Distributed Energy Resources

Sunnova Seeks Approval To Build Solar-Storage ‘Micro Utilities’ in California

Sunnova Energy International has applied to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to develop solar-and-storage “micro-utilities” in California.

Sunnova’s wholly owned subsidiary Sunnova Community Microgrids California (SCMC) said it plans to target newly constructed homes where it can work with developers to design and implement mostly self-sustaining micro-utilities equipped with solar and storage facilities.

The company said the installations would be “largely self-sustaining micro-utilities by equipping new home communities with solar and storage to provide consumers with a better energy service that allows them to live in a more resilient home and community with latest-generation energy infrastructure.”

In its filing with the California commission, SCMC asked the CPUC to qualify it as a “micro-utility” and to request a certificate to construct and operate microgrids under California’s public utilities code.

The company hopes to build multi-property microgrids for residential and commercial customers in California and be the first solar and storage focused micro-utility company in the state able to own and operate behind-the-meter nanogrids, community assets, and front-of-the-meter distribution infrastructure.

SCMC community assets would include complete distribution infrastructure and energy assets including solar, battery storage, and emergency generation, the company said.

California’s first 100 percent renewable energy, front-of-the-meter, multi-customer microgrid, in Humboldt County, came online in June, providing energy resilience for a regional airport and a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station.