Posts Tagged ‘community solar’

14 August

Florida Climate Summit at Orlando 2017

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

This is a repost from one of our sister publications, Windermere Sun.

(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Beautiful Sunset of Windermere (photo by Susan Sun Nunamaker, presented at WindermereSun.com)

Polar Bear Crosses Arctic Sea Facing Shorter Sea Ice Season (presented at WindermereSun.com)

New Normal of Sea Ice (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Cranes of the neighborhood (photo by Susan Sun Nunamaker, presented at WindermereSun.com)

cranes and solar panels in Windermere (photo by Susan Sun Nunamaker, presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speakers and moderator at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speaker Aliki Moncrief of Florida Conservation Voters at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speaker Michelle Suarez of Organize Florida at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speaker Eric Rollings of Orange Soil and Water Conservation District at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speaker at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speaker at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speaker Chris Castro at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Speaker and moderator at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Audience at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Audience at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

Audience and speakers at the Florida Climate Summit Orlando 2017 (presented at WindermereSun.com)

 

Windermere Blue Sunset (credit: Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker)
(Please click on red links & note magenta)

For those of you who were not able to attend The Florida Climate Summit-Beyond Paris: Taking Local Action in Florida (at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, 10:00 am-4:00 pm EDT, Aug. 12, 2017), as part of the Climate Reality Project, but are quite interested in taking part in the future, I’ve managed to have finished uploading the video just today and will be sharing them in this post.

The event was organized by Monica Mayotte, Laura Betts, Susan Nugent, and Pakita Leone.

Reason for the event: now that the Trump Administration has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, it is up to the states, cities, and businesses to continue the efforts to solve the climate crisis. This summit was an opportunity to bring together various environmental groups across Florida to share their projects so we can assist one another.

Topics of discussion were:

  • How to move cities to taking the 100% renewable pledge
  • Banning fracking
  • Pricing carbon at the national level
  • Rooftop solar power in Florida

The speakers and organizations that are involved are:

First Video: Chris Castro at Florida Climate Summit at Orlando on Aug. 12, 2017, below:

Chris Castro presents various projects that’s been established in City of Orlando, such as:

  • Smart Buildings : The City of Orlando has been awarded two Smart Cities awards and is currently pursuing a variety of additional funding opportunities for Smart Cities initiatives that would assist us in enhancing transportation citywide and beyond. In these pursuits, we are continuing to move forward with building a data-driven infrastructure that will support safer, cleaner and more efficient travel and an improved quality of life for our community.
  • Orlando Pace Program: the City of Orlando now provides a new set of financial tools to home and business owners to help them lower their utility bills and make our buildings more energy and water efficient through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE removes the barriers of high upfront costs and provides low-interest financing to help residents and business owners looking to modernize, mitigate wind damage and improve the energy and water efficiency of their property.
  • Orlando’s Building Energy & Water Efficiency Strategy (BEWES): BEWES calls on existing commercial, institutional and multi-family buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to track whole-building energy use, report to the City annually and make their information transparent to the real estate marketplace. The policy covers less than five percent of Orlando’s buildings, which account for nearly 50 percent of total energy and water used by all buildings citywide.
  • Smart Energy Goal: 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 for Municipal Operations & 2050 City-wide, via exploring: On-site Solar PV, Community Solar+Solar Aggregation Program, Floatovoltaics, Food Waste (Residential Composting Program, Commercial Food Waste Collection Program) , West Orlando Food Project, Smart Vehicles .

Please also view the remarks by various speaker at this event, below:

The focus of the group is to educate, advocate, and elect public officials and representatives who would be truly concerned about caring for the future of our community and our planet.

Interested in Florida Climate Summit future events, please tweet Laura Betts: @laura_betts

For more on Climate Reality Project, please click HERE.

For more on Florida Climate Institute, please click HERE.

Photographed, gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at info.WindermereSun@gmail.com

 

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~Let’s Help One Another~

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~have a bright and sunny day~

Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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12 July

Obama Administration Is In Favor of Solar Access For All Americans

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,


(Please click on red links & note magenta)

Below is the press release from the White House:

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Administration Announces New Initiative to Increase Solar Access for All Americans

Including Actions to Scale Up Solar Access and Cut Energy Bills in Communities Across America

The Obama Administration is committed to addressing climate change, promoting clean energy, and creating good paying jobs.  That is why the Administration is announcing a new initiative to increase access to solar energy for all Americans, in particular low- and moderate- income communities, while expanding opportunities to join the solar workforce.

Last year, the United States brought online as much solar energy every three weeks as it did in all of 2008, and the solar industry added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.  And since the beginning of 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system has dropped by 50 percent.  The executive actions and private sector commitments that we are announcing today will help continue to scale up solar for all Americans, including those who are renters, lack the startup capital to invest in solar, or do not have adequate information on how to transition to solar energy.  The key components of the initiative that the Administration is announcing today are:

  • Launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems, including issuing a guide to Support States In Developing Community Solar Programs;
  • Setting a goal to install 300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing and providing technical assistance to make it easier to install solar, including clarifying how to use Federal funding;
  • Housing authorities, rural electric co-ops, power companies, and organizations in more than 20 states across the country are committing to put in place more than 260 solar energy projects, including projects to help low- and moderate- income communities save on their energy bills and further community solar; and
  • More than $520 million in independent commitments from philanthropic and impact investors, states, and cities to advance community solar and scale up solar and energy efficiency for low- and moderate- income households.

