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Shared solar for low to moderate income

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How can we make access to clean renewable energy a human right? Until recently, the majority of residential solar energy systems have been installed for well-off homeowners with sunny roofs. A solar garden is like a community garden - instead of having a patch of vegetables, a customer benefits from a number of panels in a shared array, with power produced credited on the electric bill.

Full video: http://herecomessolar.nyc/shared-solar-strategies-for-low-and-moderate-income-lmi-inclusion-in-new-york-state-webinar/

Specific topics:
- Review of community solar models for Low to Moderate income (LMI) customers
- Community outreach and customer acquisition in LMI communities
- The relative benefits of solar ownership versus solar power purchases for LMI customers
- The National Community Solar Partnership (White House / Department of Energy)
- Recent changes in IRS policy
- Upcoming changes to federal tax credits
- Securities Law considerations
- Common challenges and hurdles

Presented in cooperation with Solar One, New York City

Published in: Environment
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Shared solar for low to moderate income

  1. 1. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) ! Community Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion ! ! ! ! ! ! Joy Hughes, Solar Gardens Institute joy@solargardens.org
  2. 2. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) • Community Garden Metaphor - “Like a community garden, except you get a patch of panels instead of a patch of vegetables.” ! • Subscription model - Anyone can participate - multi-unit, renters, affordable housing, shaded locations, and historic districts. ! • Off-Site Subscribers can be located anywhere in utility service territory. • Distributed Generation – Small to mid-size system connects to local power lines or substation. • Virtual Net Metering – Credit directly on the subscribers bill for subscriber’s portion of the array. ! ! Community Shared Solar A “Solar Garden”
  3. 3. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Solar Gardens Cash and Energy Flow Incentive Subscriber Utility Solar Garden CreditonBill Panel Purchase Money Energy Energy Energy
  4. 4. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Size and Location Small: Vermont! 2 Subscribers (Ben and Jerry) on Ben’s Guest House Large: San Francisco! Valencia Gardens HUD Housing 260 Units Host Sites Rooftop! Schools, Apartment Buildings, Warehouses, Storage Units Ground-Mount! Brownfields, Water Treatment Plants, Airports, Parking Lots
  5. 5. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Solar Gardens Institute solargardens.org Mission: ! • To educate and learn from the public about community solar energy. ! • To promote community solar energy policy at the federal level and in each state ! • To assist local organizations in organizing, developing, and managing community-owned solar energy projects everywhere. ! • To make affordable solar energy available for all humanity ! ! !
  6. 6. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) ! Solar Gardeners ! Every project has a champion ! Both community organizer and project manager ! Steep learning curve - how do we accelerate this process? Ellensburg Community Renewables Park
  7. 7. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) ! National Community Solar Partnership ! ! 68 Partners and growing - states, utilities, developers, nonprofits, banks, universities ! Focus on LMI - over $500 million in commitments White House, DOE SunShot, USDA, HUD, EPA
  8. 8. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Clarifying Questions! ! ! (5 minutes)
  9. 9. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Investment Tax Credit Expiration • Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer! ! • Federal tax credit 30% -> 10% end 2016 ! • IRS notice 2013-70 - subscribers may claim tax credit for offsite solar ! • Case Study:
 Kehila Synagogue, CA Nonprofit finance (Re-Volv) Nonprofit install (SunWork) Energy Savings
  10. 10. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Securities Law ! ! ! The “Howey Test” 1. investment of money due to 2. an expectation of profits arising from 3. a common enterprise 4. which depends solely on the efforts of a promoter or third party ! Strategies! • Utility, nonprofit and cooperative exemptions ! • Direct public offerings (DPOs) ! • JOBS Act ! • Municipal Bonds ! ! !
  11. 11. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Concerns for Low-Moderate Income and People of Color • Under-representation in solar market
 ! • Renting - split incentive
 ! • Credit rating system
 ! • History of Exploitation - Environmental Justice
 ! • Affordability !
  12. 12. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) • Renting - split incentive
 - Solar Gardens for renters! ! • Under-representation in solar market
 - Extra share of Solar Gardens! ! • Credit rating system
 - “Energy Rating” + loan guarantees! ! • History of Exploitation - Environmental Justice
 - Energy Democracy + local leader involvement! ! • Affordability
 - 10-20% or more savings needed for subscriber! ! Solutions for Low-Moderate Income and People of Color
  13. 13. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Cooperatives • Solution to Securities, Tax issues 
 (Case Study: Co-op Power, MA) ! • LMI Solution - member to member micro-loans ! • “Energy Democracy” ! !
  14. 14. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Nonprofits • Grid Alternatives - Large donations and grants provide free power for affordable housing using volunteer labor
 (Case Study: Grand Valley Power Solar Garden, CO - 
 8 Households) ! • Re-Volv - Revolving loan fund seeded with crowdfunding (CA) ! • Solstice Initiative - Subscriber marketing (MA) ! !
  15. 15. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Direct Public Offerings (For-Profit) • Up to $5 million securities offering within a single state ! • Cutting-Edge Capital provides technical assistance ! • Case Study - SunSpeed Electric Vehicle Charging (CA) ! • Case Study - Solar Mosaic “Old” model (2012-2013)
 1500 investors in community projects, $2.3 million ! ! ! !
  16. 16. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Open Standards / Open Source: A Growing Movement Open Solar Outdoor Test Field
  17. 17. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) Benefits of Open Standards For Shared Renewables • Lower cost to subscribers ! • Lower barriers to entry for developers ! • Less work for utilities and billing software providers ! • Opens door to community initiated projects ! • Makes smaller projects possible
  18. 18. Joy Hughes - NY Shared Solar Strategies for Inclusion (Solar One 4 Dec 2015) ! Thank you! ! ! ! ! ! Joy Hughes, Solar Gardens Institute joy@solargardens.org 719-207-3097 ! Visit solargardens.org and join the mailing list

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