Scaling Up Solar – The Montgomery County Green Bank and Sunnova’s Low-and Moderate-Income Solar Pilot Program

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Earlier this year, the Montgomery County Green Bank launched a new $600K low- and moderate-income (LMI) solar pilot program to test a different approach to solar access in LMI communities. The pilot includes a dual track (ownership and third party-owned) and an innovative third party owned pricing structure with solar company Sunnova.

During this webinar hosted by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), Tom Deyo, Chief Executive Officer of the Montgomery County Green Bank (MCGB) and Stephen Morel, its Chief Investment Officer will present the structure and the initial results of the pilot. Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank, and Secretary of the Board of Directors of MCGB will moderate a Q&A to help viewers better grasp differences and similarities with the CT Solar for All program that is the focus of CESA’s Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project. CESA Project Director Vero Bourg-Meyer will host.

Energy Storage Solutions and Technical Assistance Fund for Multifamily Properties in Connecticut

The May meeting of the Connecticut Green Bank’s Multifamily Peer to Peer Network featured a presentation on Energy Storage Solutions and the Technical Assistance Fund for multifamily properties offered by the Clean Energy Group (CEG). Connecticut’s new Energy Storage Solutions program helps lower the cost of buying a battery by providing an upfront and performance incentives, with additional incentives for participants from historically underserved communities. To assist multifamily affordable housing facilities in evaluating the feasibility of energy storage, the Connecticut Green Bank has partnered with CEG to offer project-specific technical assistance and funding support for pre-development studies.

Presenters included the Green Bank’s Ed Kranich, Senior Manager, Incentive Programs, and Marriele Mango, Project Director, from CEG.

Feasibility and Implications of Two Dozen States Achieving 100% Renewable Energy Goals Equitably

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A new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in conjunction with COPAL (Minnesota), GreenRoots (Massachusetts), and the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC), seeks to better understand the feasibility and implications of states meeting 100 percent of their electricity needs with renewable energy by 2035.

On the Road to 100 Percent Renewables: States Can Lead an Equitable Energy Transition examines the feasibility and effects of leadership states members of the United States Climate Alliance meeting all of their electricity needs with renewable energy, while decarbonizing other sectors of the economy and ensuring equitable benefits to all communities. The study also conducted a detailed analysis for Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota to further highlight the public health, economic, and energy affordability considerations of moving toward 100 percent renewable energy.

In this Clean Energy States Alliance webinar, report authors will discuss their findings.

Panelists:
• Paula García, Senior Bilingual Energy Analyst at UCS
• Bridget Vial, Energy Democracy Organizer at the MEJC
• Edyta Sitko, Energy Organizing Manager at UCS
• John Walkey, Director of Waterfront and Climate Justice Initiatives at GreenRoots
• Leslee Gutierrez, Lead Environmental Justice Organizer at COPAL MN
• Warren Leon, Executive Director, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)

This webinar is presented by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) on behalf of the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative.

Community Solar + Climate Resiliency: Rolling Up Our Sleeves

This was the second panel of a two-part series co-hosted by Rob, Founder of Crauderueff & Associates and Nancy, Founder of Nancy E. Anderson Associates. Catch up with equitable, climate-friendly and resilient developments on NYC’s rooftops and solar-powered communities. Learn about local and national models of battery storage to create more resilient and just housing and neighborhoods.

Leading edge community solar and battery storage doers and project planners discussed their accomplishments and insights into the most critical needs for optimizing, expanding and accelerating community solar benefits.

As New York State gears up for a new round of solar funding, to advance Governor Hochul’s new goal of achieving 10GW of solar state-wide, now is the time to learn from community solar pioneers and grow.

While battery storage holds great potential for supporting climate resiliency as a source of back-up power, this use is still emerging in NYC due to permitting and financing challenges.

Speakers:

  • David Downs — Catholic Charities POP (Progress of Peoples) Development Corporation, Vice President
  • Jamin Bennett — Sunkeeper Solar, Vice President, Business Development
  • Todd Olinsky-Paul — Clean Energy Group, Senior Project Director

Moderators:

  • Elizabeth Zeldin — Enterprise Community Partners, Director
  • Nancy Anderson — Nancy E. Anderson Associates introduced the panel
  • Rob Crauderueff — Crauderueff & Associates framed the discussion

Exploring Peaker Power Plant Inequities with Clean Energy Group’s New Mapping Tool

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


Peaker power plants are some of the dirtiest and most expensive sources of electricity on the grid. While many peakers only operate during a small fraction of the year, emissions from these mostly gas and oil power plants can have an outsized impact on the health of surrounding communities, releasing dangerously high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other pollutants on days when air quality is often at its worst.

This map shows the relative percentage of low-income household within a 3-mile radius of each peaker power plants. Orange indicates that there is a higher percentage of low-income people in those communities.

Clean Energy Group’s Peaker Plant Mapping Tool provides basic information about the more than 1,000 peaker plants in operation across the United States and helps users visualize the disproportionate impact of peaker plants on people of color, who are more likely to live near the dirtiest peaker plants, and lower-income communities, where two-thirds of peaker plants are located.

