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At NASEO Meetings, NREL’s Solar Technical Assistance Team Gains States’ Perspectives

For NREL’s Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Network, staying connected to state energy offices across the country could be an exhausting undertaking. Fortunately, the regional and annual meetings of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) give the STAT team an efficient means to stay up-to-date with the needs and concerns of state officials.

“NASEO meetings give us a chance to conveniently meet with many state energy office staff members and hear what’s on their minds,” says Elizabeth Doris, the laboratory program manager at NREL for state, local, and tribal governments.

These meetings are key to the STAT Network, which helps state governments make important decisions about their energy futures. NASEO is a STAT Network partner, along with the Clean Energy States Alliance. Funded under the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the STAT team fields questions about solar technology, policy, and financing from state energy offices and other government stakeholders. The STAT Network also connects state officials with NREL energy experts. “We help ensure that states are making their energy decisions with the best available information,” says Alison Holm, a STAT project leader. 

In 2017, STAT attended four of six regional NASEO meetings, as well as the NASEO Energy Policy Outlook Conference and the NASEO annual meeting. At the regional meetings, the team interacted with 34 states and the District of Columbia. Several common issues emerged, including:

·      Energy resiliency

·      Cybersecurity

·      Land use and brownfield redevelopment

·      Innovative solar financing

·      Support to rural areas.

The STAT Network will use this information to shape its work over the coming year to help states tackle their shared concerns. "Partnering with NASEO and attending the NASEO regional meetings gives us an opportunity to hear directly from states about the solar development challenges they're facing and the innovative approaches they're exploring. This face-to-face engagement helps us stay at the cutting edge of the solar policy landscape and tailor content and technical assistance accordingly,” says Doris. “We know what states need because we ask them.”

Interested in working with the STAT Network to address questions about solar technology, policy, or financing in your state? Visit the STAT website to learn more and request assistance.