Shared Solar Programs: Growing the Market


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Not all energy consumers can participate in net metering and other on-site generation programs. According to a government study, only about 25 percent of residential rooftops are capable of hosting solar generation systems. Shared renewable energy programs, including shared solar, are one option for meeting the needs of the rest of the market. Erica Schroeder McConnell discussed the latest insights into best practices in shared renewable energy, based on IREC's work developing shared solar programs in Delaware, Colorado and California.

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Shared Solar Programs: Growing the Market

  1. 1. Shared Solar Programs: Growing the Market Erica Schroeder McConnell Solar Power International 2013
  2. 2. Why Shared Solar? I want to benefit from renewable energy generation, but I… –  Rent my apartment –  Live in a multitenant building (e.g., a condo) –  Have insufficient or problematic roof space (e.g., too shady) –  Am just not interested in on-site generation (maintenance responsibility, aesthetic issues, etc.) Only 25% of residential roofs permit on-site generation 2 Paul Denholm & Robert Margolis, NREL, Curves for Rooftop Solar PV-Generated Electricity for the United States 4 (Nov. 2008),
  3. 3. Serving More Energy Consumers Net Metering Shared Solar The Vote Solar Initiative If just 5% of U.S. households invested in a 5-kW interest in a shared solar system… … we’d see over 28 GW of additional solar capacity! 3
  4. 4. Guiding Principles for Shared Solar 1 2 3 4 4 IREC, Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs (2013), 2013/06/IREC-Model-Rules-for-Shared-Renewable-Energy-Programs-2013.pdf
  5. 5. Shared Solar Growth in the U.S. 5 Based on IREC research as of May 2013,
  6. 6. Type of Energy Service Provider 6 Based on IREC research as of October 2013,
  7. 7. Average Program Size Coop – 213 kW Muni – 479 kW* * Excluding SRP 20-MW program IOU – 5165 kW 7 Based on IREC research as of October 2013,
  8. 8. Critical Program Elements 1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  Allocating the benefits of participation Valuation of the energy produced Program administration Shared solar facility ownership Shared solar facility size and location There are several ways to design a program… … choose what works for your community 8
  9. 9. Allocating the Benefits of Participation •  By payment? –  Raises security and tax issues •  By bill credit –  Dollar credit works better (vs. kWh credit) –  Can avoid security and tax concerns –  Relatively easy to administer –  Familiar to participants and utilities –  But what about valuation? 9
  10. 10. Valuation of Generation Embedded Cost-Based Approach •  Credit based on participants’ retail rates— generation, transmission and/or distribution rate components •  Can get more complicated with TOU rates and non-kWh rate components, e.g., demand charges •  Example: Xcel Solar*Rewards Community program in Colorado—SRC credit for residential customer ≈ $0.074/kWh 10*Rewards_Community_-_CO
  11. 11. Valuation of Generation Value-Based Approach •  Based on the value of the generation to the utility, weighing costs and benefits •  Example: Holy Cross Energy community solar—$0.11/kWh –  Similar to Austin Energy value of solar tariff (VOST) for on-site residential solar—$0.128/kWh 11 Austin Energy: Holy Cross Energy:
  12. 12. Valuation of Generation Value-Based Approach Costs Benefits Avoided Lost revenue Administrative costs Incentives generation and T&D Avoided line losses Capacity benefits and more 12
  13. 13. Additional Considerations •  •  •  •  •  •  Number of program participants Minimum and maximum subscription sizes Portability and transferability of participation REC ownership Consumer protection And more… Ultimately, the community’s goals, priorities and constraints determine what the program looks like 13
  14. 14. Further Resources •  Shared Renewables HQ: •  IREC Shared Renewables Program Catalog: 14
  15. 15. THANKS to our generous sponsors for the 2013 3iForum and 3iAwards
  16. 16. Questions? Erica Schroeder McConnell 510-314-8206 16