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Energy news: September 9, 2022

Happy September! As we wrap up the end of the summer this week, we’ll discuss two happy stories that are helping to bring more clean, electric energy to the grid – a new bill in California designed to make community solar more accessible and the first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charger for one of the most popular electric vehicles, the Nissan LEAF.

California advances legislation to expand community solar access

When you think of solar, California is probably the first state that comes to mind. While houses and buildings across California are littered with solar panels, the state hasn’t had a great solution for those who live in multi-unit dwellings or are unable to install solar on their property. In many other states, like Massachusetts, community solar is a great solution for those looking to “go solar” without purchasing a single solar panel – however, California has historically lacked policies that make community solar a viable option. 

Fortunately, this week, the California legislature passed AB 2316, a bill that has broad support from a wide range of stakeholders, including environmental justice organizations, utility workers, and community solar project developers. If signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, the bill will compensate community solar subscribers based on the value of the solar electricity generated by their portion of the solar project when it’s actually delivered to the grid. This is crucial in a state like California where solar makes electricity abundant when the sun is shining, but lacking when the sun has set. The bill also stipulates that all projects must include at least 51 percent of subscribers considered low-income, who will benefit from the lower overall electricity costs that come with community solar subscriptions

Nissan approving first V2G charger for its LEAF EV

The Nissan LEAF is the most popular EV in Europe, and is among the top in the United States, primarily due to its affordability. Nissan first launched the LEAF back in 2010, and since 2013 all models have come with bidirectional charging capability, or V2G charging, which allows you to send any excess energy stored in your battery back to the grid.

However, Nissan hasn’t had an EV charger that actually allows LEAF owners to take advantage of V2G charging – until now. Nissan and Fermenta Energy announced this week that the FE-15 bidirectional charger will work with Nissan LEAFs, allowing owners to send electricity to the grid and businesses to power their buildings during peak hours if they have a LEAF fleet. Overall, this could help businesses save on electricity costs during peak hours and promote a cleaner, and more stable electricity grid. 

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