Since the last newsletter, the ASTI team has continued its work promoting clean energy development across the country, including kicking off a new collaborative procurement effort in the Silicon Valley and participating in the White House Solar Summit on April 17. We are also proud to have reached a major milestone: there are more than 32 million people in the cities and counties participating in ASTI representing over 10% of the entire US population! Read on for more ASTI program updates.
ASTI partners with EarthDay.org to promote the Green Cities Campaign
In recognition of Earth Day and solar energy’s role in securing a cleaner, healthier, and more economically viable future, ASTI is partnering with EarthDay.org to highlight its Green Cities Campaign, which aims to help cities become more sustainable through improvements in efficiency, investments in renewable technology, and regulation reform.
Advancing Renewables in the Midwest Conference Sets Attendance Record
The ninth annual conference “Advancing Renewables in the Midwest” in Columbia, Missouri is sponsored by the municipal utility Columbia Water & Light, University of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Economic Development. This year’s event had the keynote speech from the Governor, Jay Nixon, and had a record attendance with participants coming from as far as Florida, Washington DC, California and many across the midwest. The focus this year was on solar power deployment for utilities and communities across the region and the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, shared some exciting developments and commitments for the state.
The ASTI program was presented in collaboration with Becky Campbell from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) by Thomas Yurysta and Ben Foster. In two breakout workshops, case studies for deployment of utility-scale projects in Missouri were explored and then Solar Roadmaps for municipal utilities were shared in an interactive session based on Columbia Water & Light’s recent adoption of their own Roadmap. Attendees shared their challenges and opportunities to being more “solar ready” for the rapid growth of their solar markets. More information about the event is available here.
Optony announces CASE-SV, a new solar procurement initiative
Optony and partner organizations in Silicon Valley have started a new initiative aimed at increasing Silicon Valley businesses’ use of clean energy – named the Commercial Acceleration of Solar Energy, Silicon Valley (CASE-SV) program. Enabled by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley’s Smart Energy Enterprise Development Zone (SEEDZ) Initiative and the ASTI program, CASE-SV brings together the business community, municipal governments, and regional organizations to effectively use resources and aggregate their solar energy buying power. This directly supports SunShot goals of streamlining municipal permitting and planning processes across multiple jurisdictions concurrently, while driving faster and more cost-effective solar deployment regionally.
Regional solar summit takes place in Prince George’s County, Maryland
Stakeholders from Prince George’s County, Optony Inc., Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), and industry representatives met on March 11 to discuss solar permitting, zoning and market development activities. The County’s Solar Roadmap was used to guide local policymakers in setting solar-related goals for the remainder of 2014. Results of the meeting centered on developing an “eSolar” online permitting platform in coordination with MEA, integrating solar into the upcoming zoning code update, exploring a residential bulk purchase, and offering more educational resources to the community.
The District of Columbia Department of General Services releases RFP for 10 MW
On March 25, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued by the District of Columbia’s Department of General Services for the development of on-site solar power generation systems at various municipal facilities within the District. The systems will be developed at approximately 50 sites and will have a collective capacity of approximately 10 megawatts – the largest single project ever in the Nation’s Capital. This effort supports the District’s Sustainable DC initiative and demonstrates leadership in the nation’s capital. The RFP is available for download through this link.
First Meeting of California Permitting Task Force
Convened by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the first meeting of the California Solar Permitting Task Force was held on March 25 in Sacramento. This group is led by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) under the Rooftop Solar Challenge II program and is attended by leading organizations from across the state including Cal Fire, California Building Officials, Department of General Services, Department of Housing and Community Development, Housing Finance Agency, and many industry and municipal government representatives. The Task Force will update the California Solar Permitting Guidebook in an effort to streamline residential solar permitting across the state and promote a knowledgeable workforce.