Solar Builder

JAN-FEB 2019

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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12 JA N UA RY / F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 9 California took another major step for- ward in bringing clean local energy online. On Dec. 28, 2018, California's major utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), published their updated Interconnection Capacity Analysis (ICA) maps, or ICA 2.0. These ICA maps assess all points on the existing distribution grid for accommodating new DER capacity without significant grid upgrades. The maps, which contain details on available interconnection capacity, are crucial tools for bringing DER online more quickly and cost effectively. Interconnection is often the most com- plex, uncertain, and time-consuming aspect of DER project development. This is particularly true for smaller projects, which can easily be rendered uneconomic due to a lack of predictability in terms of interconnection costs and timelines. The ICA 2.0 update represents the first full- scale release of ICA maps with reliable data. Although the utilities published demonstration ICA maps in 2015 with detailed data, those maps relied on mod- els and assumptions that did not meet the accuracy standards required by intercon- nection engineers. In contrast, the ICA 2.0 maps can be used with a high degree of accuracy for interconnection assess- ments. The new maps evaluate the most com- mon interconnection capacity factors at the node level on every line section of all primary distribution circuits — that is, at every point on the circuits where there can be a change in values that would affect the ICA results. Significantly, for the sake of facilitating certainty and accu- racy for project developers and property owners, the maps are publicly available and will be updated every month. The Vineyards is generating a lot of buzz as Southern California's newest upscale shopping and entertainment center, which will feature some of the region's latest and most sustainable operating systems and eco-friendly fixtures. Rooftop solar panels will offset tenant electrical loads, power LED lights in common areas and send excess power back into the grid. Giant underground tanks have begun to capture and clean stormwater that will irrigate the carefully designed landscape, which happens to include rows of actual wine grapes. Mobile app- connected electric vehicle charging stations will be strategically placed throughout the parking lots, including two installed by Whole Foods Market, which will open a new flagship location in the spring of 2019. Interactive kiosks will help visitors to the Vineyards learn and appreciate the various ways that sustainability has driven the project's design. Shapell Liberty Investment Properties, the Vineyards' developer, has carefully designed and implemented a range of features and construction methods to ensure a lower ecological footprint and to create a thriving community hub that will become the focal point for the surrounding north Los Angeles neighborhood. Initially, there will be 15 charging stations available on a first- come basis when the Vineyards opens, with plans for up to 85 total electric vehicle charging stations as demand for those spaces increases. Shapell has selected ChargePoint to supply Level 2 charging stations at the Vineyards' main shopping center. IN THE NEWS Redefining 'Mixed Use' California's Vineyards is a good example of how to develop with renewable energy focus California's major utilities publish updated Interconnection Capacity Analysis maps

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