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.
Community Solar in a High-Renewables World
by Jill Cliburn • 5/16/2019
Today, the cost of large solar projects can often beat the cost of conventional new generation, and a growing number of utilities are making remarkable commitments to buy it—lots of it, and lots of wind power too. About a half-dozen utilities have announced goals of 100 percent renewable by 2050 or sooner; a growing number are shooting above 50 percent. Facing climate destruction, we are happy for plans to work big and fast. But we were surprised—maybe even dismayed—by questions that have come up recently, asking if there will still be a need for community solar in light of these coming, big-renewable portfolios.
Of course the answer is yes. While in some locations, community solar is nearing the end of its useful life as a simple wake-up call for utilities to look at solar, that is hardly the case everywhere. Moreover, community solar can help take care of particular needs that are daunting for most utilities to serve. And it can add much-needed load management and resilience value to the local system. I may have said this before, but the examples just keep coming—and getting better.
Peak Load Management Alliance Conference Makes the Connection
CSVP's Jill Cliburn spoke at the May 2019 PLMA Conference, along with Jeremy Goodell, Electric Utility Manager for Grand Rapids, MN. The GRPU plan for solar-plus, completed by the utility and local stakeholders with Jill's assistance, is now in the procurement phase, with support from Minnesota Power. At PLMA, solar-plus was a relatively new topic, but one readily understood. PLMA's load management and integration leaders are preparing to bring all kinds of DERs into the mix to solve 21st Century grid challenges. CSVP's John Powers (Extensible Energy) heads up the Alliance's Integration Interest Group, and helped lead an exercise, based on the real-world experience of Hawaii Electric's Rich Barone, considering a DER portfolio as a non-wires solution. See PLMA for more.
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.
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: