PROJECT PROFILE: Smart Electric Power Alliance (Solar Market Pathways)

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Title: Community Solar Design Models for Consumer, Industry and Success 
Funding OpportunitySolar Market Pathways
SunShot SubprogramSoft Costs
Location: Washington, DC
Amount Awarded: $705,830
Awardee Cost Share: $193,176

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), formerly known as the Solar Power Electric Association, and its partners are researching the intersection of community solar business models and consumer demographics to develop standardized program designs. By producing a range of more standardized, streamlined and cost-effective business models that can be easily localized across the country, SEPA will spark the growth of community solar programs. For more information on this award and the Solar Market Pathways program, visit their website

APPROACH

The project team will work to produce a range business models by researching and comparing community solar programs, conducting consumer market analysis, and disseminating results to solar industry stakeholders. Research on community solar models will be driven by a working group made up of diverse stakeholders including utilities, solar industry representatives, state governments, non-governmental organizations, and consumer advocacy organizations. Feedback from these working group members will focus on creating several comprehensive community solar models capable of functioning in a variety of circumstances. In 2016 and 2017, the project team will provide technical assistance to eight organizations interested in modifying their current model or adopting one of the newly standardized community solar models and will result in the installation of at least 4MW of new solar.

INNOVATION

While it is assumed that community solar meets the needs of customers, no comprehensive or comparative research has been conducted on the various models and costs. Through standardization of community solar models and better understanding of customer interest, SEPA aims to further encourage and enable the expansion of community solar deployment nationwide.