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Renewable Energy Project Development Resource Directory

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Solar Master Plan: Washington & Lee University (PDF) (25 pp, 3.5MB) 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 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 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 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 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 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 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) 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 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 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) EPA Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) Calculator assists in evaluating informal/unsolicited bid pricing.
Google's Green PPAs: What, How, and Why (PDF) (6 pp, 428K) 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 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 EPA Video 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.
CICV Collaborative Procurement RFP 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 (PDF) (4 pp, 1.1MB) 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 (PDF) (9 pp, 71K) 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 (PDF) (172 pp, 6MB) 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 (PDF) 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 (PDF) 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 (PDF) 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 (PDF) (42 pp, 1.4MB) 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) 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 (PDF)
(58 pp, 1.3MB)
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 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 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 tools and resources relevant to green power purchasing including: tools and calculators, guidance documents, green power incentives, and example materials.
Transparent Cost Database 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 (PDF) (8 pp, 633K) 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.
Interconnection Background 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.
Dynamic Maps, GIS Data, & Analysis Tools: Solar 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 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 (PDF) (5 pp, 287K) 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 (PDF) (33 pp, 617K) 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 (PDF) (34 pp, 3.5MB) 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 (PDF) (65 pp, 11.6MB) 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 (PDF) (23 pp, 1.1MB) 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 (PDF) (14 pp, 3.2MB) 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 (PDF) (54 pp, 3.5MB) 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 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 (DOCX) 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 (DOCX)
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 (PDF) (27 pp, 2.1MB) 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 (PDF) (21 pp, 299K) 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 (PDF) (2 pp, 1MB) 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 (PDF) (6 pp, 349K) 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) (PDF) (5 pp, 145K) 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 (PDF) (17 pp, 452K) 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) 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 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 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 (PDF)
(12 pp, 1MB)
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 (PDF)
(41 pp, 2.5MB)
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.
Best Practices in PV System Installation (PDF) (36 pp, 916K) 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 (PDF)
(14 pp, 1.2MB)
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 (PDF) (143 pp, 5.7MB) 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 (PDF) (30 pp, 568K) 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 (PDF)
(42 pp, 956K)
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 (PDF)
(23 pp, 475K)
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 (PDF) (31 pp, 777K) 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 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 (PDF) (2 pp, 316K) 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 (PDF) (17 pp, 5.6MB) 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 (PDF) (81 pp, 7.2MB) 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 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 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 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 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 (PDF) (28 pp, 187K) 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 (PDF) (57 pp, 832K) 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 (PDF) (4 pp, 147K) 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 (PDF) (48 pp, 1.2MB) 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 (PDF)
(32 pp, 728K)
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 (PDF) (62 pp, 3MB) 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 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 (PDF) (4 pp, 218K) 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 (PDF) (43 pp, 1.1MB) 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 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.
Outlook on Administration: Campus Leadership Challenges 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 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​ 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 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 (PDF) (31 pp, 1.5MB) 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 (PDF) (38 pp, 2.6MB) 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 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 (XLSX) 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 (XLS) 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 (PDF) (1 pg, 9K) 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 (PDF) (1 pg, 14.8K) 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 (PDF) (14 pp, 1MB) 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 (PDF) (4 pp, 416K) 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 (PDF) (2 pp, 570K) 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 (PDF) (6 pp, 2.3MB) 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.
Solar Power Purchase Agreements 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 (DOCX) 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 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 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 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 (DOCX) 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 (XLSX) 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 (PDF) (1 pg, 158K) 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 (PDF) (5 pp, 111K) 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 (PDF) (5 pp, 1.2MB) 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 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 (PDF) (3 pp, 378K) 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 (PDF) (6 pp, 1.9MB) 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 (PDF) (2 pp, 194K) 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 (PDF) (3 pp, 1.3MB) 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 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 University Network: Innovation in Solar Energy Finance & Development 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 (PDF) (2 pp, 440K) 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 (PDF) (18 pp, 1.4MB) 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 (PDF) (84 pp, 1.1MB) 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 (PDF) (53 pp, 6.6MB) 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 (PDF) (1 pg, 107K) 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 (PDF) (28 pp, 1.7MB) 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 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 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 (PDF) (6 pp, 598K) 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 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 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 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) 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) 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) 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 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 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 web 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 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 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.
