Technical Assistance Project Map

Through the Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT), NREL provides research to help stakeholders understand challenges and barriers to the development of solar markets at the state and local levels. The STAT project map highlights these technical assistance projects that have helped communities across the United States. Select a topic category or state to view technical assistance projects. The table below the map shows all the results in the selected category.

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Finance-related policy issues such as financial modeling of community solar programs, incentive programs, and policy review.
Reviews of solar programs and policy creation/adaptation such as net-metering policy, community solar programs, and consumer protection laws.
Technologies used in the solar market, resource characterizations, and feasibility studies such as solar-ready design and solar resource characterization.

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NREL offers various types of technical assistance to state and local governments.

TA Requested Results from TA
2015 Alaska State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: To provide constructive feedback for the Alaska Energy Authority process in reviewing PV grant applications. Results: NREL provided technical reports for assisting the solar grants review process.
2015 Colorado Municipal/City Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: The Denver Housing Authority are in the planning phases of redeveloping a neighborhood and wanted to explore the potential of net zero development and solar. Results: In Process
2015 Connecticut Non-Government Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Present to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) on community solar. Results: Provided a presentation to CASE regarding the report, "A Guide to Community Shared Solar" with updates and lessons learned.
2015 Connecticut State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: The Connecticut Green Bank requests assistance on developing a simple methodology for calculating the costs and benefits of PV which incorporates the utility perspective. Results: NREL provided a subject matter expert for a series of three virtual calls on Value of Solar methodologies.
2015 Connecticut State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: The Connecticut Green Bank hosted an event entitled "The Future of Renewable Distributed Energy Resources", in which NREL was asked to moderate. Results: NREL provided a subject matter expert for moderating a panel of DG and utility rate design participants.
2015 Florida Federal Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Florida solar market, programs, and policy stacking. Results: NREL provided a formal memo and resources with the current state of the solar market in Florida.
2015 Idaho Municipal/City Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Evaluation of PV deployment potential Results: NREL reviewed a solar lease, provided a report of the review, and additional resources for permitting and solar potential.
2015 Kansas State Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance needed on third party financing for solar. Results: In Process
2015 Maryland State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Development of a value of distributed generation tariff mechanism and a methodology that properly compensates DG. Results: NREL assisted in the formation of a community solar working group and rate design, and provided methodology resources for valuating solar.
2015 Massachusetts State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Distributed energy integration and system planning with utilities to increase PV penetration Results: In Process
2015 Michigan Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: The City of Detroit requested assistance on evaluating potential utility scale PV projects. Results: NREL provided a solar snapshot, a formal memo, and review of potential solar generation sites including on brownfield locations.
2015 Michigan Municipal/ City Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Strategies for incorporating solar PV into an integrated resource plan (IRP) for a municipal utility Results: In Process
2015 Minnesota State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: The PUC needed to make an informed decision on interconnection rates for small systems. Results: NREL provided a formal memo and resources on interconnection best practices.
2015 Minnesota State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Analysis of community solar garden business models to estimate subscriber bill credit rates Results: NREL assisted in the formation of a community solar working group and provided community solar expert knowledge for informing the PUC.
2015 Missouri State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Analysis of the benefits of utility scale and distributed solar to inform rate and tariff setting Results: NREL assisted in the formation of a community solar working group and rate design, and provided methodology resources for valuating solar.
2015 New York Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Assist in reviewing RFP responses and financing options for a PV system. Results: NREL provided decision-making support by reviewing and commenting on RFP responses for the installation of a PV System.
2015 New York Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Resources on cost comparison between DG and utility-scale renewables. Results: NREL compiled a list of resources and models for evaluating PV marginal cost comparison between utility and DG scale.
2015 New York State Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Financial models to increase solar PV on schools Results: NREL provided a subject matter expert to present via webinar on solar financing options for schools.
2015 New York State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Advanced inverter functions and two way grid communications to incorporate PV into distribution system platforms for the Public Service Division Results: In Process
2015 New York Non-Government Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Request: The City University of New York (CUNY) requested assistance to create a RFP to install a smart and resilient PV system to serve as emergency power. Results: In Process
2015 New York State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Policy and program options to develop community solar models for NYSERDA Results: NREL assisted in the formation of a community solar working group and rate design, and provided methodology resources for valuating solar.
2015 Utah State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Review methodologies used in a utility report on solar and wind capacity contribution Results: NREL provided information on how the utility report methodologies compared to an NREL-published report on the topic
2015 Vermont State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Analysis of the costs and benefits of various utility rate constructs and net metering. Results: NREL assisted in the formation of a community solar working group and rate design, provided methodology resources for valuating solar, and reviewed/commented on a net metering rate structure proposal.
2015 Virginia Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Financing, codes, and resource assessment to site solar on historic properties and develop the mid-size PV market in Charlottesville Results: In Process
2015 Wisconsin Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Financial models for developing megawatt-scale solar projects on municipal water and sewer facilities Results: In Process
2014 Alaska Municipal/City Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Overview of net metering and grid integration issues involved in PV development Results: NREL provided a white paper on grid integration limits, net metering challenges for Alaska, and potential PV market size
2014 California Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance finding funding sources for solar development Results: NREL provided information on solar financing options
2014 Colorado State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance in understanding utility/regulatory practice of net energy metering particularly as it pertains to photovoltaic systems installed by end-use customers of electric utilities. Results: NREL provided a memo on net metering considerations to the Colorado Energy Office
2014 Colorado Municipal/City Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: An expert was needed to develop an assessment for solar integration for a newly rebuilt fire hall and look at storage options as this building will be used for an evacuation location in the event of emergency Results: NREL provided an assessment for solar integration on a soon-to-be-rebuilt fire hall and explored energy storage options in the event of an emergency.
2014 Delaware State Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Development of an RPS tool to calculate avoided costs and suppression impacts Results: NREL developed and presented a RPS tool that calculates avoided costs and suppression impacts.
2014 Hawaii County Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: High level technical and economic/financial advisory to the Kauai Dept. of Water in evaluating solar energy and energy efficiency alternatives Results: NREL provided information o n solar energy alternatives
2014 Illinois Other Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: For NREL to deliver a presentation at the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference Results: NREL staff member presented at the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference
2014 Iowa Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To provide information and guidance to local government officials to clarify local governments' role in promoting shared solar Results: NREL staff delivered a presentation via a webinar on local governments and shared solar
2014 Maryland County Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: To determine the best location for 4-6MW of PV on county owned facilities Results: NREL conducted several solar potential analyses for local government properties and buildings. In addition, a decision support report was provided on incorporating solar PV into Montgomery County, Maryland's Clean Energy Plan, and convened a charrette to educate and discuss PV opportunities for county government property and facilities.
2014 Massachusetts State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: For analysis of PV/Energy Storage at the distributed generation level Results: NREL provided a life cycle cost analysis and sensitivity analysis of PV/storage through the use of NREL's ReOpt model. Furthermore, case studies, final presentations, and an Energy Storage Brief report were provided.
2014 Massachusetts State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: For information in the area of grid modernization including smart inverters, micro grids, and storage for resiliency Results: NREL provided expert testimony and delivered technical presentations on interconnection technical issues at the Massachusetts Technical Standards Review working group meeting.
2014 Minnesota State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To provide assistance in determining effective load carrying capacity, interconnection, and standby rates Results: NREL provided a review of load carrying capacity study, as well as a white paper on standby rates
2014 Nebraska State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To provide a high-level PV evaluation for a former landfill site Results: NREL provided a presentation on a PV evaluation on a former landfill
2014 Ohio Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: A review of the Orange Village Ordinance 2013-15 Solar Panel Provision of the zoning code Results: NREL provided a review of ordinance
2014 Oregon State Finance Technical Assistance Requested: To understand the state-specific balance of system costs Results: NREL provided data aggregation, cleaning, and analytic support to ODOE following the deployment of an Oregon soft cost survey--an installer survey designed to benchmark the non hardware "soft" costs of PV in the State.
2014 Oregon Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To understand and address solar soft costs Results: NREL delivered a presentation on Solar Soft Costs
2014 Texas Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: A review of the city's Value of Solar effort Results: NREL provided a memo on Value of Solar methodology
2014 Virginia State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To understand the value of solar power, as well as costs and benefits of PV to ratepayers and utilities Results: NREL provided resources and comments on a Virginia value of solar study.
