Community Services Toolkit

Are there critical facilities (emergency shelters, first response, healthcare centers) in your community that could benefit from clean, reliable power? The information and resources listed below will help you explore how the social and economic benefits of resilient power technologies like solar+storage can help strengthen your community. These resources, described and hyperlinked below, include key reports, guides, and webinars produced by the Resilient Power Project and other organizations.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about resilient power for community services, please contact us at resilient-power@cleanegroup.org.

Information specific to resilient power for affordable housing is available here.

Read more about these resilient community projects on the Featured Installations page.

Background on Resilient Power Technologies

Resilient power is the ability to provide a facility with continuous, reliable power even when the electric grid goes down. Truly resilient power should be clean, renewable, and have the ability to provide benefits throughout the year, not just during natural disasters and other power emergencies. The resources listed below provide a more in-depth look at the components of a resilient solar+storage system, including an introduction for those new to solar+storage technologies (Solar+Storage 101) and considerations for projects interested in adding storage to an existing solar system (Resilient PV Retrofit and Storage Ready Guidelines).

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Solar+Storage 101: An Introductory Guide to Resilient Solar Power Systems (Clean Energy Group, 2015)

This guide provides a basic technical background and overview of solar+storage systems. It is meant as a starting point for project developers, building owners, facility managers, and state and municipal planners to become familiar with solar+storage technologies, how they work, and what’s involved in getting a new project off the ground.


Resilient Power Project Frequently Asked Questions (Clean Energy Group)

Answers to frequently asked questions about Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project, such as “What is resilient power?” and “How can the Resilient Power Project help me develop a project?”


Resilient PV Retrofit and Storage Ready Guidelines (City University of New York, National Renewable Energy Lab, Meister Consultants Group, 2016)

This fact sheet provides information to installers, utilities, policy makers, and consumers on how to add an energy storage system to existing solar PV systems to create resilient PV or make new PV systems “storage ready”.

Resilient Power Economics

Resilient power systems can boost economic resiliency by reducing or stabilizing utility bills. In some cases, these systems can also generate revenue by providing valuable grid services. The resources listed below includes analyses of the economic case for resilient power systems (The Economics of Battery Storage) as well as tools to determine whether or not solar+storage makes economic sense for specific buildings (Project Qualification Score Card).

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The Economics of Battery Energy Storage (Rocky Mountain Institute, 2015)

This report explores four key questions: 1) What services can batteries provide to the electricity grid? 2) Where on the grid can batteries deliver each service? 3) How much value can batteries generate when they are highly utilized and multiple services are stacked? 4) What barriers currently prevent energy storage systems from providing multiple, stacked services to the electricity grid?


Energy Storage and Electricity Markets: The value of storage to the power system and the importance of electricity markets in energy storage economics (Clean Energy Group, 2015)

This report introduces electricity markets where storage has begun to play a significant role. The report examines how emerging energy storage markets have developed and the potential for realizing additional value streams through new market mechanisms.


Project Qualification Score Card (Geli, 2016)

Simple scorecard to help developers determine which projects may have the greatest potential economic outcome for solar+storage development.


Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis 2.0 (Lazard, 2016)

In-depth study that comparing the costs of various energy storage technologies for particular applications. The analysis identifies 10 use cases, and assigns detailed operational parameters to each. This methodology enables meaningful comparisons of storage technologies within use cases.


Economic and Resiliency Impact of PV and Storage on New York Critical Infrastructure (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, City University of New York, 2016)

This report analyzes the technical and economic viability of solar and storage on three critical infrastructure sites in New York City: a school that is part of a coastal storm shelter system, a fire station that was flooded during Sandy, and a NYCHA senior center that serves as a cooling center during heat emergencies. Analysis results show that resilient PV can be economically viable for New York City’s critical infrastructure and that it may be similarly beneficial to other commercial buildings across the city.

Financing Resilient Power Projects

Community resilient power projects can be financed through a variety of mechanisms, including third-party power purchase agreements and leases, development loans, tax-exempt and taxable bonds, and commercial PACE financing. The resources below discuss consideration and strategies for financing a resilient power projects (Financing for Clean, Resilient Power Solutions).

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Financing for Clean, Resilient Power Solutions (Clean Energy Group, 2014)

This paper describes a broad range of financing mechanisms that are either just beginning to be used or that have a strong potential for providing low-cost, long-term financing for solar+storage projects. The goal is to identify financing tools that can be used to implement projects and that will attract private capital on highly favorable terms, thereby reducing the overall project cost.


Webinar – Financing Solar+Storage with Federal Tax Credits (Clean Energy Group, Deloitte Tax, 2016)

This webinar covers the historical treatment of energy storage combined with renewables under the U.S. Tax Code, as well as recent tax developments and a look at the future of solar+storage tax treatment under various use cases and new regulations.


A Resilient Power Capital Scan: How Foundations Could Use Grants and Investments to Advance Solar and Storage in Low-Income Communities (Clean Energy Group, 2017)

This report identifies market barriers to deploying solar+storage technologies in low-income markets, and proposes more than 50 grant and investment opportunities that socially minded investors can use to target those barriers.


