Since our last newsletter in April, the American Solar Transformation Initiative has gained over ten new Solar Roadmap participants, including seven cities under the Redwood Coast Energy Authority in Northern California.
To facilitate our participants’ progress on achieving their goals, the ASTI team has been working to expand our educational resources with a new webinar series and updated solar resource library. The Solar Roadmap resource library has grown to 426 carefully curated resources, which include model templates for solar permits and inspection checklists, case studies, and interactive tools to evaluate energy generation and size potential of solar arrays, among others. To connect our participants with these resources, the team initiated the Solar Power Hour: Implementing Best Practices webinar series to provide expertise, case studies, and resources to help communities achieve specific Solar Roadmap goals. Our next webinar, focused on residential aggregation initiatives, is scheduled for July 23; our past webinars, including the June 11 webinar focused on solar evaluation tools, can be viewed here.
In Utah, Park City and Summit County are wasting no time in tackling Goal M3: the two local governments are in the initial stages of organizing a collaborative procurement program. Likewise, the City of Avondale, AZ, has submitted potential PV array sites for consideration under their own municipal procurement effort.
ASTI participants across the country, such as Visalia, California, are eager to explore EnergySage, a no-cost online solar marketplace that bills itself as the “Expedia of solar.” Communities are using the platform to support aggregate procurement programs for the residential sector (Goal M1). Participants who have expressed interest in establishing their own local marketplace include Avondale, Summit County and Park City, and Inyo County, CA.
ASTI’s increased focus on solar market development is also the driving force behind a new pilot program for aggregated commercial solar purchases, called CASE-SV (Commercial Acceleration of Solar Energy in the Silicon Valley). Backed by five Solar Roadmap cities pursuing Roadmap Goal M2, CASE-SV is actively recruiting large commercial and industrial energy users to the program. Participants receive solar energy assessments for their sites at no cost, and have the opportunity to share solar project experiences and resources with other participants. Several sites are in the pipeline, including two confirmed Google facilities.
Solar Roadmap communities have been making strides on their own local solar initiatives as well. The Town of Blacksburg, VA, launched a bulk purchasing initiative in March that resulted in over 460 sign-ups; farther north, Tompkins County, NY, launched Solar Tompkins in late May. All of these communities are helping to drive installed costs down by aggregating new demand for solar installations resulting in lower transaction costs for both installers and buyers.