This Clean Energy Group webinar introduced the Peaker Plant Mapping Tool and provide an overview of how it can be used to explore the economic and racial disparities of peaker plants. UPROSE, a community-based organization fighting peaker plants impacting the Sunset Park neighborhood of New York City, and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, who has been leading opposition efforts against multiple peakers in Western Massachusetts, also presented on the impact of peakers on their communities and the work they are doing to retire and replace fossil peakers with renewables and energy storage.

Panelists:
– Seth Mullendore, President and Executive Director, Clean Energy Group
– Summer Sandoval, Energy Democracy Coordinator, UPROSE
– Rosemary Wessel, No Fracked Gas in Mass Program Director, Berkshire Environmental Action Team
– Jane Winn, Founding Executive Director, Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT)
– Shelley Robins, Project Director, Clean Energy Group – Moderator

Quantifying the Health Benefits of Clean Energy Policies with EPA’s AVERT and COBRA Tools

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) and the CO-Benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) tool can be used by state, local, and tribal entities to evaluate and communicate the air quality, health, and economic benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs.

  • AVERT estimates county-level changes in power plant emissions, including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ammonia (NH3), resulting from the implementation of clean energy policies and programs.
  • COBRA quantifies the air quality and health impacts of clean energy policies at the county, state, regional, or national levels and calculates the economic value of health-related benefits, such as reductions in cardiovascular and respiratory illness, fewer lost days of work, and decreased mortality rates.

In this Clean Energy Group webinar, Colby Tucker from EPA’s State and Local Energy and Environment Office and David Cooley from Abt Associates provided an introduction to AVERT and COBRA, overviewed their functionality, and walked through a demonstration of how the tools can be used in practice.

Building Community Resilience with Green Mountain Power

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here


Can your utility keep the lights on and your community up and running, even when severe weather knocks out the power grid? Green Mountain Power (GMP) is doing just that in Vermont with its innovative Resiliency Zones project. So far, GMP has partnered with four Vermont towns to install custom energy storage projects that pair clean power generation with utility-scale batteries to provide community resilience in the face of increasing storm-related grid outages. Starting with GMP’s pioneering microgrid in Panton, the utility’s Resiliency Zones are transforming the greater grid while reducing costs for all GMP customers.

Panelists:

  • Dr. Imre Gyuk, US Department of Energy
  • Dan Borneo, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Sarah Ludwin Peery, Green Mountain Power
  • Todd Olinsky-Paul, Clean Energy States Alliance

This webinar was a presentation of the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP). ESTAP is a federal-state funding and information sharing project that aims to accelerate the deployment of electrical energy storage technologies in the U.S. ESTAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity, managed by Sandia National Laboratories, and administered by the Clean Energy States Alliance. Learn more at https://www.cesa.org/projects/energy-storage-technology-advancement-partnership/

Visualizing Equitable Energy Transitions with SLOPE

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


Learn how you can use the free, newly enhanced State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) platform to visualize decarbonization, electrification, and equitable energy transition pathways. The US Department of Energy just released the new SLOPE Scenario Planner, which visualizes scenarios for future energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and system costs of a selected state or county. SLOPE is a collaboration between nine DOE offices and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

In this Clean Energy States Alliance webinar, panelists discussed ways that state and local governments can use the Scenario Planner and SLOPE data visualizations to explore grid decarbonization, building efficiency, and electrification strategies, in isolation and in combination.

Panelists: 

  • Megan Day, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Daren Zigich, New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department
  • Abbe Ramanan, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)

Mobile Solar+Storage for Emergency Management

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here


Mobile resilient power systems – solar PV paired with battery storage (solar+storage) – are gaining traction as emergency management leaders look for reliable backup power resources to utilize on-the-go when a disaster occurs. This Clean Energy Group webinar provides an overview of how mobile solar+storage units are built and operated. Emergency response officials discussed their experience deploying these systems in the field.

Panelists:

  • William Heegaard, Operations Director, Footprint Project
  • Jamie Swezey, Program Manager, Footprint Project
  • Craig Moreau, Chief of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Fayette County, Texas
  • Chuck Cerasoli, Fire Chief, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue
  • Marriele Mango, Project Director, Clean Energy Group – Moderator

Resilience Hubs: Model Overview and Community Case Studies

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here


Disruptions from the global pandemic to extreme weather events have impacted communities tremendously. In recent events, entire communities have been unable to access healthy food, clean water, reliable information or electricity- sometimes for extended periods of time. Holistic and year-round resilience efforts are critical to success. Focusing on the intersection of social, ecological, and technical solutions in the most disenfranchised areas is at the heart of what makes communities more resilient.

This Clean Energy Group webinar overviewed the concept of a Resilience Hub, including the five foundational elements that make Resilience Hubs successful. Presenters discussed the services, programs, communications and operational elements in addition to the building retrofits and resilient power systems – solar PV paired with battery storage – that have made their Resilience Hubs a trusted community node for resilience. (See the Urban Sustainability Directors Network’s Resilience Hub initiative website to learn more about Hubs: http://resilience-hub.org/.)

Kristin Baja, Director of Direct Support and Innovation at Urban Sustainability Directors Network, overviewed the Resilience Hub concept. Chase Engelhardt, Policy Analyst and Organizer at Climate Resolve, and Ross Keller, Development Officer at Cambridge Community Center, spoke to their experience developing Resilience Hubs. Clean Energy Group Project Director Marriele Mango moderator.

This webinar builds on a June 2021 webinar, “An Introduction to Community Resilience Hubs.”