Ramp Up Resilient Power Finance: Bundle Project Loans Through a Warehouse Facility to Achieve Scale (Clean Energy Group, 2015)

This report outlines a new clean energy finance model for many resilient power systems to protect vulnerable communities and critical infrastructure from severe weather events.

Developing a Resilient Power Project

There are a number of questions and considerations that should be explored when beginning to develop a new resilient power project. The resources below can help guide you through the process of planning a resilient power installation, including basic step-by-step guidance for approaching a new project (Solar+Storage Project Checklist) and sample Request for Proposal (RFP) templates for both large-scale and behind-the-meter resilient power installations (Energy Storage Procurement Guidance Documents for Municipalities).

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Solar+Storage Project Checklist (Clean Energy Group, 2016)

This checklist is intended to serve as a starting point for developers and planners who are considering implementing a solar+storage project. It focuses on basic questions and considerations that should be explored throughout the decision-making process and suggests some initial steps to consider when beginning a new project.


Energy Storage Procurement Guidance Documents for Municipalities (Sandia National Laboratories, Clean Energy States Alliance, Clean Energy Group, 2016)

This guide offers useful information for municipalities to consider as they develop solicitations for resilient energy storage projects. The materials are designed to give specific examples of the elements that should be included in a solicitation for the procurement and installation of a battery storage project that is designed to provide backup power during outages, including a matrix of elements to include in a Request for Proposals (RFP) and sample RFP templates for utility-scale and behind-the-meter storage projects.


Assessing Critical Loads in Community Facilities (Arup, 2015)

This report evaluates emergency load profiles by identifying critical loads and backup power needs for five building types: Department Operating Center, Recreational Center, Police Station, Fire Station, and Cooking Facility. These critical load profiles were developed specifically for San Francisco, California, but the methodologies used and basic findings are broadly applicable to other locations.


Featured Resilient Power Installations (Clean Energy Group)

This online compilation of existing resilient power projects contains information about system design, services provided, and project financing, as well as detailed case studies for some installations.

Resilient Power Policies

Many states and communities are beginning to lead the way in supporting resilient power technologies through supportive policies and market mechanisms. The following resources are intended to give policymakers and advocates an overview of existing policies and programs (Solar+Storage for Low- and Moderate-Income Communities), along with guidance to inform the design of new resilient power initiatives (Does Energy Storage Fit in an RPS?).

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Solar+Storage for Low- and Moderate-Income Communities: A Guide for States and Municipalities (Clean Energy States Alliance, 2017)

This guide seeks to provide state and municipal officials with information to develop effective solar+storage policies and programs that benefit low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. It explores a range of policy approaches that have been successfully employed and provides program examples from states that have made LMI access to these technologies a priority.


What States Should Do: A Guide to Resilient Power Programs and Policy (Clean Energy Group, 2015)

This guidebook is intended to help states establish new policies and support new markets to advance clean resilient power nationwide. It profiles leading state programs and makes recommendations for what other states can do to support the deployment of resilient power systems.


What Cities Should Do: A Guide to Resilient Power Planning (Clean Energy Group, 2015)

This paper calls for a systematic approach to protecting critical facilities with smarter resilient power solutions. It presents series of guidelines and best practices for cities and towns preparing to deal with the impacts of severe weather events.


Webinar – Improving Air Quality with Energy Storage: A New Deployment Strategy for Public Health and Environmental Equity (Clean Energy Group, PSE Healthy Energy, 2016)

This webinar describes a new approach to the siting and dispatch of energy storage and demand response resources based on public health considerations. The presenters make a case for policy-driven clean energy deployment strategies based on impacts to air pollution, human health, and environmental justice.


Does Energy Storage Fit in an RPS? (Clean Energy States Alliance, 2016)

This paper explores the question of how states, which have taken the lead in promoting clean energy through Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), could facilitate increased deployment of energy storage through similar mechanisms

Additional Resources

Several other organizations across the country have projects dedicated to advancing resilient power technologies. Project descriptions and links are available below.

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Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, Clean Energy States Alliance)

The Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP) is a federal-state funding and information sharing project that aims to accelerate the deployment of electrical energy storage technologies in the United States through the creation of technical assistance and co-funding partnerships between states and the U.S. Department of Energy. ESTAP hosts frequent webinar on topics related to resilient power.


New York City Resiliency Resources (City University of New York, Meister Consulting Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

New York City’s Resilient Solar project aims to support the growth of resilient solar electric systems that can supply clean, emergency power and provide energy storage during electricity outages, by enabling the systems to work independently of the grid. The project will create a roadmap for the integration and tracking of resilient solar systems, conduct analysis for deploying resilient solar electric systems on designated critical infrastructure facilities, and provide a calculator for public use.


San Francisco Solar and Storage for Resiliency (San Francisco Department of the Environment)

San Francisco’s Solar+Storage for Resiliency project aims to expand the solar market by serving as a national model for integrating solar+storage into the city’s emergency response plans. The project team worked closely with stakeholders to overcome regulatory, financial, and technical barriers and create a roadmap for deploying solar+ storage for resilience both locally and nationally.

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