Interconnection innovation: Pine Gate standardized Michigan portfolio interconnect via myPV ClearSky
Equipment standardization for portfolio-level purchasing is a proven strategy to simplify procurement, establish repeatable construction practices, and promote efficient commissioning. While racking, modules, inverters and transformers are common bulk buys, the MV interconnection components are often excluded. A collection of components, and the work product of highly specialized labor, the interconnection has historically been seen as a bespoke assembly, not a product.
In early 2020, the North Carolina-based solar developer Pine Gate Renewables took decisive steps to streamline standardization of engineering and procurement across a portfolio of 14 projects in Michigan, which represents a fraction of the 500 MW Pine Gate plans to develop in the state.
“Standardizing the interconnection was definitely part of our strategy to be successful in Michigan,” said Matt Massarelli, vice president of EPC operations at Pine Gate Renewables. “We wanted to eliminate as much uncertainty from construction and commissioning as possible to ensure timely commercial operation of the entire portfolio. The myPV ClearSky Interconnection product line wrapped the revenue grade metering, protection, and even Utility communications these projects required in a single pad-mount delivery.”
Developed by Solar Operations Solutions, LLC (Solar-Ops) the myPV ClearSky Interconnection is one of several pad-mount and SCADA products that are specifically designed to help developers and EPCs simplify the construction and operation of large PV solar facilities. Available in standard 15kV, 25kV, and 35kV models, with lead-times averaging between 12-14 weeks, Solar-Ops was able to quickly specify and propose interconnections for the entire portfolio in only a few days.
Ivan Regueira, Director of Business Development said, “Having worked together with Pine Gate on individual projects in 2019, the Michigan portfolio was a real opportunity to demonstrate how interconnection standardization can provide value and savings to our customers.”
Electrically terminated in a similar manner to a pad-mount transformer, and arriving with pre-configured metering and protection relaying, the ClearSky Interconnection removes expensive and time-consuming barriers to commercial operations.