyoke, Massachusetts. An RTO is an electric power transmission system operator (TSO) which coordinates, controls and monitors a multi-state electric grid.

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More About BlueSel Solar

BlueSel Commercial Solar, Inc. is a locally owned solar energy system installation company with offices in Woburn and Sandwich, Massachusetts. It is co-owned by Wally Cole of Arlington, MA and Michael Tanghe of Hyannis, MA. Mike and Wally are also co-founders of BlueSel Home Solar Inc. Together, these two companies have installed over 550 solar installations with over 5.5 megawatts of solar energy system capacity.

BlueSel Solar was the first SunPower® Master Dealer in Massachusetts. The SunPower Master Dealer program is a “by invitation only”. Out of the 1,200 SunPower dealers around the world, only 21 have been invited to become Master Dealers. SunPower awards the title of Master for outstanding customer service and providing first-class installations.

Our construction process begins with a pre-construction planning meeting led by our EPC project manager and involving your on-site project representative and any other subcontractors who will manage on-site work. This meeting educates everyone on the installation and the construction steps in the process. In our experience, this team is able to develop the best plan to efficiently receive and locate materials and work in the construction site with the lowest impact to your business operations. It also establishes the personal connections to quickly solve problems and make optimal decision during the construction process.

For all of our work, we provide a 5 year workmanship warranty and act as your one-stop contact for the equipment warranties for your installed system. Our construction phase completes with documentation and training on the operation of the system, the maintenance schedule, and contact information for issue resolution. We also offer monitoring services that can identify system performance issues and keep your system running at optimal productive capacity.

Our project manager can acquire all the equipment and materials to implement the design and would work with you to fully manage the logistics of delivering and storing them onsite to minimize any disruption to your normal business operations.

Another important aspect of procurement is our proven ability to manage all the required permits for construction as well as all the required paperwork and interactions with the local utility for grid-connection authorization and PTO (permission to operate). We can also manage the application forms and processes for any incentive programs and credits the system is eligible for. Simply put – our system design includes everything needed to build your system, meet all requirements AND take advantage of all the incentives and credits you are due.

Our engineering begins with the first conversation to understand your electricity requirements, history and project goals. We survey the site and evaluate the total solar power potential and work with you to review the options for all potential solar installations – including the roofs of existing buildings as well as the possible options for Solar Systems over parking areas and unshaded land that might be used for ground-mount systems.

The cost, financing, payback period, and system lifetime ROI are reviewed for each option and the quality equipment included in our designs is always selected meet your budget and optimize the return on your financial investment.

Our engineering plans are fully certified by our engineering partner company – ARC DESIGN – to meet all structural and electrical requirements and qualify fully for current federal and state incentive programs.

More About BlueSel Solar

BlueSel Commercial Solar, Inc. is a locally owned solar energy system installation company with offices in Woburn and Sandwich, Massachusetts. It is co-owned by Wally Cole of Arlington, MA and Michael Tanghe of Hyannis, MA. Mike and Wally are also co-founders of BlueSel Home Solar Inc. Together, these two companies have installed over 550 solar installations with over 5.5 megawatts of solar energy system capacity.

BlueSel Solar was the first SunPower® Master Dealer in Massachusetts. The SunPower Master Dealer program is a “by invitation only”. Out of the 1,200 SunPower dealers around the world, only 21 have been invited to become Master Dealers. SunPower awards the title of Master for outstanding customer service and providing first-class installations.

More About BlueSel Solar

BlueSel Commercial Solar, Inc. is a locally owned solar energy system installation company with offices in Woburn and Sandwich, Massachusetts. It is co-owned by Wally Cole of Arlington, MA and Michael Tanghe of Hyannis, MA. Mike and Wally are also co-founders of BlueSel Home Solar Inc. Together, these two companies have installed over 550 solar installations with over 5.5 megawatts of solar energy system capacity.

BlueSel Solar was the first SunPower® Master Dealer in Massachusetts. The SunPower Master Dealer program is a “by invitation only”. Out of the 1,200 SunPower dealers around the world, only 21 have been invited to become Master Dealers. SunPower awards the title of Master for outstanding customer service and providing first-class installations.

Our construction process begins with a pre-construction planning meeting led by our EPC project manager and involving your on-site project representative and any other subcontractors who will manage on-site work. This meeting educates everyone on the installation and the construction steps in the process. In our experience, this team is able to develop the best plan to efficiently receive and locate materials and work in the construction site with the lowest impact to your business operations. It also establishes the personal connections to quickly solve problems and make optimal decision during the construction process.

For all of our work, we provide a 5 year workmanship warranty and act as your one-stop contact for the equipment warranties for your installed system. Our construction phase completes with documentation and training on the operation of the system, the maintenance schedule, and contact information for issue resolution. We also offer monitoring services that can identify system performance issues and keep your system running at optimal productive capacity.

Our project manager can acquire all the equipment and materials to implement the design and would work with you to fully manage the logistics of delivering and storing them onsite to minimize any disruption to your normal business operations.

Another important aspect of procurement is our proven ability to manage all the required permits for construction as well as all the required paperwork and interactions with the local utility for grid-connection authorization and PTO (permission to operate). We can also manage the application forms and processes for any incentive programs and credits the system is eligible for. Simply put – our system design includes everything needed to build your system, meet all requirements AND take advantage of all the incentives and credits you are due.

Our engineering begins with the first conversation to understand your electricity requirements, history and project goals. We survey the site and evaluate the total solar power potential and work with you to review the options for all potential solar installations – including the roofs of existing buildings as well as the possible options for Solar Systems over parking areas and unshaded land that might be used for ground-mount systems.

The cost, financing, payback period, and system lifetime ROI are reviewed for each option and the quality equipment included in our designs is always selected meet your budget and optimize the return on your financial investment.

Our engineering plans are fully certified by our engineering partner company – ARC DESIGN – to meet all structural and electrical requirements and qualify fully for current federal and state incentive programs.

More About BlueSel Solar

BlueSel Commercial Solar, Inc. is a locally owned solar energy system installation company with offices in Woburn and Sandwich, Massachusetts. It is co-owned by Wally Cole of Arlington, MA and Michael Tanghe of Hyannis, MA. Mike and Wally are also co-founders of BlueSel Home Solar Inc. Together, these two companies have installed over 550 solar installations with over 5.5 megawatts of solar energy system capacity.

BlueSel Solar was the first SunPower® Master Dealer in Massachusetts. The SunPower Master Dealer program is a “by invitation only”. Out of the 1,200 SunPower dealers around the world, only 21 have been invited to become Master Dealers. SunPower awards the title of Master for outstanding customer service and providing first-class installations.