Vivint Solar securitization gets A- bond rating

bonds, Energy Storage, Finance, Insurance, Residential PV, Solar Power, tax equity, Vivint Solar
Kroll has assigned a portfolio of 37,792 leases, worth $494 million in various revenue streams, a preliminary rating pending a sale to the marketplace. May 25, 2018John WeaverThe Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) has assigned a Vivint Solar bond offering a rating of A- as the company seeks $305 million from the market. A second batch of bonds, aiming to be worth $50 million, were rated BB-.The portfolio is composed of 37,792 solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) and leases. PPAs make up 95% of the total value, and the rest are leases. The ‘total aggregate discounted solar asset balance’ (ADSAB) was approximately $494 million. This value is composed of “discounted payments of the leases, power purchase agreements (“PPA”), and hedged solar renewable energy credit agreements (“SRECs”)”.The average agreement length, when…
Read More

Panasonic and Pika up the pace

battery, Energy Storage, Harbor Plus Smart Battery, Modules & Upstream Manufacturing, Panasonic, Pika Energy, Products, Residential PV, Solar Power
Pika Energy has increased its home battery capacity to 17.1 kWh – about half an average home’s daily usage. The units are powered by Panasonic lithium-ion cells. May 24, 2018John WeaverIf we take the results of surveys as truth, then 74% of solar customers are interested in energy storage. That 74% is interested for different reasons: a few because the technology is cool and Elon sells it, some as a backup in case of power outage, others to arbitrage use (TOU) rates in California, a few to protect against natural disasters, and some just to stick it to the man.While prices are still settling downward, manufacturers have a little bit of time to get their features right, and also make sure they figure out the right storage sizes and solar power…
Read More

Solar and wind power will drive the value of energy storage, remaking the power grid

Energy Storage, Markets, Markets & Policy, Policy, Solar Power, Wholesale Rates, wind power
A much heralded report shows solar and wind will lower wholesale prices, but it also shows a coming evolution in the pricing profile of the grid. These shifts in timing, shape, regularity and length will drive energy storage demand. May 18, 2018John WeaverDespite a heavy build-out of gas plants over the last two decades, the United States is moving solidly in the direction of an electricity grid dominated by renewable energy. And as we reach higher penetrations, the needs change. Some of the more forward-looking models suggest we’ll need on the order of 12 hours to three weeks worth of energy storage to move to an 80% and then 100% solar- and wind-powered grid.A recently published report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL),  Impacts…
Read More

Vivint Solar to use LG’s RESU residential energy storage system

Business, Energy Management Systems, Energy Storage, Residential PV, Solar Lease, Solar Power, Vivint Solar
The nation’s third-largest residential solar company is rolling out the batteries first in California, with plans to offer them nationwide by the end of 2018. May 17, 2018John WeaverVivint Solar is planning to offer LG Chem RESU batteries with its solar power installations. Among the nation’s three largest residential solar companies, they are playing a bit of catch up to Tesla and Sunrun, who have been long working with energy storage.LG Chem offers a family of energy storage products – including the RESU residential unit, a shipping container ancillary service unit, cells for laptops and phones, battery modules and the racks that hold those for UPS purposes, and automotive also. A nice PDF defines some of the technical specifications – including the residential data below.The energy storage systems come in…
Read More

Tesla Powerwall adds time-based control

battery, Energy Management Systems, Energy Storage, Powerwall 2, Products, Solar Power, Tesla, time-of-use
A software update for the Powerwall 2 home energy storage system adds controls to allow owners to take advantage of time of use electricity rates in California and other states May 15, 2018John Weaver Tesla has enabled ‘Time-Based Controls‘ on its Powerwall 2 in a recent update. The controls are built to allow load shifting so customers can maximize electricity savings.According to the battery maker, the Powerwall has an array of electrical current sensors that monitor energy usage and solar energy production, as well as “intelligent forecasting software” to predict future usage and production.The manufacturer suggested that through the use of this software, Powerwall “learns” and will optimize when it charges and discharges to maximize production. An email was sent to the company requesting further comments on the functionality of these “learning”…
Read More

Warren Buffett utility says no new gas

Energy Storage, Finance, PacifiCorp, Policy, single axis trackers, Solar Power, Trackers, Utility-scale PV, Warren Buffett, Wind
Pacificorp, a Berkshire Hathaway electricity utility serving six Western states, said it has no plans to build new gas or coal in the coming decades, but instead plans to add 2.7 GW of wind and 1.8 GW of solar. May 15, 2018John WeaverPacificorp, in its 2017 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Update – sent out on May 1, has for the first time not included new fossil fuels as a ‘least cost, least risk’ resource. This IRP looks out over the next 20 years.Instead of building any new fossil generation, the company projects a procurement of 2.7 GW of wind, 1.86 GW of solar, 1.877 MW of incremental energy efficiency, and 268 MW of direct-load control resources (demand response). The company also expects to repower 999 MW of wind power.Pacificorp also…
Read More

How much of Tesla’s Solar Gigafactory did California just vote to buy?

BIPV, Building Integrated Photovoltaic, California, Energy Storage, Markets, Markets & Policy, Policy, Residential PV, Solar Power
The California Energy Commission unanimously approved a requirement for solar pv on all new homes – either in the house or in community solar. May 9, 2018John WeaverToday, the California Energy Commission unanimously approved nation’s first requirement that all new homes include solar generation by 2020.The 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards goes much farther than just solar power. The document represents California trying to make 1/9th of its emissions disappear through the intelligent implementation of currently available technologies, including solar films on glass, smartly sized and efficiently designed hot water tanks and air conditioners, lighting, solar power and energy storage. The document also provides the rough equation on how much solar must be installed, and how to install it.Questions of scope and broader effect remain, one question that cannot be answered just yet…
Read More