To continue enhancing employment opportunities for all Americans in the solar industry, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions and private sector commitments, including:

  • AmeriCorps funding to deploy solar and create jobs in underserved communities;
  • Expanding solar energy education and opportunities for job training; and
  • The solar industry is also setting its own, independent goal of becoming the most diverse sector of the U.S.  energy industry, and a number of companies are announcing that they are taking steps to build a more inclusive solar workforce.

These new actions build on President Obama’s goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020 and the Solar Ready Vets program that will train transitioning military personnel for careers in the solar industry at 10 military bases.

EXECUTIVE ACTIONS TO SCALE UP SOLAR AND DECREASE ENERGY BILLS

To continue supporting all American communities in deploying clean energy while creating jobs and reducing carbon pollution, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions:

  • Setting A Goal To Install 300 Megawatts Of Renewable Energy in Federally Subsidized Housing: In the Climate Action Plan, the President set a goal of installing 100 megawatts (MW) of solar and other types of renewable energy in Federally subsidized housing.   The Administration has already surpassed that goal, through commitments to install more than 185 MW of renewable energy.    Today, we are announcing that the Administration is tripling its current goal and setting a new goal to install 300 MW of renewable energy on affordable by 2020, as well as expanding the goal to include community and shared solar installations.
  • Providing Technical Assistance to Make It Easier to Install Solar on Affordable Housing: One of the largest barriers to deploying onsite solar on affordable housing is the lack of knowledge on how to initiate the process.  To overcome this barrier, the U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is announcing that it will offer direct technical assistance to affordable housing organizations making a commitment toward the Administration’s new 300 MW goal.  As part of this assistance, HUD is launching a website to provide policy guidance, tools, and other online resources to help advance solar deployment and the installation of other renewable energy in affordable housing.
  • Developing a Toolkit to Increase the Ability of States to Use Federal Funding to Deploy Solar on Affordable Housing: To make it easier to use Section 108 Community Development Block Grant funds for solar energy systems, next month, HUD is releasing a renewable energy toolkit for use by Community Planning and Development (CPD) grantees.  The toolkit will provide program compliance information, tools, and case study examples to help communities integrate renewable energy components such as solar photovoltaic, solar hot water, and cogeneration into the program in an efficient, cost-effective, and impactful way by using CPD funds.  This action builds on an announcement last year during which, HUD’s CPD office affirmed that under current guidelines, Section 108 Community Development Block Grant funding can be used for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
  • Enhancing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)’s PowerSaver Policy to Make It Easier to Borrow Up To $25,000 For Solar and Energy-Efficient Improvements:  FHA is planning updates to its second-mortgage program that will make it easier for homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 for solar and energy-efficient improvements by cutting red tape and making improvements more affordable.  Key features of the second mortgage program will include: 1) providing flexible underwriting to recognize the reduced cost of utilities for energy efficient homes; 2) allowing homeowners to control the disbursement of loan funds to the contractor; and 3) permitting contributions to lower out-of-pocket expenses and/or reduce borrower interest rates.
  • Clarifying Policy to Pave the Way for Increased FHA Solar and Energy Efficient Financing on Federally Assisted and Insured Housing.   FHA recently clarified its policy on first mortgages to allow flexible financing options and the ability to obtain larger loan amounts for solar systems.   FHA is conducting forums on the updated Single Family Handbook to help increase lender awareness of these financing options, which will be effective September 14, 2015.
  • Launching a National Community Solar Partnership: The U.S.  Department of Energy (DOE) in collaboration with HUD, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), representatives from solar companies, NGOs, and state and community leaders are launching a National Community Solar Partnership to unlock access to solar for the nearly 50 percent of households and business that are renters or do not have adequate roof space to install solar systems.  The partnership will leverage the interest in the public and private sector to expand access to community solar, in particular, for low- and moderate- income communities, while utilizing the technical expertise of DOE and the National Laboratories.
    • BARC Electric Cooperative
    • Black Rock Solar
    • State of California
    • Clean Energy Collective
    • Citi
    • Colorado State Energy Office
    • District of Columbia Department of the Environment
    • First Solar, Inc.
    • Grand Valley Power
    • Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance
    • GRID Alternatives
    • Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
    • National League of Cities
    • State of New York
    • RE-volv
    • Solar Energy Industries Association
    • Solar Electric Power Association
    • Spear Point Energy
    • SunShare
    • The Solar Foundation
    • Vermont Public Service Department
    • Vote Solar
  • Issuing A Guide To Support States In Developing Community Solar Programs: The DOE SunShot Initiative and the National Renewable Energy Lab are releasing a new guide, which answers key program design questions collected from states that have implemented shared solar policies and programs around the country.  The guide will also explain how shared solar polices work in conjunction with other polices and provides links to relevant shared solar publications.
  • Launching a Solar Working Group To Save Households on Their Energy Bills: The DOE SunShot Initiative, with assistance from Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is forming a new working group to disseminate information to new homebuilders that want to offer customer-owned solar PV.

