Sunnova aiming to develop ‘first-of-its-kind’ solar and storage ‘micro-utility’ in California

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Sunnova’s micro-utility communities would be able to produce, share and deliver power generated from local renewable resources, the company said. Image: Sunnova

US residential solar installer Sunnova has applied to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to develop a “first-of-its-kind” solar and storage focused “micro-utility” in the state.

The Texas-based company has formed a wholly owned subsidiary called Sunnova Community Microgrids California (SCMC) to own and operate Energy as a Service (EaaS) offerings, such as energy generation, storage and distribution infrastructure, throughout communities in California. 

SCMC will develop “self-sustaining micro-utilities” by equipping communities with solar and storage that will provide customers with modern energy services and infrastructure, enabling them to access the benefits of clean energy while reducing reliance on fossil fuels and the region’s grid system.

The subsidiary will focus on newly constructed homes, allowing it to work with developers to design and implement distributed solar-powered microgrids. The new community clusters will be called “Sunnova Adaptive Communities”.

These ‘adaptive communities’ will provide consumers with the ability to produce, share and deliver power generated from local renewable resources at the same time as easing pressure on the state’s transmission and distribution system.

“Community microgrids are the future as they offer the unique ability to share excess electricity, putting the power in the hands of homeowners and significantly enhancing the resiliency of communities,” said William Berger, founder and CEO of Sunnova, which recently recorded its best ever quarter in terms of sales.

“Sunnova is breaking new ground by expanding its distributed energy service platform from homes to whole communities.”

Sunnova referenced the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on 17 August by US President Joe Biden, as further support for its microgrid aims. The Act “brings incentives for renewables and the clean technology required to monitor and control microgrids where communities share power and can island from the grid,” Sunnova said.

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