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

April 29, 2015 by Kim Peterson

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.

New York State Department of Public Service

The New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) is leading a regulatory revamp that will allow distributed resources, including solar photovoltaic (PV) and other renewables, to more easily participate in energy markets.  The process known as Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) has many actors and stakeholders.  Working groups on market design and creating the technology system platform will provide their final recommendations to the DPS in June on how the distributed system platform will operate.  NREL’s  role is to help DPS develop a scope for mapping the distribution system and to serve as a technical expert on interconnection, market design, and the technology platform for the working groups.

Charlottesville, Virginia

NREL is also working with Charlottesville, Virginia on several aspects of developing its mid-size PV market including how to incorporate solar PV into historic buildings through zoning codes and guidelines, examining real solar potential  on buildings, and decision support on financing for solar installations to increase affordability.  The assistance is designed to translate the community’s demonstrated interest in solar PV (over 1,000 local residents signed up for having an assessment completed through the Solarize Charlottesville grassroots initative) to an implementation rate of 100 solar installations per year by 2016.  Increased solar adoption will support Charlottesville’s strategy for the Georgetown University Energy Prize and in meeting its 2035 emissions reductions goals.  Lessons learned will be shared with similar cities with historic properties to inform their solar deployment efforts.

NREL Working Groups on Rate Design and Community Solar

During the FY15 STAT in-depth application process, multiple applicants requested assistance in the areas of community solar and rate design.  In an effort to create peer collaborations and provide assistance to a broad range of applicants, NREL formed working groups on each topic.  The working groups met virtually for a series of calls to highlight resources, tools and experts for each of these topics.  Applicants were contacted individually to gauge what their most pressing barrier is. NREL is currently conducting individualized expert roundtables, expert testimony, or other quick assistance to provide decision support for these applicants where there is demonstrated interest.  Jurisdictions served through the working groups include: the City of Jackson and Grand Teton County, WY; Guam Power Authority; Ketchum, ID; NYSERDA; Minnesota Department of Commerce; Maryland Energy Administration; Missouri Department of Economic Development; and the Vermont Department of Public Service.  Materials from the working groups will be made available to all jurisdictions in the near future at: http://www.nrel.gov/technical-assistance/.

For further questions on STAT technical assistance please email us at stat@nrel.gov.  For additional details on current and past STAT technical assistance, please visit the interactive STAT map at: http://www.nrel.gov/technical-assistance/statmap/.

Tags: Projects Policy