Clean Energy

Essential reading:

  • 4-pager on Renewable Energy at RECs (Source: Resource Media)

    Description: Nicely designed 4-page handout from Resource Media on renewable energy at RECs including more than 10 different co-op examples, quotes, and photos.

  • Rural Co-Ops and Public Utilities Have Voluntarily Built Nearly 100MW of Community Solar. Here’s Why. (Source: Greentech Media)

    Description: Over 130 rural electric cooperatives in over 30 states are now offering community solar programs at an estimated capacity of 63 megawatts. Municipal and public power utilities have built an additional 29 megawatts of community solar in 22 programs." This very accessible article clearly and succinctly describes a number of different community solar models from across the country.

Suggested reading:

  • Audio from Webinar with Kit Carson & Farmer's Electric Co-ops on Solar (Source: 100% Network)
    Description: The 100% Network (a national network made up of groups working towards 100% renewable energy) recently hosted a webinar with two rural electric co-op leaders. Luis Reyes is CEO at Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in New Mexico and they are set to get 100% of daytime electric needs from solar by 2022. Warren McKenna is General Manager at Farmer’s Electric Cooperative in Iowa, which is a leading utility in the US in terms of solar watts per customer/member. The meeting is facilitated by John Farrell at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and discussion starts after 2:00.

  • Insights from the Colorado Energy Office Low-Income Community Solar Demonstration Project (Source: Colorado Energy Office)
    Description: This report from December 2017 is a great resource on low-income solar projects from a demonstration project funded by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) including 8 detailed case studies of solar projects at Colorado utilities, 7 of them being rural electric co-ops. CEO recognized the potential for community solar to reduce low-income energy burden and initiated the Low-Income Community Solar Demonstration Project (Demonstration Project). CEO’s Demonstration Project shows the feasibility of building a low-income community solar model that can be repeated throughout the United States, reducing the energy burden for all low- income households.

Supplementary reading:

  • The Community Solar Playbook (Source: NRECA)
    Description: The Community Solar Playbook helps co-ops explore business models and develop project implementation plans for community solar projects.

  • Rural Electric Co-ops and the Move to Local Renewables and Efficiency (Source: Resource Media)
    Description: This site features recent and past news related to energy efficiency and renewable energy at rural electric cooperatives including some great pieces on inclusive financing, solar, and more.

  • A Guide to Community Shared Solar: Utility, Private, and Nonprofit Project Development (Source: US Department of Energy)
    Description: This guide is a resource for those who want to develop community shared solar projects, from community organizers or solar energy advocates to government officials or utility managers. By exploring the range of incentives and policies while providing examples of operational community shared solar projects, this guide will help communities plan and implement successful energy projects. In addition, by highlighting some policy best practices, this guide suggests changes in the regulatory landscape that could significantly boost community shared solar installations across the nation.

  • Community Solar Primer (Source: Solar Energy Industries Association)
    Description: This primer on community solar from the Solar Energy Industries Association provides brief descriptions of different program models, along with a fantastic list of other resources on community solar.

  • Resources from Coalition for Community Solar Access (Source: Coalition for Community Solar Access)
    Description: The Coalition for Community Solar Access website provides the most comprehensive set of tools and resources for advocates of community solar. It includes model state enabling legislation, information on stakeholders advancing community solar around the US, consumer guides and a policy decision matrix.

  • USDOE Community and Shared Solar webpage (Source: US Department of Energy)
    Description: This is the most comprehensive federal resource for learning what is happening around the country in regards to the growth in community solar, federal and state resources and partnerships available, potential for growth and the challenges and benefits of community solar. There are numerous links to other related resources.

  • Coalition for Community Solar Access Resources (Source: Coalition for Community Solar Access)
    Description: This webpage provides guidance for community solar advocates who are working toward state legislation that would support the development of community-owned solar projects and has a Residential consumer Guide to Community Solar among other community solar resources.

  • Five Guiding Principles for Shared Renewable Programs (Source: International Renewable Energy Council)
    Description: Five page overview from February 2017, reviews 5 guiding principles of shared renewable programs: 1) Expand Consumer Access 2) Offer Tangible Economic Benefits 3) Put Consumers First 4) Promote Fair Market Competition 5) Complement Existing Programs