Community Solar Solutions Tool Community Solar Value Project (CSVP) Tools & Resources Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar The Community Solar Value Project has designed this toolbox to support developing community solar, shared-solar and integrated DER programs. The toolbox identifies challenge areas, best-practices and innovations that add value, while speeding the path to market for community solar programs.
Distribution Grid Integration Unit Cost Database NREL Tools & Resources Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar This tool allows users to estimate and compare costs associated with the integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
The Five-Step Process for Tribal Energy Project Development (PDF) (25 pp, 1MB) U.S. DOE Office of Indian Energy Presentation Project Development Process Other All The DOE Office of Indian Energy has developed a five-step project development and financing process that focuses on key decision points and outlines a chronological path to smart renewable energy development.
Solar Guidebook for Local Governments NYSERDA Publication Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar This Solar Guidebook is a compilation of information, tools and step-by-step instructions to support local governments developing solar energy resources and creating clean energy jobs.
One Year In – Energy Storage Proves its Worth in Sterling, MA Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) Presentation Other Project Development Process Solar Summarizing one year of operations, this webinar shows how the Sterling Municipal Light Department’s energy storage project saved nearly $400,000 for the town’s ratepayers, and will take a deep dive into the economics of utility-scale energy storage in New England. The webinar also provides information on a second energy storage project being undertaken by Sterling in conjunction with a community solar installation.
Interactive Solar Training for Local Code Officials Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Online Training Other Other Solar The online viewer learns alongside IREC's own Joe Sarubbi, an experienced technical education, training and workforce development specialist, as seasoned building and electrical inspectors guide him through the finer points of five different solar inspections, each highlighting different types of systems and technologies. Presented in an engaging, easy-to-watch video format that can be completed in just a handful of lunch-hour sessions, the training is geared for residential inspectors and useful for residential PV installers.
Photovoltaic (PV) Development Considerations for Institutions Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) Presentation Project Development Process Financing Structures Solar This presentation takes a high-level look at some of the legal and regulatory issues that universities and colleges will face when they decide to deploy solar PV systems. Solar development considerations include: ownership and third-party models, goals and objectives for deploying solar and why institutions must focus on them, sources of authority for institutions to act, possible constraints on an institution’s authority to act (organizational, statutory, and contractual, local government procedures and constraints institutions will face (including utility issues, zoning, permitting, inspection, etc.), ways that endowment funds could help with solar projects, and unique issues relating to agreements with utilities and tax-exempt financing.
City and County Solar PV Training Program: Module 1 - Goal Setting & Clarification NREL Video Project Development Process Internal Stakeholder Engagement Solar This NREL training module covers the topic of goal setting and clarification. The presentation will help you understand the nuances between the different types of goals for renewable energy development, the importance of terminology when setting and announcing your goals, the value of formally clarifying your priorities, and how those priorities may impact procurement options as your set out to achieve those goals.
City and County Solar PV Training Program: Module 2 - Screening and Identifying PV Projects NREL Video Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar This NREL training module covers the different drivers of PV project potential and how you can assess your site using energy modeling tools that incorporate these drivers. Your project potential is determined by a number of variables, such as PV resource, roof and land availability, energy utility costs, inflation and escalation rates, and state incentives and policies. This module will show you the steps, data, and tools required to screen available PV sites.
City and County Solar PV Training Program: Module 3 - Detailed Site Evaluation, Project Validation, and Permitting NREL Video Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar This NREL training module walks through the key considerations and activities that should be performed when evaluating a site for solar photovoltaics. Once you've determined a site is favorable for a solar project, a detailed site evaluation will identify potential barriers. Some of the most common obstacles arise around relevant decision makers, solar policy, site plans and usage, technical feasibility, economic factors, land use permitting, and mounting type.
