Assistance for Early Adopters

NREL is offering targeted technical assistance to help communities and organizations adopt and apply insights developed through the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN).

The Innovation Network brings together diverse teams of stakeholders to research solutions to real-world challenges associated with solar energy adoption. One of the objectives of the Innovation Network is to enable other stakeholders facing similar challenges to employ the solutions generated through the program. Adapting solutions requires its own innovation, so SEIN staff at NREL are offering limited technical assistance to selected requestors on a rolling basis.

What Assistance Is Provided?

Assistance for early adopters is designed to be compact in terms of duration and scope. Specific topic areas of focus are detailed below, and new topics will be announced periodically. Subscribe to the Innovation Network mailing list to learn when new topics are announced.

The scope and type of assistance provided will be determined based on the needs of the requestor and nature of the questions being asked but will not include direct financial support. Examples of assistance include modeling and analysis, document review, and subject matter expert input or consultations, depending on the topic area and questions. Assistance is provided at no cost to the requestor.

Who is Eligible?

Assistance in applying lessons learned from the Innovation Network is open to all U.S.-based stakeholders, including but not limited to government entities, regulatory authorities, utilities, developers, or community organizations. Individual organizations or teams of stakeholders are eligible for support.

Topic Areas     

Topic areas currently available for assistance are described below. Please review the topic descriptions and related work prior to requesting replication assistance.

Solar Photovoltaic and Electric Vehicle Co-Deployment

In Round 1 of the Innovation Network, several teams worked on pairing photovoltaic (PV) and electric vehicle (EV) deployment. Highlights of the SEIN outputs related to this topic are below. Requests must seek to apply outputs from these projects. Requests that relate to this theme, but do not relate to these project outputs are not relevant for Assistance for Early Adopters.  

There were two teams working on this topic in Round 1:

  • A team led by the Great Plains Institute analyzed PV + EV use cases with a focus on workplace charging. Read the culminating report for this project on the Great Plains Institute website. Replicating aspects of this team’s project could include analyzing the feasibility of workplace EV charging for a city or company.
  • A team led by the Montana Renewable Energy Association focused on engaging local communities to chart pathways for combining solar and EV deployment. Read the culminating report for this project on the  Montana Solar Powered Institute website. Replicating outputs from this team’s project could include support in designing a stakeholder engagement process within a community to chart a vision for combining the two technologies.

Important Note: the outputs from these two projects were reports, but it is anticipated that ideal outputs from replicators will be more targeted to specific decisions or initiatives. The efforts by these teams also included modeling led by NREL. Assistance for early adopters will only include limited modeling where appropriate.

Additional Topics

As SEIN teams develop new research and solutions, additional topic areas will be added here on a rolling basis.

How To Request Assistance

Requests will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. The number of assistance opportunities is limited, so potential requestors are encouraged to submit requests as soon as possible. To request assistance through the Innovation Network, complete a request form for a topic area and submit it to SEIN@nrel.gov.

In requesting assistance, stakeholders must demonstrate how the assistance:

  • Will specifically inform a decision or decision-making process, and/or
  • Will be productively applied to advance a solar project, program, strategy, or decision.

Requests that meet eligibility parameters will be reviewed for potential impact, alignment with the given topic area, and level of need for SEIN support.

For selected requests, SEIN staff will follow up with the primary contact person to schedule an initial scoping call. The scope and timeline of assistance will be determined through the follow-on scoping process.

Contact

If you have any questions, contact SEIN@nrel.gov.