STAT Network Attends NASEO’s 2017 Annual Meeting to Talk Low-income Community Solar with Partners
September 25, 2017 by Alexandra Aznar
States are continually innovating on the solar policy and program front, with one of the more popular recent topics being community solar applications for low- and moderate income (LMI) populations. (See previous STAT blogs on community solar policies and efforts to expand solar access to LMI populations for additional background.) Over the past year, NREL’s Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Network partnered with the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and Lotus Engineering and Sustainability (Lotus) to analyze CEO’s Low-Income Community Solar Demonstration Project. The trio presented an overview of the analysis and lessons learned from the project at the annual meeting of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) in New Orleans, Louisiana (agenda) last week.
In 2015, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) launched a low-income community solar demonstration project with two objectives: to reduce household energy burden for low-income subscribers, and to demonstrate the viability and scalability of developing community solar projects solely for low-income households. Once complete, a minimum of 1 MW of solar power will be installed and a cumulative total of 300 low-income households will be subscribed to the demonstration projects.
Figure 1. Map of utility partners in the Colorado Energy Office's low-income community solar demonstration project
A mix of state energy officials and representatives from non-profit organizations attended the session and learned about the demonstration project’s successes and challenges to date. A full evaluation of the low-income community solar demonstration project will be publicly available in November 2017. And if you were not able to attend the session, you will have another opportunity to hear the presentations: the STAT Network team, CEO, and Lotus will be talking about the project and lessons learned during a Clean Energy States Alliance webinar on Thursday, October 26. More information about the webinar and registration is available here.
In addition to the joint STAT-CEO-Lotus session on low-income community solar, this year’s NASEO Annual Meeting featured sessions and panels focused primarily on transportation, resiliency, and low-income customer services. Between sessions, the STAT Network team mingled with state energy officials to hear the latest in state solar successes and challenges, and to share information about NREL’s solar technical assistance programs as well as tools, programs, and data available to tackle transportation, building energy, and local renewable energy challenges.