McKnight Lane: A Rural Low-Income Resilient Solar+Storage Housing Project

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


This webinar introduced the McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project, which redeveloped a defunct and abandoned mobile home park in Waltham, Vermont with 14 high-efficiency, resilient net-zero modular homes. The webinar focused on the inclusion of solar and battery storage in these modular rental units, which will allow them to island from the grid and operate independently during a grid outage. During normal operating conditions, when the grid is functioning, the local utility will draw on the batteries to reduce its operating costs; the tenants will receive resilient power for free.

Guest Speakers:

– Peter Schneider, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC)

– Olaf Lohr, Sonnen

– Elise Shanbacker, Addison County Community Trust

– Craig Ferreira, Green Mountain Power

This webinar was a presentation of Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project, and was hosted by Clean Energy Group Project Director Todd Olinsky-Paul. Learn more at www.resilient-power.org.

Solar Consumer Protection

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


The U.S. solar photovoltaics (PV) market has grown tremendously over the last decade. With hundreds of thousands of PV systems being installed annually, it is important that consumers are satisfied that the equipment they purchase will perform as advertised, and that they don’t feel misled by unreliable vendors. Otherwise, long-term public support for solar could erode.

On this webinar, panelists from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Consumers Union, and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) presented their perspectives on solar consumer protection and discussed the work their organizations are doing to ensure that distributed PV remains consumer friendly. These presentations were followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Panelists:
• Amir Yazdi, Assistant General Counsel, Solar Energy Industries Association
• Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Energy and Environment Policy Counsel, Consumers Union
• Nate Hausman, Project Director, Clean Energy States Alliance

Host:
• Warren Leon, Executive Director, Clean Energy States Alliance

This webinar was a presentation of the Clean Energy States Alliance’s Sustainable Solar Education Project. This project, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, is helping state and municipal officials ensure distributed solar electricity is equitable and consumer friendly. The project will assist states and municipalities to improve consumer information, implement consumer protection measures, and find ways to make solar more accessible to low- and moderate-income households. The project is developing program guides, webinars, online course material, and in-person training for government officials. Learn more at http://cesa.org/projects/sustainable-solar/.

Advice for States on Providing Solar Information to Consumers

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has produced a program guide for state program managers on providing solar information to consumers. The guide, Solar Information for Consumers: A Guide for States, explains why states should provide consumer information on solar, describes the types of information that can be useful, and points out existing educational efforts by states and other entities that provide models and useful resource information. Although the focus of the guide is on educational efforts by states, its messages and approaches can apply to municipalities, counties, and municipal utilities that want to provide consumers with information on solar.

In this webinar, Warren Leon, CESA’s Executive Director, provided an overview of the new program guide and addressed questions from the audience.

This webinar is a presentation of CESA’s Sustainable Solar Education Project. The project, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative Solar Training and Education for Professionals program, is helping state and municipal officials to ensure distributed solar electricity is equitable and consumer friendly. The project assists states and municipalities improve consumer information, implement consumer protection measures, and find ways to make solar more accessible to low- and moderate-income households. Learn more at http://cesa.org/projects/sustainable-solar/.

RMI Webinar: Community-Scale Solar and Community Storage — Learnings from the Field

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


Around the nation, utilities, cities, and community groups are starting projects in renewables and storage. But what is required to make these projects a success? In this webinar hosted by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Clean Energy Group’s Seth Mullendore joined RMI’s Kevin Brehm and Titiaan Palazzi for a discussion on the results and lessons learned from successful community solar and community storage projects in New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Illinois, and California.

Community-scale solar, defined by RMI as 0.5–5 MW solar arrays connected to the distribution grid, promises costs low to utility-scale solar, while providing the benefits of distributed energy resources.

Rocky Mountain Institute’s Shine Initiative is currently working with co-ops in New Mexico and municipalities and communities in upstate New York to realize community-scale solar projects. In this webinar, we will share results of RMI’s work, lessons learned, and barriers to be resolved for widespread adoption of community-scale solar.

Community storage offers opportunities to augment the value of a community-scale solar installation. Depending on market conditions, additional revenue opportunities could include providing services to the grid, managing utility demand charges, or shifting energy consumption under time-of-use rate tariffs.

Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project is currently working with developers in Illinois and California to assess the value proposition of pairing energy storage with community-scale solar. CEG was also instrumental in the development of an operational community solar and storage project in Vermont. In this webinar, CEG will share the results of these projects, with a focus on the value proposition for community storage in each case.

The webinar is most relevant to municipal leaders and utility executives, especially those representing rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities, as well as corporations interested in renewable procurement and solar developers.

California’s 50 Percent RPS

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


In October 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation extending the state’s RPS and increasing its final requirement to 50 percent in 2030. Since then, the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission have been planning for implementing this highly ambitious policy. In this webinar, representatives of these two agencies discussed how they are preparing for the enhanced RPS and the state of their plans. Their presentations were followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Panelists:
– Cheryl Lee, Senior Analyst/Interim Supervisor, California Public Utilities Commission
– Emily Chisholm, Senior Policy Analyst, California Energy Commission
– Warren Leon, Executive Director, Clean Energy States Alliance (Moderator)

This webinar was a presentation of the Clean Energy States Alliance’s RPS Collaborative. Learn more at http://cesa.org/projects/state-federal-rps-collaborative.

