EnSync Energy, a developer of innovative distributed energy resources (DERs), announced a partnership with licensed agent, broker and consultant (ABC) Lower Electric to offer solar energy-based electricity solutions to its nearly 4,000 clients in Illinois.
The Illinois clean energy market is poised for rapid growth due to the state’s Long-Term Renewable Resource Procurement Plan, which mandates that investor-owned electric utilities source at least 25 percent of their electricity sales from solar and wind sources by 2025. The plan sets a minimum target of 666 MW of capacity from community solar and commercial and industrial (C&I) solar generation systems that are less than 2 MW in size by year 2020. To facilitate the adoption of solar, the state is administering the sale of renewable energy credits to solar operators, which help lower the cost of installation and operation. These policy developments are expected to foster the growth of a robust solar electricity market. The plan is currently under consideration by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and is expected to go into effect on April 3, 2018.
“Through this partnership, EnSync Energy has immediate access to an existing customer base and the infrastructure necessary for project penetration into the Illinois market,” said Dan Nordloh, executive vice president of EnSync Energy. “Combined with Lower Electric’s client relationships, the partnership creates a range of market options that align with both Lower Electric’s and EnSync’s client interests.”
EnSync Energy will cover customer origination, project development, design, construction and operation of photovoltaic-based installations for two key customer groups in Illinois: community solar subscribers and C&I operators. The systems will be up to 2 MW in size and the projects will be sold either directly to the customer or as power purchase agreements (PPAs) to the ultimate asset owners.
“With the new Renewable Energy Credits program in Illinois, we are eager to take advantage of financial incentives to offer clean energy solutions and lower costs for our clients,” said Ira Holtzman, managing partner of Lower Electric. “EnSync Energy’s ability to design and execute customized energy solutions will enable us to tap into state incentives to deliver more cost savings to our clients.”
Lower Electric’s C&I clients interested in solar for their buildings can either directly purchase a solar installation or participate in a PPA offered by EnSync Energy to reduce or avoid upfront costs. EnSync Energy also plans to develop community solar projects with Lower Electric, enabling its clients to participate in the state’s subscription-based community solar program. The program allows Illinois ratepayers to opt for solar energy sources for their electricity consumption without directly purchasing solar equipment. Detailed specifics on both of these programs will be released with the ICC’s final order in April 2018.
Illinois’ renewable generation legislation reflects a national trend in governmental incentives to shift to clean energy. With over half of U.S. states having deregulated their electricity markets, EnSync Energy plans for additional partnerships with electricity companies in the future.
“Our partnership with Lower Electric serves as a template for entering new markets,” said Brad Hansen, chief executive officer of EnSync Energy. “By pairing our holistic DER and distributed generation solutions with established third parties in prime renewable energy markets, we can quickly launch clean, affordable energy offerings and capture market share.”
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