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Deployment and Market Transformation at NREL - July 2012 Newsletter

Deployment and market transformation (D&MT) activities at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) encompass the laboratory's full range of programs and technologies, which span the energy efficiency and renewable energy spectrum. NREL staff educates partners on how they can advance sustainable energy applications and also provides clients with best practices for reducing barriers to innovation and market transformation.

Issue Spotlight

Helping Hawaii Reach 70% Clean Energy by 2030

Photo of a family standing in front of solar panels.

To help the State of Hawaii meet its goal of 70% clean energy by 2030, NREL provides onsite technical expertise, technology deployment, project assistance, and policy analysis to the state's energy office, county governments, local communities, utilities, and the private sector.

In this issue, we feature several NREL projects and publications that are helping Hawaii get closer to their 70% by 2030 goal:

The Deployment and Market Transformation at NREL quarterly newsletter highlights D&MT activities from the past three months.

In this issue, we feature information and updates on selected projects, NREL-developed models and tools, and our latest publications.

Project Updates

Models and Tools

Recent Publications

Project Updates

Clean Cities National Parks Initiative Cuts Ribbon on Three Pilot Projects, Announces New Projects

Photo of people lined up holding a large ribbon in front of a bus.

Beginning as an effort in 2009 to increase outreach and education about alternative fuel vehicles at U.S national parks, the Clean Cities National Parks Initiative (CCNPI) has grown into a large-scale project that reaches millions of parks visitors each year. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Clean Cities program selected the Grand Teton, Mammoth Cave, and Yellowstone national parks to pilot the CCNPI. For over a year, Clean Cities Coalitions, National Parks Service (NPS) personnel, and the NREL D&MT team worked together to identify the best ways to incorporate alternative fuels and implement outreach efforts.

Learn more about how NREL helped the NPS streamline the procurement process for alternative vehicles and how the partnership selected project submissions.

Photo of several people standing on a stage.

U.S. Virgin Islands Reaches Landmark Solar Deal with NREL Support

In February 2010, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) partnered with DOE and the Department of the Interior on the Energy Development in Island Nations initiative. The goal was to reduce the territory's dependence on fossil fuel 60% by 2025. Today, thanks to DOE's financial support and technical assistance from NREL the islands' energy landscape is greening.

Learn more about NREL's technical assistance in the USVI, including how the NREL-developed SROPTTC™ framework helped the utility consider critical project variables, reduce project uncertainty, and successfully execute more than 18 megawatts of solar Power Purchase Agreements.

NREL Meets the SunShot Grand Challenge

The SunShot Grand Challenge: Summit and Technology Forum was a huge success, due in no small part to NREL's involvement. The summit, which drew an impressive 700 participants, focused on SunShot Initiative goals aimed at achieving grid-parity solar energy within the decade. NREL's director, scientists, and support staff played important roles in planning, managing, participating in, and supporting the event.

Learn more about how NREL participation made the event a success with less than six weeks to plan.

Kaupuni Village: The First Net-Zero Affordable Housing Community in Hawaii

Photo of a family standing in front of solar panels.

Located in the Waianae Valley in Oahu, Kaupuni Village is the first net-zero affordable housing community in Hawaii, achieving the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum designation due to the extensive energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable technologies and practices incorporated throughout each of the 19 single-family homes. The NREL D&MT team worked with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL), the Hawaiian Homelands Trust, and the architectural firm Group 70 International from the beginning of the project, starting with the design of each of the net-zero homes and the village's community center to help the project meet its net-zero goal.

Learn more about the assistance NREL provided to Kaupuni Village, the lives the project has changed, and how it's helping the State of Hawaii meet its clean energy goals.

Wind Powering America Hosts 11th Annual All-States Summit

The 11th Annual Wind Power America (WPA) All-States Summit was held on June 7, 2012, at the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center in Atlanta with more than 153 attendees in person and online. According to D&MT's Charles Newcomb, WPA‘s Wind for Schools project leader, the goal of the Summit is to share experiences and challenges while educating attendees about the current status of the wind industry. The Summit follows the American Wind Energy Association's annual WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition and provides state Wind Working Groups, state energy officials, DOE and national laboratory representatives, and professional and institutional partners an opportunity to review successes, opportunities, and challenges for wind energy and plan future collaboration.

Learn more about NREL's Summit presentations, moderators, and award nomination reviews.

Photo of a man standing behind a solar PV array.