Energy Storage in Massachusetts: What the Study Said, and What’s Next

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


Massachusetts leapt to the forefront of state energy storage policy with its recently released study, “State of Charge.” The study modeled the optimum amount of storage that could be placed on the Massachusetts grid (1.76 GW) and proposed a suite of policy recommendations for growing storage in the state to 600 MW by 2025. These recommendations include grant and rebate programs, regulatory and legislative changes, and the incorporation of storage into a number of existing clean energy programs such as the Next Generation Solar Incentive and the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.

This webinar featured an explanation of the study’s results and a discussion of what’s next as the state rolls out a host of new energy storage policy and program initiatives.

Panelists:

  • Will Lauwers, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
  • Kavita Ravi, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
  • Randell Johnson, Alevo Analytics
  • Jacqueline DeRosa, Customized Energy Solutions
  • Imre Gyuk, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
  • Dan Borneo, Sandia National Laboratories

This webinar was a presentation of the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP). ESTAP is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Sandia National Laboratories, and is managed by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA). For more information on ESTAP, please visit http://www.cesa.org/projects/energy-storage-technology-advancement-partnership/.

The New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership: Results and Lessons Learned

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


To help drive down solar soft costs and enable scaled deployment of rooftop solar, the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) collaborated with five New England states — Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont — to forge the New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership in 2013. Over the course of last three years, the Partnership has tackled a wide range of barriers to PV deployment, including: difficult, costly, and slow permitting and interconnection processes in some locations; the need for new financing tools and cost-efficient group purchasing arrangements; and unfavorable zoning rules for solar in some jurisdictions.

In this webinar, CESA and its participating state partners discussed the New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership’s activities and accomplishments, as well as lessons learned from the project.

Guest Speakers:

  • Isabelle Hazlewood, Connecticut Green Bank
  • Elizabeth Youngblood, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
  • Rick Minard, New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning
  • Shawn Selleck, Rhode Island Office of Digital Excellence
  • Andy Perchlik, Vermont Department of Public Service

For more information about the New England Solar Cost-Reduction Partnership, visit http://cesa.org/projects/new-england-solar-cost-reduction-partnership/.

Energy Storage in Sterling: A Massachusetts Municipal Microgrid

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


The town of Sterling, Massachusetts is breaking ground on a new clean energy project that will provide vital resiliency and economic benefits.

A 2-megawatt/3.9 megawatt-hour battery storage system at the Sterling Substation will be able to isolate from the main grid in the event of a power outage and provide up to 12 days of emergency backup power to the Sterling police station and dispatch center, a critical facility providing first responder services. In addition to these resilient power benefits, the town will also save on energy costs over the project’s lifespan due to the grid services the batteries will provide. Construction will start in the fall of 2016, and the project is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2016. This project is the first utility-scale energy storage facility in the state, and will be the largest battery installation of its kind in New England.

In this webinar, guest speakers provided an overview of the project implementation process, the storage technology, the project’s economic analysis, timeline, and more. Presentations were followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Panelists:
– Dr. Imre Gyuk, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
– Sean Hamilton, Sterling Municipal Light Department
– Dan Borneo, Sandia National Laboratories
– Dr. Raymond Byrne, Sandia National Laboratories
– Roger Lin, NEC Energy Solutions
– Scott Reynolds, Reynolds Engineering
– Todd Olinsky-Paul, Clean Energy States Alliance (Moderator)

Read more about this project at: http://bit.ly/Sterling-Overview

This webinar is a presentation of the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP). ESTAP is supported by the US Department of Energy Office of Electricity and Sandia National Laboratories, and is managed by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA).

Northeast Ocean Planning and Offshore Wind

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


How can ocean planning help advance offshore wind development? In this webinar, panelists discussed the Northeast Ocean Plan and Rhode Island’s Ocean Special Area Management Plan and the public processes leading to comprehensive ocean management regulations that protect ocean resources and activities. These long-term management plans and resource assessments facilitate proper offshore wind siting and can help to reduce costs and permitting time frames.

Guest Panelists:
– Bob LaBelle, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
– Jen McCann, Rhode Island Sea Grant and the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center

This webinar was presented by Clean Energy Group for the Northeast Wind Resource Center. Learn more at www.northeastwindcenter.org.

Improving Air Quality with Energy Storage: A New Deployment Strategy for Public Health and Environmental Equity

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


In deploying energy storage and similar emerging clean energy technologies, an import societal benefit has been largely overlooked – public health. In this webinar, energy experts from PSE Healthy Energy explored this topic by presenting the research and findings of their recent journal article published in Energy Policy, “A framework for siting and dispatch of emerging energy resources to realize environmental and health benefits: Case study on peaker power plant displacement.”

The article describes a new approach to the siting and dispatch of energy storage and demand response resources. It makes a strong case for policy-driven clean energy deployment strategies based on impacts to air pollution, human health, and environmental justice. Specifically, their research presents a case study modeling storage, demand response, and other technologies to displace peaker power plants in California, the highest-rate marginal emitters on the state’s grid.

This is doubly important when considering the impacts on low-income communities. Studies have repeatedly found that power plants are disproportionately located near low-income communities and communities of color. In fact, the PSE’s research found that more than 80 percent of the peaker plants they identified in California were located in more disadvantaged communities. Due to the localized effects of air pollutants, there is a direct correlation between living near power plants and adverse health effects, with the heaviest health burdens falling on these disadvantaged communities.

Guest speakers:

  • Seth Shonkoff, Executive Director, PSE Healthy Energy
  • Elena Krieger, Renewable Energy Program Director, PSE Healthy Energy

This webinar was a presentation of Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project. For more information, visit www.resilient-power.org.