Representation of what one of the projects in rural New York State will look like. Image: Convergent energy + power.
The energy storage developer Convergent Energy + Power has signed a long-term contract with the grocery chain Tops Friendly Market for three large solar-plus storage systems in the state of New York.
Over 75 Tops stores are powered by the solar power plants, and billers in residential areas can also sign up to buy electricity from the community facilities. Community Solar (and Solar Plus Storage) enable people who may not be able to generate their own solar energy at home or in their business to benefit from clean energy by subscribing to such “shared” programs.
As part of the top deal, a portfolio of 57 MWdc solar PV, DC-coupled with 123 MWh battery energy storage systems (BESS) will be installed at the three locations, said Frank Genova, Chief Operating Officer and Finance Officer of Convergent Energy + Power, versus Energy-Storage. News.
In March, that site reported that developer has selected GE Renewable Energy to supply key equipment for the three projects. The supply agreement includes integrated solar inverters and energy storage systems, while GE will also sign a 20-year service agreement.
“These new facilities will improve access to solar energy for both tops and individual customers or community members in New York state,” said Genova.
The supermarket group has subscribed to the purchase of credits for renewable energy generated by solar parks through the New York State VDER (Value of Distributed Energy Resource) tariff. The VDER tariff, also known as the Value Stack, was introduced by the New York Public Service Commission to offset the energy generated by solar and other distributed energy resources (DERs).
In principle, an electricity supplier determines the value of the electricity fed into the grid by a DER project using a specially derived method and then assigns the value of this electricity to the customer's invoice.
Frank Genova of Convergent Energy + Power said the company was unable to disclose the length of the contract with the supermarket chain but confirmed that the deal was a subscription contract for the VDER credits.
“Solar plus community storage, facilitated by New York's Value of Distributed Energy Resource (VDER) tariff, enables businesses and individuals to take advantage of the flow of solar energy from external arrays and is an increasingly popular method of accessing it to improve renewable energy production, “said Genoa.
Frank Genova said the VDER program provides up to 25 years of security for DER revenue streams while Tops' retail business is for an unknown period of time. VDER and similar programs that offer guaranteed yields for municipal energy resources on a megawatt scale have “enormous value”, the COO and CFO told Energy-Storage.news.
“Convergent assumes that innovative electricity tariffs and government programs like VDER will become more common, which will enable the development and expansion of renewable resources in connection with energy storage.”