|Reports and Studies||5/19/2017|
Download CESA webinar on solar for low-income customers
If you were unable to attend our webinar today, "Bringing the Benefits of Solar to Low-Income Customers," Slides and a recording have been posted on the Clean Energy States Alliance website.
The report featured in this webinar is also available online.
This webinar and report were produced by the CESA as part of the Sustainable Solar Education Project. Check out more information and resources on solar equitability and consumer protection.
Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 5/18/17
|Reports and Studies||5/19/2017|
IREC Releases Energy Storage Guide for Policymakers
A new tool published by IREC, Charging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for State Policymakers
provides regulators and other decision makers with specific guidance on key issues for policy consideration, including foundational policies for advanced energy storage—a new generation of technologies characterized by flexible operating capabilities and diverse applications.
Charging Ahead aims to address that gap by providing an in-depth discussion of the most urgent actions to take in order to enable viable energy storage markets that effectively empower states to take advantage of the full suite of advanced energy storage capabilities.
Source: Interstate Renewable Energy Council, 4/19/17
|Reports and Studies||5/19/2017|
Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs
Revised in collaboration with The Vote Solar Initiative, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council updated the model rules to assist stakeholders in developing shared renewables programs to broaden renewable energy access to more consumers. In addition, IREC updated its guiding principles for shared renewable energy programs to illustrate better these programs’ critical aspects.
Source: Interstate Renewable Energy Council, 5/17/17
|Reports and Studies||5/16/2017|
CESA Guide Outlines Strategies to Bring the Benefits of Solar to Low-Income Households
The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has taken an in-depth look at successful and promising policies and programs that can be used to bring the benefits of solar to low-income consumers. Bringing the Benefits of Solar Energy to Low-Income Consumers, a guide authored by Bentham Paulos of PaulosAnalysis, outlines the obstacles that low-income households face in accessing solar power and provides a detailed overview of strategies that policymakers and government agencies can use to encourage low-income solar adoption
Despite increasing affordability of solar and solar-friendly policies and programs, some low-income households still face substantial obstacles to going solar: being renters and not homeowners, having low or no credit, or having little savings. Conversely, many policies that provide financial or energy assistance to the poor were not designed to access solar power. A new guide, written for CESA by Bentham Paulos of Paulos Analysis, concludes that barriers to adopting solar are not insurmountable.
The Clean Energy States Alliance is hosting a free webinar about the new guide with author Bentham Paulos on Thursday, May 18 from 1-2 pm ET. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience. Read more and register for the webinar
Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 5/15/17
|Green Power||5/16/2017|CESA webinar recording available online
You can now download slides and a recording of the webinar, "Should There Be a Clean Peak Standard?", presented by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) May 9.
Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 5/9/17
FEMP training covers requirements, applications for advanced metering systems
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides training to foster and maintain a high-performance workforce to construct, operate, and maintain facilities in an energy-efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective manner. Topics include proven, cutting-edge technologies and business practices to help agencies meet their energy, water, and sustainability goals dictated by federal laws and requirements.
Source: Federal Energy Management Program, 5/5/17
What Is The New Solar Homes Partnership?
The California Energy Commission's New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) is part of the comprehensive statewide solar program, known as the California Solar Initiative. The NSHP provides financial incentives and other support to home builders, encouraging the construction of new, energy efficient solar homes that save homeowners money on their electric bills and protect the environment.
Applicants are encouraged to submit reservation applications and payment claims using the online application tool, when possible.
New reservation applications and payment claims submitted by mail must be sent to the Energy Commission at the address identified on the GoSolar California contacts page. All inquiries must be directed to the Energy Commission at 844-421-6229.
Source: GoSolar California, 5/4/17
|Reports and Studies||5/8/2017|
CESA webinar on energy storage available online
The Sterling Municipal Light Department has deployed a 2-megawatt/3.9 megawatt-hour battery storage system that can isolate from the main grid in the event of a power outage and, with an existing PV array, provide up to 12 days of emergency backup power to the town’s police department and emergency dispatch services. In addition to these resiliency benefits, the battery storage system will provide cost savings for both ratepayers and the utility, with an anticipated project payback period of seven years (two years after grants are applied).
Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf.
Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 4/28/17
|Reports and Studies||4/28/2017|
New collaborative NREL/LBNL report analyzes wind's LCOE and wind turbine price drivers
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released the 2015 Cost of Wind Energy Review. This report uses data from representative utility-scale projects commissioned in 2015 to estimate the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for land-based wind plants in the United States, and extrapolates U.S. offshore wind cost estimates using data from comparable European sites. This year's report also updates an earlier LBNL analysis from 2011 of the drivers of wind turbine price trends in the United States, with the intent of understanding the relative contributions of various endogenous and exogenous drivers to the decline in wind turbine prices observed since 2010.
The relatively larger influence of the exogenous drivers suggests that any concerted shift away from current macroeconomic conditions-characterized by a prolonged period of dollar strength and commodity price weakness-may challenge further turbine price reductions in the United States.
Source: Berkeley Laboratory Electricity Markets and Policy Group, 4/26/17
Re-purposing Navajo Generating Station Transmission: Potential for Wind and Solar Development
The utility owners of the Navajo Generating Station (NGS) have proposed closing the 2,250-MW power plant in the next few years. NGS is located in the northeast corner of Arizona on the Navajo Nation in the sparsely populated Four Corners region. There are significant high-voltage transmission connections between NGS and Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The closure of the plant creates attractive opportunities to re-purpose the transmission to transmit energy from neighboring states and/or to support regional wind and solar resource development.
This webinar presented high-level information on the ownership of existing transmission and transmission rights in the region and opportunities for new wind and solar development to reach Western energy markets.
This webinar was recorded on April 25, 2017.
Source: Four Corners Wind Resource Center, 4/26/17
FY17 and FY18 Tribal Wetland Program Development Grants
Applications Due: June 5, 2017
Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants to develop or refine tribal wetland programs. Comprehensive wetland programs help enable tribes to more effectively protect, restore, and manage their wetland resources.
Under this announcement, the EPA will have two separate applicant tracks for eligible applicants.
•Tribes can apply under Track One and/or Track Two.
•Intertribal consortia can apply under Track Two only.
Click here for the FOA.
Estimated Total Program Funding: $2,644,800
Source: Van Ness Feldman, 4/26/17
EERE Budget Office supports clean energy solutions
The Budget Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) tracks funding and develops the budget justifications in conjunction with EERE program offices. The Budget team also prepares for the annual congressional appropriations hearing and responds to inquiries from Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
EERE’S FISCAL YEAR 2017 BUDGET REQUEST
The FY 2017 budget request of $2.89 billion reinforces DOE’s role in researching solutions to the nation’s energy challenges. It seeks to double U.S. clean energy investments in five years by including a $2.10 billion request for Mission Innovation to accelerate worldwide clean energy technology innovation and cost reduction. This support is an increase of $702 million from the enacted FY 2016 budget.
Source: DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 4/24/17
Building on Community Solar Success
In Oklahoma, members see value in participating in small-scale solar
Karen Higgenbothem and her husband, Leroy, have been members of East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative since they bought their farm in Haskell more than 50 years ago.
After half-a-century, they’re primed for a new energy future. Karen signed on to the co-op’s community solar project after seeing photovoltaic panels as she drove around Oklahoma.
“I subscribed to two panels. As it turns out, they were the first two,” she said. “This was a way to get solar without worrying about maintenance.”
For Okmulgee-based East Central Oklahoma EC, a 250-kilowatt array developed with help from its power supplier, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative, is off to a strong start. About 150 of the 950 panels available have already been subscribed at a one-time cost of $350 each.
Source: Electric Coop.com, 4/17/17
Flashbacks: The First Wind-Power Boom
We’re in the middle of a wind-power boom. Installed capacity has increased from just over 4,000 MW in 2001 to close to 70,000 MW today. This happened once before in the United States, although with a tamer technology.
Between 1920 and 1935, farmers and ranchers purchased a million wind chargers—not the iconic windmills used since the 1850s to pump water for crops and livestock and still seen along rural back roads, but small, propeller-driven electricity generators.
Old black-and-white photographs show the propellers and attached tail vanes sticking up from farmhouse and barn roofs like TV antennas. Others perched atop lightweight steel towers. A big, prosperous farm might have had two or three towers.
The essential components were the propeller and tail, an attached generator, and wires leading indoors to a control panel and a battery.
Source: Rural Electric Magazine, 4/10/17
Register for May 18 Webinar on Distributed Solar for Smaller Utilities
12-1 p.m. MT
Join the Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative (DGIC) on May 18 for a free webinar on the topic of distributed solar for smaller utilities.
