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NEWS

2016 Project of Distinction Winners Announced

November 09, 2016

A 104-year-old Illinois construction company, a Wisconsin electric cooperative, a Michigan affordable housing nonprofit and an Indiana school district are being recognized for the innovative solar projects they have built and put online since the beginning of 2015.

SEPA Welcomes Energy Industry Innovators to Board of Directors

November 02, 2016

The Smart Electric Power Alliance has named three new members to its Board of Directors, all energy industry executives driving business and technical innovation at their respective companies.

SEPA and Chadbourne Partner on 2016 Update of Utility Solar Tax Manual

November 02, 2016

The Smart Electric Power Alliance, in partnership with Chadbourne & Parke LLP, announce the release of the 2016 re-issue of SEPA’s Utility Solar Tax Manual.

SEPA Names Former U.S. Department of Commerce Official Mike Kruger as Director of Communications

October 24, 2016

The Smart Electric Power Alliance has named Mike Kruger as the new Director of Communications. Kruger most recently served in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Director of Digital Engagement at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

SEPA releases new ‘Distributed Energy Resources Capabilities Guide’

October 18, 2016

The Smart Electric Power Alliance's new report, "Distributed Energy Resources Capabilities Guide," covers the technical capabilities of distributed energy resources to provide critical grid-support services to help utilities maintain reliability as they integrate more intermittent renewables.

SEPA Lays Out Blueprints to Utility-Solar Industry Collaboration at SPI

September 19, 2016

As Solar Power International opens with a focus on collaboration and innovation, the Smart Electric Power Alliance is releasing a new report aimed at providing utilities and distributed technology organizations with plans for working together on new energy market structures.

SEPA and Nexant Roll Out New Methodology for Valuing DERs

September 07, 2016

Locational value, the potential to defer traditional "wires" investments, is a key value proposition for DERs, such as battery storage, distributed solar, energy efficiency and demand response. The Smart Electric Power Alliance, in partnership with Nexant, announces the release of a new report entitled: “Addressing the Locational Valuation Challenge for Distributed Energy Resources.”

SEPA Names 2016 Solar Power Players Award Winners

August 30, 2016

The Smart Electric Power Alliance has announced the winners of its 2016 Solar Power Player Awards, to be honored Sept. 13 as part of Solar Power International in Las Vegas.

Solar Power International to Light Up Las Vegas Sept. 12-15

August 26, 2016

Nevada has become ground zero for the solar industry, with its intense levels of sunshine; iconic solar projects; and equally intense policy debates over net energy metering and rate reform. So it’s no coincidence that Solar Power International (SPI) has returned to Las Vegas this year, Sept. 12-15.

Community Solar Poised for Big Market Gains

August 11, 2016

Community solar projects could give millions of U.S. households access to clean energy, according to a new report from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and Shelton Group. But the biggest obstacle to connecting customers to community solar may be lack of information.

SolarCity Pulls “MyPower” Loan Product

February 25, 2016

SolarCity has pulled its MyPower loan product off the market, raising doubts for the company that as recently as October 2014 lauded the product as the best thing on the market. Lyndon Rive, the CEO of SolarCity, stated that the replacement will be “...be simpler. We want something that’s as (simple) to sell as a PPA instead of the sales team going to PPA as the default option.”

Red Lake Nation goes solar

February 19, 2016

Tribal leaders of the Red Lake Nation are installing 15 megawatts worth of solar panels onto the rooftops of their largest buildings. The panels are predicted to generate enough power to light every bulb in the the tribe’s three casinos, the tribal college and all the government buildings. 

Solar Rebates

February 17, 2016

The City of Lodi Electric Utility began accepting rebate applications from customers interested in the installation of solar photovoltaic systems. The rebate will be calculated at $1.56 per watt, which is one of the most generous rates in California. 

Cheapest power in the US? Palo Alto muni eyes solar at under $37/MWh

February 23, 2016

The Palo Alto City Council recommended approval of a 25-year contract to purchase power from a solar PV system at a price of $36.76/MWh, or about 3.7 cent/kWh. 

 

Hampshire college goes 100 percent solar

December 21, 2015

Hampshire College, a small liberal arts college in Amherst, Mass., will soon be home to a "living building" and the only residential college generating 100 percent of its electricity from solar panels.

 

 

EVENTS

Working Collaboratively with Stakeholders - Lessons from Montana

January 05, 2017

Estimated duration: 60 minutes

Join SEPA and NorthWestern Energy on an enlightening and educating discussion by learning from those who participated in the 6-month long stakeholder engagement process initiated by NorthWestern Energy in Montana. The stakeholder engagement brought together a group of local organizations with the goal of designing innovative new pilot projects which would benefit customers now and in the future.

11am Pacific/2pm Eastern

Solar Power Asset Management & Performance

January 19, 2017 - January 20, 2017

San Diego, CA

Solar Power Asset Management & Performance is the event for front-line engineering, maintenance, and financial professionals responsible for asset management in the solar industry, who want or need the tools, experience, and expertise to improve the performance of the systems and installations that generate solar power. We do this by convening key business leaders and leveraging the combined expertise of SEIA and SEPA to deliver focused, technically relevant content that is late-breaking, specific, and interactive. Unlike other asset management events, we focus exclusively on delivering the content and networking opportunities that front-line solar professionals, engaged in the day-to-day asset management, want and need.