City and County Solar PV Training Program: Module 4 - Project Financing, Policy, and Incentives NREL Video Policies & Regulations, Project Financing Options Financing Structures, Regulated Market Barriers, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) Solar This NREL training module covers the policies and incentives that may affect your potential PV project vary by location and can make the difference between your decision to own or finance a system. This module will help you understand the different financing types available to local governments.
City and County Solar PV Training Program: Module 5 - Deciding on a Financing Approach and Beginning PV Procurement NREL Video Project Financing Options, RFPs & Contracts Financing Structures Solar This NREL training module covers the nuances of PV financial models and how they impact your PV procurement process. The training video provides lessons learned from other cities who have successfully issued solar RFPs. This module will help you understand the next steps towards issuing an RFP and provides a solar RFP template.
New York Solar Guidebook for Local Governments NYSERDA Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Interconnection Policies Solar The New York Solar Guidebook contains information, tools, and step-by-step instructions to support local governments managing solar energy development in their communities. The Guidebook’s chapters cover a variety of solar energy topics including, the permitting process, property taxes, model solar energy law and more.
A Guidebook on Equitable Clean Energy Program Design for Local Governments and Partners (PDF) (84 pp, 14.5MB) The Cadmus Group Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Internal Stakeholder Engagement, Other All This guide supports local governments and their partners to intentionally design programs that enable current and emerging clean energy technologies to be accessed equitably. Given the breadth of clean energy technologies and program models covered, this guide highlights and points to existing in depth resources for further information on the key ideas introduced and discussed within.
American Cites Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator's Interactive Procurement Guidance World Resources Institute and Rocky Mountain Institute Interactive Website Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources All This is a detailed guide for a city to procure different types of renewable energy. It is designed to help city governments effectively and efficiently understand associated processes, tools, and best practices in order to facilitate successful implementation of municipal renewable energy projects. The guidance is broken down into two distinct stages: Developing a Strategy and Executing a Project.
The Revitalization Handbook - Addressing Liability Concerns at Contaminated Properties EPA Publication Project Development Process Other All This handbook summarizes the federal statutory provisions and EPA cleanup enforcement documents that may be able to address the liability concerns of parties involved in the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated sites. EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites when such development is aligned with the community’s vision for the site.It also summarizes key legal and policy changes since the 2014 version.
Interconnection: Plugging RE-Powering Sites into the Electric Grid EPA Publication Project Development Process, Policies & Regulations Interconnection Policies All This discussion paper provides RE-Powering stakeholders with information for efficiently proceeding through the interconnection process for renewable energy projects connecting to the electric transmission and distribution systems.
Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) Tool NRDC Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources All This tool allows you to explore the changing economics of the power sector, which are reflected in the cost of generation from new power plants. Select a state and compare the cost of building and operating a new power plant for five different technologies: coal, natural gas (combined cycle), nuclear, wind, and solar (utility-scale) and explore how a range of projections for future technology costs or fuel prices could impact the competitiveness of each type. To illustrate how the cost of different technologies compare, the tool calculates what is known as the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). The LCOE represents the total cost of financing, building, and operating a power plant, divided by the total amount of electricity generated by the plant over its economic lifetime, provided on a dollar per megawatt-hour ($/MWh) basis.
NREL's PVWatts® Calculator Training: Module 1 – Intro to NREL’s PVWatts® Calculator NREL Video Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar NREL's PVWatts® Calculator is a web application developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs. Developed with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, this video provides an introductory overview of what will be covered in the subsequent training modules for the PV Watts tool.
NREL's PVWatts® Calculator Training: Module 2 – Getting Started with NREL’s PVWatts® Calculator NREL Video Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar NREL's PVWatts® Calculator is a web application developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs. Developed with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, this video provides a step-by-step overview of how to get started using this robust and comprehensive tool.