STATE AND PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITMENTS INCREASE SOLAR ENERGY AND CUT ENERGY BILLS IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS AMERICA

States, cities, businesses, and organizations from more than 20 states across the country are making their own, independent commitments to put in place more than 260 solar energy projects in low- and moderate- income communities or to further community solar.   These announcements include:

  • 22 additional Public Housing Authorities and affordable housing providers from around the country are committing to install solar and other type of renewable energy on their facilities, to help meet the Administration’s new 300 MW goal.  This include:
    • Allegheny County Housing Authority, PA
    • Asheville Housing Authority, NC
    • Boulder Housing Authority, CO
    • BRIDGE Housing, CA
    • Cambridge Housing Authority, MA
    • Community Housing Partners, VA
    • Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, OH
    • Fresno Housing Authority, CA
    • East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, CA
    • Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, CA
    • King County Housing Authority, WA
    • Knox County Housing Authority, IL
    • Mercy Housing, Washington, D.C.
    • Metro West Housing Authority, CO
    • New York City Housing Authority, NY
    • New Bedford Housing Authority, MA
    • Rural Ulster Preservation Corporation, NY
    • San Antonio Housing Authority, TX
    • Tampa Housing Authority, FL
    • The Core Companies, CA
    • Vistula Management Company, OH
    • York Housing Authority, PA
  • RE-volv, a nonprofit organization, is announcing a goal of financing 200 community-based solar energy projects over the next three years.  As these communities pay RE-volv back through a solar lease, the money is “paid forward,” setting in motion a self-sustaining revolving fund that will finance a new solar project every month.  Already, RE-volv has already crowdfunded $120,000 from people in 38 states and 22 countries to finance 65 kilowatts (kW) of solar on three nonprofits and cooperatives that collectively serve over 1500 families.
  • Private sector companies announcing new projects in low- and moderate- income communities or to further community solar:
    • More than 30 member-owned, not-for-profit rural electric cooperatives in 17 states across the country are committing to install community solar projects by the end of 2016.  This builds on the nearly 20 co-ops nationally that have already brought online community solar projects in the last year.
    • Spear Point Energy, is committing to develop nearly 10-15 solar projects for rural water companies in the next year.  The program will include green bank financing and create jobs in low-income rural communities.
    • Clean Energy Collective is announcing three new community solar projects:
      • The first community solar to be built in Texas, CEC will develop a 900kW project in partnership with Nueces Electric cooperative, which will be located near Corpus Christi, Texas, and serve Nueces’ full customer base across the state of Texas.
      • A 120 kW community solar project located in Pueblo, Colorado with Black Hills Energy.  A significant portion of the array will serve low-income households through a partnership with Posada Pueblo.
      • A new partnership with CPS Energy to develop a 1.2 MW community solar project in the San Antonio area.   The project will be the first for CPS Energy and make CPS the largest municipally-owned utility in the nation with a community solar project.
      • Freetown, MA will soon complete a shared solar installation.  The project – the first to be fully funded and managed by NRG Energy, Inc.  in Massachusetts – will provide one megawatt of clean electricity, enough to power nearly 200 homes.  This project will provide solar power to residents who would typically not have access solar energy, while reducing the overall cost of their utility bill.
  • The Colorado Energy Office is launching a shared solar project for low-income households as part of its strategy to comprehensively reduce their energy burden.  The project complements Colorado’s Weatherization Assistance Program by giving low-income households the ability to reduce electricity costs.   The Office has released a Request for Application for a Community Shared Solar System Demonstration Project consisting of varying size and scale that will cumulatively provide more than 1 MW of solar generation solely for low-income shareholders.
  • Vote Solar is announcing Shared Renewables HQ, a web resource providing state-by-state policy analysis and resources to help communities design programs that work for all income levels.
  • SunEdison and NASCAR are announcing a partnership to promote distributed residential and commercial solar power through “NASCAR Green,” a platform created in 2008 to educate and promote sustainable solutions to fans and stakeholders on initiatives such as biofuel use, recycling programs, and solar energy adoption.   Over the next three years as part of this collaboration, SunEdison and NASCAR will educate the NASCAR fanbase about the benefits of home solar.  Additionally, SunEdison will work with NASCAR partners, race track properties, and race teams to design and propose commercial scale solar solutions.

FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS FROM STATES, CITIES, AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO SCALE UP RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Today, leaders from across the country are also committing to invest more than $520 million to advance community solar or scale up solar and energy efficiency in low- and moderate- income communities.

