The Community Solar Value Project (CSVP) represents leading energy thinkers and do-ers, ready to make local solar and DERs better, from both the sponsoring-utility and customer perspective. This website is your place to follow our progress, tap free resources, and prepare your questions for customized results-oriented support.
The CSVP approach focuses on the challenge areas where opportunities for lower costs and greater value abound: optimal solar project siting and design, including solar plus storage and load management; procurement, pricing, target marketing, and working through the relationships within the utilities and stakeholder communities, to secure benefits now and for years to come. See our Solutions pages for ready resources and check out our timely, informative Blogs.
Since completing work for U.S. DOE Solar Market Pathways, CSVP continues to offer community solar program design, community-scale solar and solar-plus-storage procurement; policy and training services services under the leadership of Principal Investigator Jill Cliburn (Cliburn & Associates), with experts from Extensible Energy, as well as other industry experts who share our passion for economical and equitable innovation.
CSVP webinars, including fan favorites, are posted in the archive above.
The Community Solar Value Project (CSVP) was one of 15 multi-year projects chosen for co-funding in 2015 by the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative, Solar Market Pathways Program.
The CSVP draws on a range of work, funded by public and private sources and industry associations. Contact us to learn more about CSVP relationships and how your network could benefit from our networks and customized services.
Check It Out!
Visit our casual gathering place for sharing news and ideas on community solar. Recent topics:
Solar Lighting Around the World and in your community.
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative's 100% renewables goal for daytime needs.
San Antonio's CPS Energy describes a 3-pronged approach to distributed solar.
Let’s talk about it!
Timing is Not Everything
by Jill Cliburn • 4/2/2019
Our continuing work in development, policy and program design for high-value solar has kept us in touch with questions from utility planners. As the longstanding solar investment tax credit (ITC) begins to wane and solar-plus-storage policies waver, we find that questions about project timing are top of mind.
If you didn’t start your solar-plus project already, can you make it work with next year’s lower ITC? Or, should you wait to see if storage-only tax credits take shape in Congress? If successful, a storage-only tax credit could add flexibility for charging from the grid and eliminating the need for solar and storage to advance together, like awkward cousins in a three-legged race. As we look into the CSVP crystal ball, we'll take a run at these questions, and more...
Upcoming Conference: Peak Load Management Alliance May 13 - 15
CSVP lead John Powers of Extensible Energy heads up the Peak Load Management Alliance's Integration Interest Group, which explores all the ways in which demand response and storage can add value to a utility landscape that is defined by increasing amounts of renewable energy and DERs on both sides of the meter. John will be heading up a Integration Group meeting on May 13, 2019. Jill Cliburn of Cliburn and Associates will be on the main program the following day, discussing case study experience and market trends in community solar plus storage, including a current project in Minnesota. See PLMA for details.
Talk of the Town?
As PI for the Community Solar Value Project, Jill Cliburn, developed solar and solar-plus best practices. With number of these programs growing across the US, Jill and other members of the CSVP team continue to innovate and replicate Solutions. A recent story on the Energy News Network
introduces progress in Grand Rapids, MN, where the local utility is working with stakeholders and the power supplier, Minnesota Power, to bring an innovative solar-plus storage project to reality. This collaboration, still nascent, is one of the first to seek a triple-win for parties with different perspectives and objectives. We believe the outcome of this and similar efforts will help utilities and the communities they serve transition successfully to the high-renewables future that is fast approaching.
Informative and Inspirational Readings from LBL and SEPA
As CSVP leaders have been participating in the Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange, we find discussions of solar plus storage and DR ever more relevant! To pull a quote from our recent Blog, disruption waits for no one. Here are a couple of reports, just released that we find on our "required readings" list: Tracking the Sun 2018, reviewing a new year of distribution-scale solar market data and trends. Utility-Scale Solar 2018, reviewing similar data at a larger scale, including an excellent section on solar plus battery storage. Also, see the new 2018 Utility Demand Response Snapshot, from SEPA, with research by Navigant and PLMA.
Download Presentations from Conference Appearances Including the CSVP Procurements, Programs and Pricing Workshop. Jill Cliburn's presentation from the September 2018 Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange conference in Aspen, Colorado, is downloadable here. Presentations from CSVP's P3 Workshop are posted in the Library. For additional details, please provide Contact information.
AVAILABLE NOW: Your Complete Guide to High-Value Community Solar Program Planning and Implementation. Go to our Solutions Menu, to find six ways to think outside the box about community solar challenges, so you can speed your internal processes and add program value for your utility and your customers. These approaches and tools have been developed over the course of the CSVP project, working with at more than a dozen utilities of all kinds. The emphasis is on flexibility, as we learned utilities more than an overall picture of idealized step-by-step planning; they need solutions whenever challenges arise. Here's a blog that previews the Solutions site.
Thanks for the Shout-Out (and Call Us for More)
Part of our mission at CSVP has been to inspire more high-value innovation in every aspect of community solar planning, program delivery and implementation. In the recent months we've seen discussion of high-value options in a number of venues. In March, Utility Dive featured a commentary on community storage, citing projects in the works and linking to the CSVP Solutions toolbox as a place to find guidance for community storage on either side of the meter. Thanks to authors Joseph Petta and Eric McConnell! Further, during the 2018 winter NARUC meetings, John Shenot, of the Regulatory Assistance Project, discussed ideas first hatched at CSVP's 2017 Workshop on Procurements, Programs and Pricing. See the co-authored RAP publication on Rethinking Regulation in an Era of Exponential Change. And specific to CSVP's vision, see our July 2017 Blog on innovative community solar pricing.
Forum Post Explores the Question, Can Community Solar Complement Your Rooftop Solar Program? In addition to the current Forum post, which is about the Kit Carson Electric Co-op plan, don't miss the Forum Archive. For example, CPS Energy in San Antonio, Texas, discusses the benefits of creating a menu of program options, including two types of rooftop solar and community solar. The Forum is a place where we welcome utility blogs and comments on questions that address community solar market challenges.
Second chance to give a listen. The CSVP webinar season has concluded for 2017. But you can revisit 2017 and even earlier webinars in our archive. If you like what you hear, please send us a note through our Contact page. Highlights from this past year: