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February 19, 2013 Webinar: Exploring How Municipal Utilities Fund Solar Energy Projects

This webinar was held February 19, 2013, and provided information on Concord Light, the municipal electric utility serving Concord, Massachusetts, and their solar photovoltaic (PV) rebate program. Austin Energy also discussed their innovative "Residential Solar Rate," which replaced net energy metering based on a value of solar analysis. Download the presentations below, watch the webinar (YouTube), or view the text version. Find more CommRE webinars.

Funding Solar PV Rebates with Utility Cost Savings

Concord Light provides rebates to customers who install rooftop or ground-mounted solar systems on their property. The utility funds these rebates with transmission and forward capacity market cost savings that it experiences when its customers install in-town solar PV systems. This presentation will outline how the finances work for Concord Light and describe the challenges encountered as the rebate program has evolved over time.

Presenter Jan Aceti, Energy Conservation Coordinator for Concord Light, is responsible for energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy programs at the utility. Prior to joining Concord Light in 2009, Ms. Aceti provided consultation to government agencies and non-profits, helping them improve participation in environmental programs using community-based social marketing.

Download the presentation.

Austin Energy's Residential Solar Rate

Austin Energy's latest achievement is the creation of an innovative "Residential Solar Rate," which compensates customers who have invested in local, distributed solar for the value the resource provides the utility. The rate has been nationally recognized by Solar Electric Power Association and most recently by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. The presentation will cover what prompted Austin Energy to replace Net Energy Metering with a Residential Solar Rate based on a value of solar analysis, including a discussion of the analysis, a description of how the rate is applied and funded, and the challenges faced and lessons learned.

Presenter Leslie Libby graduated from Montana State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In December 1992, she graduated with a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Libby began working for Austin Energy in 1991, working in in solar energy for more than 20 years and managing Austin Energy's solar incentive programs from its inception in 2003. Under her direction, Austin Energy has provided customers with $32.5 million in incentives, which has allowed 2,100 participants to install 8.7 megawatts of solar on their rooftops. A recent study found Austin Energy has the lowest cost residential solar projects in the country at $3.75 per watt.

Download the presentation.