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Renewable Energy Project Development Resource Directory

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Title Author Content Type Topic Sub-Topic Energy Source
CICV Solar Roadmap

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Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia Template RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This solar policy and program roadmap contains guidance on how to transform the local solar market. Each recommendation is supported with relevant reports, case studies, examples, and templates to assist local and regional implementation efforts.
Solar Master Plan: Washington & Lee University (PDF) (25 pp, 3.5MB)

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Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia; Optony Inc. Publication Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
The CICV team provides colleges with the information necessary to incorporate solar energy into their long-term planning processes through tailored information that is relevant to their local utility, government, etc. This sample plan is a template other colleges and universities can utilize in their planning process.
Innovations in Wind and Solar PV Financing

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Cory, J. Coughlin; T. Jenkin, NREL; J. Pater Summit; Blue B. Swezey, Applied Materials Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar, Wind
This study surveys some of the current issues related to wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy project financing in the electric power industry, and identifies both barriers to and opportunities for increased investment.
Survey of Solar at Colleges and Universities: Midwest focus

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Janna Cohen Rosenthal, Second Nature Presentation Project Development Process Other Solar
An update on the survey of 680 participating colleges in the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, including findings on common financing mechanisms and renewable energy goals.
Harnessing the Sun: A Case Study of Solar Energy Deployment at Agnes Scott College

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Agnes Scott College Case Study Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
This case study reveals how Agnes Scott College, a small independent college in Georgia, successfully deployed solar arrays on its campus and includes detailed information on the technical aspects of each project. Specifically, it covers creative financing, innovative design, and partnerships.
Solar Securitization and the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) Working Group

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NREL Template Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
NREL's Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group was designed to open capital market investment for solar assets via securitization and other financial innovations. SAPC Standard Contracts were designed to improve consumer transparency, reduce transaction costs in the solar asset contracting process, and facilitate the pooling of the associated cash flows so that they may be securitized and sold in the capital markets.
GPP Webinar: Solar Procurement Templates and Tools for Higher Education

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EPA Tools & Resources Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This webinar provides specific strategic and tactical guidance for higher education institutions interested in pursuing options for solar power on their facilities, and offers a host of resources that schools can use to shape and manage the solar procurement process to a successful outcome.
System Advisor Model (SAM) for Financial Analysis of PV

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NREL Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources All
The System Advisor Model (SAM) is a performance and financial model designed to facilitate decision-making for people involved in the renewable energy industry: project managers and engineers, policy analysts, technology developers, and researchers. SAM makes performance predictions and cost-of-energy estimates for grid-connected power projects based on installation and operating costs and system design parameters that you specify as inputs to the model.
The Renewable Energy Contracts Library (RFP and PPA Resources)

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NREL Tools & Resources Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Financing Structures, Contract Best Practices All
The Renewable Energy Contracts Library provides many contracts, forms, and permits required during the development cycle and could relieve some of the due diligence pressures on developers, which could help to maintain project timelines and reduce total costs.
Guide to Purchasing Green Power: Renewable Electricity, Renewable Energy Certificates, and On-Site Renewable Generation

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DOE; EPA Publication Purchasing Green Power Financing Structures All
This Guide to Purchasing Green Power is intended for organizations that are considering the merits of buying green power, as well as those that have decided to buy it and want help doing so.
A Net Metered Solar Project Benefits ALL Ratepayers

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Eastern Mennonite University Case Study Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Contract Best Practices Solar
This article featuring Eastern Mennonite University is a case study of how a commercial scale photovoltaic installation benefitted the municipal electric company and its customers.
Solar PV Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) Calculator (XLSX) (34K)

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EPA Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) Calculator assists in evaluating informal/unsolicited bid pricing.
Navigating the Challenges of Renewable Energy Purchasing and PPAs (PDF) (4 pp, 145K)

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Philip Santiago, Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) Fact Sheet Project Financing Options, Purchasing Green Power Financing Structures All
ACCO caught up with Kevin Rabinovitch (Global Sustainability Director-—Mars Incorporated) and Chris O'Brien (former Director, Office of Sustainability—American University, now Director, Higher Education Programs—Altenex LLC) to find out what lessons they learned as they built successful renewable energy programs at their organizations.
Ramping Up Renewables with Power Purchase Agreements, PPAs (PDF) (10 pp, 4.3MB)

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Green Gigawatt Partnership Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures All
Higher Education has a unique set of characteristics positioning it with the opportunity to ramp up renewable energy while reducing energy costs and controlling energy price risk.
Google's Green PPAs: What, How, and Why (PDF) (6 pp, 428K)

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Google Case Study Project Financing Options Financing Structures All
This paper attempts to show how Google has answered these questions and met its principles in a way that makes business sense for them. They also hope that this will serve as a useful starting point for other companies that want to buy renewable power.
Capital Partners Solar Project- Harnessing Collective Buying Power to Procure Solar

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Amit Ronen, Director, George Washington Solar Institute Presentation Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
Under this Partnership, George Washington University, American University, and the George Washington University Hospital have collectively entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Duke Energy. Learn about a new business model in which nonprofit institutions collectively solicited competitive bids to secure a large portion of their electricity supply from solar PV.
RECs: Making Green Power Possible

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EPA Presentation Purchasing Green Power Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) All
This EPA video addresses common questions and concerns about the role and benefits of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). RECs represent the environmental and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation and are a component of all renewable electricity products. 
The Rise of Corporate PPAs: A new driver for renewables

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Baker & Mckenzie; Clean Energy Pipeline Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures All
This report provides market intelligence into corporate renewable PPAs and the various ways to negotiate, document, and finance corporate renewable PPA transactions. It is based on a survey of over 100 senior executives and complemented by in-depth interviews with high-level individuals active in the market. 
CICV Collaborative Procurement RFP

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Tyler Espinoza, Optony Inc. Presentation RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) issued a request for proposals to acquire 37 MW of solar across 15 partnering campuses in late 2015. Hear about the collaborative procurement RFP process, lessons learned, and their next steps in this recording.
Using Power Purchase Agreements for Solar Deployment at Universities

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NREL Fact Sheet Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
NREL's fact sheet provides guidance to universities on the process of using PPAs and how PPAs can make economic sense for campus solar deployment. This document can support university stakeholders charged with the financial planning of campus solar projects.
George Mason University RFP for Renewable Energy Certificates

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George Mason University Example RFPs & Contracts Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Contract Best Practices All
RFP for Renewable Energy Certificates issued by George Mason University.
Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments

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DOE Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Interconnection Policies, Financing Structures, Contract Best Practices Solar
This DOE guide is a comprehensive resource created to assist local governments and stakeholders in designing and implementing a strategic local solar plan. It includes examples and models that have been field-tested in cities and counties around the country that can help stimulate ideas or provide a framework for a comprehensive solar plan for a community.
A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development

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DOE SunShot Initiative Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Interconnection Policies Solar
By exploring the range of incentives and policies while providing examples of operational community shared solar projects, this guide will help communities plan and implement successful energy projects.
The Solarize Guidebook

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DOE SunShot Initiative Publication Project Development Process, Project Financing Options Regulated Market Barriers, Contract Best Practices Solar
This guidebook is intended to be a roadmap for project planners and solar advocates who want to create their own successful Solarize campaigns. It describes the key elements of the Solarize Portland campaigns and variations from projects across the country, along with lessons learned and planning templates.
Homeowners Guide to Financing a Grid-Connected Solar Electric System

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DOE Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
This guide provides an overview of the financing options that may be available to homeowners who are considering installing a solar electric system on their house. 
Banking on Solar: An Analysis of Banking Opportunities in the U.S. Distributed Photovoltaic Market

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David Feldman; Travis Lowder, NREL Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
This report provides a high-level overview of the developing U.S. solar loan product landscape, from both a market and economic perspective.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

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NC Clean Energy Technology Center Tools & Resources Policies & Regulations Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Interconnection Policies All
DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Markets:
Status and Trends


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Lori Bird, Jenny Heeter; Claire Kreycik; NREL Publication Policies & Regulations Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
SREC markets have emerged in nine U.S. states and Washington, D.C., as a method to meet compliance with solar carve out provisions of renewable energy portfolio standards, setting requirements for solar generation or capacity. This report examines the status and trends of SREC markets.
PVWatts® Calculator

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NREL Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
Estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world. It allows homeowners, small building owners, installers, and manufacturers to easily develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations
Green Power Partnership Procurement Tools and Resources

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EPA  Tools & Resources Purchasing Green Power, Project Development Process Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Project Feasibility Tools & Resources, Financing Structures All
The Green Power Partnership provides a variety of current and relevant tools and resources relevant to green power procurement including: tools and calculators, guidance documents, a list of local, state, and federal incentives for installing on-site renewable generation systems, and example templates, RFPs, and contracts.
Transparent Cost Database

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OpenEI Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources All
This database collects program cost and performance estimates for EERE technologies in a public forum where they can be viewed and compared to other published estimates. The database includes literature on technology cost, performance estimates, and levelized costs (both current and future projections) for electricity generation, biofuels, and vehicles.
Community Shared Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations

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NREL Fact Sheet Policies & Regulations, Project Financing Options Financial Reporting Considerations, Regulated Market Barriers Solar
This paper explores the ways in which the shared solar business model interacts with existing policy and regulations, including net metering, tax credits, and securities regulation. It presents some of the barriers that shared solar projects may face, and provides options for creating a supportive policy environment.
Solar Energy Project Development Issues: Preliminary Considerations

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Practical Law Company Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Interconnection Policies Solar
A discussion of some of the issues that solar developers and their counsel should consider when developing a solar energy project, including land acquisition, solar resource analysis, permitting, transmission, and interconnection. 
Interconnection Background

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Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Website Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies All
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) provide background on interconnection standards that govern the processes by which distributed clean energy projects physically connect to the utility grid.
The Open PV Project

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NREL Tools & Resources Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
The Open PV Project is a collaborative effort between government, industry, and the public that is compiling a comprehensive database of photovoltaic (PV) installation data for the United States. This database serves as a web-based resource for users to easily explore and understand the current and past trends of the U.S. PV industry.
Dynamic Maps, GIS Data, & Analysis Tools: Solar

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NREL Tools & Resources Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
Solar maps provide monthly average daily total solar resource information on grid cells. The insolation values represent the resource available to a flat plate collector, such as a photovoltaic (PV) panel, oriented due south at an angle from horizontal to equal to the latitude of the collector location. This is typical practice for PV system installation, although other orientations are also used.
Solar Research & Resources Links

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SEIA Tools & Resources Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Contract Best Practices, Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) provides a list of solar research and resources related to: government; laboratories; solar power market research and consulting; state solar programs and policies; nonprofits and advocacy; international solar organizations; and solar installation codes, standards, and certification.
Understanding Differences in Utility Views Toward Solar

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DOE Solar Market Pathways Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
To increase the deployment of solar electricity generation in your area, three key questions you need to answer are: who owns the utility (i.e., is it investor-owned, publicly owned, or member-owned); does the utility operate in a competitive retail energy market; and does the utility itself own generation facilities, like power plants or solar farms?
Incorporating Demand Response Into Community Solar Programs: A Module of the CSVP High-Value Community Solar Program Design Guide

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Olivine Inc.; Extensible Energy LLC Publication Project Development Process Contract Best Practices Solar
The primary objective of this guide is to assist utility solar program managers in including appropriate demand response (DR) measures for co-marketing to enhance the value of distributed solar—and particularly of utility-driven community solar.
Purdue University Solar Endowment Campus PV Roadmap

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Purdue University  Case Study Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Contract Best Practices Solar
Purdue University campus photovoltaic project roadmap.
Illinois State University Solar Pathways Campus PV Development Roadmap

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Illinois State University Case Study Project Development Process Contract Best Practices Solar
Illinois State University (ISU) is participating in the Solar Pathways program funded by the Department of Energy through the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to create a development plan for a shovel-ready solar array system on the university campus.
California NEM-V Market Assessment: A Snapshot of the Current State of the NEM-V Market in California Center for Sustainable Energy; California Solar Energy Industries Association; Interstate Renewable Energy Council Publication Policies & Regulations Other Solar
This Virtual Net Metering (NEM-V) Market Assessment Report is intended to summarize the current state of California’s NEM-V market. This report is simply a snapshot of tariff adoption to date.
Solar and Storage For Energy and Resiliency: A guide for consideration

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Utah Clean Energy;
DOE SunShot Initiative
Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Other Solar
The growing frequency of extreme weather events and the very real threat of a significant earthquake in Utah drives the need for resilient backup power systems. A self-generation power system comprised of solar photovoltaics coupled with battery storage not only provides robust backup power in the event of an emergency but also helps manage day-to-day energy usage. 
PV Development Considerations for US Universities

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Midwest Renewable Energy Association; TurningPoint Energy   Presentation Project Financing Options, Project Development Process, Purchasing Green Power Financing Structures Solar
This presentation covers photovoltaic (PV) development considerations for universities, including structuring solar development teams, best practices for PV development, university financial options for PV investment, and best practices for PV procurement.
Agnes Scott College Campus Solar Project

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Susan Kidd, Executive Director Center for Sustainability,  Agnes Scott College Presentation Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Financing Structures Solar
Susan Kidd, Director of Sustainability at Agnes Scott College, a small independent college in Georgia, led a presentation revealing how the college successfully deployed solar arrays on its campus. In January 2015, the college completed the installation of five solar photovoltaic arrays, which now produce 342,200 kWh per year. The presentation will include detailed information on creative financing, innovative design, and key partnerships.
Model Land Lease and Solar Easement Agreement

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The University of Minnesota Law School Environmental Law Clinic
In Conjunction with: Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES)
Template RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
Model land lease and solar easement agreement for community solar gardens.
A Guide to Sample
Community Solar Garden Leases


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The University of Minnesota Law School Environmental Law Clinic
In Conjunction with: Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES)
Publication RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This guide includes definitions and plain language explanations of provisions for land lease agreements. These explanations are meant to shed light on what each provision means, why it is important to the lease, and point out some place where changes could be made.
Using Power Purchase Agreements for Solar Deployment at Universities Presentation

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Jenny Heeter; Eric O'Shaughnessy, NREL Presentation Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
This presentation covers the NREL fact sheet "Using Power Purchase Agreements for Solar Deployment at Universities." It  aims to familiarize interested parties with using Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for solar deployment. 
Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia: Request for Proposals for Solar Photovoltaic Projects

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Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia Example RFPs & Contracts, Project Financing Options Contract Best Practices Solar
The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia's (CICV's) request for proposals from qualified firms to construct and finance solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at the campuses of some of its member colleges.
Solar Market Pathways for Independent Colleges in Virginia

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DOE Fact Sheet Project Development Process Other Solar
Fact sheet on the Solar Market Pathways for Independent Colleges of Virginia (SMP-ICV) program.
Capital Partners Solar Project: Frequently Asked Questions

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Capital Partners Solar Project Case Study Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Contract Best Practices Solar
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Capital Partners Solar Project and answers frequently asked questions.
Corporate Renewable Energy Purchases Can Trigger Dodd-Frank Swap Reporting Requirements (Legal Update)

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Mayer Brown Publication Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Financial Reporting Considerations All
Corporate investment in renewable energy is occurring both on- and offsite, and through both direct ownership and long-term purchase or similar agreements. Offsite long-term agreements, however, can raise an unexpected reporting issue under related Dodd Frank Act requirements.
Project Finance Primer for Renewable Energy and Clean Tech Projects

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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Publication Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Financing Structures All
This primer provides an overview of project finance for renewable energy investors, with a focus on the pros and cons, as well as a survey of key concepts and requirements, including tax incentives and monetization strategies in the renewable energy sector, and other key structuring considerations in determining whether to project finance.
Understanding Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)

