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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.

Community Energy Storage: A New Revenue Stream for Utilities and Communities?

September 24, 2018 by Kyle Flanegin

Although "it depends" is often the correct answer when asking whether energy storage makes sense in a particular context, utilities are exploring opportunities to incorporate community energy storage (CES) systems into the local grid. Utility-owned CES systems are a collection of two or more battery storage units connected to the low-level transformers that serve houses or small businesses. Continue reading

Can Low-and-Moderate Income Households Play a Role in Realizing U.S. Rooftop Solar Technical Potential?

September 12, 2018 by Kyle Flanegin

Until recently, the technical potential—or the maximum generation potential from DPV systems—for LMI residential rooftops was not well understood. However, a recent NREL report, “Rooftop Solar Technical Potential for Low-to-Moderate Income Households in the United States” explores this issue by evaluating DPV potential on residential rooftops by income levels. Continue reading

PV Survivability from Hurricanes: Lessons Learned

September 06, 2018 by Eliza Hotchkiss

Last year, two Category 5 storms, Hurricanes Irma and Maria, ripped through the Caribbean within a two-week period, devastating island communities.  Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) on September 6th, 2017, with the eye passing over St. Thomas and St. John. On September 20th, the eye of Hurricane Maria swept near St. Croix with maximum winds of 175 mph. The USVI estimate uninsured losses at close to $7.5 billion, including damages to roughly 80-90% of the power transmission and distribution systems and a number of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation systems.

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