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 uniquely customer-driven process, the resulting portfolio strategy, and some of the product innovations that are still unfolding. Our emphasis: to discover how other utilities, large and small, can replicate elements of this experience, while working 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, links, and fresh ideas about high-value community solar. Is Navigant’s newly-polished crystal ball correct in suggesting that the end of net metering will drive more community solar? Or, on another topic, is community solar a solution for sustainable housing development?
Let’s talk about it!
Latest Blog Post: The Sun Also Rises
by Jill Cliburn • 2/01/17
No surprise, we’ve heard some nervous rumblings from community-solar program managers during the dawning days this new year. They want to know three things: Will the market for community-scale solar continue to grow? How can they gauge the market across their particular communities? And are there any new insights about how to design and sell community solar for particular customer groups? While nobody has a perfect crystal ball, we’re finding that ours has been pretty good so far. We predicted these questions, anyway, and released a new guide last December to answer two out of three of them. On the third question, I’ve got some new findings about customer attitudes across the political spectrum to share with you here.
Latest CSVP Brief Offers 5-Step Process for Customer-Focused Program Design. Check out the CSVP’s new publication, Market Research and Market Segmentation for Community Solar Program Success, in the Market Development for Community Solar section of our Library page. This brief describes a five-step process, beginning with assessing research needs and tapping outside sources of community-solar market intelligence, through leveraging available utility data, and carefully designing or obtaining new customer research to address specific needs. It pays special attention to the internal resources that program designers initially may not be aware of, and it explains outside sources of micro-segmentation data.
The March 1 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 CSVP Publications Help Utilities Make Better Procurement Choices. Check out the CSVP’s new publication, Community Solar Program-Development Landscape: A Brief for Utility Program Designers, in the Financing and Procurement section of our Library page. This brief reviews state policies affecting community solar, business standards and innovations, players who are active in the market today, and considerations for utility-specific program plans. Also posted there is an accompanying publication, Resource Guide for Local Solar Development, that offers an annotated bibliography and links to resources that utilities could adapt for their procurement processes, along with a collection of utility community-solar procurement RFPs.
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.