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EPA Presentation Purchasing Green Power Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Financing Structures All
EPA's James Critchfield discusses some of the strategies used by colleges and universities to address this issue, including ensuring that the role, value, and trade-offs involved with monetizing renewable energy certificates (RECs) or in participating in financial structures where a third party retains ownership of the associated RECs is well understood.
Lincoln Park Shines: University of Minnesota Duluth

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University of Minnesota Duluth Presentation Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Other Solar
This presentation discusses the University of Minnesota Duluth's initiative to provide senior engineering students with opportunities to solve real-world problems and improve professional communication skills and to advance energy efficiency and the installation of renewable energy technologies in Duluth.
Financing Solar In Virginia

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Secure Futures, LLC Presentation Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
This presentation covers third-party ownership, the Eastern Mennonite University Project, innovative financing options, and why financing is handled differently in Virginia.
Distributed Solar Interconnection
Challenges and Best Practices


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Solar Electric Power Association Publication Project Development Process Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This report covers distributed solar interconnection challenges and best practices.
A State-Level Comparison of
Processes and Timelines for
Distributed Photovoltaic
Interconnection in the United
States


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NREL Publication Project Development Process Interconnection Policies Solar
This report presents results from an analysis of distributed photovoltaic (PV) interconnection and deployment processes in the United States.
Freeing the Grid: State Grades - Interconnection

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Freeing the Grid Website Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies All
This website provides grades for each state based on their interconnection policies.
Best Practices in PV System Installation

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NREL Publication Policies & Regulations Other Solar
This Installation Best Practices Guide is designed to improve solar asset transparency for investors and rating agencies, provide an industry framework for quality management, and reduce transaction costs in the solar asset securitization process. It is intended to outline the minimum requirements for third-party ownership providers.
Analysis of Web-Based Solar
Photovoltaic Mapping Tools


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NREL Publication Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
A PV mapping tool visually represents a specific site and calculates PV system size and projected electricity production. This report identifies the commercially available solar mapping tools and summarizes the source data type and resolution, the visualization software program being used, user inputs, calculation methodology and algorithms, map outputs, and development costs for each map.
Interconnecting PV on New York City’s Secondary Network Distribution System

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NREL Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Interconnection Policies Solar
To assess ways to improve the interconnection process, NREL conducted a four-part study on New York City. 
The Impacts of Commercial Electric Utility Rate Structure Elements on the Economics of Photovoltaic Systems

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NREL Publication Policies & Regulations Regulated Market Barriers Solar
This analysis uses simulated building data, simulated solar photovoltaic (PV) data, and actual electric utility tariff data from 25 cities to better understand the impacts of different commercial rate structures on the value of solar PV systems. 
Photovoltaic Systems
Interconnected onto Secondary
Network Distribution Systems – Success Stories


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NREL Publication Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies Solar
This report examines six case studies of photovoltaic (PV) systems integrated into secondary network systems. The six PV systems were chosen for evaluation because they are interconnected to secondary network systems located in four major Solar America Cities.
Feed-in Tariff Policy:
Design, Implementation, and RPS Policy Interactions 


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NREL Publication Policies & Regulations Regulated Market Barriers All
This report explores the design and implementation of feed-in tariff (FIT) policies, including a policy definition, various payment structures, and payment differentiation options. The report also discusses the interaction between FIT and RPS policies.
Decoupling Utility Profits from Sales: Issues for the Photovoltaic Industry

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Solar Electric Power Association Publication Policies & Regulations Regulated Market Barriers Solar
This white paper provides an overview of the problem with revenue loss and a background on net metering and its specific impact on the problem. The paper then goes on to more specifically define and discuss decoupling and alternatives to decoupling, followed by a decoupling case study of a hypothetical utility.
The Impact of Retail Rate Structures on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaic Systems in California

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LBNL Publication Policies & Regulations Regulated Market Barriers Solar
To achieve a sizable and self-sustaining market for grid-connected, customer-sited photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar will likely need to be competitive with retail electricity rates. This report examines the impact of retail rate design on the economic value of commercial PV systems in California. 
SunShot Initiative Fact Sheet: Photovoltaics

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DOE Fact Sheet Policies & Regulations, Project Financing Options Other Solar
The SunShot Initiative supports research and development to aggressively advance PV technology by improving efficiency and reliability and lowering manufacturing costs.
Best Practices for Interconnection Processes: Southern California Rooftop Solar Challenge

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Center for Sustainable Energy California; Energy Policy Initiatives Center; DOE   Publication Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies Solar
This report provides a summary of the best practices in the three major interconnection process categories among the local utilities in the Rooftop Solar Challenge team area, including: 1) Information Access, 2) Application
Access and Application Submission, 3) Processing Time, and 4) Inspections.
Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation

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NREL Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Financial Reporting Considerations Solar
This report provides a high-level overview of the current U.S. shared solar landscape and the impact that a given shared solar program’s structure has on requiring federal securities oversight, as well as an estimate of market potential for U.S. shared solar deployment.
Connecting to the Grid Guide 6th Edition

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Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Publication Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies All
This guide introduces readers to the issues surrounding policy and technical considerations of grid-integrated, renewable energy.
Model Interconnection Procedures

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Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Publication Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies All
This edition of IREC’s Model Interconnection Procedures synthesizes a number of best practices in the evolution of safe and reliable connecting renewable energy systems to the utility grid.
The Intersection of Net Metering and Retail Choice: An Overview of Policy, Practice, and Issues

