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Local Government Solar Project Development Workshop, Minneapolis, MN

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In September 2019, the US EPA in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory hosted a day long workshop focused on helping local governments develop solar projects to meet their goals and serve their municipal operations. The following is a compendium of resources from that workshop.

Module 1: Associated Programs and Resources for Solar Project Development

  • Relevant Programs
    This presentation introduces several EPA programs, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Office of Enterprise Sustainability, each of which administer programs and develop resources to advance utilization of solar energy among local governments.
  • Solar Project Development Resource List
    This document provides a list of resources related to solar project development.

Module 2: Working with Stakeholders and Decision Makers In- and Out-side Your Organization

  • Stakeholder Mapping Exercise
    Success in solar project development is often determined through the ability to navigate the stakeholder landscape of internal and external decision makers. This document presents an illustrative framework for identifying communication needs with key decision makers related to your solar project based on their power to hold up your project.

Module 3: The Solar Project Development Policy and Market Landscape

  • Federal, State and Local Solar Policies
    Solar project development requires a keen understanding of the policy and market landscape where the project will be located. This presentation details several key policies relevant to solar project development in Minnesota.
  • Solar Claims and Renewable Energy Certificates
    Consumers often want to claim their solar power use. Similarly, many local governments buy solar power to reduce their emissions footprint. This presentation details market best practices related to Renewable Energy Certificates and how these market instruments are used to substantiate use of solar energy and to reduce an organization’s carbon footprint.

Module 4: Financing Options for Solar Project Development

  • Financing Options for Solar Projects
    This presentation covers the common financing approaches used by local governments in developing solar projects.

Module 5: Identifying Your Solar Project Sites and Site Data Collection Best Practices

  • Solar Site Identification and Site Data Collection
    This presentation walks through best practices for identifying prospective site opportunities for solar projects. It also discusses the types of information a local government should collect for each site opportunity to inform the solar project solicitation process.

Module 6: Assessing the Viability of Your Solar Project Sites: REopt Lite

  • Solar Site Feasibility Assessment Using NREL’s REopt Lite
    This presentation walks through an example of using the REopt Lite tool to evaluate a solar sites in supporting an economically feasible project based on the necessary project size. The REopt Lite tool also helps identify the feasibility of including storage in prospective site locations.
  • Midwest Renewable Energy Association Solar Project Builder
    This presentation introduces the Solar Project Builder, is a public online tool developed by Midwest Renewable Energy Association to help conduct preliminary solar site feasibility assessments, economic evaluations and support the development of key RFP proposal assumptions.

Module 7: Best Practices in Developing and Issuing a Solar Request for Proposals (RFP)

  • Solar Request for Proposals Best Practices
    The culmination of setting one’s goals and project outcomes, researching one’s policy and market environment, identifying prospective solar site opportunities, collecting solar site data and evaluating solar sites for feasibility is to ultimately have all this information feed into your solar RFP. This presentation details the range of issues you may consider in developing a solar RFP and some of the best practices to make it successful.
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