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

SEPA Utility Conference

April 24, 2017 - April 26, 2017

Tucson, AZ

The SEPA Utility Conference, formerly the Utility Solar Conference, provides an exclusive forum for utilities to share their experiences, exchange ideas, and talk through various strategies and business models in an intimate environment free of outside influences.

Westin La Paloma

National Town Meeting on Demand Response & Smart Grid

July 25, 2017 - July 27, 2017

Washington, DC

The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid is the premier event in the U.S. focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications.

Washington Hilton

RESOURCES

Utility Solar Tax Manual

October 26, 2016 
This 2016 Utility Solar Tax Manual reflects the latest developments in the federal ITC, administrative rules, and other tax codes and issues associated with solar project investments. These updates also incorporate recent IRS decisions related to the installation of battery storage projects in combination with ITC-eligible solar energy systems.

Beyond the Meter | Distributed Energy Resource Capabilities Guide 

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 
The transition from a traditional, centralized power grid to a more distributed one will have significant impacts on the grid of the future. As utilities begin to explore the capabilities of distributed energy resources (DERs), new tools will be called upon to optimize grid infrastructure and operations, such as increased flexibility to incorporate solar’s more intermittent generation. This guide explores the potential value of various DERs to provide power, capacity and ancillary services to the grid.

Executive Summary: Beyond the Meter | Distributed Energy Resource Capabilities Guide 

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 
The transition from a traditional, centralized power grid to a more distributed one will have significant impacts on the grid of the future. As utilities begin to explore the capabilities of distributed energy resources (DERs), new tools will be called upon to optimize grid infrastructure and operations, such as increased flexibility to incorporate solar’s more intermittent generation. This guide explores the potential value of various DERs to provide power, capacity and ancillary services to the grid.

Blueprints for Electricity Market Reform 

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 
"The electric industry is changing. But, changing to what? And how will that change unfold? 

The 51st State Initiative takes a journey with over two dozen utilities, trade associations, industry analysts, tech-start-up entrepreneurs and visionaries as they attempt to answer these questions. 

Scores of submissions have been summarized to provide a pathway forward through ideas and actions towards market transformation. The ideas or doctrines provide foundations for stakeholder agreement at the outset of conversations. The process to action involves engaging stakeholders in “roadmapping” within local markets to work together on tangible transition plans.

Beyond the Meter | Addressing the Locational Valuation Challenge of Distributed Energy Resources 

September 6, 2016 
Written in partnership with Nexant and the second of SEPA’s Beyond the Meter series reports, this report addresses the growing need to define a common metric for assessing the distribution capacity deferral value provided by DERs so their individual values can be stacked and combined.



Beyond the Meter | The Potential for a New Customer-Grid Dynamic
 

AUGUST 29, 2016 
The first in a series of papers focused on distributed energy resource (DER) program strategy and planning, SEPA’s Beyond the Meter profiles utilities working on innovative approaches to engaging customers and launching DER programs. The paper discusses three key themes: evaluating DERs for potential system benefits, integrating insights about customers, and re-assessing planning processes.


What the Community Solar Customer Wants
 

August 17, 2016 
Community solar programs come in many styles and structures.  The most successful ones are designed with the customer in mind.  But what does a community solar customer want?  The Shelton Group and SEPA conducted a nationwide survey involving over 2,000 respondents to help answer this question. 

2015 Utility Solar Market Snapshot 

JULY 19, 2016 
Industry news expounding low cost utility-scale solar has been prevalent in recent months, Summary report of SEPA's annual survey of the solar activities of electric utilities. This report covers the residential, commercial and utility markets for solar power as well as developments in policy and program interest among survey participants.


Utility-Scale Solar: The Path to High-Value, Cost-Competitive Projects
 

April 6, 2016 
Industry news expounding low cost utility-scale solar has been prevalent in recent months, touting prices below $40/MWh in multiple jurisdictions.1 While eye-catching, the reality is that utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) project economics vary widely and are dependent upon a host of drivers (Figure 1). As utilities consider adding solar to their resource mix, understanding these drivers and their implications is necessary for securing high-value, cost-competitive projects. This report will enable utilities to: (1) understand solar cost drivers; (2) recognize the value of solar in their resource mix; and, (3) establish a framework to evaluate solar projects. 

Accelerating Adoption of Community Solar 

February 28, 2016 
In this public report, SEPA partnered with Pacific Consulting Group (PCG) — a SEPA member — to conduct research that will ensure that utilities and third parties groups design community solar programs that "get it right" the first time. Download the free Report or the shorter Executive Summary to learn more. 

Asset Management and Operations and Maintenance Resource Guide 

FEBRUARY 17, 2016 
As large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar projects become an integral part of utility portfolios across the country, managing these assets for optimum performance—physical and financial—has become a high priority for a range of stakeholders. To provide AM and O&M specialists with a basic understanding of solar asset management challenges, Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) partnered with the solar consulting firm High Performance PV to create this members-only Resource Guide on Utility Solar Asset Management and Operations and Maintenance. 

Planning the Distributed Energy Future 

FEBRUARY 2016 
To understand how utility planning is changing, Black & Veatch and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) interviewed five leading utilities across the United States and identified trends in utility planning practices. Each utility is pursuing a different mix of new methodologies and tools for DER planning.