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Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Publication Policies & Regulations Regulated Market Barriers All
Every state has a different set of laws and regulations that make it difficult for retail choice companies working in multiple states at once. This report clarifies how net metering works in these complex environments.
Solar Power Purchase Agreements: a Toolkit for Local Governments

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Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
Designed to overcome the common challenges and costs associated with Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), IREC’s comprehensive toolkit provides a full suite of legal resources and related documents in a user-friendly format.
Regulation, Innovation, and Experimentation: The Case of Residential Rooftop Solar

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L. Lynne Kiesling,
Northwestern University;
Mark Silberg
Northwestern University
Publication Policies & Regulations Regulated Market Barriers Solar
Recent innovations in smart grid and distributed energy technologies, innovations in solar industry financial and business models, and utility concerns about their financial viability in the face of such innovations, motivate this analysis of the regulatory institutions and their features that may be conducive to lower barriers to innovation in electricity.
Best Practices in PV System Operations and Maintenance

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NREL Publication Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This guide is designed to improve solar asset transparency for investors and rating agencies, provide an industry framework for quality management, and reduce transaction costs in the solar asset securitization process. It is intended to outline the minimum requirements for third-party ownership providers.
SEFA Consumer Solar Contract Best Practices Checklist

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Solar Energy Finance Authority (SEFA) Fact Sheet Project Development Process, Purchasing Green Power Contract Best Practices Solar
Consumer checklist for selecting a solar installer.
Best Practices in Commercial and Industrial (C&I) PV System Installation

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NREL Publication Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Financial Reporting Considerations Solar
This guide is designed to standardize and improve solar asset transparency for investors and rating agencies, provide an industry framework for quality management, and reduce transaction costs in the solar asset securitization process. It outlines the minimum requirements for commercial and industrial solar project developments.
Credit Enhancements and
Capital Markets to Fund Solar
Deployment: Leveraging Public
Funds to Open Private Sector
Investment


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NREL Publication Project Financing Options, Policies & Regulations Financial Reporting Considerations Solar
This report examines the various types of credit enhancements that could be used to drive capital market investment in the solar asset class.
Purchasing Power: Best Practices Guide for Collaborative Solar Procurement

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Joint Venture, Optony, Inc.; World Resources Institute  Publication Project Development Process, Purchasing Green Power Financing Structures Solar
This report demonstrates how governments and businesses can save money by joining together to buy solar power. The guide presents an innovative approach to solar power purchasing that can yield 10 to 15 percent lower costs and save 75 percent of administrative time and fees, while helping participants negotiate better contract terms to save money in the long run.
Solar Power Purchase Agreement

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NREL Template RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
Standard residential lease and commercial power purchase agreement (PPA) contracts for use by developers, customers, and third-party finance providers in the solar industry.
Solar Power System Contracts

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Arizona Office of the Auditor General Fact Sheet RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
To maximize the benefits of solar power system contracts, Arizona school districts need proper planning and attention to detail. This fact sheet outlines the best practices districts should take.
Solar PV O&M Standards and Best Practices – Existing Gaps and Improvement Efforts

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Sandia National Laboratories Publication Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
To mitigate risks to PV system availability and performance, standardized procedures for operations and maintenance (O&M) activities are needed to ensure high reliability and long-term system bankability.
A Best Practice for Developing Availability Guarantee Language in Photovoltaic (PV) O&M Agreements

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Sandia National Laboratories Publication Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices, Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This report identifies both best-practice elements and gaps that must be addressed to improve communication of equipment operational states and failure modes for the benefit of all parties to a PV operations and maintenance services contract.
Why Power Purchase Agreements Make Sense

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SunPower Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures All
The government wants on-site solar, solar developers want to build more projects, and the investment community is always interested in financing profitable projects. All of this creates jobs and allows for reinvestment in the next stage of the solar industry. A power purchase agreement (PPA) is the financial tool that can bring it all together.
Outlook on Administration: Campus Leadership Challenges

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Harriet Meyers, University Business Publication Project Development Process Internal Stakeholder Engagement All
This article discusses how experts in higher education administration and management predict that 2015 will bring intense and sometimes surprising governance, financial, and legal challenges to the sea of potential worries for university leaders. A few critical issues that will bubble to the surface involve financial health, academic performance, student wellness, and continuity in leadership.
Higher Education Solar Development: RFPs and Contract Issues

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EPA Presentation RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This presentation by James Critchfield, EPA Green Power Partnership; Jonathan Whelan, Optony, Inc.​; Merrill Kramer, Sullivan & Worcester​; and Dennis Carlberg, Boston University explores the complexities of issuing Request for Proposals (RFP) and developing contracts, as well as identifying institutional administrative issues and opportunities for solar deployment. 
Solar Utilization in Higher Education Networking & Information Sharing Group: Contract, RFP, and Administrative Issues Discussion​

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EPA Presentation RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices, Internal Stakeholder Engagement Solar
This presentation by James Critchfield, EPA Green Power Partnership discusses the key contracts, Request for Proposals (RFPs), and administrative issues in higher education.
Speaking the CFO's Language: The case for energy efficiency

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DOE Presentation Project Development Process Internal Stakeholder Engagement All
Better Buildings Challenge Partners, USAA Real Estate Company; University of California, Irvine; and Kohl's, shared their best practices for communicating the value of building energy efficiency projects and working with financial decision-makers to make those projects happen.
Solar Powering Your Community: Key Elements of Solar Requests for Proposals

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NREL Presentation RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This presentation covers the key elements of a solar requests for proposals (RFP).
Procuring and Implementing Solar Projects on Public Buildings

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DOE Presentation RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This presentation outlines good practices for PV & SWH RFP processes, describes how to avoid five common PV & SWH pitfalls, and illustrates practices and pitfalls with a case study.
Steps to a Successful Solar Request for Proposal

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The Solar Foundation Publication RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This publication summarizes the steps for preparing a successful request for proposal.
PV Pricing worksheet

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EPA Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This PV Pricing worksheet enables transparent and comparable vendor pricing.
PV RFP Evaluation Matrix

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EPA Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources, Contract Best Practices Solar
Proposal evaluation criteria matric allows easy comparison across proposals.
Solar RFP Issuance Checklist for Facilities Managers

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EPA Tools & Resources RFPs & Contracts, Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Contract Best Practices Solar
Solar RFP issuance checklist for facilities managers.
Solar Proposal Response Checklist

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EPA Tools & Resources RFPs & Contracts, Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Contract Best Practices Solar
Response checklist for solar proposals.
Solar Procurement Templates & Tools for Higher Education

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Ben Foster, Senior Vice-President, Optony Inc. Presentation Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This presentation provides an overview of templates and tools for high education solar procurement, procurement process outline, system specifications, vendor proposal checklist, pricing template, and evaluation criteria.
Corporate Energy Sourcing: A New Engine For Renewables

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Portfolio Media, Inc. Publication Project Financing Options, Purchasing Green Power Financing Structures, Internal Stakeholder Engagement All
This article summarizes the tools available to corporations that want to procure renewable energy and to developers who want to sell to corporate end users.
Guidelines for Renewable Energy Claims: Guidance for Consumers and Electricity Providers

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Center for Resource Solutions Publication Making Renewable Energy Claims Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) All
This issue brief provides guidance to consumers and electricity providers about renewable energy claims.
Guidance for Renewable Energy Marketing Claims

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Vermont Attorney General’s Office Publication Making Renewable Energy Claims Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) All
The Vermont Attorney General’s Office and Department of Public Service issued this guidance to clarify that all marketers of renewable energy projects must comply with the rules that prohibit deceptive marketing statements. 
The 50 States of Solar (Q1 2016 Policy Review): A Quarterly Look at America’s Fast-Evolving Distributed Solar Policy and Regulatory Conversation

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North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center Publication Policies & Regulations Regulated Market Barriers Solar
The purpose of this report is to provide state lawmakers and regulators, electric utilities, the solar industry, and other energy stakeholders with timely updates on how states are choosing to study, adopt, implement, amend, or discontinue policies associated with distributed solar photovoltaics (PV). 
Solar Power Purchase Agreements

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EPA Website Project Financing Options, Purchasing Green Power Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
Green Power Partnership webpage that covers "What Is a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA)?"
Solar Request for Proposals & Procurement Guidance

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DOE Template Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
Customizable templates to facilitate installing solar on your building.
State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) for Clean Energy

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Center for the New Energy Economy Website Policies & Regulations Project Feasibility Tools & Resources All
The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) for Clean Energy serves as a hub of information on both existing state clean energy policies and, uniquely, future policy opportunities.
CivicPACE for Colleges and Universities

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The Solar Foundation Presentation Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
Alex Winn, Program Director, The Solar Foundation discusses ways colleges and universities can creatively finance solar through the CivicPACE model and others.
Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia: Collaborative Solar Procurement RFP

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Optony Presentation RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This presentation covers the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia's collaborative solar procurement process.
Solar Request for Proposals & Procurement Guidance

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U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Template RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This guidance document includes a customizable templates to facilitate installing solar on your building.
Solar Photovoltaics Cost Proposal Comparison Tool  U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Template RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This template was prepared with support from partners in the Better Buildings Alliance's Renewables Integration Technology Solutions Team to assist building owners in procuring solar. 
Seven Steps to Selecting a Solar Provider

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U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Fact Sheet Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
This resource highlights best practices to selecting a commercial solar provider. Business owners interested in going solar can take the steps included in this fact sheet to install an on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
Lessons Learned from the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia's First Collarborative Solar RFP

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CICV Publication RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
To assist other coalitions seeking to replicate this collaborative procurement model, CICV, Optony, and the participating independent colleges have documented the lessons learned. Applying these lessons to future projects may help other groups streamline and compress their procurement process.
Non-Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Options for Financing Solar Deployment at Universities

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NREL Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
This overview summarizes existing financing models and funding mechanisms available for solar procurement, focusing on non-PPA financing models.
Procurement Specifications Templates for Onsite Solar Photovoltaic: For Use in Developing Federal Solicitations

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DOE, LBNL Publication Project Development Process Other Solar
This document is intended to reduce project development and operational risks while increasing the speed at which projects are completed; two necessary components to reach the scale required to meet mandates and achieve cost savings for taxpayers. This guide is intended to act as a living document where lessons learned from the increasing number of projects can be incorporated and provide guidance for efforts.
Solar Energy on Campus Part I: Renewable Energy Usage Claims

