Resilient power, supplied by clean, renewable technologies, can help strengthen communities by delivering resiliency, economic, and health benefits. The information and resources listed below are designed to provide the tools and background information to gain a better understanding of resilient power systems and how to approach the planning and development of a resilient power installation. Resources include descriptions and links to key reports, guides, and webinars produced by Clean Energy Group and other organizations.
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McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project
Modular housing in rural Waltham, VT
Marcus Garvey Apartments
Multifamily apartments in Brooklyn, NY
McAlpine Creek Demonstration Project
This solar+storage project powers a fire station in North Carolina.
American Samoa Island Community Microgrid
An isolated island installed a community-wide solar+storage microgrid to provide clean, reliable power for critical services, businesses, and residences.
Sterling Municipal Light Department Energy Storage System
A new energy storage installation paired with an existing solar array powers an emergency dispatch center in Massachusetts.
SunSmart Emergency Shelters Program
More than 100 public schools in Florida have used solar+storage to keep lights and electricity on during grid outages and serve as emergency shelters.
Hopewell Valley Central High School
A solar+storage system integrates solar power to the grid and allows school to serve as a warming/cooling station during power outages.
Scripps Ranch Microgrid
This community center in San Diego, California uses solar+storage to power an emergency shelter and communications hub during power outages.
Stafford Hill Solar Farm and Microgrid
This solar+storage project powers an emergency shelter in Vermont.
Gardner Community Center
A resilient solar+storage installation allows this community center to serve as a public shelter during power outages.
2500 R Street Community Development
Single family housing in Sacramento, CA
Hartley Nature Center
A battery storage system combined with an existing solar PV array allows this Minnesota nature center to serve as a community shelter.
Caldwell Wastewater Treatment Plant
This New Jersey wastewater treatment plant uses solar+storage to keep untreated wastewater from entering local waterways during extended power outages.
Imperial Valley Residential Solar+Storage
Residents in this single-family affordable housing development in California have cut their electricity bills in half.
North Putnam Schools
These schools in rural Indiana serve as an emergency shelter during outages, and are providing positive cash flow in the project’s first year.
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).
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.
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 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).
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?
This report explores potential risks to the economics of solar investments by California’s multifamily affordable housing sector due to changes in state net metering policies and utility rate structures. The report make two important findings: (1) the changes would significantly reduce the value proposition for a stand-alone solar system, and (2) incorporating energy storage could potentially reverse these negative economic impacts.
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.
This report provides detailed component- and system-level installed cost benchmarks for residential solar+storage systems. In addition to cost information, it examines barriers to increased deployment of solar+storage systems in the residential sector.
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.
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
Affordable housing 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).
This paper explores additional ownership and financing options for solar+storage projects and low-income communities beyond direct ownership and conventional leasing models.It makes a simple point: there are ownership and financing strategies that can provide many of the economic and other benefits of direct ownership, while overcoming some of the risks and barriers that direct ownership may entail for many project developers.
Webinar: New Financing Options for Solar+Storage in Low-Income Communities (Clean Energy Group, 2018). In this webinar, report co-author Rob Sanders is joined by guest speakers from National Housing Trust and Urban Ingenuity to discuss ownership and finance models ranging from immediate direct ownership to third party ownership flips to C-PACE financing strategies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Project Evaluation Tools
Before heading too far down the project development path, it’s important to perform a high-level assessment of the feasibility of any planned resilient power installation. The free tools listed below are intended to give planners and developers a better understanding of initial design considerations and cost savings before proceeding with a project. These tools are not intended to replace design and engineering expertise, instead they should be viewed as simple, first-pass decision-making tools designed to generate a rough idea of resilient power system sizing, costs, and potential economic benefits.
This simplified version of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s REopt modeling software allows anyone to quickly and easily evaluate the economic feasibility of solar PV and battery storage for a commercial property. The online tool determines the optimal solar and storage sizing to minimize system costs and maximize energy savings, and can also be used to estimate how long a system can power critical loads during a grid outage. Clean Energy Group is offering free training and assistance to nonprofit organizations interested in using REopt Lite.
With access to over 10,000 electric rate tariffs across 1,300 U.S. utility service territories, ESyst was developed to standardize and simplify the process of sizing energy storage and solar+storage systems for commercial and industrial properties. The free online tool lets users perform in-depth site analyses in a matter of minutes – calculating both a property’s energy and demand charges savings over time. The tool allows users to select from multiple system options according to project needs, financial parameters, and supplier preferences, and includes functionality to download full financial pro formas and a detailed breakdown of how the system will generate value. Clean Energy Group is offering free training and assistance to nonprofit organizations interested in using ESyst.
Webinar: ESyst: Optimizing Energy Storage Savings with Geli’s New Online Tool (Clean Energy Group, 2017). Highlights of this recording include a 12-minute demo of Geli’s ESyst software (begins at 18 minutes and 45 seconds), followed by a 14-minute case study review of the outputs for a multifamily affordable housing project (begins at 31 minutes and 40 seconds).
This tool estimates the sizing of solar PV and battery storage system required to provide power for extended periods during a large-scale grid power outage. System sizing is based solely on requirements to meet resiliency goals, not on expected project economics. SolarResilient is designed for buildings that form part of a city’s resilience strategy, allowing building owners and city departments to develop equipment sizing before embarking on more detailed studies.
Webinar: SolarResilient: A New Tool for Resilient Solar+Storage Design (Clean Energy Group, 2017). In this webinar, Jessica Tse (San Francisco Department of the Environment) and Russel Carr (Arup) introduce and demonstrate a first-of-its-kind, publicly-available online tool for optimizing the size of solar+storage systems.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Several other organizations across the country have projects dedicated to advancing resilient power technologies. Project descriptions and links are available below.
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’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’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.
This toolkit features the best available resources, tools, and real-world examples to help local governments, community advocates, solar project developers, emergency management professionals, facilities managers, and other stakeholders understand the practical, technical, regulatory, and financial aspects of implementing resilient solar.