Blog Archives

Solarize Programs Toolkit

December 18, 2015 by
Solarize programs are a way for municipalities and other organizations to coordinate group purchases of solar systems through a community-based campaign. Solarize programs can lower the cost of solar installations, provide lasting increases in installation rates, and jump-start local solar markets. This toolkit provides an overview of the key issues and directs readers to comprehensive resources, best practices, and lessons learned from previously implemented Solarize campaigns.

Utility Ownership of Rooftop Solar PV

November 12, 2015 by
Utility Ownership of Rooftop Solar PV: An Emerging Business Model for Municipal Utilities provides an overview of the issues and opportunities a municipal utility is likely to encounter in the development of a utility-owned rooftop solar program. Prepared by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center and Meister Consultants Group, the report describes business models and important considerations for designing a program, drawing on case studies from three existing utility programs.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SOLAR-POWERED ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING

October 30, 2015 by
This report is intended to help local governments learn more about the opportunities available to them in solar-powered electric vehicle charging and navigate the policy and regulatory environment surrounding this technology.

Renewable Cities

October 19, 2015 by
This brief highlights two very different financing mechanisms used by local governments in Georgetown, Texas and Rockford, Minnesota to increase their renewable energy. Georgetown is expected to get 100% of its electricity--at all times of the day and seasons of the year--from solar and wind energy. Rockford worked with its local electricity cooperative to site solar energy on otherwise unusable municipal property. The solar projects spearheaded by both local governments resulted in reduced electricity costs, saving taxpayer dollars.

BARC Electric Co-Op: Community Solar Leader in Virginia

October 13, 2015 by
BARC, Electric Cooperative, is a customer-owned utility that will soon deploy the first community solar project in the commonwealth. While serving approximately 30,000 members residents in 5 Virginia counties, the small co-op wants to help customers gain access to solar through community solar program. BARC received the SolarOPs technical assistance, through SEPA, in the form of advisory services for program costs and procurement. With SEPA's assistance, the cooperative successfully received a $500,000 grant, with 50% matching by BARC, for the estimated 300-350 kW community solar program.

Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation’s McKees Solar Park Community Solar Program

October 13, 2015 by
The Delaware Municipal Electric Corp. (DEMEC)―a joint action agency serving nine member municipalities―has influenced more than half of Delaware's 58 MW solar capacity to be located within its member service territories. The newest in the City of Newark, the 23MW McKees Solar Park, is a community solar project deployed by DEMEC with the help of Solar Outreach Partnership (SolarOPs) technical assistance.

Springer Electric Cooperative: Utility-Owned Solar Without Tax Credits

Springer Electric Cooperative is a New Mexico utility that owns a competitively priced―comparable to third-party power purchase agreements―1MW PV system.

Solar Fundamentals Volume 2: Markets

This "Markets 101" report offers a high level overview of current solar installations, prices, and policies/regulations in the U.S. solar market. In response to requests for pricing information, this report includes pricing among publicly-available PPA price data, comparative energy costs, and installed cost per Watt. Beyond reporting basic facts and figures, this new report showcases SEPA's market analysis of factors driving current solar growth.

BENCHMARKING THE SOLARIZE MODEL: A SURVEY OF CAMPAIGN ORGANIZERS

September 28, 2015 by
Solarize is an effective means for communities to encourage the growth of local solar markets, and since 2009 more than 230 campaigns have been implemented in 25 states. Organizing a Solarize campaign can be a daunting task, and there is a great variety in the ways that a community could design and manage a campaign. This national survey of Solarize campaign organizers is intended to allow communities to learn from the experience of previous campaign and draw inspiration in the formation of their own campaigns. The report gauges common trends in program design, reveals the typical resource requirements and results of campaigns, and discusses common challenges and effective campaign strategies.

SOLAR+STORAGE APPLICATIONS FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

September 22, 2015 by
Pairing solar and storage can provide unique savings opportunities and enhanced resiliency for public facilities. Aligned with National Preparedness Month, this fact sheet provides an introduction to solar+storage technologies, highlights deployed projects and existing funding programs to support public facilities, and references recently developed resources to assist local governments in further exploring solar+storage projects. These resources include the Resiliency Toolkit developed by the Solar Outreach Partnership.