Utility Grid-Direct Photovoltaic System: Exelon-Conergy Renewable Energy Center – A Compelling Case for Reliable, Fiscally-Sound
The 3 MW Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center is a stimulating
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) require electric utilities to
case study of how innovative partnerships can bring large-scale
produce a certain percentage of their power plant capacity or
solar photovoltaic projects to utilities and energy providers across
generation from renewable sources by a given date. Currently, 28
states have RPS, 5 states have renewable energy goals and more
have RPS mandates under consideration.
1) Optimize baseload and peak energy output,
2) Provide fast, affordable project scalability,
The concept of a National Portfolio Standard is gaining momentum
4) Help ensure rapid permitting and implementation,
in the U.S. Congress. If this happens, there will be a national market
5) Eliminate fuel costs; Slash operating costs,
for solar-generated energy with standards that will likely constitute
around a 15% RPS by 2025, although in this economic climate, many
7) Meet Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and
considerations may change that. President Obama has gone on
8) Earn goodwill with their communities, regulators and investors.
record as favoring a 25% RPS in that same time-frame.
How can a project with so many variables achieve such success?
With RPS in more than half of all American states and the prospect
Global strength, local expertise and experienced intellectual
of a national RPS looming on the horizon, utilities actively
assets are key. Couple that with the collaborative approach among
engaged in renewable energy production will enjoy a competitive
Exelon’s Power Team, Conergy, the Pennsylvania Department of
advantage in not only diversifying their portfolios and establishing
Environmental Protection (PADEP) -- and Waste Management, Inc.’s
a financially rewarding approach to energy independence, but in
willingness to creatively transform landfill buffer into a productive
positioning themselves as caring contributors to cleaner, more vital
clean energy utility plant site -- and success was inevitable.
neighborhoods for the communities they serve.
UNPRECEDENTED BENEFITS FOR UTILITIES
What’s the up side? It’s the bottom line.
Numerous agencies across the U.S. are inquiring about the Exelon-
THE THREE E’s IN FERTILE ECONOMIC GROUND
Conergy Solar Energy Center (EC-SEC) and how it can be used as a model in their respective jurisdictions.
The electric business is large and complex, with over 3,000 electricity
providers serving consumers across the nation. Government
Before we dive into the project details and benefits, let’s look at the
mandates can bring fear and frustration to the companies being
larger landscape of renewable energy – the RPS challenges and
regulated. In today’s perfect storm, the economic opportunity of
economic opportunities it offers today’s utilities and large-scale
this regulatory activity – particularly in today’s competitive landscape
– brings fiduciary and operational benefits to the balance sheet that
in the past would not have been considered. And these economic
opportunities -- market stimulants, subsidies, tax incentives -- offer
O u r w O r l d i s f u l l O f e n e r g y
utilities the opportunity to create a sustained profitability that can
is at its strongest when utilities need it most. It is a versatile energy
portfolio variable that can also serve as an effective complement to portfolios where wind and hydro already exist.
The economic opportunity uniquely captured by utility scale solar
energy is manifested in the three ‘Es’: Energy, the Environment
Not long ago, environmental programs were seen as adverse to
good bottom-line strategies. Regulatory agencies were seen as obstacles to business development. Not anymore. The deployment
Historically, utilities in industrial economies generate well over 90%
of clean, renewable energy enables utilities to cost-effectively offer
of all electricity. Today, more and more businesses and consumers
low-carbon energy while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions
are embracing the aforementioned tax credits, state rebates and
(GHGs) associated with energy production. Utility-scale solar energy
consumer mindset that on-site generation can give ratepayers a
addresses climate change issues, creates cleaner air for our citizens
hedge against rising energy costs by purchasing and deploying
and earns utilities valuable credits toward portfolio standards. The
on-site solar systems to generate electricity.
deployment of solar energy by utilities sends a good neighbor message of corporate responsibility to rate-payers, shareholders
An appetite for distributed generation is taking a bite out of traditional, peak-hour revenue opportunities. To maintain market share, utilities can offer consumers who are considering
As evidenced in the action of the U.S. Congress and the Obama
purchasing their own systems – property owners, businesses and
Administration, advanced energy portfolio standards and the
public agencies – a clean energy option. Solar can happen fast.
