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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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Word of the Day: Fixed Charges and Volumetric Charges

July 16, 2015 by

If you look at your electricity bill, you will notice different types of charges that make up the total amount owed. These types of charges vary by customer class (residential, commercial, and industrial), utility, and even state. Surcharges, riders, and demand charges are some of the many that could appear on a typical electricity bill, but fixed charges and volumetric charges are always present.

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City-Level Energy Decision Making: Examples from 20 Cities

June 25, 2015 by

Cities in the United States are increasingly taking action to improve the sustainability of their jurisdictions. Efficient energy use and clean energy are a fundamental component of the cost of living and mitigating and adapting to climate change, and therefore central to improving community long-term sustainability. A team of analysts with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) project analyzed sustainability and climate plans and interviewed staff from 20 U.S. cities (Figure 1) to understand the extent to which cities use data in energy planning, implementation, and evaluation. City energy goals, actions, policies implemented in pursuit of those goals, and measurements of progress toward the goals were catalogued in this research.

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STAT Chat: Jenny Heeter on Renewable Portfolio Standards

June 17, 2015 by

This STAT Chat podcast features Jenny Heeter, a policy analyst with the Strategic Energy Analysis Center, discussing the changing landscape of renewable portfolio standards (RPSs), as part of our Hot Topics series, which addresses current issues in the solar industry.

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STAT Chat: Mid-Size Markets

June 11, 2015 by

This STAT Chat podcast features Melissa Savage, a senior program director of the National Association of State Energy Officials, discussing mid-size solar markets as part of our Hot Topics series, which addresses current issues in the solar industry.

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Solar farms grow out of town renewable energy goals

June 5, 2015 by

Dartmouth, Massachusetts (pop. 34,032) – With enough solar energy generated within its borders to power 3,250[1] homes, Dartmouth leads the state of Massachusetts in renewable energy production. Dartmouth is also one of the first communities in the country to offset 100% of its municipal government electricity use with renewable energy.

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SAPC Finalizes Two Best Practices Documents

May 28, 2015 by

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group has finalized two documents designed to mitigate investor and owner risk and to generate confidence in the distributed solar PV asset class: Best Practices for PV System Installation and Best Practices for PV System O&M.  The documents were developed over the past two years, using input from a diverse group of stakeholders including developers, financiers, independent engineers, and rating agencies.

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Energy Storage Dialogue Continues as Tesla Announces New Strategy for Stationary Applications

May 18, 2015 by

Behind-the-meter storage, also known as on-site distributed energy storage, is currently a small market. However, companies like Tesla are trying to make big waves in its deployment.

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Marg Kelly’s 35 Years in Review

May 11, 2015 by

Marg Kelly of NREL’s Market Partnerships and Tools group answers eight questions about renewable technology and her work at NREL over the past 35 years.

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STAT Team Delivers In-Depth Technical Assistance to State, Local Governments

April 29, 2015 by

Over the past few months, NREL’s STAT team has been digging in to help several state and local jurisdictions take on multifaceted solar market barriers.  Direct technical assistance recipients include the New York State Department of Public Service and Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as participants in working groups on rate design and community solar.

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Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Alex Aznar

April 16, 2015 by

Alex Aznar answers seven questions about her work.

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