ORIGINAL REPORTING: Ohio Village Pilots Breakthrough Solar-Storage Concept
Inside the first municipal solar-plus-storage project in the US; Stacking revenue streams to finance the project was a success, Village of Minster officials said
By Herman K. Trabish, July 5, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: New battery storage numbers show the pilot program described here was the beginning of trend.
The marriage between solar and storage is a natural. It could provide independence for electricity customers and could allow utilities to boost grid resiliency and integrate more renewables into their power mixes. It was such a natural that the Village of Minster in Ohio leapt at the opportunity to own the first U.S. municipal utility-owned solar-plus-storage project. Backed by Half Moon Ventures, the Minster utility’s power purchase agreement (PPA) anchored a 3 MWac solar array and 7 MW/3 MWh lithium-ion energy storage system installation.
Like many small Midwestern electric cooperatives and municipal utilities, Minster officials wanted solar to diversify its portfolio and hedge against fuel price volatility. To ease Minster doubts, Half Moon Ventures brought in S&C Electric, a 105-year-old, international electric services provider that supplied some of the utility’s hardware. Confident S&C would deliver, the muni exercised the unique ability of small independent utilities to act quickly. Its PPA with Half Moon sets the utility’s price for solar energy-generated electricity at $0.07/kWh. The resulting all-in $0.095/kWh cost for power matches the muni’s average retail electricity rate, allowing the Village to basically break even on the power transaction. Other benefits allow the Minster utility’s budget of $7 million per year to get about $1 million per month in savings…click here for more