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CRS Publication Making Renewable Energy Claims Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
Before moving forward with solar for your institution, it is important to understand how various solar purchasing options align with the institutional goals you hope to meet. Importantly, your institutional goals might manifest in certain benefits and claims that you and your colleagues plan to make, which could be rendered inaccurate based on the structure of your chosen purchasing option. Failing to understand or consider the relevant purchasing mechanisms involved in transactions of renewable energy could negatively affect the non-financial or environmental value of your investment in solar.
Solar Energy on Campus Part II: Solar Purchasing Options and Communicating Renewable Energy Use

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CRS Publication Purchasing Green Power, Making Renewable Energy Claims Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
This report examines the solar purchasing options available to higher education institutions, and the fundamental components of each deal that affect renewable energy certificate (REC) ownership, claims, and the environmental value of solar investments.
Solar Energy on Campus Part III: Key Considerations for Solar Developers Working With Higher Education Institutions

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CRS Publication Making Renewable Energy Claims Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
This document outlines best practices for developers marketing renewable energy products to customers, some of the risks and consequences associated with misleading marketing, and additional factors that solar developers need to consider when creating a marketing strategy and associated materials.
Solar Energy on Campus Part IV: Community Purchasing Campaigns and Renewable Energy Usage Claims

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CRS Publication Making Renewable Energy Claims Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
This document focuses on one such Community Solar option available to higher education institutions: Solarize Campaigns. A number of schools have already taken advantage of this option, including St. Olaf College and University of Utah. This document examines how Solarize Campaigns are structured, describes the various renewable energy certificate (REC) ownership models available, and provides best practices for the parties involved.
Solar Energy on Campus: Opportunities and Common Pitfalls in Communicating Renewable Energy Use in Higher Education

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CRS, NREL Presentation Making Renewable Energy Claims Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
Hear from representatives from Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in a webinar to discuss: (1) the role of RECs in renewable energy claims; (2) acceptable language for making accurate claims; (3) the advantages and risks of solar purchasing options including onsite generation, PPAs, and REC purchases; (4) specific approved claims for each solar purchasing option; (5) decoding environmental attribute ownership within solar PPAs; (6) REC arbitrage done right; (7) additional considerations, including state incentives, operating within cap-and-trade programs, and state laws.
Solar Outreach Partnership: Solar Policy Toolkit

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DOE Tools & Resources Policies & Regulations, Project Financing Options Interconnection Policies Solar
This toolkit provides clear and comprehensive information on major solar policies in the United States. While it targets local government personnel, the toolkit should be useful to a diverse audience including solar installers, customers, and advocates.
Solar University Network: Innovation in Solar Energy Finance & Development

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Second Nature Case Study Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Financing Structures Solar
The case study series highlights higher education investment in solar energy projects. The purpose of these case studies is to showcase working financial models for universities and other higher education institutions to invest in solar energy on campus. In this case study, we look at how Luther College uses donors and supporters to fund their renewable energy campus initiatives.
Writing Solar Requests for Proposals (RFPs): Lessons from NREL’s University PV Implementation Assistance Program

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NREL Publication RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
Typically, universities issue RFPs as a way to get competitive bids on solar power purchase agreements (PPAs). However, RFPs could also be used for university-owned systems. While providing assistance to universities issuing RFPs, NREL has developed a list of common issues to consider when writing an RFP for solar PV.
Large -Scale Renewables: The Next Chapter in Higher Education Sustainability Leadership

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Second Nature Publication Project Development Process Internal Stakeholder Engagement All
Large-scale renewable energy (LSRE) provides higher education institutions with an attractive solution to reducing greenhouse gases and show climate leadership, while reducing long-term electricity cost and managing risk. A growing number of schools are realizing these benefits and achieving breakthroughs on their Climate Leadership Commitments (a program facilitated by Second Nature, a co-author of this report) to lead the fight against climate change. To inform and inspire others to reduce GHG emissions and pursue LSRE, this white paper presents the opportunity, challenges, recommendations for success, and strategies to get started on the LSRE procurement process.
Emerging Green Tariffs in U.S. Regulated Electricity Markets

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World Resources Institute; WWF Publication Project Financing Options, Purchasing Green Power Financing Structures, Regulated Market Barriers All
Green tariffs, or riders, are an emerging option for customers in markets where there is no functional retail electricity choice to access fixed-price renewable energy. Offered by local utilities and approved by state public utility commissions, these programs allow eligible customers to buy both the energy from a renewable energy project and the RECs. This resource is a compilation of emerging green tariff proposals and offerings for commercial and industrial customers in regulated markets in the U.S.
Financing for Solar Deployment on University Campuses

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NREL Presentation Project Financing Options Financing Structures Solar
This presentation by NREL covers solar deployment in the higher education sector with a particular focus on various financing options currently employed. Financing strategies are described and case studies and financing tools are presented.
NREL Screens Universities for Solar and Battery Storage Potential

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NREL Fact Sheet Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This fact sheet describes the technical assistance NREL has provided to universities related to installing solar and storage using NREL’s REopt model.
Colorado State University: A Midscale Market Solar Customer Case Study

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NREL Publication Project Financing Options, Project Development Process Financing Structures Solar
This case study highlights Colorado State University's experience installing various sizes of PV solar systems on campus as well as the challenges, solutions, and opportunities associated with university solar power procurement.
Solar Finance Simulator

