Developers add energy storage to Ohio solar project after law changes
- S&C Electric Co. will break ground soon on a 7 MW storage project that's attached to a 4.2 MW solar facility and will be located in the town of Minister, Ohio, PV Magazine reports.
- The facility was originally planned without storage, but changes to the state's Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program spurred the addition last year. S&C was tapped by Half Moon Ventures (HMV) to build the storage project, which is tied to HMV's adjacent 4.2 MW solar plant.
- Design Energy of Columbus has already begun work on the solar installation. That portion of the project is slated for completion in December.
Once completed, the storage project in Minister, Ohio, will be one of the largest in the state. According to PV Magazine, the combined solar+storage facility will be the largest of its kind in the United States.
But the irony here is that the storage aspect wasn't originally planned. The energy storage part of the project was added when Ohio began considering changes to its SREC requirements. Last July, legislators passed a bill that terminated a requirement that half of the state's SRECs aimed at its renewables goals be generated in the state, while freezing the state's renewable energy portfolio standard for two years.
"SB 310 had the calculated effect of taking the value out of Ohio in-state SRECs, removing investor confidence in the Ohio SREC market as a whole, and devaluing any projects in development and planning due to the RPS cancelation threat," a spokesperson for AREP, which is developing the project for Half Moon Ventures, told PV Magazine.
But the changes will wind up benefiting the village of Minister, where the project will be located. Both HMV, which owns the project, and the village will benefit from four unique revenue streams, according to S&C. Half Moon will be able to sell into PJM Interconnection’s frequency regulation market, while the town will use the energy storage system to defer transmission and distribution costs, improve power quality and shave peak demand.
"Revenue stacking is one of the quickest ways to create a strong return on investment for energy storage systems,” said S&C Electric director of grid solutions Troy Miller in a statement. “In the case of the Minster project, we are seeing one of the first examples of how a municipal utility can work with a developer to create multiple revenue streams that benefit both parties, and we expect to see more projects like this in the future.”
Follow Robert Walton on Twitter