  • Community Capital Management is committing to investing $100 million in government-assisted rental housing that support environmental and energy efficiency initiatives, including deploying solar energy systems to meet the Administration’s new 300 MW goal, indoor environmental quality, and site remediation in the next year.
  • Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is announcing that it has secured over $400 million in cumulative financial backing to help scale up community solar nationwide.
  • Craft3, a nonprofit community development financial institution, is committing $12 million to expand its on-bill repayment loan program to help homeowners convert from high-carbon oil heat to natural gas and electric heat pumps, including financing oil tank decommissioning, the installation of high-efficiency gas furnaces, heat pumps and weatherization measures.   The program will focus on low to moderate income households that do not qualify for low-income weatherization support where borrowers will repay their loans through their utility bill.  Today’s announcement builds on Craft3’s March commitment to work with MPower, a non-profit company dedicated to provide $4 million in financing for building-wide energy efficiency services to qualified affordable housing facilities.   Since 2009, Craft3 has provided over $40 million in energy efficiency financing to 3,000 Oregon and Washington households.
  • The District of Columbia Department of the Environment is announcing that it will launch a plan to invest up to $6 million in community solar for low-income residents this fall.  Today’s announcement builds on their existing initiative to install 130 solar panels on low-income homes in 250 days by September 30, 2015.
  • California is announcing a new $3 million pilot program for multi-family homes that provides credit support to facilitate energy improvements.  The program will offer multi-family affordable housing credit support for energy efficiency improvements, including solar water heating.  The program is expected to facilitate improvements in 1000 housing units.  This builds on the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership, a program that encourages solar on new construction, currently has $3.5 million in reservations for future solar on affordable housing, representing 2.26MW.  To date, the program has provided $23 million in incentives for 883 affordable housing systems, representing 7.69 MW.
  • The State of Hawaii, is committing to open up financing for solar energy systems for renters, through the financing of community-based renewable energy projects, and energy efficiency projects to non-profits and small businesses in the coming months.  Through the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority, the State has already committed to financing $150 million of clean energy technologies for underserved Hawaii homeowners, renters, non-profits and small businesses by the end of 2016.   In March 2015, the Authority launched financing for solar PV to underserved non-profits and small businesses, with financing for solar PV to underserved homeowners available by July 2015.
  • The State of Massachusetts is committing to exploring new models to support community solar projects through the Massachusetts Solar Loan Program.  Through the program Massachusetts will work with the solar industry and lenders to provide affordable financing for solar electricity, with specific support for low- and moderate- income residents as well as community solar projects.  MassCEC and DOER will also continue to work collaboratively with the private sector to create pathways towards innovative community solar models and projects that increase access to solar electricity for Massachusetts residents.
  • The Vermont Public Service Department is announcing that it will launch a new statewide program to support customers that want to participate in community solar through an interest rate buy-down fund, with support from the DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge II.  The buy-down program will boost access to group net metering systems, in particular for those that cannot afford their own solar systems, and will enhance the state’s efforts to reduce barriers to going solar.  These include the financial incentives such as the state’s solar adder and regulatory initiatives such as the statewide 10-day registration form for projects under 15 kW.  Today’s announcement builds on the lessons learned through a pilot program in Windham County.  Vermont is also enhancing access to solar for public entities by working with them to create tools such as the recently released Solar Group Net Metering Agreement Template for Vermont’s Municipalities and Schools.
  • Washington State Housing Finance Commission is announcing theEnergySpark Home Loan, a new home-loan program from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.  EnergySpark  gives homebuyers an incentive to buy a home that is constructed to high efficiency standards that are at least 15 percent above code, or to make efficiency improvements to an existing home that cut its energy use by at least 10 percent.  The program offers a quarter-percent off the interest rate, and also allows buyers of older homes to finance the cost of modest improvements, for example, installing renewable energy, adding insulation, replacing windows or upgrading to an efficient furnace, right into the cost of the mortgage at the time of purchase.  When added to the Commission’s downpayment assistance, EnergySpark gives low- and moderate-income homebuyers not only savings on their home purchase, but savings on utilities over the long term.

BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE ENERGY WORKFORCE

The solar industry is adding jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy.   They are good paying jobs that are helping Americans enter into the middle class.  In fact, earlier this year, President Obama announced a new goal to train 75,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020 and a Solar Ready Vets program to train transitioning military personnel for careers in this growing industry at 10 bases.  To continue enhancing employment opportunities for all Americans, including low-income and minority communities, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions and private sector commitments:

  • Announcing Funding through AmeriCorps that will Deploy Solar and Create Jobs in Low-Income Communities: The Corporation for National and Community Service is supporting GRID Alternatives’ SolarCorps program.  Through the program, 40 AmeriCorps members will gain hands-on training and skills to access jobs in the booming solar industry, while providing clean energy to low-income families who need the savings to pay for basic expenses, through service at GRID Alternatives affiliates and offices throughout the country.  At the end of the first program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for helping retrofit 1500 low-income homes with solar power and will help 200 economically disadvantaged individuals gain jobs in the solar industry, while securing jobs for themselves at the end of their years of service.  In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage an additional 4000 volunteers who will be engaged in installing solar for low-income families.
  • Expanding Renewable Energy Education and Job Training: HUD, DOE, and the Department of Education launched “STEM, Energy, and Economic Development” or “SEED.”  SEED is a place-based initiative, currently operating in five cities; DC, Cleveland, Tampa, San Antonio, and Denver.  This project will leverage Federal investments and partnerships to support workforce development and educational opportunities in the energy sector for public housing residents.   Today, we are announcing a key part of this initiative will be focused on the solar industry.
  • Launching a Webinar Series to Provide Information about Job Opportunities: DOE is launching an eight-part webinar series through its Minorities in Energy Initiative to discuss the regional impacts of climate change on minority and Tribal communities and job opportunities in renewable-energy and energy-efficiency sectors to support a growing, next-generation workforce.   In addition, experts will discuss findings from the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) and outline Federal energy policy objectives as they relate to climate resilience, including underserved communities.   Authors of the National Climate Assessment will discuss their findings and the regional applicability to communities who are disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change.
  • Announcing a New Goal by the Solar Industry to Become the Most Diverse Sector of the U.S.  Energy Industry: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is announcing a new goal of becoming the most diverse sector of the U.S.  energy industry, promoting greater workforce diversity – from gender, nationality, and race to veteran status, sexual orientation and beyond.  According to the to The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2014, “the solar workforce is increasingly diverse, with select demographic groups (i.e., Latino/Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and African American solar workers, along with women and veterans of the U.S.  Armed Forces) representing a larger percentage of the solar workforce” than was observed in 2013.  The Solar Foundation report indicates the solar industry has already surpassed a number of other energy sectors when it comes to both ethnic and gender diversity.  To ensure that the solar industry can achieve its new goal, the solar industry plans to ramp up its training and recruitment opportunities nationwide.
  • Individual Private Sector Commitments: A number of individual companies are taking steps to build a more inclusive solar workforce.   Their independent commitments include the following:
    • As part of a $5 million philanthropic partnership called the Realizing an Inclusive Solar Economy (RISE) that SunEdison entered into with GRID Alternatives earlier this year, today, GRID Alternatives, in collaboration with Civic Works, is training residents in East Baltimore to enter the solar industry.  RISE aims to train 4,000 applicants from underserved communities to begin solar careers.  GRID Alternatives and SunEdison will work with over 70 job training organizations and community colleges over the next two years and offer recruitment venues, hands-on solar installation training, one-year paid fellowships, webinars, and other opportunities for applicants from underserved communities to begin a solar career.  Training opportunities will be available across the country, including through extensive outreach that drives job applicants to job fairs at major solar industry events like Intersolar in San Francisco in July 2015 and Solar Power International in Anaheim in September 2015.
    • PosiGen, commits to increase the diversity of its workforce and unlock employment opportunities for low-income households, including by hiring 40 percent of their employees from low- and moderate- income communities by the end of 2016.  To realize this goal, PosiGen is also committing to increasing its infrastructure investment in low- and moderate-income communities by more than $100 million by the end of 2016.
    • Nautilus Solar Energy proudly commits to expand solar installations in low-income communities and to continue working towards creating a brighter future for communities everywhere.  Both woman-owned and veteran-owned, with females comprising approximately half of its employees, Nautilus Solar Energy provides businesses, schools and not-for-profit organizations across the United States and Canada with solar power

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Please keep in mind that there is another valuable source at: DSIRE, providing various federal and state incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.  Take advantage of them and join the New Renewable Energy Age!

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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7 May

For Solar Landfills-More Help With Landfill Closure Requirements in Florida

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers, (Please click on red links below),

As a result of our posts on Landfills + Community Solar=Great Opportunities & Savings, and further investigation and requests made with FL-DEP (Florida-Department of Environmental Protection), I’ve received response from a very helpful Professional Engineer,  Lee Martin (850-245-8734, Lee.Martin@dep.state.fl.us) of the Solid Waste Section of the FL-DEP, to help with navigation in obtaining some of the maps and charts available to general public at the web site of Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Engineer Lee Martin also clarified that the list I posted in Landfills + Community Solar=Great Opportunities & Savings is not all the closed landfills in Florida but all of our Class I (Subtitle D MSW) landfills in long term care and there is a significant difference. I’d like to mention the fact that Engineer Lee Martin was very careful in asking me to obtain permission from the Press Office (850-245-2112) of FL-DEP first before providing any detailed information. Below, are instruction under his guidance:

To continue navigation of our website in order to get a map of the Class I closed in long term care landfills please start on our web site at:  http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/solid_waste/default.htm and click on the link under Facility Search and Reports marked Solid Waste Facility Locator.  This will open up Map Direct: Solid Waste.  On the left margin click on Find Places, and then click on Filter Solid Waste Facilities.  A popup window will open and allow you to select “Class I Landfill” under Class and “Closed, in LTC, with GW Monitoring” under Class Status, select these and click on the Apply Filter button.  On the next popup window you are notified the filter has been applied, click on the Close button to view the map.  In order to print the map as a pdf format file, click on the Print to PDF link at the bottom of the screen (see below) and follow the directions.  Hope this helps, if you have any additional questions that I can help with please contact me as indicated below,  Lee

Class I Landfill, Closed LTC with GW Monitoring (credit: FL DEP)

Furthermore, Engineer Lee Martin also provided us, below, some important points for the landfill closure requirements for state of Florida, in case any of you out there should be interested in considering taking on any solar/wind projects utilizing any of the Florida landfills.

Thanks Susan, the reference for the landfill closure requirements/criteria is in Chapter 62-701.600(3)(g), Florida Administrative Code.  A copy is available on line at:  https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=62-701 and an extract is included below;

1. Landfills shall have a final cover designed to minimize infiltration and erosion, which shall include a barrier layer consisting of a soil layer, a geomembrane, ora combination of a geomembrane with a low permeability material. All geosynthetic and soil components used in the final cover shall meet the standards and specifications contained in subparagraphs 62-701.400(3)(d)1. and 2., (3)(d)5.-11., paragraph (e), and (f), F.A.C. For lined Class I and Class III landfills, the barrier layer shall have a permeability that is substantially equivalent to, or less than, the permeability of the bottom liner system. If the landfill uses a geomembrane in the bottom liner system, the barrier layer shall also incorporate a geomembrane. For unlined Class I landfills, the barrier layer shall have a permeability of 1 x 10-7 cm/sec or less. For unlined Class III landfills, the barrier layer shall have a permeability of 1 x 10-5 cm/sec or less. For unlined Class III landfills which accepted only yard trash, no barrier layer is required;instead, final cover shall consist of a 24-inch thick soil layer, or a 30-inch thick layer consisting of approximately 50 percent soil and 50 percent ground or chipped yard trash by volume, the upper six inches of which shall be capable of supporting vegetative growth.

2. If the barrier layer consists only of soil, it shall be at least 18 inches thick, installed in 6-inch thick lifts, and shall have a final, 18-inch thick layer of soil, or a 24-inch thick layer consisting of approximately 50 percent soil and 50 percent ground or chipped yard trash by volume, that will sustain vegetation to control erosion placed on top of the barrier layer.