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Midwest Renewable Energy Association Tools & Resources Project Financing Options, Project Economics & Evaluation Financing Structures, Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
The Solar Finance Simulator is an easy-to-use online tool for universities, hospitals, municipalities, and businesses to simulate long-term financial forecasting for four types of solar photovoltaic (PV) investment. Using their own values, users can simulate and compare financial projections for direct ownership, power purchase agreement (PPA), debt financing, and operating lease. The tool can be used to guide or validate potential projects, compare proposals, or simply help users become more familiar with financing structures and common transaction costs.
A State-by-State Guide for Midsized Solar Customers

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NREL Website Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies Solar
This new NREL website is based on the 2016 NREL report Midmarket Solar Policies in the United States: A Guide for Midsized Solar Customers. The guide equips prospective solar customers with the tools necessary to understand and use the solar policies of their state for midmarket solar projects. In this context, midmarket projects are defined as behind-the-meter PV systems with a generation capacity between 50 kilowatts and 2 megawatts. This inventory serves as an online and up-to-date version of the report's state-by-state summaries. Each state's webpage highlights policy gaps and opportunities in that state's policies that either inhibit or enable midmarket projects.
Sustainability Action in Higher Education

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NREL Fact Sheet Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
How can solar and other renewable purchasing options fit into campus sustainability planning? This fact sheet reviews solar pricing trends (both over time and regionally), provides resources for evaluating solar, and compares solar to other sustainability actions, such as efficiency investments and renewable purchasing.
NREL Brings Midmarket Solar PV Technical Assistance to 36 Universities and Colleges

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NREL News Item Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources All
In 2016 and 2017, NREL provided universities with 15 detailed screenings and implementation assistance using the REopt energy planning platform and other tools. NREL's REopt energy planning platform can help schools understand the optimal mix of renewable energy and fossil fuels required to meet their cost savings, greenhouse gas reduction, and energy performance goals. The REopt platform combines high-level site, resource, cost, incentive, and financial data to identify the most cost-effective ways to meet energy goals across a portfolio of sites. This webpage reviews the no-cost technical assistance NREL has been providing to campuses across the country.
Guide to Making Claims About Your Solar Power Use

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EPA Green Power Partnership Publication Project Development Process Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar
This guide describes best practices for appropriately explaining and characterizing solar power activities and the fundamental importance of renewable energy certificates (RECs) for solar power use claims. This guidance is primarily focused on claims associated with on-site projects but is equally relevant for off-site owned projects as well.
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Arbitrage

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EPA Green Power Partnership Publication Project Development Process, Project Financing Options Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Financing Structures All
This document describes this green power procurement strategy used by electricity consumers to simultaneously meet two objectives: 1) decrease the cost of their renewable electricity use and 2) substantiate renewable electricity use and carbon footprint reduction claims. The strategy is used by consumers installing self-financed renewable electricity projects or consumers who purchase renewable electricity directly from a renewable electricity project, such as through a power purchase agreement (PPA).
Solar RFP Proposal Evaluation Matrix (XLS)

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EPA Green Power Partnership Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This excel-based solar RFP evaluation matrix allows for the comparison of various proposal criteria across multiple potential vendors based on qualifications and experience, technical proposal, project costs, implementation plan and schedule, and contract terms and conditions.
PV Cost Proposal Form (XLSX)

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EPA Green Power Partnership Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This excel-based solar cost proposal worksheet enables transparent and comparable vendor pricing to help manage and guide the solar procurement process to a successful outcome.
Solar Hot Water Price Proposal (XLSX)

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EPA Green Power Partnership Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
This excel-based solar hot water system cost proposal worksheet enables transparent and comparable vendor pricing to help manage and guide the solar procurement process to a successful outcome.
REopt Lite: Sizing Solar+Storage for Savings and Resiliency with NREL’s New Tool

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Clean Energy Group Webinar Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
In this webinar, presenters from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) introduced the beta version of the lab’s new solar+storage web tool, REopt Lite. This free tool is designed to help building owners and planners quickly and easily evaluate the economics of solar PV and battery storage for their sites. It identifies the optimal PV and battery system sizing to minimize costs and maximize lifetime energy savings. The tool can also be used to size solar+storage systems to support a site’s critical loads during a grid outage.
Reopt Lite

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NREL Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar
REopt Lite is an online version of NREL’s more comprehensive REopt model, which has been used by analysts to evaluate renewable energy opportunities at more than 10,000 sites, supporting decisions leading to more than 260 megawatts of renewable energy development. The REopt Lite we b tool helps commercial building managers: evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV and battery storage at a site; identify system sizes and battery dispatch strategies to minimize energy costs; and estimate how long a system can sustain critical load during a grid outage.
Model Leases and PPAs

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SEIA Tools & Resources Project Development Process; RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar
As a critical component of their consumer protection and cost reduction programs, SEIA provides access to downloadable and editable PPA agreements for commercial and industrial customers as well as for residential customers.
Distributed Wind Energy Zoning and Permitting: A Toolkit for Local Governments

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Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) Publication Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Wind
This toolkit aims to help local governments and planning agencies facilitate the efficient and appropriate development of distributed wind in their communities. It covers the following topics: (i) an introduction to distributed wind; (ii) the benefits and challenges of distributed wind; (iii) zoning and permitting considerations, including aesthetics, safety, sound, wildlife, and turbine certification; (iv) how to permit a project that maintains the character of a community; (v) case studies and best practices.

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