IREC: Community renewables: best practices, issues & solutions


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Community solar financing models allow for increased participation in solar development among previously unaccessible sectors. This presentation features IREC's best practices review of community solar programs around the nation.

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IREC: Community renewables: best practices, issues & solutions

  1. 1. Community Renewables: Best Practices: Issues & Solutions Joseph F. Wiedman ASES National Solar Conference Phoenix, AZ May 19, 2010 1
  2. 2. IREC •  501(c)(3) non-profit working to expand opportunities for the sustainable development of renewable energy •  Current projects: –  Net metering rules and Interconnection standards –  Third-party ownership of renewable energy resources –  Community renewable power policies –  Smart Grid, vehicle electrification, and integration of storage –  Workforce training and development for the renewables industry •  Represented by Keyes & Fox, LLP 2
  3. 3. Community Renewable Power •  Current status in most states - Single system serves a single onsite participant –  Excess generation is net metered for participant’s benefit •  Community Renewables - Single system serves multiple participant(s) –  Policies used to distribute benefits: •  Meter Aggregation •  Joint Billing •  Virtual Net Metering •  Community Ownership •  Utility Ownership –  Not addressing •  Joint purchasing programs, e.g. Portland, 1BOG 3
  4. 4. Meter Aggregation •  One customer •  Load and generation are not on same Customer’s energy load meter •  Load and generation are Customer’s best sites for PV on contiguous property •  Cost to run new line = $600,000 4
  5. 5. Joint Billing/Virtual Net Metering •  Multiple tenants •  Single System Single System •  System is located onsite •  Each tenant has a separate meter •  Cost of rewiring to put Multiple Tenants in master meter = $60,000 5
  6. 6. Joint Billing/Virtual Net Metering Ideal locations for a •  Multiple home single large PV system owners / renters •  Single System •  System is offsite •  Shading, tenent status, structural issues limits onsite generation 6
  7. 7. Policy States Number of Distance between generation Administration Approach Participants and participants Meter OR, PA, One • OR, RI, WA – within the service territory Utility applies bill Aggregation RI, WA, CA participant of an electric utility credits to • PA – located within two miles of the designated accounts *APS in AZ generation source *Xcel in CO • CA – on government property within geographic boundaries of local government and within same utility service territory Joint Billing VT Multiple • VT – within the service territory of an Utility issues a joint participants electric utility bill and customer representative bills participants Virtual CA, MA, Multiple • CA – on low-income, multitenant property Utility applies bill Net Metering ME, RI participants • ME, MA, RI – within the service territory credits to of an electric utility designated accounts Community ME, WA Multiple • ME – requires minimum 51% ownership by Investors Ownership investors in-state interests. Systems receive either (i) administer payment 150% REC credit, or (ii) long term power and incentives sale contract with utility • WA –incentive program for jointly-owned systems providing retail power 7
  8. 8. Utility Offerings •  Typically local utility invests in a solar energy system and sells shares to members •  Net metering credits are available either as a share of production or as a fixed amount using virtual net metering •  Current status: Ashland, Oregon; Ellensburg, Washington; Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento, CA; St. George, Utah; Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, Marathon, FL offer programs •  Benefits: system economics can come close to mirroring onsite economics 8
  9. 9. Community Renewables in the States 9 States currently have state-wide community renewables activity States with statewide States where nearly all utilities States with community renewable have programs active proposals power programs 9
  10. 10. Overview of IREC’s Community Renewable Power Concept Proposal •  Guiding principles: –  Participants should have an experience as close as possible to investing in an onsite system –  Community renewables should be additive to successful onsite renweables programs •  Current Proposal –  Allocation of benefits => virtual net metering –  Administration of credits => utility administration –  Financing options => direct ownership, third-party ownership, community ownership and utility ownership allowed –  Compensation for wheeling => compensation for wheeling is heavily dependant on rate design and the structure of overall program 10
  11. 11. IREC Resources Assistance to Commissions and other stakeholders in developing community renewables programs – please contact State policies and maps at IREC website: Keyes & Fox LLP: Thank You! 11