2014 Washington Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To find resources on Feed-in Tariffs Results: NREL provided an annotated bibliography on feed-in tariffs
2014 Washington State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To understand weather related loading on PV systems for building codes Results: NREL delivered a memo on dead and live loads for assisting building code language.
2014 Wisconsin Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To understand how to develop the solar market in St. Croix, Wisconsin Results: NREL provided a presentation on solar policy, financing, and tools for market development
2013 Arizona State Finance Technical Assistance Requested: To develop a presentation on state of solar financing across the country with emphasis on leasing vs. purchasing and emerging trends Results: NREL delivered a presentation on solar financing
2013 California State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: The California Energy Commission administers multiple incentive programs for consumers to install solar PV systems. Results: NREL staff investigated standards required of other state incentive programs and will evaluate standards that provide adequate consumer protection
2013 California State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance reviewing rating and compliance standards for the Eligible Equipment List Results: NREL provided assistance with reviewing rating and compliance standards for the CEC's Eligible Equipment List
2013 Colorado Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance evaluating of proposals submitted through the Solar Benefits Colorado Results: NREL provided a subject matter expert to assist in the evaluation of proposals
2013 Hawaii County Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance with possible RFP language and evaluation criteria Results: NREL provided guidance on writing and reviewing RFPs
2013 Illinois Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance reviewing RFP for ground mounted PV Results: NREL provided an expert to participate on the Chicago Department of Aviation's Evaluation Committee to provide technical input to the City of Chicago's RFP for ground mounted solar PV facilities at O'Hare International Airport
2013 Iowa State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To provide information on community solar for municipal utilities Results: NREL staff delivered a report explaining the use of community solar for municipal utilities
2013 Missouri Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To provide support and analysis in creating a community solar program Results: NREL provided a paper on Creating a Municipal Utility Community Solar Program
2013 Montana State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: To provide a subject matter expert to attend the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte, Montana, to make a "Solar Ready Design" presentation at the Montana Renewable Energy Association's Renewable Energy Fair on July 20, 2013 Results: NREL staff gave a presentation on solar ready design
2013 Montana State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: To provide in-person training for code officials and electrical inspectors on permitting and code compliance for PV system installations Results: NREL staff gave a presentation on electrical code and permitting
2013 Nebraska State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested:1) Analysis of PV financial incentives solar programs for the State Energy Office 2) Analysis of PV financial incentives Results: 1) NREL provided a white paper on innovative solar utility programs for non-regulated utilities specific to load demand in Nebraska, state policy options to develop consumer solar market, and a review of the current solar incentives and options on restructuring the incentives. 2) NREL staff conducted an in-person presentation to utility and legislative stakeholders in conjunction with a joint SEO/utility workgroup meeting.
2013 New Jersey Municipal/City Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: To provide a feasibility study on placing PV on a former landfill Results: NREL delivered a feasibility study on PV siting on a former landfill
2013 North Carolina State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To understand interconnection to address distributed generation Results: NREL delivered a report on interconnection
2013 Ohio Municipal/City Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To accelerate the solar market in Northeast Ohio by developing solar policies and programs to incorporate in the city's Climate Action Plan Results: NREL provided a live question and answer session with NREL subject matter experts and city officials, as well as education materials
2013 West Virginia Municipal/City Finance Technical Assistance Requested: For an NREL subject matter expert to make a presentation to a national coalition of local governments on their role in assisting and advancing solar energy projects in their communities Results: NREL delivered a presentation on the role of local governments in the solar market
2012 Connecticut State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance needed to review successful incentive structures for supporting markets such as Connecticut's. Results: NREL delivered a comparative analysis of residential solar PV incentive programs to help inform a change in their residential PV incentive program
2012 Delaware State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance in determining the inverter accuracy needed for interconnection Results: NREL provided an analysis on the accuracy of inverters
2012 Delaware State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Information and policy options to develop new SREC procurement process Results: NREL delivered a white paper outlining options for SREC procurement processes that draw on experiences in other states
2012 Florida State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: Assistance understanding how current regulations are impacting the market and suggestions on how to balance permitting costs with project economics Results: NREL delivered a report examining how current regulations are impacting the market along with suggestions on how to balance permitting costs with project economics
2012 Louisiana State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: NREL participation in the Louisiana Public Service Commission Workshop to discuss increasing the size of RE projects integrated into the grid Results: NREL provided a technical presentation at the Louisiana Public Service Commission Workshop on December 4, 2012 discussing the increase of renewable energy projects that are integrated into the grid
2012 Maryland State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested:1) Request for developing a model for community solar that considers Maryland specific context issues. 2) Request for assistance in developing a long term SREC market while avoiding the common pitfalls heard about from other states. 3) Request for assistance developing a framework for tracking PV projects to increase transparency in the marketplace and stabilize SREC prices. Results: 1) NREL delivered a report on a working model for community solar using Maryland specific data and including recommendations for net metering policy/rule refinement. 2) NREL delivered a white paper on SREC price stabilization including impacts of SREC prices on the state's solar market. The white paper will be delivered in time for inclusion in the state's net metering working group report to the PSC. 3) NREL delivered a memo with recommendations for creating a pipeline for registering PV projects.
