the lagoons on which the panels are located.
Other proactive cities and
towns across the U.S. can
seek grants that help pay the
cost of installing solar and
then work with developers
such as Borrego to fgure out
how to complete the projects.
“The town of Peterborough welcomes the new solar
power plant, which is a part of
our plan to reduce our carbon
dioxide emissions while generating energy savings,” said
Rodney Bartlett, Peterborough’s town administrator.
Solar Because It Isn’t Nuclear
According to Paula Mints’ latest market update, Japan is
still one of the hottest markets for solar PV. The country
turned to renewable energy
after the Fukishima disaster fve years ago, pledging to
shut down all nuclear power
plants in the country.
The market today is most-
ly driven by a generous Feed-
in Tariff (FIT) that the gov-
ernment enacted to help kick
start the transition to renew-
able energy. Mints point-
ed out in her report that the
government is committed to
solar PV and “is looking to
develop a sustainable model
for doing so.”
One such model might
just be found in the Japa-
nese city of Miyama (Fukuoka
Prefecture) where the local government has just rolled out Miya-
ma Smart Energy, a program that lets homeowners in the town
purchase locally-produced clean energy from the city itself at a
rate that is lower than what they must pay for electricity from the
Miyama is home to the 23-MW Kyushu Solar Farm 7, which
produces energy for the town and for which it receives FIT pay-
ments from the federal government. In turn, Miyama sells that
power to its interested citizens using the incumbent utility’s sys-
tem. If more power is needed, the city “buys additional electricity
at the wholesale market,” said analyst Junko Movellan. She added
that the city hopes to “meet all electricity needs from local renew-
able energy, including hydro and geothermal in the future.”
“It’s business model is very similar to that of CCA [Community
Choice Aggregation] here in the U.S.,” said Movellan.
Bundling other benefts such as a Home Energy Management system (HEMs) that includes a tablet so that homeowners
can track their energy use and a reward system that gives them
points that can be redeemed for other city services, Miyama is the
frst city in the country that is authorized to sell electricity to its
customers. But it most likely won’t be the last. At least 12 other
Japanese local governments are looking to do the same thing.
Fairfield, Connecticut’s Operation Hope Fairfield, the shelter that will be
energized 24/7 because of the solar microgrid. Credit: Schneider Electric.