Clean Energy Assets
CADER develops and invests in various clean energy technologies from solar and wind to energy efficiency, energy storage, and combined heat and power. Clean energy power generation performance continues to improve annually and its levelized cost of energy continues to dramatically decrease as additional generating power is deployed. CADER remains technology agnostic on its developments and investments and takes advantage of improving and new technologies as they become commercially viable.
The Solar industry has experienced significant growth over the past twenty years, as solar power generation has deployed across commercial, utility scale, and residential market segments. As gigawatts of new solar power have come on-line, many leading panel manufacturers have dramatically improved panel power, with 400 watt panels now the norm, and panel generating efficiency approaching 20% capacity factor, solar can provide more power per square meter than ever before. Further, mass deployment of solar power has also led to dramatic reductions in solar costs. Going forward, with continued solar deployment, technologies will continue up the technology curve, and costs will continue down the levelized-cost of electricity curve.
Energy efficiency is often defined as achieving the same comfort or performance levels by using less energy. There is a product ecosystem of energy efficiency technologies and solutions to achieve energy savings while maintaining comfort or performance levels.
Asset energy efficiency typically includes installing new energy assets, such as HVAC or lighting assets, that provide the same or better performance, yet achieve energy savings from improved technology performance. The classic example is LED lighting providing the same amount of lumens as incumbent lighting technology, using a fraction of the energy.
Operational energy efficiency typically achieves energy savings by using existing energy assets in a smart, scheduled way via sensor networks, integrated software, intelligent control systems, building management systems, scheduling, and smart meters. The example is using intelligence or scheduling software with the existing lighting resources to provide the same amount of lighting when needed and reduced lighting levels when not needed via dimming or on-off schedules.
Energy Star, LEED, and GRESB are the three leading energy efficiency certifications, albeit with different underlying objectives, for commercial buildings and real estate.
Over the past two decades, wind technology has been deployed across both utility-scale projects and distributed, commercial projects. As gigawatts of wind power generation have deployed many leading manufacturers have improved wind blade and turbine designs, used lighter and stronger materials, and deployed different sized turbines and fleets to optimize power generation for specific locations.
Further, mass deployment of wind power has also lead to dramatic costs reductions wind costs. In commercial real estate applications, small wind turbines can be installed, typically alongside solar, to help meet the building's energy loads. Going forward, as more wind power is installed, wind technology will continue to improve, product offerings will continue to broaden, and costs will continue to decline.
Energy Storage Solutions included a wide range of technologies from lithium-ion battery systems, to fly wheels, to thermal water systems, and everything in between. Energy Storage technologies difference in performance attributes that they offer, such as power density, discharge time, weight, and their levelized cost of energy storage, including installation cost, and O&M costs. Lithium-ion battery solutions offer a feature set that integrates and works well with distributed solar and wind energy resources. Solar and wind technologies experience intermittency due to natural forces and coupling solar and wind generation assets with Energy Storage solutions allows for more available and reliable electricity for commercial buildings.
Energy Storage technologies have allowed energy customers and commercial buildings to effectively manage their energy loads and associated utility demand charges. Energy Storage solutions have also been used to participate in grid-level ancillary services and market event programs such as demand response programs. Energy Storage systems allow customers and commercial buildings to use stored energy when electricity tariffs are high, typically during the day, and to store electric-grid generated electricity when rates are low, typically at night.
Combined Heat & Power
Combined Heat & Power and Micro-Turbines
Combined Heat & Power (CHP) is a powerful technology that offers reliable power generation and power quality coupled with heat and or climate control capabilities. Typical micro-turbines and boilers provide between 38% and 45% efficiency to customers and commercial buildings. CHP takes the waste heat from the electrical turbine and uses the excess heat for a variety of purposes. Excess heat can be used for building heating systems, cooling systems, and exported out of the building to neighboring buildings in 'district' heat systems. Stamford, CT and Vail, CO have adopted high performing district heating projects. CHP is often sized based on either the electrical load or the heat requirements of the commercial building(s). CHP offers compelling fuel cycle economies and drastic reduction in carbon emissions as CHP efficiencies obviate the need for secondary heat systems such as boilers.
Micro-Turbines offer customers and commercial building owners another on-site generation option. While CHP offers impressive efficiencies, it is not perfect for every commercial building application, based on the fundamental energy and heat requirements of the building, and the installation and management cost to maintain the system(s). In some commercial building settings, Micro-Turbines offer a compelling alternative and can meet the energy loads of the building, enjoy an incredibly high capacity factor, energy reliability, and power quality. Some industrial customers make their energy technology decision based on power quality alone, and Micro-Turbines are often the technology of choice for these customers.