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Public Rooftop Revolution: Putting the Solar Shine on City Buildings

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There are many stories on residential rooftop solar but few on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power.

In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date—on municipal property, with little to no upfront cash. It would allow cities to redirect millions in saved energy costs to other public purposes.

Published in: Environment

Public Rooftop Revolution: Putting the Solar Shine on City Buildings

  1. 1. P U B L I C R O O F T O P R E V O L U T I O N P U T T I N G T H E S O L A R S H I N E O N C I T Y B U I L D I N G S John Farrell Director of Democratic Energy June 9, 2015
  2. 2. 3 G O A L S Find muni solar…
  3. 3. 3 G O A L S Celebrate success
  4. 4. 3 G O A L S Break barriers
  5. 5. P O L L : H O W M A N Y B R O W S E R TA B S A R E O P E N O N Y O U R C O M P U T E R ? • 1 - just this • 2-4 - email, news site, and this • 5-10 - doing a little research while I listen • 11+ - I can hear you talking, but I can’t find the slides
  6. 6. H U G E S O L A R P O T E N T I A L
  7. 7. Residential and Commercial roofs L O C A L S O L A R P O T E N T I A L 50% or more 25 to 50% 10 to 25% 25-50% 50%+ 15-25% P O T E N T I A L P E R C E N T O F P O W E R F R O M L O C A L R O O F T O P S O L A R
  8. 8. 8500 590 750 30,000 16,000 7200 11,000 1800 990 3600 12,000 780 7000 8200 5100 11,000 1900 26,000 2400 7300 5100 360 2600 1100 1200 800 1400 4800 1800 32,000 5000 580 970 2300 4100 4400 2900 7200 6800 2800 7100 11,000 11,000 550010,000 12,000 20 1140 700 4000 Percent of Sales 1-5% 5-10% 10% or moreSource: http://www.ilsr.org/commercial-roofop-revolution/ *No incentives D I S T R I B U T E D S O L A R P O T E N T I A L AT PA R I T Y * B Y 2 0 2 2 (Megawatts, residential & commercial)
  9. 9. 26,000 4400 12,000 Percent of Sales 1-5% 5-10% 10% or moreSource: http://www.ilsr.org/commercial-roofop-revolution/ *No incentives 20 MW 9,977 MW 397 MW D I S T R I B U T E D S O L A R P O T E N T I A L AT PA R I T Y * B Y 2 0 2 2 (Megawatts, residential & commercial)
  10. 10. 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 $0.00 $2.50 $5.00 $7.50 $10.00 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Weighted Avg. Cost ($/W) Cumulative Capacity (MW) SOLAR INSTALLS DRIVE RAPID PRICE DECLINE
  11. 11. C I T Y S O L A R P O T E N T I A L
  12. 12. “Instead of looking at solar as a frivolous amenity, look at it as an investment” Robert Hinson, Renewable Energy Coordinator with the City of Raleigh, NC Listen to the full podcast: http://www.ilsr.org/duking-it-out-over-municipal-solar-in-raleigh/
  13. 13. P O L L : H O W M U C H S O L A R O N K A N S A S C I T Y R O O F T O P S ? • 2 MW • 25 MW • 70 MW • 200 MW
  14. 14. Kansas City, MO 70 MW Source: Mid-America Regional Council Currently: 1.5 MW
  15. 15. Source: Tom Anderson and City of Minneapolis Minneapolis, MN 18 MW
  16. 16. KANSAS CITY SOLAR OPPORTUNITY 70 megawatts electricity bill savings $8.7 million 1,400 jobs economic impact $175 million
  17. 17. B R E A K I N G B A R R I E R S
  18. 18. P O L L : W H AT ’ S T H E B I G G E S T B A R R I E R T O M U N I C I PA L S O L A R ? • COST/FINANCING • SHADE, STRUCTURAL LIMITS • BUREAUCRACY • STATE RULES, E.G. NET METERING
  19. 19. B R E A K I N G B A R R I E R S C O S T
  20. 20. Costperkilowatt-hour 0¢ 5¢ 10¢ 15¢ 20¢ Solar purchase method Self-financed Lease, opt. 1 Lease, opt. 2 PPA* Private sector P E R V E R S E TA X P O L I C Y M A K E S M U N I C I PA L S O L A R C O S T M O R E Incentives do not apply to tax-exempt cities Depreciation only Tax credit only Tax credit and depreciation Transaction costs Tax credit and depreciation Transaction costs Transaction costs 15.5¢ 14.1¢ 13.7¢ 12.3¢ 11.2¢ Federal tax credit = 30% off Depreciation = ~24% off *PPA not legal in 25 states Cost per kilowatt-hour
  21. 21. -$100,000 $0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000 $500,000 $600,000 $700,000 $800,000 $900,000 Raleigh Lancaster New Bedford Self-Financed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Leased LIFETIME VALUE OF SOLAR PROJECT TO CITY (30 YEARS)
  22. 22. T H E T R U M P C A R D ? Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
  23. 23. 3 R D PA R T Y T R U M P C A R D COST PHYSICAL AESTHETIC EXPERTISE BUREAU- CRACY POLICY
  24. 24. P O L L : H O W M A N Y S TAT E S A L L O W P O W E R P U R C H A S E A G R E E M E N T S ? • 5 • 14 • 25 • 36 • All of them
  25. 25. Allows 3rd parties DC S TAT E S U P P O R T F O R S O L A R T H I R D PA R T Y O W N E R S H I P Source: DSIRE & ILSR, Apr. 2015 Ban or no official policy via power purchase agreements
  26. 26. 5 G I G A WAT T S O F M U N I C I PA L S O L A R !
  27. 27. B R E A K I N G B A R R I E R S P O L I C Y
  28. 28. N E T M E T E R I N G Can offset energy use with a solar array connected to the same meter
  29. 29. A G G R E G AT E N E T M E T E R I N G Source: Aggregate Net Metering: Opportunities for Local Governments (North Carolina Solar Center, 2013) Available* Not available to any sector No net metering policy *For some electric customers N/A for local governments Allowing electric customers to offset energy use at all meters/buildings with solar at any meter/building
  30. 30. V I R T U A L N E T M E T E R I N G Virtual Net Metering Eligibility California Multi-tenant properties, local governments Colorado IOU customers; solar gardens Connecticut Municipal customers only Illinois Utility choice to offer Maine All customers Maryland Allowed for agricultural customers, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments or their affiliates Massachusetts All customers Minnesota Community solar; Xcel Energy only New Hampshire All customers Rhode Island Local and state governments Vermont All customers Allowing electric customers to offset energy use at all meters/buildings with solar anywhere nearby
  31. 31. B R E A K I N G B A R R I E R S O T H E R
  32. 32. P H Y S I C A L Credit: Wally Gobetz via Flickr Shading 20% Structural limitations 20% Source: Rooftop Photovoltaics Market Penetration Scenarios (NREL, 2008)
  33. 33. 410 MW potential 2 MW installed New York City Muni Solar Shading 20% Structural limitations 20% There’s a lot more in here
  34. 34. A E S T H E T I C / H I S T O R I C Credit: MCAD Library via Flickr “[At least two major national solar installers] do not believe that solar guidelines for historic districts are too onerous for installers.” Source: Solar Panels and Historic Preservation. (National Trust for Historic Preservation, undated)
  35. 35. T E C H N I C A L / L E G A L E X P E R T I S E Credit: Janet Lindenmuth via Flickr
  36. 36. E X P E R T I S E / L E G A L We saw how much it cost to buy it from SolarCity and we saw how much we were paying for it from SCE…if it’s lower to buy it from this guy…then buy it from this guy. Jason Caudle, Deputy City Manager with the City of Lancaster, CA Listen to the full podcast: http://bit.ly/ILSR-Lancaster-podcast
  37. 37. B U R E A U C R A C Y Credit: net_efekt via Flickr
  38. 38. Credit: Ian Anderson via Flickr S P I L L O V E R B E N E F I T S
  39. 39. C O P Y C AT Credit: miconian via Flickr http://bit.ly/VoteSolarContagious Solar on municipal buildings leads to more solar installed in the community
  40. 40. E X P E R I E N C E 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 $0.00 $2.50 $5.00 $7.50 $10.00 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 Weighted Avg. Cost ($/W) Cumulative Capacity (MW) Solar on municipal buildings gives installers and city staff expertise to drive down costs
  41. 41. L O C A L R U L E S Denver Solar permitting fee = $50 Online permitting Minimal wait time Kansas City Experience with municipal solar helps cities lower barriers to solar
  42. 42. S TAT E R U L E S Lawsuit over municipal solar led to legalization of power purchase agreements for entire state Dubuque, IA
  43. 43. S U M M A RY 5 G I G A WAT T S O F M U N I C I PA L S O L A R !
  44. 44. T H A N K Y O U ! 21% http://www.ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution/ @johnffarrell www.ilsr.org “It was a story more of financing than it was a story of engineering or construction” Jason Caudle, Deputy City Manager with the City of Lancaster, CA

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