Solar in Your Community Challenge Workshop Agenda

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The Solar in Your Community Challenge workshop is being held at the American Solar Energy Society's ASES Solar 2017 conference on October 11, 2017 at the Tivoli Student Union in Denver, Colorado. See the agenda below.

Zenith Room

9:00 a.m. - Welcome

  • Michele Boyd, SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Shubha Jaishankar, SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy


9:15 a.m. - Forum Panel: Look Who’s Taking the Challenge!

This panel highlights the variety of Challenge projects, their replicability nationwide, and the difference that they will collectively make.

  • Moderator: Jill Cliburn, Cliburn and Associates
  • David Hill, Director of Distributed Resources, VEIC, Burlington, VT
  • Mike Wittler, Kerrville Public Utility Board, Kerrville, TX
  • Mark Gaiser, Manager Movalistas Project, NM EMNRD, NM
  • Bridget Callahan, Sustainable NW, Portland, OR


10:15am - Break


John Good Room

10:30 a.m. - Spotlight Presentations: Solar Success in the Making

Challenge teams provide brief summaries of their projects, each describing their project goal, one surprising strength, one surprising barrier, and technical or market-based solutions.

  • Moderator: Michele Boyd, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Gary Cuneen, Plan-It Green Solar in Your Community Project (Oak Park, IL)
  • Jana Ganion, Blue Lake Rancheria (Blue Lake, CA)
  • John Kiely, Glass City Community Solar (Toledo, OH)
  • Jim Moran, Solar Synthesizers Meriden (Meriden, CT)
  • Laura Rigell, Philadelphia Energy Authority (Philadelphia, PA)
  • James Rector, RC Cubed Renewable Energy Finance Platform (Santa Cruz, CA)


12:00 p.m. - Lunch (on your own)


1:00 p.m. - Working with Your Financial Partners: Strategies to Successfully Finance Your Project

Financing is critical for Challenge project success. Learn basic strategies you can use to improve your ability to attract and maintain positive relationships with sources of financing.

  • Mary Rottman, Rottman-Associates


1:30 p.m. - Nuts and Bolts of Project Financing

Experts discuss the pitfalls and opportunities for financing your project.

  • Moderator: Mary Rottman
  • Amy Hollander, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • Michael Mendelsohn, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
  • Lee Peterson, CohnReznick


2:30 p.m. - Break-Out Group Discussions

Small group discussions on key topics that can help your team. Topics and Facilitators:

  • Financing - Mary Rottman
  • Program Design - Jenny Heeter (NREL)
  • Technology, Zoning, and Permitting - Athena Christodoulou (NM Solar Energy Association)
  • Working with Stakeholders - Marta Tomic (Vote Solar)


3:15 p.m. - Break


3:30 p.m. - Implementation Partners for Broadening Solar Access in Your Community

All Challenge teams represent partnerships, but there may be other partners with a different background that can help you succeed.

  • Moderator: Marta Tomic, Vote Solar
  • Tom Figel, GRID Alternatives
  • Chris Jedd, Denver Housing Authority
  • Rosemary Lytle, NAACP


4:30 p.m. - Lessons on Low-Income Solar from the Sustainable Solar Education Project

Learn about the Sustainable Solar Education Project, a project of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), which has developed resources on low-income solar.

  • Jenny Heeter (NREL)


4:45 p.m. - Wrap Up


5:00 p.m. - Adjourn for Networking

All are invited to the ASES at the Emerging Professionals Program and Reception On-Site from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.