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.
The CSVP approach focuses on cross-departmental collaboration and on those challenge areas where opportunities for lower costs and greater value abound: optimal project siting and design, procurement, pricing, target marketing, and matching the offer with demand-response and storage measures that provide solar-integration value. See our Solutions pages for access to top resources, or contact us for tailored support for your programs.
CSVP has just finished a busy travel season, including the Community Solar Power Summit, in Minneapolis and the American Solar Energy Society Solar 2018 Conference in Boulder.
One more event on the calendar: Catch us at the Rocky Mountain Utility Exchange, September 19-21, where the topic is solar plus storage and DR.
CSVP webinars, including a fan favorite on lessons-learned are posted in the archive.
The Community Solar Value Project (CSVP) was one of 15 projects chosen for co-funding in 2015 by the U.S. DOE SunShot Initiative, Solar Market Pathways Program. Projects explore net-value in technology, systems integration, market pathways, and soft-cost reduction. See solarmarketpathways.org for more.
The CSVP has completed its work under SunShot funding, but continues to make project resources available to utilities and other solar stakeholders, with support from Extensible Energy and Cliburn and Associates, the project lead firms, and through client services.
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!
The Time is Now for Community Solar Plus
by Jill Cliburn • 9/16/18
It’s fair to say that the CSVP was a pioneer in utility-led solar plus DR and storage strategies. Drawing on experience in IRP, renewables and a range of DERs, members of our core team have been working around the edges of solar-plus since the early aughts. Soon after the U.S. DOE SunShot program selected CSVP to carry that work forward, we produced a guide to Demand-Response Companion Measures for High-Value Community Solar Programs. Published in 2016, it is still a popular planning tool. We also worked with utilities on various forms of storage, including batteries, and we published a guide to Solar Plus Storage Companion Measures for High-Value Community Solar Programs, last year.
But enough with the self-congratulations! For all we got right, we missed just how fast batteries in particular would take off and exactly how pivotal their role would be. For our recent utility and commercial clients, we’re updating our work on battery economics and opportunities. Here, I thought I’d share some insights on how these market changes apply to community solar strategies today.
Informative and Ispirational 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.
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.
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.
The Get-Started Guide You've Been Waiting For on Solar Plus Storage.
CSVP's Solar Plus Storage Companion Measures for High-Value Community Solar: A Guide for Utility Program Planners is the first of its kind, introducing the reasoning behind using storage on either side of the meter to address resource-integration issues. Get it from the Solar-Plus page of our new Solutions guide, or click here for the pdf.
Download Presentations from Conference Appearances and from the CSVP Procurements, Programs and Pricing Workshop. Jill Cliburn's presentation from the November 2017 American Public Power Association's Customer Connections Conference in Sacramento, CA is downloadable here. Presentations from CSVP's P3 Workshop are posted in the Library. For additional details, please provide Contact information.
What Will the Next Generation of Community Solar Programs Bring? CSVP Insights Are Featured on Utility Dive. After his appearance on our October webinar on Community Solar Success, Utility Dive analyst Herman Trabish broadened his investigation, asking a range of industry experts, including CSVP’s Jill Cliburn, what the future holds for community solar. See the article on Utility Dive.
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.
Learn from Other SunShot Solar Market Pathways Projects. Check out the Solar Market Pathways website links to other U.S. DOE-funded projects, aimed at lowering local solar project costs and at broadening the reach of solar into local communities. CSVP is in the process of updating its own Market Pathways page, but this is a good place to find out about projects and innovations nationwide.
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: