Bringing Community Perspectives to Community Solar

Slides from this webinar are available here.


Not all community solar is created equal. As part of their effort to ensure that community solar implementation can serve all communities, Energy Allies (formerly Solstice Initiative) has been pioneering research into contracts to gain perspective on how the public views community solar product offerings. Funded by the Department of Energy, Energy Allies collected survey data across eight states to understand preferences and expectations for community-solar projects.

In this webinar, hosted by the Clean Energy States Alliance, representatives from Energy Allies presented their research findings with commentary from Energy Outreach Colorado and Loyola University Chicago, and NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. There was a moderated discussion and audience questions were addressed.

Panelists:

  • Yesenia Rivera, Energy Allies
  • Zahra Thani, Energy Allies
  • Jake Ford, Solstice Initiative
  • Summer Sandoval, Community Solar Advocate
  • Kim Shields, Energy Outreach Colorado
  • Gilbert Michaud, Loyola University Chicago
  • Daniel Chu, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Abbe Ramanan, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)

New Federal Money for Energy Storage: The Inflation Reduction Act

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


The $430 billion federal Inflation Reduction Act – the largest federal climate investment package in US history – features many new supports for energy storage development, from expanding access to tax credits to new grant and loan opportunities. This webinar will dig into what this new Act means for energy storage in the US, what types of activity will be eligible for funding, and how the new IRA funding mechanisms fit together with the previously announced IIJA funding.

Panelists:
– Dr. Imre Gyuk, US Department of Energy
– Gina Coplon-Newfield, DOE Office of Policy
– Wayne Killen, DOE Loan Programs Office
– Russ Weed, CleanTech Strategies LLC
– Elizabeth Crouse, K&L Gates
– Todd Olinsky-Paul, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)

This is the second webinar in a two-part series on energy storage and federal climate legislation. The first webinar was produced in August and focused on funding opportunities within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

This webinar is 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.

Environmental Justice Strategies for Hydrogen Opposition

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


Hydrogen fuel has received a lot of hype in recent months, particularly with the rollout of new federal incentives supporting cleaner forms of hydrogen production. However, “clean” hydrogen, whether produced from renewable energy or natural gas partnered with carbon capture and storage technology, is not as clean or as low carbon as it’s purported to be. Clean Energy Group has detailed many of the environmental and public health concerns of hydrogen on our website.

This Clean Energy Group webinar will provide an overview of some environmental justice concerns that should be considered when evaluating any hydrogen proposal, including its high NOx emissions when combusted, potential role as an indirect greenhouse gas, and dangers associated with transport and storage. In addition, speakers from Western Environmental Law Center and Ohio River Valley Institute will present on their work pushing back against misinformed hydrogen proposals in the Ohio River Valley and New Mexico in coalition with local communities and environmental justice advocates.

Speakers:
• Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, Executive Director, Western Environmental Law Center
• Sean O’Leary, Senior Researcher, Ohio River Valley Institute
• Marriele Mango, Project Director, CEG (moderator)
• Abbe Ramanan, Project Director, CEG

This webinar is presented by Clean Energy Group’s Hydrogen Information and Public Education project.

California’s Solar for Multifamily Affordable Housing Program: Effective Collaboration for Equitable Solar

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here


Affording Housing (SOMAH) Program shows how state energy agencies (SEAs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and nonprofits can collaborate to create impactful solar policy for underserved communities. In this Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) webinar, speakers from the California Public Utilities Commission, GRID Alternatives, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) will discuss how each of their organizations partook in SOMAH’s development and implementation, and how they prioritized community engagement in that work. The speakers will present on strategies for success that can be employed by SEAs, CBOs, or nonprofits in other states seeking to develop a solar incentive program for affordable housing communities that maximizes tenant and community benefits. This webinar builds on material shared in a recently published CESA case study.

Speakers:

  • Sarah Lerhaupt, CPUC
  • Sarah Salem, Grid Alternatives
  • Shina Robinson, APEN
  • Abbe Ramanan, CESA (moderator)

Energy Storage in the Southwest: Battery Case Studies from Albuquerque Public Schools and the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


New solar+storage systems have been installed at Atrisco Heritage Academy (AHA) High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico and in the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) in Arizona. Both projects were presented in this ESTAP webinar.

AHA is a bilingual education facility rich in diverse ethnicities and higher education college prep programs. It is the largest school in the Albuquerque Public School District, serving 2,200 students of which 14% come from disadvantaged households. The installation, which includes an 850 kW solar array combined with a 721 kW Tesla Megapack 2 battery storage system, will reduce school energy costs by $3.5 million over the system’s 25-year lifetime. In the future, the school may update the system to provide backup power in case of power outages.

The NTUA has installed and is assessing a new battery technology, the Zinc-Manganese Oxide battery, for household use. Prior to this project, the NTUA had deployed turn-key solar photovoltaic and flooded lead acid battery storage systems to off-grid rural residents. However, those systems require regular maintenance, and even with these systems, there still are currently over 18,000 residents on the reservation without electricity. The Zinc-Manganese Oxide battery has the potential to decrease operational and maintenance costs and make powering more Tribal homes possible.

These battery systems are among the most recent demonstration projects jointly supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity and Sandia National Laboratories, and Clean Energy States Alliance.

Panelists:
• Dr. Imre Gyuk, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity
• Anthony Sparks, Albuquerque Public Schools
• Galina Kofchock, Osceola Energy Solar
• Henry Guan, Sandia National Laboratories
• Todd Olinsky-Paul, Clean Energy States Alliance (moderator)

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.

Resilient Solar+Storage for Cooling Centers

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


Extreme heat is responsible for more weather-related deaths than any other weather event. Community service providers and emergency preparedness leaders scramble each summer to ensure those at high risk – including electricity-dependent, medically vulnerable, and elderly individuals as well as those without access to in-home air conditioning – have access to cooling centers, air-conditioned locations that have been designated as public sites to provide relief and safety during extreme heat.

Demand for electricity often rises dramatically on hot days, as more people turn on their air conditioners, which places additional stress on the grid and can lead to power outages. When high temperatures coincide with a power outage, hospitalizations and fatalities rise, with low-income communities, communities of color, and medically vulnerable individuals experiencing disproportionate health impacts. As the number of high temperature days and occurrence of extreme weather events continue to climb, this deadly combination will continue to wreak havoc on public health in almost every state in the United States.

A new report by Clean Energy Group examines the opportunity for resilient solar+storage to provide reliable backup power to cooling centers. In this webinar, report author Marriele Mango presented her findings. She was joined by Nate Mills from American Microgrid Solutions, and Nicole Lim from the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, which is in the process of developing a resilient solar+storage installation to support cooling center operations.

This webinar was presented by Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project.

IPA Webinar: The Role of Energy Storage for Accelerating the Transition to a Decarbonized, Clean Energy Future in Illinois

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In this webinar, hosted by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), CESA’s Todd Olinsky-Paul will provide an overarching presentation around what energy storage is, why is it critical for decarbonization, and state-by-state activities around it. He will be joined by IPA Director Anthony Star and Associate Legal Counsel Sarah Duffy, who will speak about energy storage in Illinois.

Evaluating the Capabilities of Behind-the-Meter Solar+Storage for Providing Backup Power during Long-Duration Power Interruptions

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here


Customer-sited solar+storage can help homes and businesses maintain essential activities during grid outages. A new report by Berkeley Lab estimates the performance of commercially available solar+storage systems in providing behind-the-meter critical-load or whole-building backup power during long-duration outages. Researchers modeled scenarios across a wide range of geographies, building types, and power interruption conditions. The study also considers a set of 10 historical long-duration power outage events and evaluates how solar+storage could have performed in providing backup power during those specific events. In this webinar, hosted by Clean Energy Group, report co-authors Galen Barbose and J.P. Carvallo presented the findings.

State Leadership in Solar+Storage, Featuring Maryland and Oregon

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


Solar+storage programs provide a multitude of customer benefits, from cost savings to energy resilience. This webinar highlighted two well-designed and impactful programs that are supporting the development of solar+storage projects in their state.

The Maryland Energy Administration’s Resilient Maryland / Resiliency Hubs Grant Program are helping local organizations develop resilient energy system projects that bolster their operations, protect communities, enhance sustainability, and achieve energy affordability. Resilient Maryland provides funds to local organizations to help pay for feasibility analyses, preliminary modeling, and other important preconstruction activities in the development of microgrids, resilient facility power systems, and resiliency hubs for Maryland communities, businesses, and critical infrastructure. The Resiliency Hub Program provides capital funds for the installation of solar PV and battery storage systems that enable them to become “resiliency hubs,” which are sited in local, community-serving locations where residents can access electricity during grid outages to power their essential electrical devices, to refrigerate temperature-sensitive items, and to shelter in safety.

The Oregon Department of Energy’s Solar+Storage Rebate Program offers rebates to residential customers and low-income service providers that install solar or solar paired with battery storage systems. At least 25 percent of rebate funds each year are reserved for low- or moderate-income residential customers and low-income service providers, with higher rebate amounts available to these groups. ODOE collaborated with Oregon Housing and Community Services, the solar industry, and other energy partners to develop a streamlined, stackable, and cost-effective process to determine income eligibility for program participants and maximize incentives for project cost savings. The 352 completed projects that received a rebate in the first round of funding represent solar electric generation that is estimated to displace 2,193 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

In this webinar, representatives from the Maryland Energy Administration and the Oregon Department of Energy presented their programs and answered questions from the audience. CESA’s Todd Olinsky-Paul moderated.

These programs were recipients of the 2022 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards.

Innovative Avenues to Public Participation in Clean Energy Development, Featuring Connecticut and Washington

Slides from this webinar are available as a pdf here.


This webinar will highlight two impressive and impactful state programs that are accelerating the development of clean energy while increasing public participation in the process.

The Connecticut Green Bank’s Green Liberty Bonds program, which is modelled after the war bonds of the 1940s, allows individual investors to purchase bonds in low-dollar denominations, enabling people to directly participate in the green economy and earn a return on their investment. The proceeds of Green Liberty Bonds are invested in projects that confront climate change in Connecticut. The first issuance of the Green Liberty Bonds in July 2020 sold nearly $17 million, and the second issuance in May 2021 sold nearly $25 million.

In Washington, the 2021 State Energy Strategy provides a roadmap for the state to meet its critical and ambitious energy and climate goals: transitioning to 100% clean electricity by 2045 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The strategy puts equity and climate justice upfront because climate change will inflict greatest harm on overburdened communities and low-income households. This work was guided by a 27-member advisory committee representing a broad set of governmental, Tribal, environmental, consumer, and industry interests. The advisory committee meetings were professionally facilitated to ensure meaningful and equitable engagement. The state also actively engaged political leaders and offered multiple opportunities for public input and review.

In this webinar, representatives from the CT Green Bank and the Washington Department of Commerce will present their programs and answer questions from the audience. CESA’s Vero Bourg-Meyer will moderate.

These programs were recipients of the 2022 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards.