Forecast Energy, CivicSolar and Sharp Electronics Team Up to Deliver Solar + SmartStorage® Energy Storage System
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Forecast Energy, CivicSolar and Sharp Electronics Team Up to Deliver Solar + SmartStorage® Energy Storage System
Joint project installed at Channel Lumber in SF Bay Area for peak demand reduction, estimated $160,000 annual utility bill savings
OAKLAND, Calif. – June 6, 2017 - Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group (Sharp) and CivicSolar, a leading national full service solar distributor, announced today that CivicSolar is now offering Sharp’s SmartStorage® energy storage system through its vast distribution network of solar PV installers. Sharp and CivicSolar’s first project will be with technology developer and systems integrator Forecast Energy. The project features a 120 kW/160 kWh SmartStorage® system plus a 313.5 kW solar system and Forecast Energy’s proprietary forecasting platform that has been installed at Channel Lumber, one of the largest lumber companies in the Bay Area.
“It’s a privilege to have been selected by Forecast Energy for the Channel Lumber project and by CivicSolar as a distribution ally, which will see them promote our SmartStorage® system to their network of 3,500 customers,” said Carl Mansfield, General Manager and Founder of Sharp’s U.S. based Energy Systems and Services Group. “CivicSolar will broaden our reach to their vast network of customers in the solar industry and will bring our SmartStorage® solution to customers that are facing expensive peak demand charges. We anticipate teaming with both CivicSolar and Forecast Energy on future solar plus SmartStorage projects.”
Sharp’s intelligent energy storage solution paired with solar PV systems works synergistically to reduce energy usage for commercial properties. Sharp’s SmartStorage® system is designed to pull power from the SmartStorage batteries rather than from the utility at the times of highest demand (which are the most expensive rates) and is particularly suited for properties in parts of California where commercial utility customers are paying up to 50 percent of their energy bills toward demand charges. Channel Lumber paid $172,385 in demand charges alone over a one year period.
“We provide solar developers and installers with the products and services they need to succeed, so bringing a new energy storage technology into the mix requires a high level of evaluation,” said Stuart Fox, VP of Technical Sales for CivicSolar. “Sharp’s SmartStorage® system is available with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee and asset management service agreement. With Sharp’s solid reputation backing their system, our installer network will have confidence in Sharp’s SmartStorage® solution and their 10-year service agreement. That is already being demonstrated by our initial installation.”
A detailed analysis of Channel Lumber’s energy usage profile estimates that the solar plus SmartStorage® system will bring $160,466 in energy and demand savings annually - an estimated 62 percent reduction in Channel Lumber’s total bill. Forecast Energy selected Sharp’s SmartStorage® system and was the integrator and installer for the entire project.
“After evaluating a number of systems, we chose solar plus Sharp’s SmartStorage® energy storage system because it provides our customer with better, cleaner power along with greater flexibility in their energy management and it integrates incredibly well with our solution stack,” said Paul O’ Sullivan, COO of Forecast Energy. “We are thankful for the team at CivicSolar for bringing us high quality and industry-leading energy products, and in this case a reliable, brand-name solution backed by a 10-year performance guarantee, giving us confidence in our selection.”
About Forecast Energy
Founded in 2012, Forecast Energy is a leading provider and developer of Energy Optimization solutions for commercial customers worldwide. The company designs, develops and implements scalable energy solutions to reduce customer’s energy costs, increase power capacity and improve overall power quality in large scale commercial and industrial facilities. Forecast Energy’s solutions are enabling energy optimization and efficiency in projects in California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and overseas in the United Kingdom. Forecast Energy brings solutions in Solar and Storage design and implementation, energy forecasting, power harvesting and conditioning, Smart Monitoring and demand management, HVAC and lighting Optimization. Headquartered in Point Richmond, California. Please visit www.forecastenergy.com
About Sharp Electronics Corporation’s Energy Systems and Services Group
Sharp Electronics Corporation (SEC) is the U.S. division of Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer and manufacturer of one-of-a-kind premium technology products. SEC’s Energy Systems and Services Group (ESSG) focuses on developing innovative energy management products for the U.S. market. ESSG introduced the SmartStorage® behind-the-meter energy storage system, an energy storage solution designed to reduce peak demand usage for commercial and industrial buildings. Sharp’s industry-first 10-year performance guarantee is included with their 10-year operations and maintenance service agreement, an option available for all SmartStorage® system installations. Sharp’s integrated SmartStorage® solar hybrid solution is available with no money down financing options. For more information, visit: https://www.sharpsmartstorage.com/.
CivicSolar is a leading national solar equipment distributor in the US. CivicSolar distributes a full range of solar equipment to thousands of contractors throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Latin America, enabling solar installers to easily and cost-effectively design, sell and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. CivicSolar accelerates the adoption of solar and advanced energy technologies by delivering quality equipment, engineering, financing, and competitive pricing for every job. CivicSolar differentiates itself through a service-oriented culture and technology platform which helps deliver higher reliability, efficiency, and responsiveness from offices in Oakland, CA, Boston, MA, and Austin, TX. For more information, please visit www.civicsolar.com.
Mercom Communications, a division of Mercom Capital Group
From an integration viewpoint, as higher penetrations of renewable energy are deployed onto the grid, the value of forecasting increases, as the costs associated with ancillary services and suboptimal market set up is amplified. This happens because additional intermittent resources are added and need to be balanced in real-time or mitigated by storage processes. Moreover, as the comparative uncertainty of solar power output during peak hours is higher than the uncertainty of wind and hydropower output, the value of solar forecasting is typically higher.
Typically, third-party studies underestimate the total value of high fidelity forecasts as they focus primarily at forecasting from a day ahead, market integration perspective. Currently available commercial state-of-the-art forecasting services are inadequate for addressing short (intra-hour) and very short (<5 minute) time horizons and were not included in most studies and analyses. For example, there are numerous total life cycle costs associated with suboptimal forecasting for solar generators such as penalties and tariffs from grid regulators (ISOs, LSEs); the need to purchase spot market energy at premium pricing when forecasted generation is below PPA amounts; and higher insurance premiums to cover against PPA shortfalls. While the value of high fidelity forecasting has not been quantified against these life cycle costs, these benefits are particularly significant to reduce the overall cost and increase penetration of utility scale solar generation.
Additionally, intra-hour forecasting is especially valuable for utility scale renewable generation to control fast ramp rate events. In the case of solar, fast ramp rate event changes in power production can exceed 60%-80% over one-minute time horizons. This presents numerous challenges for integrating high levels of utility scale solar generation onto the grid in terms of power and frequency stability, such as increased curtailment and generation costs, scheduling and dispatch of additional energy resources. High fidelity forecasting can mitigate these problems through integration of short and medium term horizons to prospectively determine optimal ramp rate strategies.
For utility scale power generators, forecast-driven critical ramp rate strategies can provide the backbone to a robust, automated energy management system that increases operational efficiencies though optimized scheduling and dispatch, management of reserves and, most importantly, lucrative participation in energy markets.
Managing critical ramp rates are also of critical importance to ISOs for planning and operations, with variations in short term solar output adversely impacting power and frequency stability of the grid. While substantial adjustment tolerance is already built in to most power networks, voltage and frequency fluctuations are amplified as higher penetrations of intermittent generation are brought online, increasing the potential for grid instability.
Do we need to improve forecasting for supply resources that will be integrated into CAISO energy markets?
Technological improvements, reductions to the levelized costs of energy for renewable energy, and State mandated Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) have lead to a sharp increase in the amount of Solar and Wind projects completed or under development. While providing environmental benefits and introducing new sources of energy, higher penetrations of variable generation present new challenges to planners and operators of the electricity grid.
As higher penetrations of intermittent energy are produced and connected onto the grid, the need for high fidelity forecasting to optimally manage fast ramp rate events and provide firmed scheduling becomes increasingly critical in order to mitigate the rising costs associated with curtailment and ancillary services needed to improve power quality and maintain grid stability. High fidelity operational forecasting services that cover a wide range of temporal horizons are a cost effective way to improve energy security, power quality, and maximize return on capital investment through efficient operation and energy market participation.
The necessity and cost effectiveness of high fidelity forecasting is being realized throughout the industry, as IPP’s are requiring ‘forecasting’ within their Request For Proposals (RFP’s) from EPC firms. It is also becoming common for LSE’s to require dynamic scheduling and forecasting within Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s). Moreover, in 2011, SB 2X was passed, amending California’s RPS law to include more renewable electricity generated out-of-state, if firm scheduling (i.e. forecasting) is provided.
And as of April 1, 2014, changes in the CAISOs Participating Intermittent Resource Program mean that renewable generators in CAISO territory are now required to provide 15 minute forecasts.
In addition, resources such as Demand Response (DR) and Distributed Energy Storage Systems (DESS) provide powerful and flexible ways for balancing authorities to optimally manage grid resources. Moving forward, the importance of and reliance on DR/DESS programs will continue to increase as balancing authorities look to new way to maintain the stability and reliability of the grid as higher penetrations of variable generation are integrated. The additional application of forecasting techniques and technologies to these new supply side resources can significantly improve the energy quality and reliability outcomes from renewable systems.
Key to this effort will be the utilization of highly accurate short and long term forecasting tools that incorporate vast improvements in spatial and temporal resolution. The lack of accuracy, spatial and temporal resolution available with currently employed supply side forecasting systems presents major challenges to balancing authorities.
Improvements in field-ready forecasting systems are critically needed to integrate supply resources into the CAISO energy market in a more efficient manner. We believe that improvements in forecasting will provide a cost effective way for balancing authorities to manage the added complexities of incorporating DR/DESS programs into transmission planning and real-time operations and manage the increasing effect of intermittency on many aspects of the grid.
Forecast Energy, Inc. is