Our Community Solar Services
paleBLUEdot’s Solar Services team has a broad capacity in providing solar services to communities and has experience supporting communities and developers nationally. The paleBLUEdot team has also provided a wide range of Technical Assistance for the US Department of Energy and has supported solar teams through the DOE's "Solar in Your Community Challenge" grant. Some of our team's Community Solar services are:
Community Wide Solar PV Potentials Study
Community-Wide Renewable Energy Potentials Studies provide the background and support needed for advancing solar renewable energy within a community. A community wide potential study includes the identification of total technical renewable energy capacity within a community, the total optimized (cost effective) renewable energy potential within a community, and the likely market capacity for renewable energy absorption over 5,10, and 15 year intervals.. This study can also identify the economic development potential, job creation, and economic impacts renewable energy can have on a community.
Our team can help identify potential sites for community scale pv installations. Site selection assistance includes identification of potential sites, review of site specific conditions, development of concept array configurations, development of preliminary project financials, and comparison of sites for recommended prioritization. The review of site specific conditions includes identification of site specific solar obstructions (current and potential), insolation levels, physical characteristics, neighboring property uses and compatabilities, accessibility to utility transmission lines, and a review of potential city zoning and ordinance impacts.
Solar Site/Building Feasibility Study
This site specific assessment will provide Community Teams with necessary input to assist in successful site selection finalization; concept finalization; solar array location, orientation, size and configuration. Assessment will use site specific solar obstructions and shading characteristics via on-site image/data collection as well as region specific solar insolation levels to produce:
- Site zoning review and an overview of potential impacts to project design
- Detailed system performance modeling.
- Determine month-by-month site shading and solar obstruction characteristics
- Estimated site specific actual solar radiation
- Detailed estimated monthly system electric production and revenue potential.
- Solar Optimization Report including estimated monthly production projections, annual roof insolation level mapping based on facility location and configuration, identification of ideal array tilt and azimuth orientations, estimated array DC and AC ratings, site specific solar obstruction data by month, and site solar survey images and data log.
Solar Site/Building Optimization
This site specific assessment will provide Community Teams with conceptual design input needed to optimize solar performance. This effort will result in a report to the Community Team providing recommendations on system configuration, layout, and orientation to maximize energy generation based on site specific characteristics, shading, obstructions, and surrounding uses. This effort assumes on-site image/data collection associated with Site Feasibility has already been captured and builds on the results of the Site Feasibility effort.
- Estimate of optimal orientation for given site conditions
- Estimate of best system tilt/azimuth configurations
- Site plan input identifying optimized array locations (roof top and/or ground) and building/site modifications to support optimization.
- Site Solar Optimization report outlining option choices, comparisons illustrating option costs, performance metrics, and preliminary ROI comparisons. Each option will include an illustration of anticipated array performance on a by-panel level. The report will provide system component, configuration, and orientation recommendations as well as relevant site/building concept modifications appropriate to provide maximized energy generation within reasonable ROI.
Group Solicitation / Group Buy
Group Solicitation programs help communities, non-profits, institutions, commercial properties, or residents leverage joint purchasing power to help reduce project costs. paleBLUEdot supports our clients in identifying the most effective Group Solicitation / Group Purchase approach and will create the solicitation documents, solicit potential respondents, review submissions, and support selection and awarding one or more project development and solar contractor installation/development teams. Within the program concept, it is anticipated that solar project development and financing mechanisms will be considered per project, and may include mechanisms such as solar lease, self-generating agreement, or PPA format.
Click Here to view an example group solicitation lead by paleBLUEdot.
Preliminary Financial Model
This financial model effort is intended to be at a high level for very cost effective verification of the general feasibility of a proposed project. The Financial model will approximate high level preliminary financial metrics for proposed site, system, and configuration. Model to use approximated electrical output generated to estimate comparative project cash flows and paybacks over project’s analysis period. The report to the Community Team will include recommended modifications to explore and “next steps”.
Detailed Project Financial Projections and Scenario Analysis:
This is a detailed financial modeling effort supporting a robust understanding of the proposed project’s financial performance potential. Deliverables include
- Review and summary of community solar and/or virtual net metering tariff provisions including eligibility, compensation rates, and other material tariff or cost elements
- Analysis of utility rate mechanics and cost drivers that influence the compensation rate for community solar
- Review of community solar economics for a sample residential customer
- Community solar forward looking revenue projections for high, medium, and low revenue scenarios and an explanation of drivers behind each
- Pro-forma model with basic financial data such as payback, IRR, cash flows (assumes receiving credible input data regarding estimated construction costs, land costs, and sales and marketing expenses)
- Identification of location specific incentives which may be applicable
Assistance Identifying Financial Sources for Low/Medium Income Solar Projects
The paleBLUEdot team includes low income finance experts who can support your community solar team in identifying appropriate financial sources for your project. This service includes identifying appropriate sources, and providing specific contact information for entities that are open to providing funding for low-income participation in net-metered community solar without financial burden, together with advice about approaching them as well as advantages and disadvantages of each path. Legal research will outline specific rules that apply with respect to each potential funding entity.
Low income outreach – Consumer Outreach for Customer Acquisition
Provide guidance and “how to” on reaching desired consumer base. Consultation will include an overview of how to provide target consumer base with appropriate understanding of Community Solar service offering. In addition, this consultation will assist Community Teams in identifying potential outreach partners, resources, and avenues in their community. Deliverables of this service include an initial consultation phone call to explore general marketing territory and specific project; research to identify community-specific outreach partners/resources/pathways; a training call and Q and A with as many participants as Community Team would like to include.
Assistance in Connecting with Low Income Households, Communities, and Potential Community Solar Subscribers
Any effort to assist low-income households must begin with contacting them. This is complicated by the fact that entities that have identified low-income households, such as public benefit agencies, appropriately guard the identities of their beneficiaries in order to protect their privacy. This service will advise as to efficient means of establishing contact with low-income households and, if desired, provide support for efforts to conduct such contact. This will include location-specific research and will be based on actual experience as well as specific contact information for entities that possess low-income household information, together with advice about overcoming barriers to using this information,
Low income outreach – Education and Marketing Materials
Provide customized, project specific, printer ready educational/marketing materials to support education of target consumer audience helping customers understand the details of community solar functionality, the subscription process, cost savings, subscriber benefits, and FAQ’s. Educational materials will also include “Solar in Your State” section providing facts and figures of the solar industry in the project’s state. Materials will be tailored to the Community Team’s location and project parameters.
Training and Education
The paleBLUEdot team includes a Department of Energy national solar pv trainer who can work with your team to create and deliver a custom training and education event to support your community solar project. Training events can focus on educating the general public, targeted community solar customer populations, partner organizations, local government agencies, or community solar team members.
Community Solar Legal Services
The paleBLUEdot team, with attorneys Todd Taylor and Brian Edstrom, can help community solar teams create legal documents to support the forming of a legal entity, a review of applicable Securities Law, Private Placement Memorandum / Investor Offering Document, and regulatory filings for solicitation of investors. Services include an initial direct consultation between community solar teams and paleBLUEdot team members to review the legal needs of the Community Solar team and to craft a custom offering