Hot Solar TA in the Summertime!
July 9, 2014 by Sherry Stout
As part of the second round of in-depth solar technical assistance offered this year, the NREL STAT team is hard at work on several requests targeting solar policy and programmatic improvements at the state and local levels.
Several of the requests in progress are focused on the potential for cross subsidization within net metering policies. In fact, three states submitted applications related to this topic, so it's definitely a hot issue right now. STAT is also working with our Policy Activity Assistance Team to summarize the approaches that other states have already taken to address these issues. We'll make sure to post any results here as the summer progresses!
Here are a few of the other projects that we are working on this summer:
Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County is leading by example by installing 4–6 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity on its facilities through public/private partnerships. The County Council recently passed legislation requiring a renewable energy plan for all county facilities and operations, so NREL is assisting with the plan's development.
Washington is looking to determine the impact of snow and wind loads on PV systems to better understand whether certain systems could be fast-tracked through the state's permitting process. NREL is providing building expertise to Washington's Permitting Work Group. We are also connecting the state with other policymakers that are working on this topic for greater peer-to-peer networking opportunities.
The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) requested assistance in understanding the state-specific balance of system costs—essentially, everything but the PV hardware. NREL is helping ODOE coordinate with the Energy Trust of Oregon to conduct a survey that can provide stakeholders with better information on the state-specific "soft costs" of solar. Once this information is gathered, we will analyze the survey data to help form a roadmap for reducing soft costs.