2012 Massachusetts State Finance Technical Assistance Requested: To address technical interconnection issues to make the process streamlined, transparent and uniform in meeting the RPS goals for distributed generation Results: NREL delivered a presentation to the technical subcommittee explaining the technical issues identified for interconnection with recommendations on how to address technical barriers
2012 New York State Finance Technical Assistance Requested: To understand solar policy stacking in New York and other states Results: NREL delivered a white paper including a comparative, qualitative analysis of solar incentives in New York and other states and identified policy stacking opportunities to expand the solar market
2012 Oregon State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To understand net metering as currently implemented, highlight opportunities for standardization where they exist, and measure proximity to statutorily-defined capacity limits for net metering Results: NREL delivered a white paper analyzing collected data on net metering provisions and considering regulatory frameworks for the next policy steps in net metering, as well as best practices in designing virtual net metering within the context of Oregon's metering law
2012 Utah State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To understand solar policy and economic benefits Results: NREL delivered a white paper on policy options and economic benefits
2011 Alabama State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: To increase market penetration of PV in Alabama by reducing foundational information barriers at the commission level. Results: NREL provided a solar resource characterization and memo on policy and market barriers
2011 Arizona State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To assist Arizona with the development and implementation of interconnection rules that support the state solar PV market. Results: NREL developed a set of proposed interconnection rules, provided in a format that is acceptable to the Commission
2011 Arkansas State Technology and Resources Technical Assistance Requested: To provide a thorough characterization of the PV resource available in the state of Arkansas, while also informing the Arkansas Public Service Commission of the various incentive mechanisms available for implementation. Results: NREL provided a solar resource characterization and memo on solar incentives
2011 Kentucky State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To provide assistance in developing an educational program for Kentucky regulators that facilitates a better understanding of the state's PV resource and the opportunities for integrating distributed generation onto the grid. Results: NREL provided a qualitative assessment of costs and benefits of PV in Kentucky
2011 Michigan State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To provide information about facilitating market penetration of PV in Michigan by reducing information and policy-related barriers to development Results: NREL provided a solar resource characterization and memo on policy and market barriers
2011 Montana State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To assist in facilitating increased market penetration of PV in Montana by reducing foundational information barriers, such as, PV resource availability and market incentive structures Results: NREL provided a solar resource characterization and memo on policy and market barriers
2011 New York State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To support for several initiatives in New York to determine the impacts of solar PV variability on project development Results: NREL provided a technical review of NYSERDA tool and created a webinar on the net metering effect on customer bills
2011 Wisconsin State Policy and Program Technical Assistance Requested: To identify the role of Wisconsin utilities in increasing PV market penetration. Specifically, the commission has requested technical assistance integrating an existing WI PUC project, in which multiple working groups have identified the technical and economic barriers to PV in Wisconsin, with the intended outcome of an upcoming working group to identify and price different policy options Results: NREL provided a technical review and participated in policy working groups