ASTI Newsletter Feb 2014

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February 2014 Edition

Check back often for the latest news and updates related to the Solar Roadmap and American Solar Transformation Initiative (ASTI). Below is the current edition of our monthly newsletter with the latest program updates and other exciting highlights.

EnergySage
EnergySage’s innovative online marketplace simplifies shopping for solar

For communities that want to promote solar power for its residents, the complex landscape of financing options and solar providers can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. EnergySage, a new online solar marketplace founded with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, is tackling this problem head on, and the American Solar Transformation Initiative is helping to build awareness of its innovative platform.

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Image courtesy of City of Palo Alto

Palo Alto, CA: solar programs for the next generation of sustainability

Home to Stanford University and the birthplace of countless technology startups, the City of Palo Alto, California is a magnet for innovation. It must be something in the water, or the energy supply, that makes the City a leader in sustainability planning and solar PV deployment as well. Through its municipal utility, Palo Alto supplies their residents and businesses with 100% carbon neutral energy by procuring hydropower and renewable energy from sources like solar and wind, in accordance with its 2013 Carbon Neutral Plan.

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Image courtesy of CALSEIA

State level permitting initiatives reduce solar soft costs

When strategies for reducing the soft costs of solar are on the table, attention is typically focused on actions at the local jurisdictional level. While local action is critical for success, several states have recently implemented pioneering initiatives to reduce soft costs that have resulted in immediate, positive impacts in local solar markets.

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Image courtesy of CAEC

Solar financing options grow with rise of local green loan programs

As consumer demand for clean energy continues to rise, an increasing number of credit unions and local banks are taking the initiative to make solar more accessible than ever. Within Solar Roadmap jurisdictions and beyond, community-based financial institutions are providing low-interest loans that enable customers to spread the upfront costs of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system over time, making it more affordable to purchase PV systems outright.

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Image courtesy of Stockton Chamber of Commerce

Working groups enable exchange of best practices and resources

As a platform that brings together key stakeholders in regional solar markets, creating targeted working groups is one of several powerful tools available to participants in the American Solar Transformation Initiative (ASTI). ASTI working groups enable participating cities and counties to share experiences and lessons learned while working to increase solar energy adoption and reduce soft costs.

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