Read about the impacts of Solar Ready II thus far in the project in this case study produced by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership. Click HERE to download the case study.
The SRII team is securing and overseeing commitments from local governments to expand the proven techniques, best management practices (BMPs), training materials, and methods of the 2012 Solar Ready KC Initiative to a national scale. The RPCs are engaging local stakeholders through training programs focused on the dissemination and implementation of demonstrated solar BMPs; facilitating national discussions amongst strategic state government representatives; determining public preference toward solar technology; and gauging public perception of potential market barriers.
The regions participating in Solar Ready II include 13 diverse states and Washington, D.C. Click on each of the regions to learn more about their individual SRII projects, including BMPs, news updates, and regional scope.
The analysis shows the great variety in market conditions faced by SRII jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, notably in the areas served by CNYRPDB, DVRPC, MWCOG, and MAG, strong state incentives and high electricity costs make solar an attractive investment. In other areas, such as the areas served by OKI, SWFRPC, and TBRPC, the financial outcomes of solar are less attractive. The difference in project economics is driven in part by differences in solar insolation values and by differences in state incentives in the form or rebates, tax credits, and sales and property tax exemptions. A wide disparity in the value of energy savings (which is in turn affected by factors like the average cost of electricity, utility rate structure, and state net metering policies) also has a major impact on project finances, as the electricity bill savings due to solar range from $0.095/kWh to $0.185/kWh across regions. In all cases, soft cost reduction efforts through the methods encouraged by the SRII project would have a profound impact on the financial attractiveness of solar. In jurisdictions with low energy costs or limited state support, a $0.70/W decrease in the price of solar through soft cost reductions makes the difference between uneconomical project and a profitable one. In states with high energy costs and strong state incentives, reduced soft costs make the financial picture even more compelling and turn solar into a profitable investment for homeowners.
As part of the SunShot Initiative, RSCII incentivizes regional awardee teams to make it easier and cost-competitive for Americans to go solar. By streamlining permit processes, updating planning and zoning codes, improving standards for connecting solar power to the electric grid, and increasing access to financing, teams will clear a path for rapid expansion of solar energy and serve as models for other communities across the nation. The best management practices displayed on the matrix are aimed at assisting the SRII team’s regional planning councils and their local governments who are implementing solar energy BMPs and other proven strategies, including zoning code improvements, solar access ordinances, building code improvements, streamlined and standardized permits and fees, financing, and many more.
The chart below illustrates the top SRII BMPs being implemented by the RPC’s participating local governments. Click HERE to see the complete list of BMPs!
The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) serves as the national voice for regionalism. NARC advocates for and provides services to its member councils of government and metropolitan planning organizations.