3. If the barrier layer consists only of a GCL, a protective soil layer at least 24 inches thick shall be placed on top of the GCL with the upper six inches being able to sustain vegetative growth. In the alternative, the GCL may be covered with a 12-inch thick layer of soil that is then covered with a 15-inch thick layer consisting of approximately 50 percent soil and 50 percent ground or chipped yard trash by volume, with the upper six inches being able to sustain vegetative growth. The GCL shall be placed on a protective soil layer at least six inches thick. Material specifications and installation methods, which may include a drainage layer between the GCL and the protective soil layer over the GCL, shall be adequate to protect the barrier layer from root penetration, resist erosion, and remain stable on the final design slopes of the landfill.

4. If a geomembrane is used in the barrier layer, it shall be either HDPE or LLDPE with a minimum average thickness of 40 mils or PVC with a minimum average thickness of 30 mils, shall have chemical and physical resistance to materials it may come in contact with, and shall withstand exposure to the natural environmental stresses and forces throughout the installation, seaming process, and settlement of the waste during the closure and long-term care period. A protective soil layer at least 24 inches thick shall be put on top of the geomembrane. In the alternative, the geomembrane may be covered with a 12-inch thick layer of soil that is then covered with a 15-inch thick layer consisting of approximately 50 percent soil and 50 percent ground or chipped yard trash by volume, with the upper six inches being able to sustain vegetative growth. Material specifications, installation methods, and compaction specifications, which may include a drainage layer between the geomembrane and the protective soil layer, shall be adequate to protect the barrier layer from root penetration, resist erosion, and remain stable on the final design slopes of the landfill. This layer shall include topsoil or soils that will sustain vegetative growth.

5. The final cover design shall include an evaluation of the stability of the cover system and the disposed waste and shall be designed to meet the factor of safety criteria in subsection 62-701.400(2), F.A.C. This evaluation shall include an analysis of the potential for slides along the weakest interface of the final cover system and of the potential for deep seated rotational or translational failures through the waste and the final cover.

6. An applicant may use an alternate design for the barrier layer or parts of the barrier layer, or for the protective soil layer, upon a demonstration that the alternate design will result in a substantially equivalent rate of storm water infiltration through the final cover. Any alternate design shall be reviewed by the Department as part of its review of the closure design plan.

7. Nothing herein shall preclude the Department from requiring more stringent final or temporary cover designs in a permit or consent order if necessary to protect the public health or the environment because of the nature of wastes received or site specific geological or hydrogeological conditions, or if the landfill has not been adequately constructed, operated, maintained, or closed.

Hope this helps, if you have any additional questions that I can help with please let me know, Lee

Engineer Lee Martin apparently will be retiring from FL DEP within 3 months or so. So, if you need any additional guidance in the next three months, please refer to Lee Maritin, P.E., contact information: 850-245-8734, email: Lee.Martin@dep.state.fl.us Please contact me if you are reading this post after July, 2014 and want more guidance with landfill closure requirements. If so, email me at sunisthefuture@gmail.com for his updated contact information. Let’s hope that Engineer Lee Martin will consider  consulting in the future, to guide rest of the world through all the requirements for closure of landfills in Floria in the process of covering more surface area with Solar/Renewables!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Related Post:  Hurray For Solar Landfill; The Amazing EGSC (Exposed Geomembrane Solar Cover) ;Landfills+Community Solar=Great Opportunities & Savings.

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3 August

How Does Community Solar Work?

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

Since our Aug. 1, 2013 post, there’s been quite a few people asking questions about some basic mechanics in how Community Solar Garden works. I’d like to direct you to the page on Start A Community Solar Garden/Farm under the Information section at www.sunisthefuture.net. I would also like to share another video clip that will help with this explanation, below.


Our research and interviews suggest that CEC (Clean Energy Collective)‘s community solar model leverages economies of scale, along with fully maintained array for maximum power production, to deliver  very low price for renewable energy. This would allow consumers/purchasers to bypass the research, construction, maintenance, and ongoing repair of building a costly system of their own. It would also allow renters and owners of poorly sighted properties for solar to participate.

 

This is why community solar (gardens/farms) is important in spreading the solar energy use (Sources: NREL, DOE, IREC, HUD)

Furthermore, as long as they stay within the region serviced by the same utility company, there is the flexibility of having their bill credits move with them. If purchasers need to move out of the region, they may sell their panels any time.

 

I  found  that CEC also had been partnering with SunFarm to establish Vermont’s first community-owned solar garden at Putney, VT, the Putney Community Solar Array (or SunFarm Community Solar), a 147 kW & 588-panel photovoltaic system servicing Green Mountain Power (GMP) utility customers. Solar panel owners in the Putney Community Solar Array will receive all available rebates and tax incentives, as if the system were located on their roof, and will be credited for the power their panels produced on their monthly GMP electric bills. Each panel in the Putney Community Solar Array costs $813 and is expected to pay for itself in about 10-12 years; but owners of the panels will be able to continue receiving power from these solar panels for as long as 50 years or more. To date, over half of the array have been reserved and each of the panel owners will see a power credit on their utility bill as soon as the array goes online this month (August of 2013).

More information on the Putney Community Solar Array:  www.VTSolarGardens.com , email: info@VTSolarGardens.com, or (802) 536-4471.

For more information on Clean Energy Collective: www.easycleanenergy.com or (800)-646-0323.

The future looks bright for solar energy as more and more of these community solar gardens will be springing up throughout our planet earth.  What are you/we waiting for? Let’s start planting our community solar gardens!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments and suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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26 June

Let Community Solar Garden Bloom!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 167 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hi, Folks,

(Please click on red links below)

Yes, I’ve been talking about Community Solar Garden to people in my communities. Are you? Think of all the potential sites that may be used as Community Solar Gardens: rooftops and parking lot of Y, schools, apartment complexes, ground of retention areas of each subdivision, etc. Imagine giving 3 kilowatts capacity of a community solar garden as wedding gift to your college room-mate or selling 3 kilowatts capacity on the craiglist. While I conjure up what may be the possible tomorrow, there are more details that need to be addressed today. To  clarify many of these details, I’ve found 2 more videos (red links below)  that will help to increase our understanding of what Community Solar Garden/Farm concept is all about. It is about community garden, growing solar energy, enabling any one who wants to participate (regardless if one is a home owner or apartment dweller, with or without a house that is shaded or optimally oriented for sun exposure…). It is a smart way to invest (tax-free, with guaranteed return, with greater certainty than investing in the stock market) and to save our planet from dramatic climate change. It’s a win-win, No Brainer! Here  are the videos (red links below):

  1. (Leasing Solar Panels Through Garden)
  2. (Community Solar)

    rooftop solar panel array at the Kuppam-i-community office

    rooftop pv panels in Kreuzberg, Berlin

    Westmill Solar Park/Garden (creative commons, GNU Free Documentation License)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this series of presentation on Community Solar Garden/Farm  from June 17-26, 2013 posts of www.sunisthefuture.net has been helpful to you . For those of you who haven’t viewed the series, below:

June 17, 2013 post

June 18, 2013 post

June 19, 2013 post

June 20, 2013 post

June 21, 2013 post

June 22, 2013 post

June 23, 2013 post

June 26, 2013 post

Thanks to Joy Hughes at Solar Garden Institute of CO, we are now supplied with additional resources pertaining to Community Solar Garden, below:

CALIFORNIA: SB 43 passes Assembly Utilities and Commerce committee / Oppose SB1295Solar gardens give access to green energy to more Coloradans – The Denver Post

Michigan Welcomes Community Solar

Minnesota Community solar gardens: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you | Fresh Energy

New York Paves the Way for More Solar in the Empire State

The Advantages of Developing Solar on Brownfields | Greentech Media

Film explores effects of solar projects on Native American life | LA Times

Solar Gardens Resources

Email:
info@solargardens.org

Web:
Solar Gardens Website
Solar Gardens Blog
State by State Policy
Solar Gardens Institute Mission and Principles
Solar Gardener Training

Twitter:
@solargardens

Linkedin:
Solar Gardens LinkedIn Group

Facebook:
Solar Gardens Facebook Page
Solar Gardens Colorado – Boulder
Solar Gardens Colorado – Denver Metro
Solar Gardens Colorado – San Luis Valley
Solar Gardens California
Solar Gardens Pacific Northwest

Google Groups:
Solar Gardens Google Group
Community Power California
Solar Gardens Midwest
Solar Gardens New York

Happy Gardening!

~have a bright and sunny day~

any questions or comments will be welcomed either below in the comment area or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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19 June

Community Solar resources!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
__________________________________________________________________________________________

For the spirit of community, I’d like to share some information and resources making it possible for communities to come together to plant solar garden/farm/ program. Below you will find information on federal, state legislation, and tax-related resources.

  1. Community Solar: Power and Ownership for You and Me (IREC, Interstate Renewable Energy Council)
  2. IREC Releases Community Solar Energy Guidelines (GetSolar.com)
  3. Community Solar Farm (Wikipedia)
  4. Vote Solar (votesolar.org)
  5. DSIRE
  6. Shared Renewables HQ
  7. IREC Model Program Rules for Shared Renewables
  8. DC SUN (DC Solar United Neighborhoods) has been working hard to make solar affordable and accessible to every resident of DC. A summary and full text of the bill is available online here.

Let’s take a look at a community solar program in Arizona in the video, below :


Be sure to also check out previous 2 posts (June 18, & 17, 2013) of www.sunisthefuture.net, also on community solar garden/farm/institute.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any questions or suggestions will be welcomed publicly below in the comment box or privately via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note if you do not want the email to be shared).

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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18 June

A Guide To Community Solar:Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
__________________________________________________________________________________________

After having received many questions about Community Solar program as a result of our June 17, 2013 post, I’ve searched and found a very informative report, A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development . This report was developed for the NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) by Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, Keyes and Fox, Stoel Rives, and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. This Guide builds on the research and writing from the Northwest Community Solar Guide, published by Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Northwest SEED. It was made possible through funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Communities program. To learn more, please visit: www.solaramericacommunities.energy.gov .

People are looking for alternative energy sources in communities across America, for various reasons: to increase energy independence, to hedge against rising fuel costs, to cut carbon emissions, and to provide local jobs. They are looking to community scale renewable energy projects for solutions. Advances in solar technology and lowering of its cost, increase in federal and state tax incentives, and creative new financing models have made solar projects such as community solar projects more economically feasible.

I welcome you to click on and use A Guide to Community Solar: Utility, Private, and Non-profit Project Development . The information in this guide is organized around three sponsorship models: utility-sponsored projects, projects sponsored by special purpose entities (businesses formed for the purpose of producing community solar power), and non-profit sponsored projects. This guide addresses issues common to all project models as well as issues unique to each model.

