Excellence in Action: Renewable Energy World Announces Finalists, Honorable Mentions for 2016 Project of the Year Awards

PennWell Corporation and Renewable Energy World are pleased to announce our 2016 Renewable Energy Project of the Year Finalists.

Projects are nominated by the industry and finalists are selected by a committee of editors from PennWell Corporation.

To be eligible for an award, a project needed to have come online between August 1st, 2015 and July 31st, 2016 and been nominated by someone familiar with it. Editors from Renewable Energy World and Power Engineering review each nominated project and select the finalists based on how well the project represents innovation in the industry, overcame hurdles in development and engaged with the surrounding community.

The two finalists will be invited to attend the opening keynote session of Power Generation Week on Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Power Generation Week features four co-located conferences focused on the power sector. During the keynote session, the winning Renewable Energy Project of the Year will be announced.

The finalists for the 2016 Renewable Energy Project of the Year showcase the evolving energy landscape and represent innovations in how renewable energy is being incorporated into the grid.

The first finalist is the 110-MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Center in Tonopah, Nevada. The $1 billion utility-scale solar thermal power plant with fully integrated molten salt energy storage is the first of its kind to exist at full utility scale in the United States. SolarReserve, a California-based company, developed the project and its technology. Other contractors involved with the project include ACS Cobra as the EPC contractor; Nooter Eriksen, manufacturer of SolarReserve receiver; Alstom/GE, the turbine generator supplier; Emerson, the DCS supplier; and Delta Automation, Heliostat motors and controllers.

renewable energy
Image: Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Center. Credit: SolarReserve

The second finalist is the Village of Minster Energy Storage Project in Minster, Ohio. The 7-MW, 3-MWh energy storage system is co-located with a 4.2-MW solar PV plant and is capable of providing multiple revenue streams (that flow to multiple parties) by integrating frequency-regulation services, transmission and distribution deferral, demand response services and voltage support. The Village of Minster Energy Storage Project is one of the largest U.S. facilities of its kind connected through a municipal utility. Half Moon Ventures worked in partnership with S&C Electric Company to supply full EPC on the solar + storage project. Other contractors include LG Chem and Premier Power. Modules were supplied by Canadian Solar, inverters from Ingeteam and the mounting system is from RBI solar.

Image: Village of Minster Energy Storage Project. Credit: S&C Electric Company

Honorable Mentions

This year, Renewable Energy World also would like to recognize several projects that are important for their groundbreaking innovations and valuable effort in advancing renewable energy technologies.

Take a look at Renewable Energy World’s 2016 Project of Year Award Honorable Mentions.

Hopewell Valley Solar+Storage Project and L&D Landfill Solar Project

Commissioned in December 2015, the 876-kWdc Hopewell Valley Central High School solar plus storage project and 13-MWdc L&D Landfill solar project are located in New Jersey. Both projects were built by Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G).

What makes them worth a mention?

These projects are part of PSE&G’s important Solar 4 All program. The Hopewell Valley project the first of a series of projects that have been designed to show how solar power can provide grid resiliency during emergencies. Built on 53 acres of landfill, the L&D Landfull project is the result of PSE&G’s plan to repurpose brownfields for solar development.

Project partners/contractors included Juwi and Waste Management.

Mari’s Gardens Solar+Storage Project

Commissioned in August 2015, Mari’s Gardens is a 25-kW/92-kWh solar plus energy storage project installed at an aquaponics farm in Mililani, Hawaii. The project was built by Aquion Energy.

Image: Mari’s Gardens Solar+Storage Project. Credit: Aquion Energy

What makes it worth a mention?

The solar plus energy storage system at this aquaponics farm reduces high electricity rates for the facility and reduces vulnerability to power outages that threatened the integrity of the on-site farming system.

Project partners/contractors included EnSync Power Controlls and and NIDON Clean Energy.

Willow Island Hydropower Project

Commissioned in February 2016, Willow Island is a 44-MW hydropower facility located in St. Marys, W.V. The project was built by American Municipal Power.