NREL's PVWatts® Calculator Training: Module 3 – Using NREL’s PVWatts® to Calculate Potential at a MA Landfill NREL Video Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar NREL's PVWatts® Calculator is a web application developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs. Developed with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, this video provides an example of using the NREL's PVWatts® Calculator to calculate the solar potential for a landfill site in West Boylston, MA.
NREL's PVWatts® Calculator Training: Module 4 – Estimating Basic Economic Feasibility NREL Video Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar NREL's PVWatts® Calculator is a web application developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs. Developed with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, this video provides a step-by-step overview of how to estimate basic economic feasibility.
NREL's PVWatts® Calculator Training: Module 5 – Developing a Preliminary Feasibility Study NREL Video Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar NREL's PVWatts® Calculator is a web application developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs. Developed with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, this video provides a step-by-step overview of how to develop a preliminary feasibility study.
NREL's PVWatts® Calculator Training: Module 6 – Additional Resources NREL Video Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar NREL's PVWatts® Calculator is a web application developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that estimates the electricity production of a grid-connected roof- or ground-mounted photovoltaic system based on a few simple inputs. Developed with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, this video provides a list of additional resources.
NREL’s REopt Lite Tutorial: Module 1 - Inputs Overview NREL Video Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage The REopt™ Lite web tool allows users to evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV, wind, 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. This short video provides an overview of the inputs of the REopt Lite tool.
NREL’s REopt Lite Tutorial: Module 2 – Load Profile Input NREL Video Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage The REopt™ Lite web tool allows users to evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV, wind, 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. This short video provides an overview of how to select a simulated load profile or upload your own interval data into the REopt Lite tool.
NREL’s REopt Lite Tutorial: Module 3 – Advanced Utility Rate Input NREL Video Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage The REopt™ Lite web tool allows users to evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV, wind, 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. This short video provides an overview of how to enter advanced utility rate inputs into the REopt Lite tool.
NREL’s REopt Lite Tutorial: Module 4 – Resilience Inputs NREL Video Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage The REopt™ Lite web tool allows users to evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV, wind, 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. This short video provides an overview of how to enter resilience inputs into the REopt Lite tool.
NREL’s REopt Lite Tutorial: Module 5 – Financial Outputs NREL Video Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage The REopt™ Lite web tool allows users to evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV, wind, 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. This short video provides an overview of the REopt Lite tool's financial optimization outputs and analysis.
NREL’s REopt Lite Tutorial: Module 6 – Resilience Outputs NREL Video Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar, Wind, and Battery Storage The REopt™ Lite web tool allows users to evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV, wind, 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. This short video provides an overview of the REopt Lite tool's resilience optimization outputs and analysis.
NREL’s System Advisor Model (SAM) Introduction and Demonstration NREL Video Project Development Process, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources All This presentation introduces and demonstrates the System Advisor Model (SAM) for NREL's Solar PV City and County Training.
Guidance for Collecting & Understanding Relevant Policy and Market Information for Renewable Project Development EPA Publication Policies & Regulations, Project Development Process Other All This document is designed to help organizations collect relevant policy and market information in relation to the development of renewable energy projects. It reviews policies, incentives, and financing options that might affect an organization’s ability to own, or contract with, on- or off-site sources of renewable energy generation. It includes space for notetaking to help users track policy information specific to their organization’s situation.
Local Government Renewables Action Tracker Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute Tools & Resources Project Development Process Other All The Local Government Renewables Action Tracker is an interactive web tool that presents renewable energy transactions and engagement efforts completed by U.S. cities, counties, community choice aggregations, and tribal governments since 2015. The tool shows and supports how local governments across the United States have used their buying power and collective voice to accelerate the country’s shift to renewable energy. The Renewables Action Tracker consists of two components: a transaction tracker and an engagement tracker.