While the distributed solar spotlight often falls on a dozen or so large investor-owned utilities, some smaller utilities have quietly met or surpassed their peers in solar deployment on a per-customer basis. At the same time, these organizations may have fewer resources to maintain safety, reliability, and affordability for their customers. This webinar will highlight the experiences of two utilities, each having between 5,000 and 50,000 customers, as they shift their business processes, staffing, planning, and operations to incorporate distributed solar into their systems.
Stay tuned to the DGIC website for more information on our upcoming webinars planned for July on plug-and-play solar and September on aggregation of distributed energy resources.
Source: Distributed Generation Interconnection Collaborative, 4/20/17
Higher Education Challenge Grants Program
Applications Due: May 30, 2017
Department of Agriculture
Projects supported by the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program will:
- address a state, regional, national, or international educational need;
- involve a creative or non-traditional approach toward addressing that need that can serve as a model to others;
- encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community, as well as between universities and the private sector, to enhance program quality and supplement available resources; and
- result in benefits that will likely transcend the project duration and USDA support.
See the FOA.
Estimated Total Program Funding: $4.5 million
Source: Van Ness Feldman, 4/20/17
|Reports and Studies||4/20/2017|
Energy Storage Guide for Policymakers Released Today by Interstate Renewable Energy Council
A new tool published today by the independent Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Charging Ahead: An Energy Storage Guide for State Policymakers, provides regulators and other decision makers with specific guidance on key issues for policy consideration, including foundational policies for advanced energy storage - a new generation of technologies characterized by flexible operating capabilities and diverse applications.
The characteristics that make energy storage so valuable and attractive also make it challenging to address in policy and regulatory contexts.
Despite its game-changing potential to transform the electricity system, energy storage is vastly underutilized in the U.S. electricity sector. Its deployment remains hampered by the current features of regional, state and federal regulatory frameworks, traditional utility planning and decision-making paradigms, electricity markets, and aspects of the technology itself.
To date, state policymakers and electric system stakeholders have largely navigated energy storage issues without the benefit of a roadmap to inform key regulatory and policy pathways for widespread deployment.
Source: Interstate Renewable Energy Council, 4/17/17
SMART Program webinar recording now online
The Solar Carve-Out and SREC program in the Massachusetts renewable portfolio standard have dramatically increased solar capacity in the Commonwealth. Last year, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources carried out a thorough process, with considerable stakeholder input, to design a new program that would maintain robust growth in the number of solar installations while reducing costs for ratepayers. The state is now in the process of implementing a new solar incentive program that seeks to reduce market risk and uncertainty so that incentives can be smaller.
In this webinar, Kaitlin Kelly, RPS Program Coordinator at DOER, described the context for the program, discussed the program’s design considerations, and explained how the program will work and be rolled out. Her presentation was followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 4/13/17
Presentations from Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit available to download
The Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit offered three days of exciting, comprehensive program, featuring engaging speakers and ample networking opportunities. The event also included: a press conference, banquet, business-to-business expo and tours of renewable energy facilities. Tour participants had the opportunity to visit the Salton Sea, as well as Imperial Irrigation District- Battery Energy Storage System, Tenaska Imperial Solar Energy Center West, Energysource John L. Featherstone Plant, Ormat Geothermal Plant–Heber 2, San Diego State University- Sustainability Center and Imperial Valley College Solar Facility.
Source: Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation, 4/11/17
|Reports and Studies||4/14/2017|
Alaskan microgrid to pair battery, flywheel storage systems for Anchorage area
Alaska power customers have typically faced high electric bills, the result of tenuously-connected remote communities and the high cost to serve them. Chugach's Anchorage-area project could have implications for more distant villages, but in the meantime, it will be used to test scalability and improve power stability for roughly 300,000 people.
Source: Utility Dive, 2/7/17
FEMP webinar explores green tariffs
11:30 A.M. MT
First Thursday Update presents a new option for agencies to purchase renewable energy through their utility: green tariffs. Green tariffs allow large utility customers in traditionally regulated states to procure renewable power from their utility through a special tariff for energy from a specific renewable energy project—typically through a long-term contract. Instructors will explain how green tariffs are structured and what agencies need to consider when examining this purchasing option. This update will also discuss emerging tariffs and how agencies can work with their utility to create new green-tariff options.
Source: Federal Energy Management Program, 4/10/17
Watch Clean Energy Group's Solar+Storage webinar
Resilient power technologies, like solar combined with energy storage (solar+storage) can not only provide critical power to essential facilities and services during a power outage, they can also provide economic benefits throughout the year, by reducing power bills and generating revenue through providing services to utilities and grid operators.
