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Sunrise Brief: Sunnova Feeds Its Residential Solar Pipeline with Deal for SunStreet

February 17, 2021

Sunrise Brief: Sunnova Feeds Its Residential Solar Pipeline with Deal for SunStreet

by Sandie Nguyen

By PV Magazine

Also on the rise: Utilities plan a massive solar + storage project in Wisconsin, Fluence supplies an AI-based trading platform for a BESS, and Avangrid wants a partner for an HVDC line in New York State.

Sunnova Energy International will acquire Lennar’s residential solar platform, known as “SunStreet.” As part of the deal, Sunnova will become the residential solar and storage service provider for Lennar’s new home communities that offer solar.

The deal offers Sunnova access to a multi-year supply of homesites, reduced customer acquisition cost by making solar a standard feature on new homes, and an opportunity to upsell solar and battery storage services to the roughly 250,000 homes built by Lennar in the last decade.

Through LENX, a Lennar business unit, the business partners will develop and deploy home storage and community microgrid technology. LENX will maintain an equity ownership interest in Sunnova, and will provide tax equity investments to support Sunnova’s homebuilder customer pipeline.

Under terms of the agreement, LENX will receive up to 7.22 million shares of Sunnova common stock, including 3.33 million shares payable at closing and 3.89 million shares associated with two earnouts.

The first earnout of up to 2.78 million shares is tied to hitting annual customer commitment goals over four years. The second earnout of up to 1.11 million shares is tied to developing microgrid communities over the next five years.
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The acquisition is expected to be completed during the second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Solar plus storage in Wisconsin

WEC Energy Group proposed plans for a 310 MW solar and battery storage project in Wisconsin. If approved, the Paris Solar-Battery Park would be one of the largest facilities of its kind in Wisconsin. It would include 200 MW of solar generation and 110 MW of battery storage.

The company filed its battery and solar storage proposal with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. If approved, WEC Energy Group utilities We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service would own 90% of the project. Madison Gas and Electric would own the other 10%.

The project is being developed by Chicago-based Invenergy. Construction could begin in 2022 and enter service in 2023. In December, Invenergy LLC received regulatory approval to build the project.

AI-based trading platform for Moss Landing BESS

Fluence said that its artificial intelligence-based trading platform was selected to provide optimization and market bidding services for Pacific Gas and Electric Co’s 182.5 MW, 730 MWh battery energy storage system in Moss Landing, California.

Using artificial intelligence, price forecasting, portfolio optimization, and market bidding algorithms, the software is intended to ensure the system is responding optimally to market and reliability needs in the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) wholesale market.

The software provides PG&E with a tool that can optimize not only the Moss Landing project, but potentially larger portfolios of generation and storage resources.

The Fluence Digital team was formerly known as AMS, and was acquired by Fluence in 2020. The company said its trading platform can increase revenue and operational efficiency for battery-based energy storage by 40-50% and revenue for standalone renewable energy assets by more than 10%. It is currently used to optimize around 1.7 GW of wind and solar energy assets bidding into the Australian national energy market. PG&E plans to use the software at Moss Landing when the project comes online later this year.

Avangrid wants partner for HVDC line

Avangrid announced a notice of open solicitation for transmission service on the Excelsior Connect, the company’s proposal to build an underground high voltage direct current transmission line across more than 260 miles in New York state.

The proposed 1,310 MW bidirectional line would deliver energy into New York City (Zone J) and help support New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act targets.

Avangrid said it wants to partner with a developer or group of developers to submit a response to the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) Tier 4 Request for Proposals. The company said that developers should complete and submit an Expression of Interest form by March 8.

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