The Solar Project Development Process: Insights and Best Practices from Local Governments and Higher Education Institutions U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Video Project Development Process Regulated Market Barriers Solar Part of the DOE Better Building 2020 Summit, this workshop highlighted common elements of and best practices in the solar project development process. Learn how different steps of the project development process factor into successful project outcomes, and hear from Better Buildings partners and experts from DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program on how to get started and identify resources for your next project engagement.
Local Government Sector Meet-Up U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Video Project Development Process Other All Part of the DOE Better Building 2020 Summit, this interactive meet-up was an opportunity for local government attendees to connect and exchange best practices with peers, share accomplishments and challenges, and learn about innovations happening at the local level.
Buying Clean Electricity: How Cities Benefit from Power Purchase Agreements (PDF) (17 pp, 834K) Center for Climate and Energy Solutions Publication Project Financing Options Financing Structures, Contract Best Practices All This policy brief provides an overview of PPAs, introduces important considerations for cities, and provides examples of PPAs used by municipalities. Finally, it offers additional resources that can provide cities with more details and options.
Case Study: Cincinnati’s Path to a 100 MW Solar Deal (PDF) (12 pp, 2.7MB) Rocky Mountain Institute Publication Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar This case study outlines the steps the City of Cincinnati followed to execute a 100 MW renewable energy transaction that will result in the largest city-led solar installation east of the Mississippi by the end of 2021.
Municipal Solar Site Selection Tool (MSSST) (XLSM) (21MB) Rocky Mountain Institute Tools & Resources Project Economics & Evaluation, Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar This Excel workbook is designed to efficiently identify promising sites for solar photovoltaic (PV) installations. It provides key screening criteria, actionable steps, and the relevant resources needed to conduct preliminary site evaluations. Specific screening criteria are provided for building rooftops, parking canopies, open fields, brownfields, and landfills. The tool is intended for use by municipal decision-makers, but the screening criteria are applicable to most solar projects.
Off-Site Renewables Power Purchase Agreement – Request for Proposal (RFP) Template (DOCX) (20 pp, 402K) Rocky Mountain Institute Template Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar, Wind The goal of this document is to provide local governments with an easily modifiable template, including a suggested structure and example language, to use when developing their own off-site renewable RFP. For cities and counties required to use their local government’s RFP template, the material in this template should be easily transferable to your city or county RFP template.
Off-Site Renewables PPA – Attachment 1 Bidsheet for RFP Template (XLSX) (233K) Rocky Mountain Institute Template Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar, Wind This bidsheet was developed as part of the Off-Site Renewables Power Purchase Agreement – Request for Proposal (RFP) Template. The Bidsheet is meant to be released in conjunction with the RFP to help the city/county collect project and economic data across all responses in a comparable fashion.
On-site Solar Request for Proposal (RFP) Template (DOCX) (12 pp, 188K) Rocky Mountain Institute Template Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar The goal of this on-site solar RFP template is to provide local governments with an easily modifiable on-site solar RFP. For cities and counties required to use their local government’s RFP template, the material in this template should be easily transferable to your city or county RFP template.
On-Site Solar Webinar: Economic Assessment & Ownership Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute Video Project Financing Options, Project Economics & Evaluation Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar This webinar is about the key considerations for various ownership financing structures and how to perform an on-site solar economic assessment using NREL’s REopt Lite web tool. It was presented as part of the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator program.
On-Site Solar Webinar: RFP Considerations Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute Video Project Development Process, RFPs & Contracts Contract Best Practices Solar This webinar is about the core components of an on-site solar request for proposal (RFP) and recommendations for enhancing clarity in an RFP.
On-Site Solar Webinar: Site-Screening & Prioritization Rocky Mountain Institute, World Resources Institute Video Project Development Process Project Feasibility Tools & Resources Solar This webinar is about how to use NREL’s PVWatts calculator and RMI’s Municipal Solar Site Selection Tool (MSSST) tool to quantify on-site solar potential and refine system size based on the site’s load and regulations. It was presented as part of the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator program.

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