Jill Cliburn joins a SEPA webinar April 5, on Avoiding the Growing Pains and predicting the future of community solar. Free registration, also featuring new work by SEPA and Elevate Energy (Chicago area).
Ask John Powers, Extensible Energy CEO, about his new article in Solar Today, about how progressive solar installers are moving "inside the building" to develop more complete energy solutions that add solar + storage and load management. It's a new path to high-value solar!
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. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, Solar Market Pathways Program. Projects explore cost-reduction and increasing net-
value in technology, systems integration, market pathways, and soft-cost reduction. See solarmarketpathways.org
for more information.
The CSVP completed work under SunShot funding in late 2017. It 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 customized client agreements.
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!
NC Community Solar-Plus Project Taps Utility-Side Battery Value
by Jill Cliburn • 2/12/18
When the CSVP touts community solar as an exciting way to roll out energy storage innovations, we often cite pilot-scale introductions, using customer-side thermal storage. Steele Waseca, a co-op in Minnesota, set the pace for that strategy in 2015, when it introduced a 100-kW community solar project, where each solar share comes with an option for a free, load-controlled electric water heater. That strategy reduced base-case program costs by 70% and allows the co-op to use more wind energy, usually at night. We’ve seen similar thermal storage offers tied directly to community solar, and we believe the future for such programs is bright.
We’ve also seen battery storage projects (on the customer-side, at Green Mountain Power and on the utility side, at Austin Energy) that are ripe for pairing with community-solar. But through fall 2017, the business models for community solar plus batteries seemed a little ways off. And then came Fayetteville...
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. Written for program planners and decision-makers who do not have advanced engineering backgrounds, the guide helps identify best-choice storage technologies and configurations. It references case studies and lays out a five-step process for early-stage solar program design. 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: