Sunnova says its solar + storage systems largely weathered Hurricane Fiona

Sunnova Energy said that 59 of its 30,000 rooftop solar arrays required repair in the two weeks following Hurricane Fiona, which struck Puerto Rico in early September, causing widespread outages as the island’s electric power grid failed.

The company said its SunSafe solar + storage systems generated nearly 2 GWh of energy in the first two weeks after the storm. Systems provided a combined 3.4 million hours of back-up power for solar + storage customers, with an average of 128 hours of power generated per household. It said customers averaged 5.3 days of solar + storage battery backup with many relying on their solar + storage system for more than 10 days.

The company said it sees an opportunity for distributed power to play a larger role in Puerto Rico by networking solar + storage systems into virtual power plants that would complement the centralized electric system and drive increased grid resiliency.

Sunnova has been active in Puerto Rico since 2013 and has deployed nearly 40,000 batteries, claiming a 100% battery attachment rate since 2018. 

In early September, filed paperwork with state regulators to develop a solar and storage-focused micro-utility in California. The proposal could pose a relatively small, but novel, challenge to the state’s incumbent investor-owned utilities.

The Houston-based company formed a wholly owned subsidiary called Sunnova Community Microgrids California, LLC. The unit would own and operate EaaS offerings in new communities, including energy generation, storage, and distribution infrastructure. 

The business unit would develop largely self-sustaining micro-utilities by equipping new home communities with solar and storage. The venture is intended to focus on new homes, allowing the company to work with developers to design and implement distributed solar-powered microgrids that would be known as Sunnova Adaptive Communities. Homebuilder Lennar reportedly has said it would consider using a microgrid, if regulators approve the plan.


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Author: Renewable Energy World