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NREL Conduit Blog

The NREL Conduit Blog discusses research relevant to state, local, and tribal governments. Contributing authors provide posts related to events, policy analysis, and decision support outcomes to inform the market in a credible and timely fashion.

Takeaways from the American Public Power Association 2014 Conference

November 24, 2014 by John Nangle

The American Public Power Association (APPA) was founded in 1940 and represents 3,000 public utilities that support roughly 45 million customers. The APPA held its 2014 Customer Connections Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, during the week of October 26. Continue reading

Meet a Solar Policy Expert: Joyce McLaren

November 13, 2014 by Alexis Powers, Erin Nobler, John De La Rosa, Sherry Stout

This STAT Chat podcast features Joyce McLaren, a senior energy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discussing solar policy as part of our Meet a Solar Expert series. Continue reading

Word of the Day: Distributed Generation

November 11, 2014 by Alexis Powers

What do solar industry professionals mean when they talk about "distributed generation"? A general definition of distributed generation, or DG, is an electric power source that is located at or near the point of consumption. Other terms that may be used to convey the same idea include "dispersed generation" or "decentralized generation." Continue reading

What is Community Solar Going to Cost?

November 06, 2014 by Sherry Stout

For many people, owning a private solar photovoltaic (PV) generation system is simply not feasible because of costs, siting issues, or housing type (i.e. rental properties or multifamily housing units). Community solar programs - sometimes called solar gardens - provide one way to increase access to the solar market, reduce up-front costs, and allow for optimal siting. Continue reading

PV Interconnection Issues: Are You the 15%?

October 29, 2014 by Sherry Stout

According to projections from Green Tech Media, a new distributed photovoltaic (PV) system will be installed in the United States roughly every 80 seconds by the year 2016, making interconnection-related concerns and innovations a top priority. A streamlined interconnection process is needed to keep pace with this expected growth in demand for solar energy systems. Ultimately, both utilities and consumers can benefit from reduced solar project timeframes and costs. Continue reading

Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Jason Coughlin

October 16, 2014 by Sherry Stout

Jason Coughlin, a member of the Solar and Buildings Technologies Group at NREL, answers six questions about his work. Continue reading

Hot Topics: Solar Interconnection Policy

October 07, 2014 by Alexis Powers, Erin Nobler, John De La Rosa, Sherry Stout

This STAT Chat podcast features Kristen Ardani, a solar technology markets and policy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discussing the PV interconnection process as part of our Hot Topics series. Continue reading

The Value Challenge: Benefits and Costs of Solar

October 04, 2014 by Sherry Stout

The benefits and costs of distributed generation photovoltaics (DGPV) has become a trending topic among solar renewable energy professionals and policymakers. Currently, several jurisdictions are trying to develop a method for valuing solar while other locations are trying to determine the fairness of net energy metering (NEM) policies based on the benefits and costs of solar. Almost everyone agrees that this is not an easy question. Continue reading

Minnesota Values Solar Generation with New "Value of Solar" Tariff

October 03, 2014 by Karlynn Cory

This is the fourth and final blog in a series of articles on the growing interest in identifying and incorporating the values of solar (VOS) to the grid into electricity rate structures. Continue reading

Upcoming Opportunities for NREL Solar Assistance

September 30, 2014 by Kim Peterson

Through our In-depth Technical Assistance program, NREL is seeking several jurisdictions that want a holistic policy and technical approach to developing state and local solar PV distributed generation markets. Continue reading