Image: Willow Island Hydropower Project. Credit: MWH Global.

What makes it worth a mention?

This two-unit hydropower project, which was constructed alongside the existing United States Army Corps of Engineers’ Willow Island Lock and Dam on the Ohio River, had to overcome significant design challenges in order to ensure that it did not alter river elevations or the flow of waterborne traffic.

Project partners/contractors included MWH Global (now part of Stantec), The Ruhlin Company, Voith Hydro, Industrial Contractors Skanska, Vigor (previously Oregon Iron Works), Morgan Engineering Systems Inc.

AES Netherlands Advancion and IPL Advancion Energy Storage Arrays

The 10-MW AES Netherlands Advancion and 20-MW Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) Advancion energy storage arrays were commissioned in December 2015 and May 2016, respectively. The IPL array is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the AES Netherlands project is located in Vlissingen, Netherlands. Both projects were built by AES Energy Storage.

Image: AES Netherlands Advancion Energy Storage Array. Credit: AES Energy Storage

What makes them worth a mention?

The AES Netherlands is not only the first grid-scale battery storage project in the Netherlands, but also is an important demonstration project for the countries of continental Europe to understand the benefits of storage to provide essential reliability services. As the first grid-scale, battery-based energy storage system in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s footprint, IPL Advancion is helping show regulators that tariff rules are needed to facilitate inclusion of these devices in energy markets.

Freedom Falls

Commissioned in June 2016, Freedom Falls is a 35-kW hydropower facility located in Freedom, Maine. The project was built by mill owners Tony and Sally Grassi.

What makes it worth a mention?

This small hydro project had a big effect on the local community — revitalizing a 40-year-old mill that had been idle until its owner decided to renovate. The new hydropower facility now provides power for business that have located in the mill and sells excess power back to the grid. It also is the first installation of Natel Energy’s FreeJet hydroEngine.

Project partners/contractors included Natel Energy, Christopher Glass, architect; Mohr & Seredin, landscape Architect; Kleinschmidt Associates, hydropower engineer; Cold Mountain Builders, general contractor; Jim Rorden, civil works; Preservation Timber Framing, historical rehabilitation; Gartley & Dorsky, surveyor and structural engineer.

Jimmie Creek Hydropower Project

Commissioned in July 2016, Jimmie Creek is a 62 MW hydropower project located in the Toba Inlet, British Columbia, Canada. The project was built by Alterra Power.

Image: Jimmie Creek Hydropower Project. Credit: SNC-Lavalin

What makes it worth a mention?

This project presented an important opportunity for collaboration with First Nations. Located within the traditional territory of the Klahoose First Nation (KFN), the project not only ensured skills development within the KFN community, but also provided for 15 percent of project costs through contracts with the KFN.

Project partners/contractors included: SNC-Lavalin, Hazelwood Construction Services, Vic Van Isle Group, Western Pacific Enterprises GP, Voith Hydro Inc., and Klahoose Resort Limited Partnership.

Tranquillity Solar Power Project

Certified for commercial operation in July 2016, Tranquillity is a 200-MWac solar PV project located in central California. This project was built by Canadian Solar’s wholly owned subsidiary Recurrent Energy and is majority-owned by Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power.

Image: Construction of the now operating Tranquillity project created over 450 peak construction jobs, more than half of which employed residents within 50 miles of the project site. Credit: Recurrent Energy

What makes it worth a mention?

Located in California’s Central Valley, the Tranquillity project uses 1,900 acres of low-productive, retired agricultural land. The project, which earned accolades from the Natural Resources Defense Council, avoids habitat for sensitive species and zones of cultural significance, and reduced concerns related to any associated transmission infrastructure development by being sited directly at the point of grid interconnection.

Engineering, procurement and construction of the project was completed by Signal Energy Constructors.

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Renewable Energy World's content team members help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S., the UK, and South Africa, the team is comprised of editors from Clarion Energy's myriad of publications that cover the global energy industry.

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