The Community Solar Value Project (CSVP) represents leading energy thinkers and do-ers, ready to “make community solar better,” from both the sponsoring-utility and customer perspective. This website is your place to follow our progress and to contribute as a CSVP Utility Forum member or stakeholder. As we’re developing a decision framework for community-solar program design, we’re focusing first on optimal siting and project design, procurement, target marketing, and matching with companion measures that attack solar-integration challenges.
Our next free webinar is set for Thursday, April 13 at Noon Central on Community Solar Lessons Learned at SMUD. Guest speaker Stephen Frantz will lead a review of Sacramento's program-design process, the resulting strategies, and some of the product innovations that are still unfolding. Our emphasis: to discover how other utilities, large and small, can learn from SMUD and customize best practices, to move community solar further forward.
To register, simply
The U.S. Department
of Energy SunShot Initiative is a national effort to make solar energy fully cost competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Projects explore cost-reduction and increasing net-
value in technology, systems integration, technology-to-market, and soft-cost reduction.
The CSVP is one of 15 projects chosen for funding in 2015 by the SunShot Initiative, Solar Market Pathways Program.
for more information.
This new feature provides a casual gathering place for sharing news and fresh ideas about community solar. For example, Is community solar an enhancement or a detriment to your local solar market? In our latest Forum post, we share one perspective on this question, from CPS Energy, in San Antonio. Spoiler alert: Solar is booming in that Texas public power city!
Let’s talk about it!
Latest Blog Post: 6 Steps to Better Collaboration
by Jill Cliburn • 4/01/17
At CSVP, we’ve been talking a lot about cross-departmental collaboration. It’s a thread that runs through our whole spring webinar series, whether it comes up as advice about sharing market research, or in April's discussion about lessons learned from best-practice programs, such as the expanded SolarShares program at Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). Utility-led community solar programs require participation from people across many utility departments or work groups, extending from market research to resource procurement and pricing, to engineering and IT, to communications and customer service. And, as we’ll discuss in another upcoming webinar on community “solar plus” options, the newest high-value solar program models may require more than mere collaboration. They may require silo-busting.
Utility Leaders! Join Us for a Solutions-Oriented Workshop on Community Solar Procurement and Pricing Challenges, June 7-8, 2017. This one and one-half day Workshop brings best-practice utility program managers and other experts together to work on new solutions to some of your toughest community solar program challenges. The Workshop is free to qualified participants, so long as space is available. CSVP's Workshop co-sponsor, the Western Area Power Administration Renewable Resource Program will host, at its Electric Power Training Center in Golden, Colorado. For registration details, click here.
New Forum Post Explores the Question, Can Community Solar Complement Your Rooftop Solar Program? Check out our Forum page to see one answer, from CPS Energy in San Antonio, Texas. The Forum is a place where we welcome utility blogs and comments on questions that address community solar market challenges.
Our Recent Webinar on Market Research and Segmentation referenced several sources that created a context for the discussion. Bottom line: While community solar appeals across a broad spectrum of Americans, different market segments respond to different program options and messaging. See the Conservative Energy Network for post-election energy survey results. See the Shelton Group for analysis of the importance of seemingly secondary drivers, such as environmental concerns, when marketing to some target groups. And on how to use project-aggregation to develop several community solar projects cost-effectively, while appealing to different neighborhoods or customer groups, see RMI's recent report on lowering the cost of community-scale solar. Hear the replay of the webinar here.
New Portal from SunShot Solar Market Pathways. Check out the Solar Market Pathways website for a new listing of numerous websites and publications related to community solar projects, programs and policies. This is a general listing, so not all resources are pointed directly toward utility needs, but we think it’s a great resource for the conversation. CSVP also lists some of our favorite resources on our Library page.
Looking ahead, CSVP announces webinars and events for 2017. Watch for registration codes for our free webinars in the Events box above on this page. For information on our upcoming spring conference on Utility Leadership for Community-based Solar Solutions, send us a note through our Contact page. A list of upcoming webinar topics is posted below.