Presented July 16, :45 PM Solar Breakout Session. Exploring Community Solar. Shannon Fulton StraightUp Solar

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1 Presented July 16, :45 PM Solar Breakout Session Exploring Community Solar Shannon Fulton StraightUp Solar

2 Exploring Community Solar Shannon Fulton Director, Illinois Business Development StraightUp Solar Solar Mosaic, Inc.

3 What is Community Solar? Community solar was pioneered in 2009 in California and is the idea that the roughly 75% of people who don t happen to have rooftops suited for solar panels ought to be able to invest in, and reap the rewards of, solar panels someplace else. Sounds simple, right?

4 In a business fundamentally laden with unnecessary complexity, this model has always struck me as the most difficult. Godspeed community solar developers, you are tougher than I. Wildisreal, Greentech Solar article comment Making Community Shared Solar Happen takes GRIT!

5 Mass-Market Repeatable Solar is Challenging And here s primarily why.. Many moving parts, making it necessary to invoke a formal program structure Operates within a complex world of power-purchase agreements (PPAs), limited private partnerships, special purpose entities, nonprofits and cooperatives, and other means Each state has its own laws and regulations. Each utility has its own interests that could make it a partner with, or opponent to, community solar.

6 Such Projects Can But it s Worth It! through economies of scale offer affordable solar energy to participants maximize available tax credits, rebates, and incentives maximize the return on investment for all parties and participants provide new value for empty rooftops and degraded or idle land serve as a hedge to ever-increasing energy costs (value of a share rises as energy costs rise) contribute towards community goals for renewable energy and related community/economic reinvention

7 Drivers RPS EPA carbon rules Electricity rate increases Power outages Greentech Media, 2013 Climate change Advocacy groups (i.e. Vote Solar, MOSEIA, ISEA) Investor groups looking for Tax Benefits Energy economics (peak shaving vs. building more capacity) Public opposition to local fossil fuel power plant operations Increasing environmental awareness among the general public

8 Community Solar Programs Expanding Rapidly Cumulative Number of U.S. Community Solar Programs Source: Campbell, B.; Passera, L. (2014). SEPA/IREC Resource: SEPA/IREC Community Solar Program Catalog. Washington, DC: Solar Electric Power Association, as reported in NREL Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation. April Available at: Aug. ' states, municipalities, and utilities developing community solar legislation and programs Municipal and Cooperative utilities are developing community solar projects in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and other Midwestern states A recent NREL study estimated that shared solar could represent 32%-49% of the distributed solar photovoltaic market in 2020 * While community solar is growing rapidly in the country, challenges and opportunities vary greatly by region

9 Model Considerations Participants: Offset electricity usage Transferability Hedge electricity costs Return on Investment Community development Energy Security Developers: Simple legal structure Economies of scale Ease of financing Maximized incentives Fast lead time Sponsors: Supports RPS Manage peak demand Meet customer demand Return on investment Energy security Community development Local ownership Source: SunShot Cook County Community Solar Initiative

10 Many Names and Models Community Solar has many names community-based renewable energy, solar gardens, shared solar, virtual netmetering, community-shared solar gardens, solar group purchase, crowd-funded solar, and more Each has its own distinguishable features and nuances May be best differentiated by Participation structure (Centralized vs. Distributed) Beneficiaries (Investors? Public? Both?) Generally separated into two categories Community Solar (with levels of more or less community ) Shared Solar

11 Community Solar Models Group Purchase/Bulk Pricing multiple stakeholders coming together to purchase individual solar systems to take advantage of bulk pricing Crowdfunding Solar Project originated as a peer-to-peer lending system that puts the financing for a solar project into the hands of the people could also take the form of investors financing a solar project and benefitting from the return on their investment through a PPA New Variation-Solar City Solar Bond Offering

12 Community Solar Models Municipal or Co-op Utility Array Utility installs medium scale to utility scale array and offers Green Power Purchase at a higher rate Variations: Muni Solar Bond financing (Berkeley FIRST, ClimateSmart Boulder, CO) Though these models have great merit, they don't get at the core of why we do community solar. Iowa Public Broadcasting, 2014

13 Shared Solar Models Shared Solar is the most impactful set of models from a community, financial, and climate perspective. Participants buy or lease a portion of a large distributed solar system and are able to use that solar generation against their demand on their electricity bill, just as if they had a solar system on their own rooftop. Four Basic Models 1 -BUY KILOWATT HOURS 2 -BUY MODULES 3 -LEASE MODULES 4 -BUY PRODUCTION FROM PORTION OF ARRAY (Jo Carroll Energy)

14 Shared Solar Models Elements Significant outreach, many stakeholders and decisions Array is always a centralized installation Vary in part by who owns the PV and who manages it Individuals get a share of the financial benefit (not the electrons) Extension of economies of scale to the homeowner

15 Shared Solar Models Project Drivers and Players Utility Investor 3 rd party for-profit Installer/Developer Local group with land Differentiating Features Subscriber Payment Mechanism What the Subscriber is Paying For The Type of Subscriber Benefit

16 Current Observations Important to build into demand rather than build and expect to grow into demand. The co-ops are doing this quite well. Each model should theoretically be applicable across the nation; however, each model tends to be used/pioneered only in certain states. March 2013, 79 percent, or 30 out of 38 programs, were run by utilities or a utility-sponsored third party (IREC). More than half of CS projects today are with coops or muni utilities (not IOUs). The relatively low administrative impact on utility staff compared to a similar amount of net-metered solar is beneficial to utilities. An important unifying feature is that the solar farm is designed to not be subsidized by members who do not participate. The price of subscriptions and the credits are based on the costs of the project. The shared solar sub-models show paybacks of years, notably longer than residential installations with current incentives (IL), but comparable without incentives.

17 Policy Considerations for Growing Community Shared Solar Net Metering Conceptually simple, highly motivating Retail vs Wholesale VNM (multiple customers, multiple meters), ANM (one customer, multiple meters) enable more shared solar IL Net Metering Rules under revision Interconnected system size limits Valuation of energy produced by shared solar Embedded Cost Vs Value of Solar Solar Renewable Energy Credits State targets for Low Income Energy Consumer Participation

18 Interstate Renewable Energy Council National Renewable Energy Laboratories US Department of Energy Resources Coughlin, J., Grove, J., Irvine, L., Jacobs, J. F., Johnson Phillips, S., & Sawyer, A. (2012). A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development. Washington, DC: NREL. Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. (2014). A Guidebook for Community Solar Programs in Michigan Communities. Lansing, MI: Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. Heinemann, A., Masterjohn, H., Barth, B., & Spencer, P. (2012). Bringing Down the Cost of Solar through Community Shared Solar. IREC, Vote Solar. (2013). Model Rules for Shared Renewable Energy Programs. Latham, NY: Interstate Renewable Energy Council. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2014). Community Shared Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations. Golden, CO: NREL. Siegrist, C. R., Barth, B., Campbell, B., Krishnamoorthy, B., & Taylor, M. (2013). Utility Community Solar Handbook: Understanding and Supporting Utility Program Development. Washington, DC: SEPA. Campbell, B.; Passera, L. (2014). SEPA/IREC Resource: SEPA/IREC Community Solar Program Catalog. Washington, DC: Solar Electric Power Association, as reported in NREL Shared Solar: Current Landscape, Market Potential, and the Impact of Federal Securities Regulation. April

19 Thank You! S. Fulton: WeCare Solar Ambassador trip to Uganda, 2014

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