To help deploy more resilient power systems in the communities that need them the most, Clean Energy Group has developed Resilient Power Toolkits, with specialized resources for community service providers and affordable housing developers.
In Tools for Building More Resilient Communities with Solar+Storage, Clean Energy Group staff provided a brief introduction to the concept of resilient power, and introduced the newly developed Resilient Power Toolkits.
Source: Clean Energy Group, 4/6/17
Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration Project
The Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration project, or SUNDA, is developing a standardized “Photovoltaic system package” consisting of engineering designs, business models, financing and insurance options, and optimized procurement that can reduce the cost of utility-scale solar projects. NRECA estimates these packages can reduce engineering design costs by 25 percent, procurement costs by ten percent and insurance costs by 25 percent.
The SUNDA project aims to bring the cost of installed solar down to $1.60/Wp.
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, NRECA is partnering with the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation, PowerSecure and the 17 cooperatives to develop, test and refine standardized system packages that will enable co-ops across the country to develop solar at a minimal cost.
Source: Cooperative.com, 4/6/17
|Reports and Studies||4/10/2017|
DGIC webinar on energy storage available online
Utilities and regulators are responding to the growth of distributed generation with new business models and approaches.
Energy Storage Permitting, Interconnection and Analysis covers the many aspects of building and stabilizing an emerging energy sector in a changing environment.
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 4/6/17
|Reports and Studies||4/10/2017|
New Report Shines Light on Installed Costs and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar PV with Energy Storage
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are making available the most detailed component and system-level cost breakdowns to date for residential photovoltaic (PV) solar systems equipped with energy storage-and quantifying previously unknown soft costs for the first time.
The report, titled "Installed Cost Benchmarks and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar Photovoltaics with Energy Storage: Q1 2016," was written by researchers from NREL, the Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Energy Department.
"There is rapidly growing interest in pairing distributed PV with storage, but there's a lack of publicly available cost data and analysis," said Kristen Ardani, lead author of the report and a solar technology markets and policy analyst at NREL. "By expanding NREL's well-established component- and system-level cost modeling methodology for solar PV technologies to PV-plus-storage systems, this report is the first in a series of benchmark reports that will document progress in cost reductions for the emerging PV-plus-storage market over time."
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 3/28/17
Webinar looks at New York City's Solar+Storage plan
In NYC's Policy Target and Roadmap for Resilient Solar+Storage, Laurie Reilly of Sustainable CUNY and Kathryn Wright of Meister Consultants Group discussed the collaborative development process for creating the Roadmap, along with the barriers and recommendations outlined within the plan. Ben Mandel of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability described the City’s storage target and what types of policy initiatives can help drive NYC towards achieving this goal.
This webinar was a presentation of Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project, and was moderated by Clean Energy Group project director Seth Mullendore.
Source: Clean Energy Group, 4/4/17
|Reports and Studies||4/3/2017|
Demonstration of Essential Reliability Services by a 300-MW Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant
The California Independent System Operator, First Solar and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a demonstration project on a 300-MW photovoltaic power plant in California to test its ability to provide essential ancillary services to the electric grid. Testing was completed in August 2016, and an analysis of the large amount of test data the unit produced demonstrated that advanced power electronics and solar generation can be controlled to contribute to system-wide reliability.
Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 3/31/17
|Reports and Studies||3/31/2017|
Part 2 of Low-Income Solar webinar now online
In this webinar, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher Greg Leventis reviewed low-income energy efficiency financing products and discussed how different financing products can address different barriers to low-income energy improvements.
Source: Clean Energy States Alliance, 3/30/17
|Reports and Studies||3/31/2017|
Free webinar explores solar provision changes to National Electrical Code
May 11, 12 p.m. MT
There are more than 1.3 million photovoltaic (PV) systems installed nationwide, with more installed every day. PV system safety and reliability is increasingly guided by robust codes and standards, including solar provisions in the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) National Electrical Code (NEC). Although solar is by no means new to the NEC, the 2017 version has updates and additions to support the growing solar economy.
Join us for this interactive webinar on May 11, 2017 at 2pm ET with national expert Jim Rogers. Learn about new articles in the NEC, such as large scale photovoltaic electric supply stations and energy storage systems, as well as updates to existing provisions like rapid shutdown, and grounding of PV systems. You will have an opportunity to submit your specific questions in advance or during the webinar.
Sources: Interstate Renewable Energy Council, 3/29/17