jobs they create, the clean, plentiful energy they provide, and positive contributions they make to addressing the consequences
One of solar’s great attractions for utilities is that consumer electricity
of global climate change can be key drivers for project regulators
demand and the power that utilities must provide throughout a
typical day neatly track the daily and seasonal energy of the sun. Solar energy technology is uniquely positioned to be developed for
Embracing the philosophy that environmental challenges can become
distributed generation in highly-congested areas and load pockets,
economic opportunities, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – an
allowing energy to be produced where demand exists.
undisputed leader in the last century’s Industrial Revolution – is now leading the way in the Renewable Revolution. The first oil well ever
One in ten of the world’s solar photovoltaic solutions are designed,
built was in the Keystone State, and one result of the state’s Twentieth
engineered and/or installed by Conergy experts. What gives
Century boom-time successes with coal and steel production is that
utilities the confidence to entrust Conergy with large-scale, turn-
it now produces 1% of the world’s carbon.
key solutions is Conergy’s global financial strength, its longevity in the photovoltaic space and its unmatched expertise in successfully
Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and the Pennsylvania
installing or engineering projects with collective generational
Department of Environmental Protection are actively bringing
capacities of over 1 Gigawatt.
incentives to the table that augment federal perks to make
environmental stewardship integral to sound fiscal policy.
More than 400 Megawatts of Conergy’s 1 Gigawatt of portfolio strength are manifested in the company’s 10-year track record
The Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center is a good example of
with market-leading utility-scale projects. Conergy’s world-class
how (through progressive political will, creative partnerships and
engineering teams have broad and deep experience in designing
innovative technology), Pennsylvania has created an economically
and building modular photovoltaic solutions with the latest thin-film
viable approach to addressing today’s economic and environmental
and crystalline technologies. The innovative configurations Conergy
issues that is far ahead of most of the nation.
engineers have designed to optimize output while minimizing
footprint – together with the low-maintenance nature of solar PV
(few moving parts) translates into high reliability/low maintenance solutions for Conergy customers.
2009 is rife with economic opportunity for utilities. First there’s the unprecedented Congressional action allowing utilities to claim a
Projects involving other forms of renewable energy (like wind and hydro-
Solar investment Tax Credit for up to 30% of renewable energy
electric power) are often site- specific and far from their consuming/
system costs. This same subsidy will be offered to businesses
target markets. Additional y, the variable generating capacity of wind
and home owners. Billions of economic stimulus plan dollars are
makes it unsuitable for meeting peak demand requirements.
being allocated for investment in renewable technologies and their
deployment. Upcoming legislative activity looks to invest even more
Today’s solar energy is a mature, reliable, field-tested technology
public dollars in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
that has reached a level of technical sophistication and affordability significant enough to warrant serious utility industry consideration,
Versatile financing options are also improving the economics of going
particularly during peak demand. Simply said, solar photovoltaics is
solar. In light of current capital market challenges -- and the ushering
a proven, easily-deployed technology that provides a fuel source that
in of a new administration that has clearly articulated that bold, clean
O u r w O r l d i s f u l l O f e n e r g y O u r w O r l d i s f u l l O f e n e r g y
energy policies are the cornerstone of its economic policy -- solar
While local expertise is essential to capably clearing so many of the
energy is being perceived now more than ever as a safe and sought-
hurdles of projects of this scope and scale, utilities traditionally seek
after investment. Still, finding solid financing opportunities for
peer corporate players to ensure their high-profiled projects are
projects of this scope and scale can be challenging. Project funding
successful. Savvy players with market longevity who can sustain
for projects like the Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center (below) can
partnerships for the 20 to 25-year life of a project bring invaluable
be secured by Conergy Finance, (formerly Epuron), a wholly-owned
confidence to these publicly-scrutinized deals. In this economy and
subsidiary of Conergy AG that develops, funds and operates large-
in the burgeoning photovoltaic space, Conergy’s global experience
brings strength and security to the table.
Conergy presents clients with an array of innovative financing
The more than 10-year track record of Conergy’s globally-renowned
options to get renewable energy systems up and running and
engineering teams is legion, and is an important gauge of the
accuracy with which Conergy-produced utility-scale power plant projects deliver on predicted output.
Providing additional economic credibility to the business case for solar photovoltaics is a litany of specific Return On Solar Investment
EXELON’S PLACE IN THE SUN
(ROSI) benefits, some quantifiable, some more easily measured in terms of social and political capital and improved customer
Closer to home – in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – Exelon
emerged as an early leader in portfolio diversification. Today, Exelon
boasts a diverse energy portfolio that includes wind, hydro-electric
REALIZING RETURN ON SOLAR INVESTMENT (ROSI)
power, gas, nuclear energy and now, solar photovoltaics. As one of the largest power companies in the US, Exelon and the Exelon Power
At CONERGY we believe that the return on solar investment (ROSI) is
Team are leading the way to U.S. energy security and diversity, while
more than just the favorable life cycle cost of energy. ROSI delivers:
enjoying a sound Return on Solar Investment.
| Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) energy credits;
Solar as an energy solution is simple and straightforward. Solar
| Federal tax credits and accelerated depreciation of assets;
energy projects, particularly in this economy, are complex and can
| On-site energy production that tracks peak energy
involve multiple customers and contracts. So how did Exelon get
| A clean, emissions-free fuel source without environmental
It was Exelon’s success in pioneering other renewable that led to
| No fuel costs, transportation costs, emissions or waste;
its interest in solar possibilities. One of the first steps in making
| Flexible siting options without costly zoning or permitting.
the Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center (E-C SEC) a reality was
| Intermediate load production that can offset the cost of
consultation and planning between local Exelon and Conergy
upgrading transmission lines and equipment;
professionals. Understanding the immense opportunity to make a
difference in the Pennsylvania marketplace, developers at Conergy
| Easing of grid stress on taxed transmission and distribution
were already formulating the case for utility-scale solar in the context
of the Pennsylvania market. The initial series of meetings between
the two led to an evaluation of credentials -- and an understanding
| A simple energy solution with low training costs for
that Conergy‘s engineering team had the engineering savvy, track
record, local work experience, and the financial wherewithal to
provide a menu of solutions to creatively and cost-effectively meet
| Modular instal ations that can be precisely modified to
the goals and objectives of the project and ensure it came to fruition.
Public-private partnerships like that of the Exelon-Conergy Solar
| Unswitched capacity for utilities operating in states using
Energy Center allow agencies to initiate large-scale projects that can
have meaningful impacts on meeting Renewable Portfolio Standards
| A remarkable degree of positive publicity, social
(RPS). Conergy is available to assist regulated and unregulated
acknowledgement and customer good will for improving
entities in all 28 of the U.S. states who currently have RPS to evaluate
the quality of life for citizens served.
their options and provide unbiased counsel on the best energy systems to meet their needs – and then to assist them in maneuvering among
LOCAL EXPERTISE POWERED BY GLOBAL STRENGTH
the myriad power generation groups, public utility commissions and
1 in 10 of World’s Solar PV Systems Are Built, Engineered or
environmental and regulatory bodies to ensure their large-scale
Installed by Conergy
projects are developed within budget and on time.
The market potential of solar photovoltaic solutions for utility-scale
Commensurate with that is working with municipalities, counties
power plants has attracted many new players, who, in their zeal to
and state agencies to educate them about renewable energy and the
win business, may underbid projects or go after projects where they
beneficial impacts of solar photovoltaic plants -- and to discuss the
need subcontractors to perform critical project components.
passive environmental impacts of utility-scale solar projects.
O u r w O r l d i s f u l l O f e n e r g y O u r w O r l d i s f u l l O f e n e r g y
Conergy teams stayed on top of key project considerations
The project manifests a meaningful way for Pennsylvania to jump-
involving multiple customers and contracts for the host site, energy
start activities to meet its renewable portfolio goals while creating
off-taker, financing entity and Solar Renewable Energy Certificate
the ancillary benefit of green collar jobs in the nation’s new clean
energy economy. And, given the new economic stimulus plan, there
just might be some added incentives for those interested in reaping
They also negotiated the finance lease contract components and
myriad SPV (Solar Photovoltaic) contract components, which included three contracts, a site lease and the energy off-taker
WHERE WE ARE, THERE’S ENERGY
arrangement. Specifics are available by contacting the Conergy professionals listed at the end of this case study.
