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Solar STAT Blog

The Solar STAT blog discusses state and local efforts to develop solar markets in the United States. With support from the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, NREL’s Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) authors weekly posts related to events, solar policy analysis, and technical assistance outcomes for the purpose of informing the market in a credible and timely fashion.

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Cities Leading Through Energy Analysis and Planning Helps Support Local Clean Energy Innovation

March 26, 2015 by

Local governments nationwide are pursuing strategies to improve the sustainability, resiliency, and energy futures of their communities. A host of federal and non-profit tools and programs exist to support these strategies, but until now no single program has focused specifically on helping cities address all of their energy, sustainability, and resiliency challenges. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project aims to change that by supporting the widespread implementation of data-driven energy policies, programs, and projects by cities.

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Hot Topics: Value of Solar

March 20, 2015 by , , ,

This three-part STAT Chat podcast series features Joyce McLaren, a senior energy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discussing value of solar (VOS) policy, including what it is, how it is developed, and which methodologies are being used in the marketplace.

  • VOS Part 1—Policy Overview and Definition of Value of Solar
  • VOS Part 2—Components of Value of Solar
  • VOS Part 3—Rate Designs for Value of Solar

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Trip Notes: How Solar Policy Issues in Jamaica Compare to U.S. Market Needs

March 17, 2015 by

Last week, two members of NREL’s Solar Technical Assistance Team—Liz Doris and I—had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica to discuss the country’s net billing program with a variety of stakeholders. Our work under this project is being funded by the State Department’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), but we were able to draw extensively upon our experience supporting state and local governments through STAT. Continue reading


Word of the Day: Levelized Cost of Electricity

March 6, 2015 by

When analysts want to compare the cost of generating electricity from various sources such as wind, solar, coal, and natural gas, they often use a metric called the levelized cost of electricity or LCOE. This amount is typically displayed as cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). In the power industry, the LCOE is also referred to as the “bus bar” cost. Continue reading


In the Field: National Association of State Energy Officials

February 27, 2015 by , , ,

This STAT Chat podcast features Melissa Savage, a senior program director for the National Association of State Energy Officials, discussing the roles of state energy offices and the organization that supports them.

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State Energy Officials Talk Renewable Energy Policy Priorities at the 2015 NASEO Conference

February 25, 2015 by

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) 2015 Energy Policy Outlook Conference in Washington, D.C. Some of the states’ top policymakers, regulators, and technical experts brought key insights into what lies ahead for states in the clean energy policy space to this event. The conference also attracted industry partners from the private sector, which allowed for dialogue amongst diverse and complementary stakeholders who are all shaping state energy policy and markets. Continue reading


Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Emerson Reiter

February 20, 2015 by

Emerson Reiter, a project leader with NREL’s Market Partnerships & Tools group in the lab’s Integrated Applications Center, answers seven questions about his work. Continue reading


Hot Topics: Community Solar Gardens

February 12, 2015 by , , ,

This STAT Chat podcast features Jason Coughlin, a solar analyst and financing expert at NREL, discussing current approaches to community or shared solar programs.

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How Solar PV Can Support Disaster Resiliency

February 3, 2015 by

When Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the east coast of the United States, New Jersey was ranked second in the country for solar photovoltaic (PV) implementation—only behind California. However, when millions of New Jerseyans were without power after the storm, only two PV systems in the state were operational. Continue reading


Solar Technical Assistance in Action: Delaware’s Inverter Story

January 30, 2015 by

Under U.S. law, individual states can evaluate and modify interconnection and net metering policies and regulations based on changes in technology. Due to the increasing complexity of new photovoltaic (PV) technologies, one of the most popular requests received by NREL’s Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) is for help with understanding and evaluating solar interconnection and net metering policy options. Continue reading

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