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Solar Technical Assistance Team Profile: Jenny Heeter

September 11, 2014 by Sherry Stout

Jenny Heeter, a member of the Market and Policy Impact Analysis Group in NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center, answers five questions about her work.

Photo of a female professional in front of an evergreen tree.

Jenny Heeter, Energy Analyst, Strategic Energy Analysis Center.

What are your primary research interests?
My areas of expertise include market and policy analysis as well as utility regulation. I'm interested in how mandatory policies such as renewable portfolio standards, as well as voluntary action, by utilities and others, spurs more renewable energy development. I like examining the intersection of policy and market development.

What were you working on this morning?
This morning I have been analyzing net metering program caps— how much net metering capacity is allowed, by state. Given the recent surge in net metering capacity, particularly solar, I'm examining how close utilities and states are to hitting their respective program caps. Using lessons from state implementation, I'm also studying what states could do if they are approaching their net metering program caps.

What is the most interesting issue in solar for you right now?
One of the most interesting issues to me right now is that of customer choice. In regulated states, customers traditionally only have one option for their electricity supply. With solar declining in cost, customers are now being offered a second, sometimes cheaper, option for their electricity. I'm interested in how rate structures and utility policy will impact customer choice in the future.

What is your favorite thing about providing technical assistance?
Much of my daily work revolves around producing technical reports geared toward a national audience. What I enjoy about providing TA is being able to answer specific questions from those who have the decision making power to put the answers into action. It is very rewarding to see the tangible connection between our research and solar market development.

What are you reading outside of work? And/or, what are your non-work interests/activities?
I enjoy taking advantage of Colorado's great weather, hiking in the summer and skiing or snowshoeing in the winter.

Tags: Staff