The business of renewable energy is rife with energy – and steeped
with promise. Clean energy projects and economic development are
PAY DIRT: Breaking New (Siting) Ground
no longer diametrically opposed philosophies. They are hand-in-glove. And unlike the historic nature of utility-scale energy projects,
Another ground-breaking component to this project was its location.
communities are now welcoming clean energy solutions like the
The Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center was designed to serve the
Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center and finding ways to incorporate
power needs of businesses, public agencies and home owners in the
greater Philadelphia area. Philadelphia is the nation’s sixth- largest city and, as with any major metropolis, it has real estate constraints.
Conergy’s Project Development Team have earned a place as trusted
With support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation, in
advisors to help utilities navigate the challenges they face with RPS
rolled landfill management company Waste Management, Inc. (WMI),
mandates, regulatory compliance, customer goodwill and the need
who – along with the Exelon Power Team -- saw the value of the buffer
to forge a balanced portfolio of energy options. Their expertise
land around its G.R.O.W.S. landfill project as an ideal way to generate
ensures optimal financial and energy performance for the entire life
power in proximity to the greater Philadelphia region.
Leasing this remnant land (in the case of the E-C SEC, a 16.5-acre
To learn how Conergy’s turn-key, customized solar solutions
parcel) for the siting of clean, renewable energy projects was a
can benefit your utility, business or public agency, phone Sarah
terrific way to afford this land-constrained metropolitan area a
Hetznecker or Gary Sheehan at the Conergy Projects Team,
low-cost venue for clean, power generation without the need for
costly transmission lines. The project leaves much promise for the development of similar sites across the state. Pennsylvania has a
With special thanks for the insights of Travis Bradford, author of
higher concentration of landfills than many U.S. states.
SOLAR REVOLUTION: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry. PENNSYLVANIA: A Bellwether for State Renewable Energy Standards
The 3 MW Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy Center is also a keystone
Exelon-Conergy Renewable Energy Center Project Snapshot
project of Pennsylvania’s Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard.
The Standard mandates that Pennsylvania utilities obtain 18% of
their energy from renewable and advanced sources by 2020. And it
mandates a carve-out for solar photovoltaics.
Solar Electricity Generated Service Area
In support, Exelon Corporation established a corporate goal
WMI G.R.O.W.S. Landfil , just outside of
to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2020. They are doing this by: 1)
Reducing or off-setting Exelon’s carbon footprint by greening their
operation; 2) Helping their customers reduce GHG emissions, and; 3)
Offering more low carbon electricity in the marketplace.
The carbon emission reduction this project is realizing was an
Project Life Expectancy
important consideration in earning the support of key administrators
within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of
Annual CO2 emissions reduced by four million pounds,
Environmental Protection, who played a pivotal role in helping
Annual NOx emissions reduced by over 9,000 pounds, and
Conergy garner or reinforce the support of a spectrum of state and
Annual SOx emissions by reduced by 28,000 pounds. 1 Generation, LLC is purchasing the power and renewable energy credits
The environmental benefits of the Exelon-Conergy Solar Energy
of the EC-REC through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Center will be as effective as eliminating the pollutants that come from driving more than 100 million miles on Pennsylvania’s roads.
Resource library » glossary of terms A-Z A Adapter: A thread or bushing which attaches a tool to a piece of equipment. Arbor: the middle hole on a blade, which attaches to the machine. The most common sizes are 1"- 7/8" - 20mm - 5/8". Asphalt: Bitumen, sand and gravel mixed and commonly used as a paving material. Note that this material is highly abrasive. Asphalt over
METODOLOGIA ORIENTADA AO PROJETISTA PARA SYSTEM-LEVEL DESIGN Reinaldo Silveira e Wilhelmus A. M. Van Noije LSI – Depart. de Engenharia de Sistemas Eletrônicos da Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto n.158, trav. 3, Cidade Universitária, ABSTRACT A great deal of the discussion about design of new EDA tools and methodologies concern a