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State Solar Technical Assistance

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NREL provides direct technical assistance to state and local governments on matters that require solar market expertise to either answer a time-sensitive question or to provide expert testimony on policy best practices.

The Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Network is designed to answer questions that require approximately one to two weeks of a subject matter expert's time.

This service is available to qualified applicants through an application process at no cost. To request assistance through the STAT Network, fill out the request form and email this information to stat@nrel.gov.

The STAT Network is a project of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative implemented in partnership with the NREL and with assistance from National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA).

Call for Applications: Analytical Support Program for Public Utility Commissions (Applications Due Aug. 31, 2018)

The Analytical Support Program for Public Utility Commissions is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiative, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), to provide high-impact, in-depth analytical support for state public utility commissions (PUCs) that addresses barriers to the integration of solar photovoltaics (PV) within the U.S. electricity system. PUCs will have access to in-depth analytical support from the national laboratories on topics related to distribution system planning and regulatory, policy, programmatic, and technology assessments of solar plus other distributed energy resources (DERs). In this round of solicitations, hydropower and water related analytical support requests associated with resilience, flexibility and planning are also being accepted.

The national laboratories will work with state PUCs to provide neutral decision support through data-driven modeling, tools, and direct technical assistance from subject matter experts. Assistance may include: analysis support; stakeholder-convened discussions; education and training through workshops and webinars; and consultations with technical experts.

Application and Selection Process

State PUCs interested in receiving analytical support are encouraged to apply to STAT@nrel.gov. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Aug. 31, 2018. Applications can be downloaded below.

Prior to submitting a formal application, state PUCs are encouraged to talk with national laboratory contacts who can provide additional information and address questions related to time frame, budget range, and scope issues to Elizabeth Doris.

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Request is well-defined, forward-looking, and within the Program’s scope
  • Analysis has the potential for significant impact in the requesting state and for replicability in other states or regions
  • Timeline of request is compatible with the Program timeline.

Project scoping with selected applicants is expected Fall 2018. The anticipated start date for selected projects is between November 2018 and early January 2019.

Submit applications via email by 5 p.m. EDT on Aug. 31, 2018, to the Solar Technical Assistance Team.

Download the PUC application

Current Projects

The STAT Network will help the Colorado Energy Office evaluate a portfolio of low-income community solar demonstration projects by conducting financial and cost-benefit analyses of projects. Results will inform future policy development. Results from this project will be shared at the NASEO 2017 annual meeting September 17-20 in New Orleans, LA. 

For other ongoing projects, refer to the STAT Map.

Past Projects

STAT has worked with numerous cities and states. For more detailed descriptions of the technical assistance provided in each location, please refer to the the STAT Map. A selection of examples is also included below.

Policy and Program

City of Detroit | Detroit, MI

NREL conducted an analysis of utility scale PV projects for the City.

Connecticut Green Bank | Rocky Hill, CT

NREL provided consultation on calculating a value of solar rate for the state based on the seven attributes outlined in the 2014 report, "Methods for Analyzing the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Photovoltaic Generation to the U.S. Electric Utility System."

Finance

Oregon Department of Energy | Bend, OR

NREL worked to develop a tool that can analyze state-specific solar soft costs from various data sources, which can consistently evaluate soft-cost reduction measures and prioritize future actions.

New York Power Authority | White Plains, NY

NREL presented a webinar on financing options for solar on schools for the NYPA's K-Solar program in March 2015.

Technology and Resource

City University of New York | New York, NY

NREL provided engineering and technical assistance to create a request for proposals (RFP) to install a smart and resilient PV system at Queens College.

Denver Housing Authority | Denver, CO

NREL provided technical assistance on how solar PV can be incorporated into a net zero energy housing development.

Ketchum Energy Advisory Committee (KEAC) | Ketchum, ID

NREL partnered with Optony to help Ketchum develop a solar resource roadmap and to identify PV deployment potential for distributed and small utility-scale solar projects. NREL is also reviewing lease and PPA documents for solar projects on municipal facilities as well as providing assistance to the city on the proposed PPA rulings at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DER) | Boston, MA

NREL provided technical expertise for the DER energy integration and system planning support process to increase PV penetration.

Utah Public Service Commission | Salt Lake City, UT

NREL reviewed a utility study on solar and wind capacity contributions to determine whether the methodology applied followed an NREL published methodology.