Member News

  • May 1, 2017

    California's New Solar Homes Partnership Changes the State Solar Market

    The California Energy Commission is making solar more accessible and more widespread through its New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP). NSHP’s goal is to create a self-sustaining market for energy-efficient solar homes and help homeowners save money on electric bills. To date, the NSHP has installed nearly 67,000 solar systems. Recent changes to the NSHP Guidebook aim to make solar more accessible to low-income communities. These changes include increased incentive rates for affordable housing projects, and extending the permit application deadline from 60 to 120 days, as the former deadline was too tight for some complex projects, particularly multifamily and affordable housing. Read more about the NSHP in CESA's 2015 case study.

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  • April 28, 2017

    ESTAP Helps Small Massachusetts Community Save Big with Energy Storage

    The Sterling Municipal Light Department has deployed a 2-megawatt/3.9 megawatt-hour battery storage system that can provide emergency backup power and cost savings. This project, which was supported in part by CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP)[], is expected to save the town of Sterling $400,000 per year – a significant savings for a town with a budget of just over $2.5 million. CESA hosted a webinar on April 27 with guest speakers the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Sterling Municipal Light Department for a presentation and discussion on the economic case for Sterling’s energy storage system - watch it here[].

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  • April 14, 2017

    The Value of Solar in DC

    The District of Columbia has an aggressive RPS that requires 50 percent of electricity to come from renewables by 2032, including 5 percent from solar. To understand the implications of this policy, the DC Office of the People’s Counsel commissioned Synapse Energy Economics to conduct a value of solar study. The resulting report, *Distributed Solar in the District of Columbia: Policy Options, Potential, Value of Solar, and Cost-Shifting*, has now been released. Among Synapse’s findings is the conclusion that “the value of solar to the utility system exceeds the cost, indicating that solar PV is a cost-effective electricity resource that also provides health and environmental benefits to society.”

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  • April 5, 2017

    ESTAP Leaders Testify about Energy Storage for Vermont Policymakers

    CESA project director Todd Olinsky-Paul and Dr. Imre Gyuk of US DOE Office of Electricity (DOE-OE) gave testimony in April at the request of the Vermont House Energy & Technology Committee, which is considering a bill that would direct the state Department of Public Service to conduct an energy storage study. The study would characterize the opportunities for, benefits of, and barriers to energy storage deployment in Vermont; assess relevant policy and programs adopted by other states; identify regulatory options and structures available in Vermont; and make recommendations to the Committee regarding the next best steps for Vermont to take. DOE-OE funds CESA’s Energy Storage Technology Advancement Partnership (ESTAP)[] through a contract with Sandia National Laboratories; through this program, CESA provides support for state energy storage policy development and state-sponsored energy storage deployment efforts. Vermont is one of several states now considering how best to approach energy storage policy development.

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  • April 3, 2017

    Lessons Learned from Community Solar at SMUD

    In 2008, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) developed SolarShares, one of the country’s first utility-run community solar programs. SMUD continues to adapt and promote its SolarShares program to enable solar access for renters and homeowners alike. In a webinar on Thursday, April 13, SMUD’s SolarShares program managers will highlight the lessons learned from designing the utility’s program. Read more and register here.  

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