If you are interested in starting a community solar program/farm in your community and have any questions after viewing this guide, then I’d recommend that you consider signing up for the upcoming webinars that will be presented by SEPA and sponsored by Clean Energy Collective. Details regarding registration for these webinars (June 27, 2013 & July 11, 2013) is available at our June 17, 2013 post.

Webinars are very user-friendly. If you have never participated in any webinars in the past, I have embedded an example of a webinar  “Community Solar 101” below for you to become familiar with how webinars may be presented and operated, below:

Yes, together, we can! Let’s find a way to combine our effort to GO SOLAR!
To find out more about your federal and state solar incentives available (of USA), please click on DSIRE SOLAR.
~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your questions or comments will be welcomed publicly in the comment box below or privately via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note in your email if you do not want the content of your email to be shared)

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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17 June

Community Solar Through SEPA & Paul Spencer of Clean Energy Collective

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Updates on our# Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
__________________________________________________________________________________________

What a great way to share and obtain valuable information without increasing carbon footprint or cost! SEPA (Solar Electric Power Association ) is now presenting a series of webinars that will help to provide better understanding of how Community Solar can help Utilities to achieve their goals, sponsored by Clean Energy Collective. This is a two-part community solar webinar series where SEPA staff share insights and findings from the recently released Utility Community Solar Handbook. The first  episode of this series took place on June 13, 2013, on Utility Managed Community Solar. The second episode of this series will take place on June 27, 2013 , Highlighting Trends From SEPA’s 2012 Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings and the third episode will take place on July 11, 2013, Leveraging Community Solar to Meet Utility Goals – Experience and Insights from Clean Energy Collective and Xcel Energy.You may sign up for the remaining episodes of this series here.

During the first episode, in the short 30 minutes, Bob Gibson (VP of Education and Outreach at SEPA) and Mike Taylor (Director of Research at SEPA) presented very succinctly why utility companies would want to work with community solar program:

Community Solar @ Westmill Solar Cooperative (Creative Commons GNU Free Documentation License)

  1. Increase customer access to and participation in solar
  2. Support the local PV industry
  3. Proactive customer engagement with the utility
  4. More cost effective than smaller, distributed projects
  5. Meet regulatory requirements at lower cost
  6. Increase customer equity from solar projects

and highlighted key considerations for utilities interested in designing or optimizing utility-managed community solar programs and for stakeholders looking to support them.

The participant take-aways included:

  1. Motivations and drivers for community solar
  2. General guidance categories when moving forward with a community solar program
  3. Chief considerations when implementing community solar
  4. Utility-managed community solar decision points, lessons-learned and what to do differently in future projects to optimize result

In case you’d like a deeper understanding of what community solar program/farm represents, explained below (in italic form, source: Wikipedia) and also by Clean Energy Collective President Paul Spencer in the video :


___________________________________________________________________________________________
A community solar farm or solar garden is a solar power installation that accepts capital from and provides credit for the output and tax benefits to individual and other investors. The power output of the farm is credited to the investors in proportion to their investment, with adjustments to reflect ongoing changes in capacity, technology, costs, and electricity rates. Companies, cooperatives, governments or non-profits operate the farms.

Centralizing the location of solar systems has advantages over residential installation that include:

  • Trees, roof size and/or configuration, adjacent buildings, the immediate microclimate and/or other factors which may reduce power output.
  • Building codes, zoning restrictions, homeowner association rules and aesthetic concerns.
  • Lack of skills and commitment to install and maintain solar systems.
  • Expanding participation to include renters and others who are not residential property owners

(Source: Wikipedia)
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Community solar program/farm is a great way to enable the segment of population (mentioned above) that otherwise would not have been able to participate in solar to share the benefit of sunshine effectively and responsibly. It would also be able to work in conjunction with incentive program such as Feed-In-Tariff. If you’d like to find out more and missed the first episode of this series, recordings and slides from the first episode (June 13, 2013) are available at SEPA website for webnars.  If you want to Learn How Community Solar Can Help Utilities Achieve their Goals, registration for future webinars are available here. If you’d like some help in starting your community solar farm/program, you may want to contact Clean Energy Collective to get some answers.

This is a great opportunity for any one assessing whether community solar is a viable option for them and how to create a program that optimizes project development and results. Utility project case studies will help illustrate lessons learned. There will be a Q&A session following the presentation.

Participant take-aways (provided by SEPA, below) will include:

  • How community solar can be leveraged to meet utility goals – RPS, customer satisfaction, etc.
  • Key considerations for making smart community solar decisions and a successful program design.
  • Considerations for deciding whether community solar should be developed alone or with a third party.
  • How to evaluate the available roles, options and variables that might impact your decision

Date: Thursday, July 11, 2013. 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern. Estimated duration: 1 hour.

Speakers: Fran Long, Product Developer – Renewable Energy, Xcel Energy; Paul Spencer, Founder and CEO, Clean Energy Collective; Becky Campbell, Senior Research Manager, SEPA (moderator)

Cost: Free to SEPA members and the media (subject to verification); $199 for non-members

Target Audience: Utility strategic planners, renewable program staff and other interested solar and community stakeholders

All registered attendees will receive the presentation slides and recording within two business days after the webinar. The recording and slides from the first part of the series are also available on the website.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed publicly below in the comment box and privately via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note in the email if you do not want your email to be shared).

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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