Eleven Tribes Jump START Clean Energy Projects

DOE's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs has selected 11 Tribes—five in Alaska and six in the contiguous United States—to receive on-the-ground technical support for community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects as part of its Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program. Technical experts from DOE and NREL will work directly with community-based project teams to analyze local energy issues and assist the Tribes in moving their projects forward.

Learn more about the selected projects on the DOE Office of Indian Energy website.


Greensburg, Kansas, Five Years Later: An International Inspiration for Green Disaster Recovery

Photo of a building.

May 4, 2012, marked the fifth anniversary of the day Greensburg, Kansas, was forever changed. On that day, an EF-5 tornado demolished the town, an agricultural community of about 1,400 in south-central Kansas. With more than 90% of the city's structures (including some historic buildings), most vehicles, most residences and businesses, and the electrical infrastructure destroyed or damaged, an incredible opportunity arose to rebuild Greensburg from the ground up.

NREL played an instrumental role in making the opportunity a reality and wasted no time bringing a technical assistance plan of action to the city for key energy-related areas—just one month after the tornado. The goals of the project included helping rebuild the city as a model community of clean, affordable, and energy-efficient technologies and buildings; facilitating renewable electricity generation for long-term, clean, and economical power; and supporting the reconstruction of Greensburg by providing access to information and materials to achieve national energy diversity and reliability goals.

Learn more about how NREL helped this small town in Kansas attain the highest per-capita concentration of LEED-certified buildings in the United States and how five years later, the town is still going strong implementing more energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

NREL Training in Hawaii Leads to New Partnerships and Student Opportunities

Photo of a man standing in front of a classroom with people sitting in front of computers.

As part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative's (HCEI) partnership with DHHL, members of NREL's D&MT team conducted hands-on training on NREL's Building Energy Optimization modeling software for University of Hawaii Community College instructors. The NREL-led training resulted in a partnership between DHHL and the University of Hawaii's School of Architecture and College of Engineering to offer architecture and engineering students the opportunity to use DHHL's land, homes, and development projects as a learning laboratory.

Learn more about the NREL-led training and the DHHL/University of Hawaii partnership.

Models and Tools

Climate Action Planning Tool Wins Nielsen Norman Group Best Application Design Award

NREL's Climate Action Planning Tool received a "Best Application Design: Workflow Applications" award from the Nielsen Norman Group—a Web industry leader specializing in user experience and usability—in its annual Web application contest.

Read the full story for more information about the award-winning NREL Climate Action Planning Tool.

Recent Publications

Cover of A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development

How-To Guides Help Communities Go Solar

Whether through shared systems or shared purchasing, communities gain power in numbers when it comes to going solar. Two popular how-to guides, just updated with funding from DOE's SunShot Initiative, provide step-by-step plans for making solar photovoltaics (PV) more accessible.

Cover of Integrating High Levels of Renewables into the Lanai Electric Grid.

Renewable Energy Integration on Lanai

HCEI is working with a team led by NREL and Sandia National Laboratories to assess the economic and technical feasibility of increasing the contribution of renewable energy sources on the island of Lanai with a stated goal of reaching 100% renewable energy. NREL and Sandia partnered with Castle & Cooke, Maui Electric Company, and SRA International to perform the assessment and published the NREL report Integrating High Levels of Renewables into the Lanai Electric Grid.

Clean Cities Publishes Series of Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbooks

NREL has published a series of handbooks about plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) for target audiences.

Cover of Wind Powering America's Wind for Schools Project: Summary Report

Wind Powering America's Wind for Schools Project: Summary Report

This report provides an overview of the DOE WPA Wind for Schools project. It outlines teacher-training activities and curriculum development, discusses the affiliate program that allows school districts and states to replicate the program, and contains reports that provide an update on activities and progress in the 11 states in which the Wind for Schools project operates. Download the report.

Investigating the Impact of Financial Structure on the Cost of Solar Energy

To stimulate investment in renewable energy generation projects, the federal government developed a series of support structures that reduce taxes for eligible investors—the investment tax credit, the production tax credit, and accelerated depreciation. A recently published NREL report takes a deep dive into how modern financial structures impact the cost of large-scale solar projects. Describing four of the most prevalent financial structures used by the renewable sector, the report evaluates the impact of financial structure on energy costs for utility-scale solar projects that use PV and concentrating solar power technologies and features in-depth interviews with industry experts on the cost of equity and debt.

Read past issues of Deployment and Market Transformation at NREL.